Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: May 2016

Business & Politics

Out of work Alberni loggers worried about losing medical benefits

By Dean Stoltz
Chek News
May 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Stelmacker has had lots of time for gardening this spring. He’s one of about 125 workers who have been off the job since Christmas because of a dispute between his employer Island Pacific Logging and Western Forest Products. “We don’t know how long this is going on. We have no idea” lamented Stelmacker when CHEK News visited his Port Alberni home for an interview Sunday. The dispute is over the rate Island Pacific Logging should be paid by WFP and has left 232,000 hectares of land on the island between Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Lake Cowichan quiet. “You try to cope with it as best you can. Some of us are able to depend on our personal lines of credit and to get by. We’re selling things. People are selling their cars, their boats. I’m going to sell my truck and my canoe to try to keep some cash coming in” said Stelmacker.

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Domtar’s award-winning Windsor mill examines the sources of error

MRO Magazine
May 30, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A worker is tasked to cut some failed bolts on a pressure vessel door. In the process, he cuts his finger and takes five stiches. An investigation determines that this accident was just waiting to happen. In a new approach to understanding the cause of incidents like this, Domtar’s pulp and paper mill in Windsor, Que. is improving its safety programs by adopting a more correct way of understanding the nature of errors. Adapting an approach developed to reduce the number of incidents in the nuclear power industry, called Human Performance Improvement (HPI), the Windsor mill is focusing less on how an incident happens, and more on why. Behind this tactic lies the dawning awareness that individual errors contribute far less to incidents than do organizational weaknesses.

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West Coast log exports down, lumber exports up in first quarter of 2016

USFS Pacific Northwest, Research Station
May 26, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. The latest data summarizing West Coast log and lumber exports in the first quarter of 2016 were released today by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. The data—covering exports during January, February, and March 2016—were compiled and analyzed by Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station. The first-quarter decline in West Coast log export volume compared to last quarter is a result of reduced demand from Asia, particularly China, Zhou said. The first-quarter increase in West Coast lumber export volume is a result of increased demand from Germany.

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Pocatello company proposes Potlatch wood pellet mill

Associated Press in Washington Times
May 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

POTLATCH, Idaho – A Pocatello-based company wants to operate a wood pellet plant in northern Idaho that has been closed since 1981. The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that Centennial Renewable Energy Solutions LLC has been working with the city of Potlatch for more than a year in hopes of taking over the former Potlatch Mill. The facility would create pellets from residual wood scraps and sawdust from area mills.

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Fire destroys 4 Yale forestry school buildings

Fox 61
May 29, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

EASTFORD — A three-alarm fire has destroyed four buildings owned by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The Hartford Courant reported the fire was reported just after 7 p.m. Saturday in a densely wooded area of Eastford. Fire Chief Gordon Spink said that the buildings are a “total loss.” No injuries were reported. The buildings were used by Yale for forestry training and were located in the Yale Myers Forest, which encompasses nearly 7,800 acres in the northeast corner of the state of Connecticut.

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Pellet prices fall to lowest level since August 2012

EUWID
May 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

At an average of €228.18/t, end-user prices for A1 pellets in Germany fell in May to their lowest level since August 2012. Year on year, the current level is down by roughly 4.9%, while the decline since the beginning of 2016 is roughly 5.6%. According to the price survey conducted by the Deutscher Energieholz- und Pellet-Verband (DEPV – German Energy Wood and Pellet Association), the price for 6 t of A1 goods, at €224.02/t, is currently lowest in southern Ger-many. The price in central Germany is at €227.42/t and in northern and eastern Germany at €235.32/t.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Is steel, wood or concrete the most ‘green’ building material?

TVO.org
May 30, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

If the fairy tale of the Three Little Pigs were written today, the pigs’ homes would likely be built not out of straw, branches and bricks, but instead out of wood, steel and concrete. And the porky trio would be imperiled not by a big bad wolf, but by environmental cataclysm. Any child reading the original story could tell you immediately that sticks and straw wouldn’t ever offer lupine stopping power, and that bricks were the obvious choice from the get-go. But it gets more complicated for modern builders trying to select materials based on what might save their ecological bacon. Advocates for all three major construction materials lay claim to certain environmental merits.

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$1.5 million tall timber buildings research grant awarded

Manufacturers’ Monthly
May 31, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Hyne Timber, in partnership with the University of Queensland, has welcomed the announcement of more than $1.5 million funding for tall timber buildings research. The funding announcement by the Australian Research Council is particularly timely given the recent changes to the National Construction Code enabling timber construction up to eight storeys in height. Hyne Timber’s CEO Jon Kleinschmidt said the benefits of using timber in tall building construction is well known in other parts of the world and social barriers in Australia need to be addressed, “Further to the significant sustainable resource benefit, enhanced performance, ease, speed and reduced costs associated with timber construction makes timber an obvious construction material of first choice.

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Forestry

Forest industry joins CCFM on skills award for Aboriginal youth

Forest Products Association of Canada
May 30, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is proud to join the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) to open up nominations for two Skills Awards for Aboriginal Youth as part of an effort to encourage more Aboriginal workers to consider careers in the forest sector. FPAC started handing out an annual skills award to a young Aboriginal person in 2012. In 2015, thanks to a new partnership with the CCFM, two awards were handed out and that will continue this year. …“The forest products industry has been working with Aboriginal communities as our neighbours and partners for many years, and we intend to work even more closely in the coming years,” said Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC. “I think we all recognize the importance of our sector and our forests to the environment and to our communities.”

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‘Very dry’ drought rating for Vancouver Island; reservoir cushions Victoria

By Amy Smart
Victoria Times Colonist
May 30, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province is urging Vancouver Islanders and Gulf Islanders to conserve water, as most rivers and streams are experiencing very low flows, although Greater Victoria’s large reservoir puts the region in better shape. Wth a “very dry” Level 3 drought declared, the province is calling for a voluntary water-use reduction of 30 per cent by all municipal, agricultural and industrial users, except those supported by reservoirs or lake storage. The region will experience significant water supply shortages this year, unless there is substantial rainfall in June, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said. Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands were the driest regions in the province Monday.

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5 things to know about forest tent caterpillars

Entomologist Taz Stuart says 500M moths may emerge in July
CBC News
May 31, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest tent caterpillars are munching their way through Winnipeg, feeding on the leafy canopy of trees. Forest tent caterpillars typically infest the city once every 10 to 15 years, but when an infestation hits, it can last two to three years. City crews started spraying against the caterpillars two weeks ago. There are likely more of the wriggling insect around the city than most people would expect, Taz Stuart, entomologist and director of technical operations at Poulin’s Pest Control Services, said. He Tweeted on Monday that if each tree has 100 forest tent caterpillars and there are 5 million trees, 500 million adult moths will emerge in July.

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Steve Lawson was a warrior for the wilderness

Globe and Mail
May 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Steve Lawson, environmental activist, master boatman and perhaps one of the few people who has ever looked into the eyes of both a cougar and a killer whale, was usually way out front. When he died recently, surrounded by his family at his home on Wickaninnish Island near Tofino, an important voice in the wilderness was silenced. In 1984, nearly a decade before he and some 800 others were arrested for blockading logging in Clayoquot Sound, Mr. Lawson was leading a small protest to stop MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. from cutting the old-growth forest on Meares Island. …Steve Lawson is gone. But the great trees, and the bears he fought to protect – for his children and yours – are still there. That’s some monument.

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Outdoor classrooms provide unique learning experience in Saskatchewan

By Tiffany Cassidy
CBC News
May 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a breath of fresh air for students in Stockholm, Sask. Their school has created an outdoor classroom, where any class from math to English can be taught. The space is made out of paving stones and has a small barn. It’s built within a bluff of trees and is a big enough space to accommodate all 90 students in the kindergarten to Grade 9 school. “It just provides you another opportunity to entice you to be outside and learn,” said the school principal Reg Leidl. Leidl said many of his staff are passionate about outdoor learning and were concerned that children no longer played enough outside. They call it a “nature deficit.”

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Mercury contamination at Grassy Narrows First Nation can be cleaned up, scientists tell government, again

Evidence points to new sources of contamination of fish and water, research scientist John Rudd says
CBC News
May 30, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It is feasible to clean up some of the decades-old mercury contamination in Ontario’s English-Wabigoon River system near Grassy Narrows First Nation, according to new research by three experts in the field. Reed Paper in Dryden, Ont., dumped chemicals in the river in the 1960s and early 1970s, resulting in mercury poisoning among First Nations people who ate fish caught in the area. The possibility of remediation was first studied in the 1980s by a government research team that included John Rudd. He’s the lead author of the new research commissioned by Grassy Narrows First Nation and released on Monday. “It has been frustrating,” Rudd said. “We made these recommendations in the 1980s and our report was put on the shelf.”

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Pest that kills Hemlock trees on its way

Simcoe Reformer
May 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A bug that sucks the sap out of trees and leaves them dead is the latest threat to Norfolk County’s forests, warns a biologist.  The Hemlock wooly adelgid is in the Niagara Region and is probably headed this way, said Gregor Beck, director of Ontario programs for Bird Studies Canada. The pest is capable of killing off large swaths of Hemlock trees – the type of tree that lines streams and ravines in Norfolk and provides habitat for a variety of threatened birds, said Beck. “These Hemlocks are really a critical part of the Carolinian habitat,” he said. “We are watching for this one. We know it’s close.” If Norfolk loses its Hemlock trees, it will add to the growing problem of habitat loss for birds in Canada. A report released earlier this month following a study of bird populations in North America concludes that more than one-third of species are at risk of extinction.

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Recreating forests of the past isn’t enough to fix our wildfire problems

Stephen Pyne, Regents Professor in the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
The Conversation
May 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There is general agreement that America’s landscapes, certainly its wildlands, are out of whack with their fires. Wildfires are bigger, hotter, more savage and more expensive than in the past. There is wide agreement, too, that America’s deeper fire problem is not that malignant megafires are crashing into our communities. Instead, it’s that we’ve lost the older benign versions of fire that once washed over and benefited our ecosystems. Surely, the thinking goes, restoring fire’s former regimes would quell the outbursts and bolster forests’ ecological resilience to multiple threats. But active restoration has proved trickier, more controversial, and more limited than advocates assumed. It works, but not everywhere, and not everyone wants it.

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The Trees are Growing Every Day

by Paul R. McKenzie, lands and resource manager at F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co
Flathead Beacon
May 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


To borrow the words of a good friend, our National Forests are like a big sandbox and we all need to figure out how to play together in it. Finding a balance between protecting the ecological functions of our forests and the ever growing demands placed on them by a burgeoning human population requires hard work and hard decisions. That is the difficult role of the conservationist. That is the challenging work that local collaboratives in Montana and many other states are not shying away from. I truly believe it is not the ownership of the land that is the problem, but rather the quagmire of conflicting bureaucratic processes we have established over the last 100 years that is to blame for the condition of benign neglect we see on so many of our public lands today. The process problem likely has no local solution.

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Guest Opinion: On BLM forests, more common ground than you might think

by George Sexton, conservation director for the Klamath Siskiyou Wildands Center.
The Mail Tribune
May 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We should also note that conservationists want to find long-term solutions to the financial challenges that have rocked O&C counties. Rural counties and rural communities should benefit from the neighboring BLM forests that are literally in our backyards. It is extremely significant and noteworthy that both the counties and conservation organizations oppose clearcutting of BLM public forests. This is a breakthrough that has profound implications. Clearcutting increases fire hazard to adjacent landowners, degrades watersheds, eliminates wildlife habitat, undermines the recreation economy and short-changes local mills and forest workers who have invested in the infrastructure that supports forest restoration. We can do better.

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Maine’s forest products industry is in freefall, but there’s another use for these woods

by Richard Jagels, emeritus professor of forest resources at the University of Maine
Bangor Daily News
May 30, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Coal may be the perishing enterprise in states such as West Virginia and Kentucky, but Maine has its own declining industry. The raft of paper mill closures we have seen in the past few years are the latest signs of a long-suffering wood products industry in Maine. When I began my career as a forest biologist and wood scientist at the University of Maine more than 35 years ago, Maine still had a healthy diversified wood products industry, and this was reflected in a robust enrollment of students in our forestry and wood products programs. …I grieve for the loss of much of Maine’s wood products industry, as well
as the loss of the wood science program that was an integral part of my
professional career. But hoping for a return to the past will not
improve our future. While the wood science program was declining at
UMaine, the forest recreation program was expanding — a portent of the
future.

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A cut above: For Sandhills logging crews, business is booming

The Fayetteville Observer
May 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A”perfect storm” of weather, economy and consumer demand has sparked a logging boom in the Cape Fear region. “If you’ve been driving out in the country lately, you know there’s been an increase in logging activity,” said Harnett County Forestry Service ranger Buren Fulmer. “It’s been busier in our county than in the past few years, for a bunch of reasons. I imagine you’ll see the same thing elsewhere.” In Cumberland County, forestry ranger Craig Gottfried said “we’ve been busy all winter, and it hasn’t slowed down yet.” A gap-toothed landscape across the region indicates logging has seen a notable uptick this year. From the swamp loggers sloshing through the remnants of winter’s excess rain in Bladen and Columbus counties to crews clearing a path for what will be Interstate 295, it’s a tough time to be a tree in the Cape Fear region.

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Kisatchie National Forest to restore longleaf pine acreage

American Press
May 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Kisatchie National Forest officials on Thursday announced a new initiative to restore the acreage of longleaf pine on private lands statewide — boosting it from 2.5 million to 8 million acres over the next few decades. The initiative, called the Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership, involves several federal agencies. “The Joint Chief’s approach is an all-lands approach,” said Eddie Taylor, Kisatchie Forest supervisor. “We are endeavoring to utilize federal lands along with private, enthusiastic landowners that are willing and wanting to work with longleaf pine.” Taylor said that by the end of the late 1800s the longleaf pine ecosystem, which covered 90 million acres from Virginia to East Texas, began to dwindle. With a lack of federal lands in Louisiana, he said, officials decided to reach out to private landowners.

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Illegal Logging Is Bigger Than You Think

Bangor Daily News
May 30, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Illegal logging is definitely bigger than I thought, at least. When I wrote last December about the outsourcing of Maine’s paper industry, I mentioned that some illegal timber is making its way into China’s paper mills from places like Burma and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. What I didn’t get into, however, was how pervasive the illegal timber trade is worldwide. Looking at the kind of illegal logging that happens in Maine—where every once in a while someone cuts down the wrong trees and has to pay a fine—it might be hard to imagine how it could be such a major problem. It turns out that, according to Interpol, the illegal logging industry was worth an estimated $30 billion globally in 2012. That was slightly more than a quarter of the legitimate global logging industry’s value of around $115 billion that year.

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Coalition funds for forestry research

AAP in 9News.com.au
May 31, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A re-elected coalition government will pour money into research underpinning the forestry industry, with a $4 million pledge for centres at Launceston and Mount Gambier. The Tasmanian government has already stumped up its dollar-for-dollar commitment to the deal which also requires an investment by industry to form the $12 million National Institute for Forest Products Innovation. “Each research hub will investigate innovation in areas such as forest management, timber processing, wood fibre recovery, advanced manufacturing and the bio-economy,” assistant agriculture minister Senator Anne Ruston said on Tuesday while visiting Tasmania. END OF STORY

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BREAKING: Norway commits to zero deforestation

Mongabay
May 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Norway is a leader in funding forest conservation around the world (see here, here, and here, for example), and has also taken a stand for the human rights of forest communities. But now the country has announced that it will walk the walk itself. In what’s being hailed as a groundbreaking move, the Norwegian parliament pledged today that the government’s public procurement policy will be going deforestation-free. The Rainforest Foundation Norway, which has worked for a number of years to secure a zero deforestation commitment from the Norwegian government in regard to its supply chains, said in a statement that “Norway is the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation in its public procurement.” The Norwegian parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment made the pledge in a recommendation on the government’s Action Plan on Nature Diversity.

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Forest Fires

Crews gain ground on Fort McMurray wildfire, just days before re-entry

660 News
May 30, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Many Fort McMurray evacuees are packing their bags and loading up on enough groceries to last at least two weeks. They’re just days away from Mounties opening the barriers to the city for the phased re-entry. Meanwhile, it appears crews are gaining some ground against the raging wildfire that forced residents out. There’s moisture in the air and more back-up crews coming to help douse the flames. The province expects firefighting conditions to improve with cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast. The blaze slightly decreased in size over the weekend, it’s now covering 579,946 hectares. With the first phase of re-entry slated for Wednesday, local government says it’s on track to welcome back evacuees. In a message posted Sunday night, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo also confirmed the wildfire-ravaged areas on the community’s west side are being closely monitored.

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Siphon Creek wildfire over 85,000 ha

My Prince George Now
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Siphon Creek wildfire has grown to 85,300 hectares. BC Wildfire is showing the fire has grown nearly 10,000 ha in two weeks. Almost a quarter of that (22,600 ha) is burning in Alberta. The fire is about 40% contained, with six helicopters and over 130 fighting the blaze. The Beatton Airport Road wildfire is 90% contained. It hasn’t grown much at all in almost two weeks and is hovering around 15,739 ha. There are eight firefighters and two pieces of heavy equipment fighting there. END OF STORY

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B.C. Bracing for Expensive Wildfire Season

By Greg Fry
250 News
May 28, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government is burning through this year’s wildfire budget. The government has set aside $63 million for the current fire season but as of yesterday it has already spent over half that – $37,836,773. To date, that figure is the highest it’s been the past 10 years. At this time last year for instance, the government had spent just over $26,650,000 and that included efforts put into fighting the massive Little Bobtail Lake fire near Norman Lake. To put the money spent into perspective, fire information officer Ryan Turcot says the 10-year average as of May 27th is $9,889,464 though he notes it’s not necessarily a sign of things to come.

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Air Canada Flies 300 Firefighters from Johannesburg, South Africa to Assist with Alberta Wild Fire

CNW in Edmonton Journal
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa and EDMONTON, AB – Air Canada flight AC7007 departed O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa early today en route to Edmonton, Alberta with 300 South African firefighters on board. It is carrying the largest number of wildland firefighters ever brought into Canada. The Air Canada Boeing 777-200LR is carrying firefighters from South Africa’s Working on Fire Program (www.workingonfire.org) who will assist in firefighting efforts underway in Northern Alberta. It is also that organization’s largest-ever deployment.

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Naomi Klein says Alberta wildfires linked to climate change in Calgary address (with video)

By David Bell, Mike Symington
CBC News
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Refusing to link climate change to the Fort McMurray wildfires puts Albertans at odds with the scientific consensus and it’s a barrier to a meaningful conversation on how to move forward, an award-winning journalist told hundreds at the Congress 2016 of the Humanities and Social Sciences on Sunday. Naomi Klein, a best-selling author, social activist and filmmaker addressed themes from her most recent book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, in Calgary, the heart of the oil and gas industry in Canada. While Klein expressed compassion for the evacuees of the Fort McMurray wildfire, she said refusing to link it clearly to climate change is shortsighted.

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Activist Naomi Klein links Fort McMurray wildfire to climate change at University of Calgary speech

By Colette Derworiz
Calgary Sun
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Activist Naomi Klein ruffled some feathers in the heart of Alberta’s oilpatch Sunday, linking the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire to climate change and calling for an end to fossil fuels. Speaking at Congress 2016, which is being held at the University of Calgary, Klein said last year’s Paris climate change agreement didn’t go far enough. “It is a breakthrough and, if it’s all we do, it will be an ecological disaster,” she told the crowd of almost 500 people. “If we are serious about keeping warming below 1.5 C, it does kind of mean the end of the fossil fuel era, which I know is a little bit hard to hear in this city.” …Officials with the U of C said Klein’s overall message is an important one to foster debate both in Alberta and across Canada.

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South African firefighters flying in to help fight Fort McMurray wildfire

CBC News
May 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The first thing the 281 South African firefighters did when they touched down in Edmonton was sing.  They sang soldier songs — songs of South Africa — while the large crowd gathered their to welcome them cheered.  Khomt Alucie, one of the firefighters who made the journey, said the group has only known each other for a day and singing is how they bond.  “It gives us moral courage, it gives us teamwork,” she said. “If we become tired in the fire we sing.

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Time to replace P.E.I.’s aging fleet of forest fire trucks?

Oldest vehicle still in use dates from disco era, all trucks will soon qualify as antiques
CBC News
May 31, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

…But here’s something from 1979 that never went away: it’s a three-axle Chevrolet tanker truck still called upon to help workers with the P.E.I. forestry department put out forest fires. The ’79 Chevy is the oldest of a fleet of six vehicles with an average age of 30. That’s old enough to qualify as an antique under P.E.I.’s Highway Traffic Act. The newest truck in P.E.I.’s forest-fire fleet is a 1991 model. The other four trucks date from the 1980s. Most of the vehicles are four-wheel drive tanker trucks, designed to be able to go places conventional fire trucks can’t. According to officials, they’re called upon an average of about 25 times a year.

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Northwestern Ontario continues to be restricted fire zone

CBC News
May 30, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A restricted fire zone remains in effect across much of northwestern Ontario, but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will reassess the situation on May 30 to examine the potential for lifting the ban.  There were no new fires confirmed by the afternoon of May 29 in the Northwest Region. Widespread rain fell across the area May 28 and 29, which helped to keep all the ongoing forest fires in check. The fire hazard is now considered low across the region.

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One fire still active in North Bay area

The forest fire hazard is low to high across the region.
Bay Today
May 30, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There is one active fire in the North Bay region as the the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry reports North Bay 8 is considered under control at 0.8 of a hectare. There were no new fires in the Northeast Region by the afternoon of May 29. The forest fire hazard is low to high across the region. …Ontario provides firefighting resources outside of the province, and when needed brings in resources from other provinces, the territories or the United States. Firefighting resources in Canada, including personnel, aircraft and equipment, are shared through formal agreement and coordinated by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center in Winnipeg.

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Wet weather dampens forest fire situation

TB Newswatch
May 30, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada


THUNDER BAY – The restricted fire zone that covers much of Northwestern Ontario remains, but that may be re-evaluated following a damp and cool weekend. No new forest fires were reported Sunday in the Northwest region. The wet and cool weather also allowed the forest fire hazard rating to drop to low in many areas. Despite that, a major wild fire near Red Lake remains out of control and 40 firefighters from British Columbia have been brought in to help battle the blaze. Meanwhile, a fire burning near Geraldton airport is now listed as being held.

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Douglas County Residents Tour Stouts Creek 9 Months After Devastating Fire

KEZI.com
May 26, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

STOUTS CREEK, Ore. — Concerned citizens and some current and former land management workers toured the Stouts Creek area on Thursday, just 9 months after a fire wiped out over 26,000 acres of forest land in the area. Javier Goirigolzarri, the Executive Director of Communities for Healthy Forests, says, “We wanted to bring folks out that were interested in seeing what happened here last year, to see what the plans are for the land management agencies and the companies going forward from here; what they expect to accomplish here in the future, and to have the discussion about what we ought to be doing.”  Those discussions flowed once the group got to the burned area. County Commissioner Chris Boice and some of the land management officials talked about harvesting public lands and using that money to benefit the county.

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AFD calls Div. of Forestry, JBER for assistance with wildfire near East Anchorage

KTVA Alaska
May 27, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE – The Anchorage Fire Department is responding to a wildfire just less than a mile from an East Anchorage neighborhood. The fire was first reported at 5:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. AFD Fire Chief Denis LeBlanc said the fire was located on military land and was difficult to reach, so the department has reached out to the Alaska Division of Forestry and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for assistance alongside AFD units dispatched to the area. A private pilot flying over the fire reported to AFD it was roughly 50 feet by 60 feet in size, LeBlanc said. 

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Paying to fight forest fires with forest-health funds is a disaster

Congress needs to treat forest fires as natural disasters and use emergency funds to fight them, not drain money from forest management.
The Seattle Times
May 28, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

AFTER two record-setting wildfire seasons, and with Washington forests already burning, state leaders are again pressing for basic changes in how the expense of these natural disasters is covered. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark sent a letter to congressional leaders asking for smart revisions in how the budget for the U.S. Forest Service works. To cover the costs of fighting devastating wildfires across the West, the Forest Service has to raid funds set aside to keep forests healthy and reduce fire danger. As Inslee and Goldmark point out in their May 19 letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, money is taken from accounts “intended to improve forest health and prevent the very sorts of conditions that can exacerbate fires.” The term of art is “fire borrowing.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is granting $8.8 million for the production of advanced biofuels.

The Green Optimistic
May 28, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

This translates into jobs at associated facilities in 39 states becoming sustained. Credit goes to the successful Advanced Biofuel Payment Program that was laid out in the 2008 Farm Bill. Advanced biofuels is another word for second generation fuels. Biofuels can be produced from several types of sustainable feedstock. The bio-based, renewable energy standards are becoming increasingly important during climate change being that a clean-energy economy could be established. Biomass is less harmful than other sources, as it typically will not impact biodiversity, negatively impact food crops, and will produce little greenhouse gas emissions. It also provides a clear source of renewable energy and opens up new career paths in the biofuel energy industry.

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Why I’m glad lawmakers, LePage helped the biomass industry

By Robert Dorsey – president and CEO of the Aroostook Partnership
Bangor Daily News
May 29, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The public-private initiative Aroostook Partnership has a clear mission to drive economic development in Aroostook County. Because the forest products industry is the largest economic engine in The County, the partnership took a strong interest when the Maine Legislature and Gov. Paul LePage began to discuss LD 1676, An Act to Establish a Process for the Procurement of Biomass Resources, this past winter. As members of the partnership’s Northern Maine Forest Products Industry Cluster, more than 25 businesses, landowners, educators and economic development officials related to forest products have been meeting regularly over the past two years to advance initiatives to benefit and grow the industry in northern Maine. We were among the many people who advocated for passage of LD 1676.

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