Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 16, 2016

Froggy Foibles

What Is The Forest Personality Test? This Fun Trick Might Tell You Something About Yourself

By Georgina Lawton
Bustle
June 16, 2016
Category: Froggy Foibles

The mind is a magical thing, and there’s still so much we don’t know about it. Sometimes, though, psychological tests can help us uncover a little more about ourselves. …The Forest Personality Test is of the type known as a “relational psychology” test — that is, it’s a mental walk-through adventure (similar to the recently-hyped cube personality test) that works by taking you on a psychological journey of self-discovery. …With the Forest Personality Test, you’re first asked to imagine yourself positioned in — you guessed it — a forest; then you’re asked a series of questions relating to different interactions and activities taking place within that forest. 

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Business & Politics

FPInnovations and Canada Mining Innovation Council Sign a Memorandum of Understanding

FPInnovations
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

FPInnovations and the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) are pleased to announce that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a partnership and a framework for information exchange for the benefit of their respective members and industries. This three-year agreement, which took effect on June 9 of this year, includes facilitating exchanges to increase knowledge, establishing a common approach for a natural resources innovation strategy, and evaluating options to facilitate access to new technologies suitable to their industry.

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FPAC applauds government’s commitment to innovation

Forest Products Association of Canada
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) applauded the federal government’s launch Tuesday of an innovation agenda, calling it a critical pillar for the Canadian economy and the future of the $65-billion forest products sector. Derek Nighbor, FPAC’s CEO, said the forest products sector will be leaning more than ever on innovation in the coming years, as the industry transforms into one that emphasizes bio-energy, high-rise wooden buildings and a wide range of new products that rely on forest products. Those new forest-dependent products will include everything from cosmetics to clothing to auto parts. Mr. Nighbor added that Canada’s forest products sector will also need to remain innovative as it competes in highly competitive international markets and pursues its ambitious climate change goals.

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Media Advisory – Forest Products Association, Minister Mihychuk to make announcement

Forest Products Association of Canada
June 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Media are invited to participate in an online press conference about future employment in Canada’s forest products sector. The event will involve the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk. Today at 11:40 am EST. Where: thegreenestworkforce.ca/index.php/live

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Canfor’s Longtime Support Of BC Children Continues For 28th Year

Canfor News Release
June 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Giving back to the communities in which we operate is part of our culture at Canfor. This commitment includes Canfor’s long-standing tradition of supporting events and organizations – particularly those that benefit children and youth, including the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. On June 5, as part of the 29th annual BC Children’s Hospital Miracle Weekend, a group of Canfor Kids presented our donation of $15,682. The donation, which consists of a corporate donation and funds raised by employee fundraising efforts, will help ensure that BC Children’s Hospital is able to provide the best care possible. While the hospital is located in Vancouver, it serves children from all around BC, including those who travel from the many BC communities where Canfor operates.

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Industry steps up for hospital

Cowichan Valley Citizen
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fundraising idea spawned just after Christmas finally came to fruition this month for Pudge Bawa and others involved in the forest industry in the Cowichan Valley. Bawa is the president of Marpole Transport, and is also a board member of the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation. …Bawa said he, and the other members of the CDHF, are always looking for ways to support the foundation, so he thought it would be a good idea to “wrap” the trailer up with advertizing from the forest industry to help with the foundation’s ongoing fundraising campaigns. A total of nine forest and trucking companies agreed to put their names on the trailer in support of the CDHF, and the back section of the trailer will be devoted to the foundation’s annual causes, with the fundraising focus changing every year.

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Weyerhaeuser to sell Liquid Packaging Board business to Nippon Paper Industries for $285 million in cash

Strategic review of printing papers joint venture is ongoing
PR Newswire
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

FEDERAL WAY, Wash., — Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) today announced an agreement to sell its liquid packaging board business to Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. for $285 million in cash. Weyerhaeuser expects to use a substantial portion of the estimated $225 million after-tax proceeds for repayment of debt. The transaction includes one mill located in Longview, Wash., with an annual capacity of 280,000 tons. This announcement concludes a portion of the strategic review of the company’s Cellulose Fibers business, which was initiated in November 2015. Weyerhaeuser announced the planned sale of its pulp mills in May 2016. The company’s review of its printing papers joint venture is ongoing.

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Weyerhaeuser Launches New Product for West Coast Builders at 2016 PCBC

LBM Journal
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

To meet the needs of West Coast builders, Weyerhaeuser will showcase its new Trus Joist® TimberStrand® LSL with Flak Jacket® FRT protection and Trus Joist® Parallam® PSL beams at the 2016 PCBC in San Francisco. On June 22 and 23, 2016, building industry professionals can visit booth #723 to learn how engineered lumber products from Weyerhaeuser enhance design capabilities and speed up construction processes for commercial and residential applications. “The engineered lumber products we’re featuring at PCBC provide consistent performance and deliver outstanding results,” says Wendy Minichiello, regional director of sales, engineered lumber products, with Weyerhaeuser. “We’re showcasing products that meet the specific code requirements for the West Coast to support the needs of builders and remodelers.”

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Sunbelt Forest Products Adds Pressure Treated Wood Facility

PR Newswire
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BARTOW, Fla. — Sunbelt Forest Products of Bartow, Florida has announced the purchase of a pressure treated wood facility in Athens, AL from Georgia-Pacific (GP). Sunbelt is one of the largest pressure treaters in the Southeast, with plants in Bartow, Florida, Rockledge, Florida, and Louisville, Alabama. The acquisition will increase the company’s manufacturing capabilities to over 600 million board feet of pressure treated wood a year. “The Athens plant will provide Sunbelt with new opportunities in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana,” said Ken DelleDonne, Sunbelt president. “With the added capacity we can begin to expand our reach beyond the southeast, providing both above ground and ground contact pressure treated wood to more lumber yards in the region.”

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W.Va. budget forces Division on Forestry to cut jobs

By Anna Baxter
WSAZ-TV
June 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

According to a news release, the layoffs come after legislators rejected legislation that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin proposed to fully fund Forestry. The agency now faces a budget shortfall of $1.7M for the upcoming fiscal year. The agency now says it has to cut its workforce by one-third. A spokesperson tells WSAZ these cuts were made to employees who work in the agency’s fire protection, logging and timber management. All three programs will be adversely affected by the funding reduction, according to the spokesperson. “This is the first time during my tenure as cabinet secretary that I’ve ever had to lay off employees, and it is by far the most difficult task I have faced,” said Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Builders’ risk insurance higher for wood buildings: study

by Richard Gilbert
Journal of Commerce
June 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

There is a substantial difference in the risks and insurance rates for the construction of wood frame buildings compared to concrete structures, a recent study commissioned by the Concrete Council of Canada reveals. “Our objective with this study is to provide credible information on a level playing field basis about the use of various building products, whether it is concrete, steel or wood,” said Chris Conway, chair of the Concrete Council of Canada. …The report focuses on the difference in property insurance between wood frame buildings up to six storeys and structures using various non-combustible materials, including cast-in-place concrete, precast concrete, concrete blocks and insulated concrete forms.

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Keeping alive Mohawk tradition of hand-made wooden lacrosse stick

By John Meagher
Montreal Gazette
June 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Travis “Tionatakwente” Gabriel is keeping an important part of Mohawk tradition alive, one lacrosse stick at a time. Gabriel makes traditional wooden sticks at his home in Kanesatake, west of Montreal. His handmade sticks will be used in re-enacted games held to mark the 150th anniversary of the sport by the Canadian Lacrosse Foundation in 2017. …I think there is a kind of upswing in interest in the traditional-style stick. For many years people were using plastic sticks, or what I affectionately call Tupperware. And so interest for the traditional wooden stick actually dwindled a little bit.

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Six-story, steel-frame building put to earthquake test

Atlanta Journal Constitution
June 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SAN DIEGO — California researchers plan to rock and rattle a six-story steel-frame building on the world’s largest shake table to see if the structure can withstand the force equal to a 6.7-magnitude earthquake. Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, hope the experiment Wednesday will help them determine whether steel frames are a better option than wood frames for tall buildings in earthquake-prone areas. The construction industry is interested in building tall, steel-frame residential buildings because they are cheaper, faster and more durable than wood-frame buildings.

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ETH Zurich and partners demonstrate process to make succinic acid from wood

Chemicals Technology
June 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A research team led by Switzerland’s science and technology university ETH Zurich has demonstrated a new process that manufactures succinic acid from wood instead of oil. Succinic acid is a major basic chemical product that is added to fuel and lubricants to protect motors from corrosion. The new process uses bacteria to manufacture succinic acid in a method demonstrated to be cost-effective, environmentally friendly and safe. …The team said that today’s chemical industry is based on oil and used for many products, from plastics to detergents and solvents to medication and crop protection products are being produced from oil and its constituents. Since oil reserves are limited, scientists have been exploring alternate ways to manufacture these products from sustainable materials.

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Forestry

Forest-loving moose thriving on farmland

By University of Saskatchewan Communications
University of Saskatchewan
June 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While populations of moose have been declining in much of their North American range, research from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) shows how these icons of the northern boreal forest are finding success by moving south into farmers’ fields. “Thirty years ago, seeing moose in the farmland of Saskatchewan would have been very rare but over time they have expanded to these new areas,” said Ryan Brook, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the U of S. “It’s unique to see populations well-established in areas with less than one per cent forest cover and dominated by crop production.” Brook, who leads the Saskatchewan Farmland Moose Project, is working with colleagues to discover how the moose are succeeding in what used to be considered highly unsuitable habitat.

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Comment: Government still not taking Walbran seriously

By Torrance Coste – Vancouver Island campaigner with the Wilderness Committee
Victoria Times Colonist
June 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A few weeks ago, I listened to thousand-year-old giants being dragged off the side of a mountain. I was in the Central Walbran Valley, near where a company called Teal Jones is cutting down old-growth rainforest. The grove I was standing in is targeted for future logging. I’m in the valley with a team of volunteers, the third trip I’ve led this spring. We’re building trails through rare old-growth forest, including into Teal Jones’ planned cutblocks. … Listening to the destruction of some of the last old-growth rainforest on Vancouver Island is tough, but it’s not as frustrating as watching our elected officials turn their backs on this problem and on the citizens, local governments and business groups who want it addressed.

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Clearcut logging leaves shameful sight

Letter by James Powsey
Victoria Times Colonist
June 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I recently hiked a portion of the proposed Vancouver Island Spine trail located in my backyard — Cumberland. It’s a fantastic piece of trail starting from the village and on mountain bike trails weaving its way expertly through ribbons of uncut forest to the Beaufort mountain range and its relatively untouched alpine area. I camped a night on Mount Clifton before returning home, the short way, on logging roads through acres of unsightly clearcuts. When people visit the backcountry wilderness, they learn to love it. If people were to see the true extent of logging on Vancouver Island, they would be shocked. Measure that against the actual dollars created from logging that remain locally and it adds further insult to injury.

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Our Global Community: Protecting the Great Bear Rainforest

The Guardian and The Observer, who purchase paper from Canada, celebrate the landmark Great Bear Rainforest Agreements
The Guardian
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West, International

The Guardian and The Observer print on paper purchased predominately from UK recycled mills. However, to ensure a good mix of sources we also use certified virgin paper from Europe and Canada. We take our commitment to sustainable paper sourcing very seriously, working with NGOs to get our approach right. We are really excited about the finalisation of the landmark Great Bear Rainforest Agreements in British Columbia, Canada earlier this year! These agreements cover 6.4 million hectares, the world’s largest remaining tract of temperate rainforest, extending from the Alaskan border down most of the British Columbian coast. This means local communities have a vibrant future and 85 percent of the rainforest in the Great Bear Rainforest is now protected or off-limits to logging.

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Stephen Hume: Axing old growth a crime against nature

Vancouver Sun
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CATHEDRAL GROVE — When I pulled into Cathedral Grove, the stand of 800-year-old Douglas fir about half way between Nanaimo and Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, every parking space was occupied. Camera-wielding tourists stood enthralled. … Most visitors wouldn’t know — but might certainly care — that a scant 30 minutes drive away is the Cameron Valley Firebreak, another, equally accessible, equally stunning equivalent to Cathedral Grove that’s apparently destined to be mowed down for two-by-fours and toilet paper….Frankly, the activists are right. This shouldn’t be destroyed. We don’t need to cut down any more of these mystical fragments of ancient forests that define the place we choose to live. If we do, it’s only out of greed.

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Saddened River Road trees were cut

By Grace Morrice
Prince George Citizen
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Having read Jay’s letter regarding the pruning on River Road I had to go see this for myself. This was a piece of industrial landscaping that I was very proud to find in Prince George, something that is few and far between. What I saw made me want to cry and swear at the same time. I have tried to understand the reason for this action and can only come to the conclusion that someone felt it necessary to limb up these trees in an attempt to prevent fire spreading. Is this a reaction to what happened in Fort McMurray? We do need to learn from their experience and understand the realities of living in a forested area that is designed by evolution to renew itself with fire. But I think in this case someone was misdirected. If those trees were such a hazard, would they not have gone up in smoke when the mill blew up and burned a few years ago?

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P.G. facing cut in logging

by Samantha Wright Allen
Prince George Citizen
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Prince George timber supply area, which represents the largest in the province, is facing a drastic drop in its logging options. A forecast shows the annual allowable cut diving from the current 12.5 million cubic metres available since 2011 to an expected 6.2 million cubic metres in 2020. Before the mountain pine beetle epidemic, it sat at 9.2 million. Looking at those numbers Coun. Albert Koehler said there’s cause for concern. “I think the public is not really aware what’s happening there because that’s the loss of wood more than 50 per cent that’s coming our way, correct?” said Koehler after the Monday presentation to council from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

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Alaska delegation works to delay Tongass change

KRBD
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

At the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young are working on separate bills to block a change in management of the Tongass National Forest. The Forest Service wants to transition away from the harvest of old-growth trees and offer the logging industry young trees instead. In the House Resources Committee Wednesday morning, Rep. Young said the plan doesn’t make sense for the industry or the forest. “Can you imagine killing all your kids? It’s what they’re doing,” Young said. “That’s really what they’re doing. And keeping the old people alive.” ….Andrew Thoms, director of the Sitka Conservation Society, says the lawmakers’ actions are disheartening.

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Functional traits of Giant Sequoia crown leaves respond to environmental threats

Phys.org
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hundreds of feet above the ground, atop a giant sequoia tree, as many as 2 billion leaves vie for resources. Twigs teem with leaves growing long and splayed or short and tight, depending on their placement in the crown. Leaves that establish live for up to 20 years, drawing water up the tree’s trunk and sending nutrients down, while the trunk amasses wood and survives for thousands of years. The giant sequoia’s size—-it’s the most massive non-fungal organism on Earth—-is possible in part because its leaves are responsive to environmental changes. “In terms of both carbon acquisition and water-stress risk, the buck stops at the leaf-level,” explains researcher Alana R. O. Chin, of American River College and Humboldt State University. Chin and co-author Stephen C. Sillett, also of Humboldt State University, wanted to know precisely how the leaves respond to the environment to facilitate the trees’ impressive growth.

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Why is logging dying? Blame the market.

by George Wuerthner
High Country News
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Critics of public lands like to say that timber jobs declined and mills closed over the last 20 years because environmental protections such as the Endangered Species Act and other laws made the cost of logging skyrocket. This complaint is repeated so often it is usually stated as unqualified truth. If you believe the rhetoric, the way federal lands are managed has been the problem. If only there were more private owners of the land, local economies would prosper, and there would be stable, long-term stewardship. If only that were true. But if you compare the mostly private wood-products industry in the state of Maine to the West’s experiences on public land, you find that environmental regulations had little to do with the demise of logging.

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Oregon Appeals Court Set to Rule on Plan to Sell Off Elliott State Forest

June 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Oregon Court of Appeals is set to decide the legality of a 788-acre timber sale on the Elliott State Forest following a court hearing last Friday. The lawsuit, brought by Cascadia Wildlands, Audubon Society of Portland and the Center for Biological Diversity, argues that the Oregon Department of State Lands violated the law when it sold the East Hakki Ridge parcel in 2014 to Seneca Jones Timber Company. The case could have a significant bearing on the state’s plan to sell off the rest of this public forest by casting significant uncertainty on its legality. “Laws are meant to be followed, and we believe the state of Oregon acted outside the law when it privatized this swath of the Elliott State Forest,” said Robin Meacher, wildlands campaign director with Cascadia Wildlands. “Oregonians are now met with ‘no trespassing’ signs upon entering this part of the forest, and that should be reversed by the court so that public access is maintained.”

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They say a monument will drive a stake through the heart of our industry. I disagree.

By Roger Milliken – president and CEO Baskahegan Co. and a former chair of the Maine Forest Products Council.
Bangor Daily News
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

For the last 35 years, I have worked for the Baskahegan Company, which grows and harvests trees on lands acquired by my grandfather in 1920. As a longtime member of the forest products industry, I am writing in support of the proposed national monument. Today, the Maine woods are reeling from seismic changes. Throughout the last century, the paper industry provided the economic engines in Millinocket, Lincoln, Old Town and Bucksport. Today these mills are closed, many are demolished and no pulp or paper is being produced in the entire Penobscot watershed.

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A Case for a Managed Forest

The Tribune Papers
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

In our previous column we mentioned the WRC Wildlife Action Plan had been approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Incidentally, the USFS should be releasing their long range plan for the Pisgah/Nantahala National Forests; a plan when implemented will affect the state’s Action Plan. Several recent writings, one published by the Forest Service, show scientific evidence as to why that plan should support an actively managed forest. That plan impacts both water yields and wildlife habitat. Let’s start with water yields, something people have used in the past to oppose active management. …What is the cause of decline? The cause is unmanaged forests. Because of their fast growth rate, most unmanaged forests are dominated by poplar and maple trees, shading out mast bearing trees like oak and hickory. Surprisingly, due to their rapid growth, poplar and maple trees consume more ground water compared to oak and hickory.

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Brussels steps up effort to halt Poland’s logging plan in primeval forest

Reuters
June 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BRUSSELS/WARSAW – The European Union executive on Thursday stepped up efforts to stop Poland from its planned increase in logging in Europe’s last primeval forest, adding to bad blood between Brussels and Warsaw. …European Commission spokesman Enrico Brivio on Thursday announced a formal infringement procedure over “the possible breach” of EU environmental law in Poland’s logging plan. He said the Commission was in contact with the Polish authorities, which have a month to provide the information the regulators have requested. Once that is received, the Commission will decide on the next steps that could ultimately lead to court action and fines.

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Ukraine: working towards better enforcement of forest legislation

ENPI Info Centre
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The EU-funded forestry programme FLEG II has held a round table in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, looking at what needs to be done to improve the law to better tackle infringements of forest legislation. The meeting – attended by representatives from relevant ministries and other key stakeholders – centred around the presentation and discussion of a FLEG report on the issue. The study says a number of related bills have been brought to Parliament in recent years, but offered only superficial changes in administrative and criminal penalties for violations. 

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Massive hike in funds for forestry

By Mariam Shafqat
The Express Tribune
June 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LAHORE: The provincial government has earmarked Rs2.2 billion for the Forestry sector over the forthcoming fiscal year. According to documents available with The Express Tribune, this represented a 144 per cent rise vis-a-vis the Rs900 million allocated for the sector in the current fiscal year. The documents revealed that a majority of the funds—Rs1 billion—had been allocated for the Kissan Package. Around 10 per cent of the budget—Rs225 million—has been earmarked for ten new afforestation schemes. Around 44 per cent of the funds allocated for the department—Rs 974 million—has been set aside for ongoing schemes.

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Norway pledges $14M to strengthen forest monitoring platform

Mongabay
June 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Norwegian government is providing World Resources Institute (WRI) with 115 million kroner ($13.85 million) over the next three years to strengthen Global Forest Watch, a platform for monitoring the world’s forests. Announced at the opening of the Oslo REDD Exchange — an event that brought together more than 500 people from 47 countries to discuss forest conservation — the grant will support Global Forest Watch’s tools that help monitor commodity supply chains, including those of companies that have adopted “zero deforestation” policies to eliminate forest conversion from food and fiber production and sourcing.

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Forest Fires

Lessons of a Forgotten Firestorm

By Crawford Kilian
The Tyee
June 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Fort McMurray fire startled everyone with its size and speed and destruction, but it shouldn’t have. As bad as it was, “the Beast” was just the latest in a long string of wildfires in the boreal forest. In fact, many tree species in the boreal forest actually need such fires before they can propagate. …Cordy Tymstra’s The Chinchaga Firestorm reminds us that a similar fire (or system of fires) burned through northeastern B.C. and northern Alberta more than 65 years ago. Its effects were felt as far away as Europe, yet it was lost to the official Alberta record for years because it was a “ghost fire,” one that need not be fought because it wasn’t within 10 miles of a road. It didn’t even get a name at the time, although it was the largest fire North America’s recorded history. 

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South African company tries to clear the air about firefighter pay in Alberta

Canadian Press in the The Victoria Times Colonist
June 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – The South African company hired to bring in a crew to help fight the Fort McMurray wildfire says its workers are more highly paid than their Canadian counterparts when wages are adjusted for cost of living. Working on Fire Ltd. makes the comment as part of a statement about a pay dispute that led to 300 of its firefighters leaving Alberta after only a few days on the job. “Working on Fire remains uncertain as to how the dispute started; however, we are investigating the matter further so as to ensure that a similar incident does not reoccur,” the company said. “By adjusting for the local cost of living, it becomes evident that the Working on Fire firefighters, deployed to assist with the Alberta wildfires, earn more than the standard Canadian firefighting wages in real terms.” The company said it agreed to a flat rate of $172.88 a day for each firefighter it sent to Alberta. The fee included $65 daily in wages and allowances. The balance was to cover medical, insurance, training, travel, equipment and other costs.

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Opinion: Communities need buffer to protect against fire

by Robert Gray
Vancouver Sun
June 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…. It seems that governments are willing to protect the annual allowable cut at the expense of community hazard reduction. In B.C., the root of the problem is the outdated and antiquated forest management approach that places many rural communities at significant risk to wildfire. Specifically, the problem is the forest concession model, where long-term access to either areas or volumes of timber directly threatens communities, because highly hazardous forest conditions have been maintained adjacent to communities for upwards of a century. Under this model, the overarching land management objective is not hazard reduction but the maximization of timber volume. …Luckily, a solution is at hand in the form of a resolution presented at
the 2014 Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

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Alberta orders review of its response to the Fort McMurray wildfire

Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald
June 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — Alberta has ordered a review into how it responded to the huge wildfire known as “The Beast” that destroyed parts of the Fort McMurray region and forced close to 90,000 people from their homes. The government says the review will focus on how well the province was prepared for the fire that broke out on May 1 and burned almost 5,900 square kilometres. It will also cover how the government fought the wildfire, which is no longer growing but is not yet under control. “This fire has altered the lives of thousands of people who are now faced with the difficult task of rebuilding their lives,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier said Wednesday in a release. “Reviews like this are a normal part of our business when faced with extreme wildfire conditions or an extreme wildfire event.”

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Fire threatens rural homes near Santa Barbara

Associated Press in The Billings Gazette
June 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

GOLETA, Calif. — A wildfire burning Wednesday night in brushy canyons north of Santa Barbara is threatened rural homes and forced the evacuation of a refinery. The blaze broke out about 3:30 p.m. in Los Padres National Forest and by nightfall surged to 200 acres. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for Refugio Canyon, Venadito Canyon and Las Flores Canyon, which includes an ExxonMobil refinery, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said. About a dozen homes are threatened but are being protected, and the oil refinery has a cleared buffer zone around it, county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. ExxonMobil spokesman Todd Spitler said the company is monitoring the situation and taking precautionary measure to ensure its workers’ safety.

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Fire in Klamath National Forest 20 percent contained

Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle
June 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. — The arrival of cooler, wetter weather in northwestern California is aiding efforts to fight a fire in Klamath National Forest. Authorities say the 2,396-acre fire near Pony Peak is 20 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. The Pony fire is burning within the perimeter of a 2001 fire and is consuming dry brush, timber and snags from previous blazes. About 1,000 firefighters are working the fire sparked by lightning on June 7 about 15 miles southwest of Happy Camp. Chances of rain will increase through the week, and minimal fire growth is expected with the onset of high humidity. END OF STORY

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Russia significantly under-reporting wildfires, figures show

Greenpeace analysis of satellite data reveals 3.5m hectares have burned this year, while government statistics claim only 669,000 hectares
The Guardian
June 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Forest wildfires rampaging across Russia are being significantly under-reported by authorities, according to analysis of satellite data. Climate change is making wildfires much more likely in Russia, but regional officials have been reluctant to report the true extent of the problem, and campaigners are warning that the harm to forests, property and human lives could rise. While the recent forest fires around Fort McMurray, Canada, destroyed more than 580,000 hectares, those in Russia have burned up to 3.5m hectares since the start of 2016, according to Greenpeace Russia. It said at least 1m hectares were in flames at the end of May in the country, which is home to the largest forests in the world.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Enviros blast ‘potentially harmful’ Vilsack letter

Governors’ Biofuels Coalition
June 15, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

American forests are a sustainable source of biomass and can reduce climate-change-causing emissions, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told U.K. energy leaders earlier this year. In a letter obtained by ClimateWire, Vilsak told the United Kingdom’s secretary of state for energy and climate change, Amber Rudd, “Biomass generation provides significant greenhouse gas benefits to the UK, due to reduced fossil fuel combustion.” …The issue of whether biomass can be considered a carbon-neutral renewable energy source has deeply divided the forest industry and some environmental groups. …William Schlesinger, president emeritus of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a member of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, said he thought Vilsack was probably speaking about the benefits of biomass from a markets perspective. …However, the message received from the letter is troubling, he said.

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Plant-based jet fuel: WSU research takes off

By guest author, Washington State University
The Seattle Times
June 15, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West


…WSU is forging a course to that future through its leadership of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, a broad consortium of scientific, industrial and educational interests from throughout the Northwest. The team includes more than 30 partners, including Alaska Airlines, Weyerhaeuser, Gevo, the USDA Forest Service and the University of Washington. With its slogan of “Wood to Wing,” and with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the five-year NARA project seeks to facilitate development of a sustainable “biojet” fuel industry using forest residuals that would typically be be burned in a pile. That means taking a comprehensive look at building a supply chain for aviation biofuel with the goal of increasing efficiency in everything from forestry operations to conversion processes.

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