Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 19, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

The Countdown to NAFTA has begun

May 19, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

It’s official: US President Trump’s administration has “triggered the 90-day countdown to renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement”, aiming to get talks under way in August. For a comprehensive review of NAFTA and what could replace it, check out today’s Globe and Mail story. According to Reuters, “a deal on softwood lumber is unlikely by the time the talks start.”

Quick out of the gate on NAFTA is the US Lumber Coalition saying that the “Chapter 19 system must be eliminated”. In their view, the binational panels “prevent the US from enforcing its trade laws” and “replace independent US court review” with “panelists not being appointed by the President of the US or Congress”. Which of course, is why others believe they are necessary.

Reversing climate change with carbon-sucking plantations is not realistic, German scientists warn. Their concern: “It could threaten natural forests and biodiversity, increase competition for fertilizers, require large-scale irrigation and create worsening conflict over land”. [At least that one side of the story].

A Finish firm has invented a technology that transforms wood fibers directly into yarn. According to the company, “this eco-friendly fabric uses 99% less water and 80% less energy than the cotton process and does not require extra chemical treatment of the pulp fiber“.

Finally, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday—observed since at least 1845—we’re off on Monday, back Tuesday.  

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

The countdown to NAFTA talks has begun. What’s going on? A guide

By Judi Bottoni
Associated Press in The Globe and Mail
May 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Trade: Where we are right now: It’s official: U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has triggered the 90-day countdown to renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement, aiming to get talks under way in August. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sent Congress the White House’s formal notice on Thursday morning to begin negotiations for a new trade deal. The 90-day window ends on Aug. 16. …The 1994 agreement – an expanded version of a Canada-U.S. free-trade deal from 1988 – created what was then the biggest free-trade area in the world. It removed barriers to the flow of goods and labour between Canada, the United States and Mexico, under the oversight of an independent dispute-settlement process.

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Canada, U.S. unlikely to get lumber deal by mid-Aug: Canada source

By David Ljunggren
Reuters
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canada and the United States are unlikely to strike a deal on a dispute over lumber exports by the time talks on renewing NAFTA start in mid-August, a source close to the matter said on Thursday. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said earlier in the day he hoped the issue would be solved before the formal start of negotiations on the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement. “It’s hard to imagine a deal being done that soon,” said the source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. …Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told legislators late on Wednesday that “the United States, when it comes to softwood lumber, has made no offers that any Canadian would consider to be acceptable”.

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U.S. fires starter’s pistol on NAFTA; length of negotiation ahead: undetermined

By Alexander Panetta
Canadian Press in Calgary Herald
May 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — The United States has officially served notice of its intention to renegotiate the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, triggering a 90-day consultation window before talks begin later this summer with Canada and Mexico. The Trump administration rang the opening bell Thursday with a letter to the key congressional power-brokers who must now be consulted as U.S. negotiators prepare their list of priorities. The letter itself was mundane. It cited the need to modernize a creaky old agreement, add new provisions relevant to the modern economy, and mentioned things already negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the deal abandoned by Donald Trump: digital trade flows, intellectual property, limits on state-owned enterprises. It barely filled a single page and was drastically scaled back from the laundry list of complaints included in a draft version earlier this year. Some U.S. proponents of a hardball approach expressed disappointment.

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U.S. Lumber Industry Comments on Administration Notice to Congress Regarding Renegotiation of NAFTA

By the US Lumber Coalition Release
PR Newswire
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Lumber Coalition is deeply supportive of the Trump Administration’s and Congress’ efforts to grow the U.S. economy by improving U.S. opportunities under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). …Chapter 19 of the NAFTA prevents the United States from fully enforcing our trade laws against unfair trade. Due to highly questionable panel decisions under NAFTA’s Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism, billions of dollars of unfairly traded goods have entered the United States unimpeded, costing hard working American men and women their jobs. …Under Chapter 19, unfair trade has been accepted rather than disciplined, disallowing U.S. industries a fair chance to compete and costing U.S. workers their jobs. The Chapter 19 system must be eliminated from the NAFTA.

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Firm considers buying Tolko site in Merritt

By Cole Wagner
Merritt Herald
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

When the Tolko Industries mill in Merritt shut down in December, Mike Heron took a long look at the community which had just lost more than 200 jobs and saw an opportunity. “It happened when I came here around Christmastime. I had a chance to learn about the Tolko unfortunately having to close it’s doors, at the time leaving a significant gap for a community the size of Merritt,” said Heron, who is the president of IES Energy Inc. He started to put together what he called a “wishlist” for the City of Merritt — ideas to bring large-scale industry into the Nicola Valley to replace the jobs lost by the Tolko closure. While Heron was cultivating ideas for other projects, a friend tipped him off about Woodland Biofuels, a company based out of Ontario that was pioneering the use of wood waste to create ethanol — which is then sold for use as a fuel additive.

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Columbia Shuswap regional District directors show support for value added lumber industry at Revelstoke meeting

By Melissa Jameson
Revelstoke Mountaineer
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association says government needs to place a higher priority on increasing the production of high value lumber products in the province. Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors have agreed to show their support. …Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors agreed to request that the provincial government place a priority on increasing the production of high value lumber products. Many of these products are produced by specialty lumber mills. Loni Parker, CSRD Area B director, made a motion for the board to look at requesting the new B.C. premier include specific objectives around value added lumber products in the mandate letter to the Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources. “If the legislation doesn’t change, I don’t see a lot changing on the ground out there,” said Parker.

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No softwood lumber tariff-related job losses in BC yet

By Renee Bernard
1130 News
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – People working in BC’s forest industry have so far been lucky – in the wake of new softwood lumber tariffs. No job losses have occurred here, but the same can’t be said for Quebec. Nearly 1,300 workers in that province have received layoff notices at seven sawmills. Bob Matters is chair of the United Steelworkers Wood Council and says he’s surprised some small BC cedar producers have weathered the tariffs. He points out lumber companies in BC have other markets to prop them up. “We do have the luxury of sending some of our products to Asia, whereas in Ontario and Quebec, transportation makes that option impossible.” The situation, though, could change with new anti-dumping levies that could be announced next month. 

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Firefighters put out blaze at sawdust silo of Missoula wood products company

By Dillon Kato
The Missoulian
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A fire Wednesday at composite wood manufacturer Roseburg Forest Products in Missoula took more than four hours to fully control but was put out without injuries. The Missoula Rural Fire District responded to a report of a structure fire shortly after 4 p.m. and found a sawdust silo ablaze. Firefighters controlled the blaze, which was isolated in the silo. Shortly after 8:30 p.m., following hours of work putting out hot spots, firefighters left the scene to be monitored overnight by the company’s fire brigade. The cause of the fire is unknown, and no injuries were reported.

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Pennsylvania’s forest-products industry the focus of Timber 2017 expo

Penn State News
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Businesses and individuals interested in Pennsylvania’s large forest-products industry can learn about goods, services, best practices and industry trends at the 2017 Forest Products Equipment and Technology Exposition, which will take place Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days site at Rock Springs. Known as Timber 2017, the biennial trade exposition is aimed primarily at loggers, sawmill operators, value-added processors and forest landowners. The event is hosted by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association. Parking and admission are free. Organizers expect the event to attract more than 80 commercial exhibitors and vendors serving the forest-products industry and emerging biomass markets.

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Hanover paper mill closure to lay off 165

By Jonathan Spiers
Richmond BizSense
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States


A Connecticut-based paper manufacturer is idling its Hanover County newsprint mill, resulting in the layoff of 165 employees. White Birch Paper announced Wednesday it is ceasing operations indefinitely at its Bear Island mill northwest of Ashland. In a statement, President Christopher Brant said challenging market pricing and costs and declining demand necessitated the move. The Bear Island mill produced 240,000 metric tons of newsprint annually, including thermo-mechanical pulp and recycled content newsprint. The affected employees were notified Wednesday morning of the closure, the effective date of which is to be announced. Severance and job placement services will be offered.

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Company plans pellet mill in Sanford

Biddeford Journal Tribune
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

SANFORD — A company that plans to turn sawmill residue into wood pellets for heating fuel to be sold throughout New England is poised to establish itself in Sanford. The owners say they plan a 24/7 operation with as many as 25 employees. T & D Wood Energy, made up of the father-and-son team of Dean and Tony Wood, got a warm welcome from Sanford City Council on Tuesday. They’re a new company but one with history — they are the fourth and fifth generation of F.E. Wood and Sons in Baldwin, a company that owned a sawmill and pallet mill for 130 years but ceased operations in the early 2000s, said Tony Wood. He pointed out that sawmills are growing, and with fewer paper mills operating, there is less of a market for the residue. Pellet manufacturing will change that, and be good for both types of business, Wood said.

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Bill to support Maine’s loggers earns bipartisan committee vote

Maine Biz
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday gave bipartisan support to a bill by state Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, that would support growth in Maine’s traditional forest product industries by giving preference to timber harvested by Mainers within the state’s borders. LD 1573 would require any state agency that contracts for the acquisition of timber to give a preference to products harvested in Maine by in-state contractors. The committee voted 10-1 to recommend that the Legislature pass the bill into law. “This bill makes clear that Maine is all in on its loggers and the other men and women who work in the industry that built our state,” said Jackson, a logger whose family continues to harvest wood in Maine’s northern forests.

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Rotorua wins big at New Zealand Commercial Project Awards

New Zealand Herald
May 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Two Rotorua businesses have won gold at the 2017 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards. The newly built “Mega Mill” at Red Stag Timber has won the Gold Award and Best in Category, Industrial, and the Health & Science Centre at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology has won the Gold Award in the Education category. Hawkins regional manager Peter McCawe said the wins were indicative of a growth in the quality of projects being built in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. “We have several other major projects under way in the region. It’s great to see such large-scale investment into provincial New Zealand.” Red Stag Timber engaged Hawkins to build a purpose-designed structure to house the largest timber mill in the Southern Hemisphere – a project valued at more than $58 million.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

UBC quake simulation tests retrofits, underscores need to upgrade older buildings

By Gordon Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
May 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

It took about 40 seconds before the effects of the simulated earthquake on the wooden structure were audible: snapping, cracking, popping. It was the extraordinary sound of nails coming out of the plywood exterior walls of the demonstration, one-room school, and also the sound of the plywood ripping apart between two windows, and the screws pulling away from the drywall. The wood structure itself, at the height of the two minutes of shaking, swayed side-to-side like a tree in a storm. It was hard to imagine somebody being inside and remaining unhurt. Modelled after the 9.0 Tohoku temblor in Japan in 2011 that created a devastating tsunami that killed thousands, the test at the University of B.C.’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility was meant to simulate a large subduction quake off the West Coast, the so-called “Big One,” that would hit Victoria and Vancouver Island, explained Martin Turek, manager of the facility.

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Timber manufacturer’s new 40k-sq-ft plant will employ 100

By Tyler Olsen
Abbotsford News
May 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A major timber manufacturer is building a new plant in Abbotsford that will employ around 100 people, including 40 newly hired workers. StructureCraft is constructing a 50,000-square-foot facility on Foy Street, just to the northeast of Abbotsford International Airport. The business is moving and expanding from Delta, according to a City of Abbotsford committee report, which says the new building “will be the first industrial building of its kind in Abbotsford.” The 40 new jobs will be predominantly engineers and carpenters, the report says. The facility will construct “dowel laminated timber,” which the company says is a value-added softwood product that won’t be subject to duties or tariffs imposed through a softwood lumber agreement. StructureCraft has previously been involved in the construction of many major Canadian projects, including the Richmond 2010 Olympic Skating Oval and the expansion of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

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Wood-Frame Apartments Gaining Popularity With Developers Despite Fire Risk

By Jon Banister
BisNow
May 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Amid rising construction costs, developers are increasingly building apartments with wood as a way to save money, even as recent fires like last month’s five-alarm blaze in College Park, Maryland, highlight potential dangers of wood-framed projects. As wood-frame apartment construction has risen across the country, so too has the frequency of high-profile apartment fires. Last month’s fire at Wood Partners’ Fuse 47 project in College Park, which had begun pre-leasing for a summer delivery, caused $39M in damages. …Foulger-Pratt, one of DC’s largest developers, has several wood-frame apartments in its pipeline. It has plans for a 400-unit apartment building in Eckington, a 329-unit project on Capitol Hill and a 614-unit White Flint project, which will all be constructed with wood. The developer’s decision to use wood for all of these projects comes down to cost, Foulger-Pratt senior vice president Dick Knapp said. Building with concrete is significantly more expensive than wood, and concrete costs are rising at a much faster rate.

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Eco-Friendly Fabric Is Made From Wood Fibers

By Christopher Ruvo
Advertising Specialty Institute
May 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

If you’re a promotional product distributor with clients who have an eco-friendly ethos, then there is a start-up in Finland that could, perhaps one day, have your customers going green with delight. Spinnova, as the company is called, has invented a technology that transforms wood fibers directly into yarn. Why is that a big deal? Well, making apparel is a bit of a nasty business. Gargantuan water consumption can strain natural resources, while chemicals used in the clothing creation process can cause pollution. However, the yarn manufacturing process Spinnova has pioneered reportedly uses 99% less water and 80% less energy than the cotton process. As impressively, the wood fiber method does not require extra chemical treatment of the pulp fiber. And, the yarn is recyclable.

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Forestry

SFI fiber sourcing standard recognized as a verification mechanism for PEFC chain of custody certification

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON, DC and OTTAWA, ON – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Fiber Sourcing Standard is now recognized by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) as a tool that meets PEFC requirements for the avoidance of controversial sources in the PEFC Chain of Custody standard. …The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard not only provides the avoidance of risk from controversial sources, it also sets mandatory practice requirements for the responsible procurement of all fiber sourced directly from the forest, whether the forest is certified or not. …”The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is a pioneering approach that puts the responsibility on the manufacturing organization to address its entire supply chain by promoting legal and responsible sourcing,” said Kathy Abusow, President & CEO of SFI Inc. “The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard holds the individual mills and manufacturers, who bear all the costs to certify, accountable for promoting responsible forestry, and reduces the financial burden on the small family forest owner. 

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Battle being waged against Douglas-fir bark beetle

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


Steps have been taken to contain an outbreak of Douglas-fir bark beetle at two popular recreation areas within the city while the weather has also been playing a role. Clusters of plastic funnel traps have been set up at the Otway Nordic Centre and the Pidherny Recreation area. Developed by now-retired University of Northern British Columbia entomologist Staffan Lindgren, they hold a synthetic pheromone to attract the beetle and a cup at the bottom containing a non-toxic antifreeze to drown them. But so far flights of the mature bugs to new trees have been in “fits and starts” due to the wet and cold weather so far this spring. That’s particularly true at Otway where most slopes are north facing. “I haven’t seen too much action so far,” said Jeff Burrows, who’s in charge of the effort at Otway. At Pidherny, about 150 truckloads of infected trees were removed over this past winter while logging has so far been avoided at Otway, where 100-200 trees have been affected.

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Tourism operator has questions about logging moratorium

Letter by Andrew Nelson, Helmcken Falls Lodge
Clearwater Times
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I am writing concerning the many recent articles in the Times regarding Canfor’s logging. Canfor is logging inside its designated area, approved by the government, not inside Wells Gray Park. As the largest tourism business at the entrance to Wells Gray Park, we have never had any tourists comment to us about the logging that can be visible on the west side of the Clearwater River. Some tourists have asked about the old cutblocks visible on the north face of the Trophy Mountains but are satisfied with our explanation that the logging blocks are outside of the Park. If Canfor was logging in Wells Gray Park, we would be the first to be raising objections but this is simply not the case. Canfor and the other logging companies are major supporter of the Clearwater community, without which we would not have many of the local services and businesses that we enjoy in Clearwater today.

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BC Community Forest Association extends early bird registration deadline

BC Community Forest Association
May 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Early Bird Registration Deadline Extended to May 26th! Join us in Tumbler Ridge, the land of waterfalls and dinosaurs, and home of the new UNESCO Global Geopark, for the 2017 Conference and AGM, hosted by the Tumbler Ridge Community Forest. Each year, community forest managers and board volunteers, along with forest professionals, local and provincial government representatives and academics look forward to the informative sessions and valuable networking opportunities of this event. Join us and experience BC community forest culture first hand. Our hosts are sponsoring an impressive spousal and family program for a number of activities including tours of the only dinosaur trackway in the world, the dinosaur museum, trips to stupendous waterfalls, golf and a river boat ride. Transportation to all activities is provided. 

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Area near Elk Lake, Bear Hill park sprayed for gypsy moths

By Katherine Dedyna
Victoria Times Colonist
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Aircraft over Elk Lake and Bear Hill Regional Park on Thursday morning were applying the first spraying of pesticides meant to eradicate invasive gypsy moths. About 186 hectares in Saanich were sprayed … weather permitting. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource is trying to eradicate a growing population of gypsy moth. The caterpillars’ diet of leaves damages forests, farms and orchards. “If left untreated, the moth could spread to new areas of the province via vehicles, containers, rail and Swartz Bay ferry terminal,” the ministry said.

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Ymir mobilizes against logging plan

By Will Johnson
Nelson Star
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It seems like somebody made a mistake. That’s how Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall feels about B.C. Timber Sales’ proposed plan to log the Ymir watershed. And during a community meeting on Tuesday evening, she pledged to support residents’ efforts to oppose the project. “Right when you first did the tour of the watershed, I thought this must be a mistake somewhere in the bureaucracy,” the newly re-elected politician told the gathering. “You have to give the government a reason to undo their mistake.” As things stand now, B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) is in the planning stages of a long-term project to create three cut-blocks in a Crown land area that includes Ymir’s collection pond and water treatment facility. Residents are concerned their water supply could be disrupted or contaminated.

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Mary Mitsos Named President and CEO of National Forest Foundation

By the National Forest Foundation
PR Newswire
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

MISSOULA, Mont., — The Board of Directors of the National Forest Foundation (NFF) announced today that Mary Mitsos has been appointed President of the organization effective May 29. She succeeds Bill Possiel who is retiring after leading the NFF for 19 years. … Currently Executive Vice President at the NFF, Mary has led national, regional, and local conservation initiatives at the NFF since 2001. “Mary brings passion for the forests, a record of leadership, and tremendous experience at the NFF,” noted Craig Barrett, NFF board chair and retired chairman of Intel. “Her understanding of the U.S. Forest Service, its partners, and the tremendous challenges and opportunities facing our National Forests and Grasslands position Mary perfectly for this key role. The entire board is excited about her leading the NFF into its next phase of growth and achievement.”

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Sierra Logging Museum’s chain saw exhibit has teeth

By Charity Maness
Calaveras Enterprise
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Sierra Nevada Logging Museum in White Pines is home to a vast array of logging history, including an early chain saw exhibit that was designed by one-time docent and longtime White Pines resident Dale Brooks. Though Brooks has passed, his memory lives on in his creative chain saw exhibit, which is just outside the entrance to the museum on the shores of White Pines Lake. “It is amazing,” said museum docent Richard Small. “The extreme conditions and primitive tools (loggers endured and used) created such a great success … with ingenuity and manpower.” …While it is not known if all the chain saws in the White Pines collection were utilized in the immediate area for logging, they do represent what would have been used in the early years of the logging industry.

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Lone Rock to sue State Land Board over Elliott State Forest

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After being denied the purchase of the Elliott State Forest, Lone Rock Timber Management Company submitted a notice of tort claims of misrepresentation and negligence to the Department of State Lands and the State Land Board Thursday. The Roseburg-based timber company also gave notice of its intent to sue for breach damages, and demanded to be compensated $1,327,900.39 in reliance damages and $2 million in lost opportunity damages. “Our unique coalition operated in good faith and met every criteria identified in the state’s transparent, multi-year process to sell the forest,” Toby Luther, CEO of Lone Rock, said in a statement. “It’s clear now, however, that the governor had no intention of accepting a proposal under the established protocol. You cannot simultaneously encourage bidders and commit to bidders publicly while privately planning a shift in policy.”

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2017 Northwest wildfire season outlook: Average and on time

By Jim Ryan
The Oregonian
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Northwest residents can expect a normal wildfire season that starts on time and includes a stint of heightened danger around the August solar eclipse, an official said Thursday. The forecast deviates from a mild 2016 fire season and comes on the heels of an especially wet winter. John Saltenberger, the fire weather program manager for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, presented his outlook on the upcoming season in a media briefing Thursday. …Our average season unofficially kicks off around July 1. It includes some 4,100 wildfires that burn almost 758,000 acres throughout the Northwest, according to data from the past 10 years. …Heavy snowpack and precipitation “can delay the onset of fire season by a few weeks, but by August or so when everything’s dry, it’s no guarantee that we’re going to have a slow fire season — even with large amounts of snow on the ground at the moment,” Saltenberger said.

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Flathead Forest backs off Cold-Jim project after Fish and Wildlife Service reverses bull trout opinion

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


The Flathead National Forest has withdrawn a proposal to log in a popular hiking area west of Condon after environmental groups threatened to sue and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reversed an ecological opinion. However, Flathead Forest Supervisor Chip Weber said the Cold-Jim project would only need some adjustments in its documentation to resume the activity. The project would have allowed logging and hazardous fuels reduction on 1,155 acres in the Cold Creek and Jim Creek watersheds, as well as construction of 3.1 miles of temporary road and decommissioning of 1.9 miles of road. “It is ironic that the agencies were fine with this project until we raised concerns and threatened to sue,” Arlene Montgomery, program director for Friends of the Wild Swan, said in an email. “Once they went back and fully analyzed the project they determined it would indeed adversely impact bull trout. This is why citizen oversight is so important.”

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Mississippi Forestry Commission eliminates 75 positions

By Anna Wolfe
The Clarion-Ledger
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Mississippi Forestry Commission is laying off 75 workers, and while the agency said it spared firefighting crews in last year’s cuts, this year’s reorganization includes cutting approximately 50 employees who fight fires. Assistant State Forester Russell Bozeman said the cuts were necessary to offset a 16 percent, or $2.67 million, cut from the state Legislature. The state’s appropriation to the commission is currently $16.2 million of its $23.6 million total budget. Last year, the commission laid off 25 workers, including all its arson investigators and equipment mechanics, and eliminated six vacant positions because of state budget cuts. With $1.2 million in cuts to personnel last year, the commission is up to nearly $4 million in staff cuts in two years. “This one will be testing our limits,” said Charlie Morgan, state forester with the Mississippi Forestry Commission. “There was no fat. We took care of that last year if there was fat then.”

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Forestry Commission cutting 75 positions

By Kayleigh Skinner
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

JACKSON – About 75 jobs will be lost at the Mississippi Forestry Commission because of state budget cuts, agency officials announced Thursday. The Mississippi State Personnel Board approved the commission’s plan to reorganize and eliminate up to 118 positions during their monthly board meeting. Forestry officials said only about 75 jobs would be impacted by the start of the fiscal year on July 1. Ryan Beard, director of Human Capitol Core Processes, presented the board with a “reduction-in-force plan,” necessary because of a $2.6 million budget cut between fiscal year 2017 and 2018. … Four budget cuts were enacted during this fiscal year, trimming $813,102 from the agency’s. …“Our goal is to provide the services that we’ve always provided, but time will tell,” State Forester Charlie Morgan said. “This is pretty significant cuts in personnel.”

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ScotGov shakes up forestry sector

By Gordon Davidson
The Scottish Farmer
May 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

NEW forestry legislation for Scotland is on the way, in the shape of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill. Promising a more modern approach to forestry development, support and regulation, the bill comes alongside Scottish Government plans to shake up the sector’s organisational structure, creating a new executive agency ‘Forestry and Land Scotland’. Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland’s forests and woodlands are among our most valuable rural assets and our ambition is for them to expand and flourish. .. Commenting, Confor chief executive Stuart Goodall said that the first new major forestry legislation in Scotland for 50 years must secure the long-term future of an industry via hard-and-fast planting targets. “Forestry is the modern-day engine-room of the Scottish rural economy, and Scotland is the powerhouse of the UK forestry sector,” said Mr Goodall.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Yellowknife aims for biggest pellet heat system in N.W.T.

By Richard Gleeson
CBC News
May 19, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The city of Yellowknife issued a tender this week for what would be the biggest pellet heating system in the Northwest Territories.It’s calling for businesses to bid on a system that would heat a cluster of five city buildings — the Multiplex, Fieldhouse, firehall, city maintenance garage and a city warehouse. “Right now the estimate is that the gross savings would be about $140,000 annually in terms of the amount we would have spent on oil versus the price of wood,” said Shauna Morgan, chair of the city’s energy committee. The city has budgeted $2.1 million for the project. At that rate of return, and without additional funding from other levels of government or carbon credits, it would take 15 years to pay for itself. That’s the estimated lifespan of the pellet boilers the city already has at the Ruth Inch pool and the landfill.

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Reversing climate change with carbon-sucking plantations not realistic, scientists warn

Thomson Reuters in CBC News
May 18, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A proposal to turn back climate change by planting vast swathes of land with fast-growing trees and plants that can be burned for electricity, with the carbon they release captured and stored, is not “realistic and feasible,” scientists said Thursday. The idea, included in many economic and science models on how the world might try to reverse runaway climate change, cannot serve as an emergency back-up if the world fails to rapidly switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy and then regrets the consequences, said scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “The danger is it’s being sold as a realistic and feasible option. But in reality one should think about the decarbonization problem without thinking of this as a real option,” said Wolfgang Lucht, one of the authors of a report published Thursday in the journal Earth’s Future.

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General

Projects across Canada to participate in green building pilot

May 19, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

OTTAWA – The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has announced that 16 of Canada’s most innovative projects have been chosen to participate in a two-year pilot of the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard. The standard, which assesses the carbon performance of commercial, institutional and multi-family buildings in Canada, will be formally released on May 29 in Vancouver. …”The CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program was designed to recognize leadership excellence in Canada’s building industry, and I am pleased to say that these projects truly meet that ideal. We have great diversity in these pilot projects, demonstrating that zero carbon buildings are achievable in all regions across Canada,” says Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the CaGBC, in a statement. “It is the combination of innovation and the broad adaptability of this standard that will contribute to the shift to a low-carbon economy.”

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