Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 5, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Chemical forensics could be used to track and stop illegal logging

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 5, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway
Forty-one Northern BC communities say “they’re worried about an alliance between the NDP and Green parties, which have promised to scrap or review a number of projects“. The sentiment is described as “an early example of hostilities that are likely to continue between a new environmentally focused government in Victoria and the resource-rich, jobs-poor North“. 

Logging plans have residents on edge in the Upper Clearwater Valley (Canfor), Glade Watershed (Kalesnikoff Lumber) and the Sunshine Coast (BC Timber Sales).

Raymond Chrétien (Quebec’s softwood envoy) is “hopeful the dispute could be resolved before the NAFTA talks commence in August“. Federal Minister Jim Carr says, the “two negotiations are to remain separate, at least for now”.

Juxtaposing how the Paris accord has “grown in esteem since 2015, when it was seen as a weak, political document filled with meaningless promises”, columnist Lorne Gunter castigates the accord noting that “it was based on technology—massive deployment of mass energy generation from biomass and mass carbon sequestration—that doesn’t exist yet on a large enough scale”.

Finally, new research in Science Daily, suggests “chemical forensics could be used to track and stop illegal logging“. The new chemical fingerprinting technique can be used to confirm a piece of wood came from a region where logging is legal.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Canadian musician builds stand-up bass shaped like the Stanley Cup

CBC Radio
June 4, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

Walking down the streets of Nashville, Shane Chisholm carries the subject of many a hockey player’s dream — the Stanley Cup. Though it’s not the real thing — it’s actually an upright bass — now that Nashville Predators hockey team is facing off against the Pittburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final, the cup has become a topic of conversation in the city known for its music. …Chisholm says that he found inspiration while building a bass out of wood, the challenge being that it requires about 120 pounds of wood to be whittled down to roughly 15 pounds.

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Business & Politics

Minister Carr to Travel to China

Natural Resources Canada
Canada Newswire
June 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, will travel to China from June 5 to 9, 2017, to build on Canada’s and China’s strong trade and investment relationship and to promote Canada’s resource products and expertise, including forest products, energy and clean technologies. The Minister will be accompanied by a delegation comprising senior industry representatives from Canada’s forest, energy and clean technology sectors, as well as provincial representatives and Indigenous leaders. Minister Carr will deliver a keynote address at Canada in Conversation, a speaker’s series hosted by Canada’s Embassy in China; meet with his international counterparts as part of the Clean Energy Ministerial and discuss ways to advance commitments under Mission Innovation; participate in the launch of the Sino–Canadian Eco-district and open its new Wood Science Centre.  

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US softwood lumber lobby slams Ottawa’s aid package

By Levon Sevunts
Radio Canada International
June 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The association representing U.S. lumber producers and forest owners has denounced Ottawa’s newly announced $867-million aid package to the Canadian forestry as “additional subsidies for Canadian softwood producers,” raising the possibility that Washington could impose further punitive duties on their northern neighbours. …The U.S. Lumber Coalition, which triggered the softwood lumber dispute, slammed the Canadian aid package, saying the new funding adds to existing government subsidies boosting the Canadian softwood lumber industry. “Today’s announcement of a new government subsidy for Canadian softwood lumber producers only further tilts the trade scale in Canada’s favour, threatening more than 350,000 jobs in communities across the Unites States,” said U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesperson, Zoltan van Heyningen.

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Carr to discuss Trump and Paris during high profile trip to China

By Carl Meyer
National Observer
June 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

US President Donald Trump’s retreat from the Paris climate agreement is sure to feature prominently in an upcoming high-profile trade mission to China, the world’s largest carbon polluter, says Canada’s point man on energy. …Carr leads a 48-member delegation to China from June 3 to 10 that includes representatives from businesses and associations in the forestry industry, the oil, gas and clean tech sectors, as well as provincial and territorial governments and Indigenous organizations. The trade mission originally aimed to participate in two international clean tech summits in Beijing, but has been expanded to include a separate program promoting wood products after the United States hit Canada’s softwood lumber industry with steep tariffs in April. …Derek Nighbor, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, one of the groups represented in the delegation, said China represents a “huge opportunity” for Canada’s forest industry.

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Lumber dispute could be resolved before August NAFTA talks: softwood envoy

By Julien Arsenault
The Canadian Press in the Times Colonist
June 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL — The softwood lumber dispute with the United States could be resolved before the NAFTA renegotiation gets underway in mid-August, says Quebec’s softwood lumber envoy. Raymond Chretien, former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., said Friday he’s optimistic because of recent comments by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that he would like to conclude a deal before discussing the North American Free Trade Agreement. “I think there is an opening for negotiations,” said Chretien, adding that he believes there have been “informal exchanges” between the two governments. “I have always said that there cannot be an adequate modernization of NAFTA if the softwood lumber conflict is not resolved,” he said. “It will be interesting to see if the Americans have the same view.”

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NAFTA, softwood negotiations to remain separate, at least for now: minister

By Amy Minsky
Global News
June 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Justin Trudeau government will keep trade negotiations with the United States on softwood lumber and the North American Free Trade Agreement separate – at least for now – said Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr. The minister last week announced an $867 million aid package to help support lumber producers and employees weather the impact of punishing new U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood exports. Carr made the announcement alongside International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who was asked whether the government intended to fold softwood into NAFTA. She declined to answer, describing the question as hypothetical. Carr, however, told The West Block’s Vassy Kapelos the talks would remain separate.

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Canada’s trade surplus with U.S. hits highest level in three years

Canadian Press in the Times Colonist
June 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA — Canada’s trade deficit fell in April and its surplus with the United States ballooned to its largest in three years, boosted by shipments of cars, natural gas and softwood lumber, Statistics Canada said Friday. …The data could provide ammunition for U.S. President Donald Trump, who has pointed to what he says is America’s trade imbalance with Canada as a rationale for sweeping changes to U.S. trade policies, including revamping NAFTA. …CIBC economist Nick Exarhos pointed out that while overall shipments of forestry products were up a healthy 4.7 per cent, that was before the U.S. Commerce Department imposed duties on Canadian softwood products ranging from three to 24 per cent.

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Organization asking for support in the forest industry

By Justine Kelsie
My Grand Prairie Now
June 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The softwood lumber dispute has prompted Alberta Forest Products Association to ask people to stand up for the forestry sector. The tariffs put on Alberta producer’s lumber when it gets to the U.S. border can now range anywhere from 19 to 24 per cent. AFPA CEO and President Paul Whittaker says it is an important issue for Alberta because the forestry industry is a major employer in 70 communities. “It doesn’t hurt to have, mayors and reeves, but also members of the public to come out and say this matters to me. This is jobs and fairness. This is an important industry.” Whittaker says it could be a year before negotiations get started.

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BC is ‘champion’ as independent negotiator for softwood

By Kyle Balzer
My Prince George Now
June 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Thursday, the Federal Liberals introduced a new three-year, $867 million plan to aid softwood lumber workers in midst of proposed import tax increases by the United States. However, BC has lost thousands of jobs during the process of settling on a new trade deal with our southern neighbours. That’s according to local Conservative MP Todd Doherty, who says nearly 600 communities in BC, and across the country, are wishing this deal was already written and signed. “We are where we are because of their [Federal Government] inability to get the job done for the last two years; they didn’t take it seriously from the start, and they couldn’t get the deal done in 2016 with President Obama. 

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I only see good news for the trucking sector: BC economist

June 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KELOWNA, BC – Canada’s economy appears to face a “tsunami” of risks and concerns, but Ken Peacock continues to project a growing economy for British Columbia — and ongoing growth for the trucking industry that serves it. “I only see good news for the trucking sector,” said the vice president and chief economist of the Business Council of British Columbia, during the annual meeting of the BC Trucking Association. He’s bullish on the potential growth because of factors such as exports to both the U.S. and other provinces, increasing construction, strong consumer spending, and rising activity in the Pacific Gateway. A strengthening global economy is pushing up commodity prices, and commodities like softwood lumber account for 80% of the province’s exports.

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Forestry a Hot Topic at Federation Canadian Municipalities

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
June 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ottawa, Ontario – Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall’s address to delegates at the Federation Canadian Municipalities convention in Ottawa was well received. Speaking on the topic of “Innovative Solutions to Economic Challenges” , Prince George was one of three case studies, with the P.G. focus on wood and forest product innovation. Along with Paul Lansbergen, Vice President of the Forest Products Association of Canada, Mayor Hall says the forestry issue was of great interest. “It’s a huge topic, right across the country.” While not planning to meet with Federal officials about the softwood agreement issue, Hall says he has spoken with Council members from other Canadian communities which are impacted by the current dispute with the U.S.

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‘We’re insignificant to them’: Northern B.C. concerned about economic impact of NDP-Green alliance

By Ash Kelly
CBC News
June 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Community leaders in northern B.C. say they’re worried about an alliance between the NDP and Green parties, which have promised to scrap or review a number of projects the Liberals said would bring prosperity to the top half of the province. “They’ve made it clear that we’re insignificant to them,” said Shaely Wilbur, president of the North Central Local Government Association, which lists 41 northern communities as members. …Bill Streeper, mayor of the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, which includes Fort Nelson, worries his community is out of economic options. “When I think it can’t get much worse up here, it does. We have zero forest industry right now and more reduction in natural gas,” Streeper said. …The NDP-Green coalition has promised an attempt at revitalizing the forestry industry by building public infrastructure and using B.C. wood to do it. But in a region that didn’t make the itinerary for neither the Greens nor the NDP’s campaign trails, the promises inspire little hope.

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Softwood lumber package protects industry now: Hajdu

By Matt Vis
TB Newswatch
June 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY – The national labour minister says a financial aid package for the softwood lumber industry under attack by American duties on Canadian exports will help protect the “backbone” of the Northern Ontario economy. The federal government earlier this week announced $867 million through loans and loan guarantees to help soften the costs of the duties – which range between three and more than 24 per cent – of added costs on Canadian products entering the U.S. market. But Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu said any kind of decline affects more than just those directly employed by softwood lumber producers.

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Logs headed for China likely to make their way back

Bu David Sellars
Peninsula Daily News
June 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Earlier last week, Astoria Bay moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3 to take on a cargo of debarked logs that will be transported to China. Invariably whenever I write about cargo ships or when they come to port for logs to be exported to China, I am inundated with emails and phone calls from folks who express their concern that the export of logs to the Far East is a glaring example of jobs also being exported to China. It is important to understand that the logs that are exported from Port Angeles are primarily hemlock, which is a softwood ideally suited for use in the construction trades. The predominant construction material in China for residential and commercial structures is concrete. The logs exported from Port Angeles are milled into lumber that is used to fabricate the forms used in construction.

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Caddo River Forest Products officially starts operations in Glenwood

By Matt Mershon
KATV Little Rock
June 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A sawmill in Glenwood that has been closed for nearly 10 years will be buzzing once again. Caddo River Forest Products held the grand re-opening ceremony of the Glenwood sawmill on Thursday. The saw mill is manufacturing both lumber and pulpwood for local paper mills. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Congressman Westerman and several local dignitaries were on hand for the celebration. The theme Thursday was the resurgence of the state’s timber industry. “If the timber industry is not strong and vibrant, then the economy of this state is not complete,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. The sawmill isn’t necessarily new to Glenwood. It closed back in 2010. The mill and the timber industry took a hit during the recession. However, as the economy has revived, so has the timber industry.

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Weyerhaeuser to sell Uruguay timberlands and manufacturing business to a consortium led by BTG Pactual’s Timberland Investment Group for $402.5 million in cash

By Weyerhaeuser Company
PR Newswire
June 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SEATTLE — Weyerhaeuser Company today announced an agreement to sell its timberlands and manufacturing business in Uruguay to a consortium led by BTG Pactual’s Timberland Investment Group (TIG), including other long-term institutional investors, for $402.5 million in cash. The company anticipates it will incur minimal taxes in conjunction with the transaction. The transaction includes over 300,000 acres (120,000 hectares) of timberlands in northeastern and north central Uruguay, as well as a plywood and veneer manufacturing facility, a cogeneration facility, and a seedling nursery. “Our Uruguay business is a unique combination of high-quality timberlands, value-added manufacturing operations and skilled and dedicated people, and this transaction will best position the business to reach its full potential,” said Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tidal Collection: Functional furniture that moves with you

By Studio Corelam
Kickstarter
June 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

First of all, we want to say a really big thank-you to everyone who has supported us during the first half of our campaign. Your support is the fuel to our fire! We’ve had some amazing media coverage over the past 2 weeks that we are really excited about. We’ve also had a lot of great dialogue with people over the internet and in real life about the pieces. …Next up is the Round a bout 2.0. We’ve changed things around to minimize manufacturing and material costs substantially. This simplified version of the Round a bout maintains the ethos of our studio and still offers the features we found people were most interested in.  We encourage you to take a look at the Round a bout 2.0 on our Kickstarter page. We think you’ll like what you see.

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Sustainability Report: Are Composite Building Materials Sustainable?

By Margo Pierce
Paste Magazine
June 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…That’s the basic idea behind composite building materials, engineering a combination of materials that result in something better than the constituent parts. …Some newer composites are going mainstream—wood-like boards made of recycled plastic, or a combination of wood and plastic are commonly used for building outdoor decks. But the construction industry is slow to change, according to Arpad Horvath, professor in the Engineering and Management program at the University of California. In “Construction Materials and the Environment” he says construction companies, with the exception of some larger firms, are “ill-prepared” to address environmental management and stewardship. …Numerous composites have been developed and used successfully for years in other countries, such as cross-laminated timber. …It’s proven to be cost-effective and has the added benefits of quick installation, reduced waste, improved thermal performance and design versatility.

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Forensic chemical analysis of wood could stop illegal logging

By The Botanical Society of America
Science Daily
June 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A new technique has been developed to tackle illegal logging by pinpointing the wood’s origin to a smaller area than ever before (<100 km). Using chemical fingerprinting techniques (DART-TOFMS), they measured compounds in Douglas-fir samples from two Oregon mountain ranges. The screening requires a tiny wood sample, can be prepared in 15 seconds, and showed 70-76% accuracy. Tackling the problem of illegal logging is particularly challenging as it is often nearly impossible to tell where a piece of wood came from. Now, researchers in Oregon, USA, have developed a technique that uses the chemical fingerprint of a wood sample to pinpoint its origin to a smaller area than ever before. …Building on this work, Cronn and his colleagues are now attempting to discover whether the differences in the chemical fingerprints of the Douglas-fir trees arise from genetic differences between the populations, environmental differences, or a combination of the two.

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OOPEAA builds wood and zinc sauna on the shore of a tiny Finnish island

By Alyn Griffiths
Dezeen
June 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Finnish architecture office OOPEAA has completed a log cabin-style sauna on an island in Helsinki’s archipelago that is topped with a zinc roof incorporating dormer windows. …The sauna sits on Lonna island, which was previously occupied by the military and is situated close to the larger island of Suomenlinna – a World Heritage Site popular with tourists. …”Offering people a way to relax and enjoy the nature and the sea, […] the Lonna Sauna is part of the unique environment of the island where the man-made meets the natural and enters into dialogue with it,” said the architects. …Materials used in the sauna’s construction include brick and rough-hewn timber beams. The wooden walls were built using traditional joinery techniques and are left untreated.

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Forestry

Stimulating Sustainability Certification in North America

By Rob Kotrba
Biomass Magazine
June 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

The Dutch are motivated buyers of North American wood pellets, but the lack of sustainability certification of small forest owners in the U.S. and Canada has created an intense need for intercontinental collaboration. The fact that the Dutch have created a program to earnestly foster sustainability certification of small, North American forests is a testament to how important Canadian and US wood pellets are—or will be—to cofiring operations in the Netherlands. The Dutch want certified wood pellets from North America, up to 3.5 million metric tons per year, and they are spending at least 3 million euros to ensure small landowners across the pond understand that, unless certification by one of the several existing schemes is undertaken, wood pellets manufactured from their raw materials will likely be excluded from this emerging European market. 

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Glade residents anxious, feel ‘under the gun’ as logging plans loom

By John Boivin
The Castlegar Source
June 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents of Glade say they can often hear the Kalesnikoff lumber mill, on the opposite bank from their Kootenay River community, as it processes hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of lumber every year. Soon those operations will be a lot closer to them. “The [Kalesnikoff] woodland manager said there would be 350 logging truck loads, 700 trips going thru our community,” says Heather McSwan of the Glade Watershed Protection Society (GWPS). “We only have small ferry, and logging trucks will be going down our streets, which are very small and have no sidewalks.” But it’s not just the trucks that concern the Glade water protectors. It’s where the logs that will be filling those trucks are coming from- the watershed that supplies drinking water to the community.

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Sunshine Coast Regional District to forward comments on BC Timber Sales

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
June 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Directors at the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) have voted to add comments from the SCRD’s five advisory planning commissions and the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan Committee to their submission on the latest BC Timbers Sales operations plan for the area. The SCRD has already sent comments to BCTS outlining the board’s opposition to logging a cutblock known as A91376 located on District Lot 1313 in Elphinstone, which is seen as a potential park. The board also said it doesn’t support logging in community watersheds or logging within the 1,500-hectare zone identified in the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan as an area that should be protected.

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Port Renfrew: an untouched nature lover’s paradise

By Pamela Roth
Victoria News
June 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Standing nearly 70 metres tall, some might say he’s the strong, silent type. His friends all left him six years ago, but not by choice. A trunk wider than a truck saved his life. There’s no questioning which tree is Big Lonely Doug when wandering through the wild backcountry of Port Renfrew where some mountains have been partially shaved due to clear cutting, including the area surrounding the big tree left by his lonesome. The tree’s impressive size caught the attention of logger Dennis Cronin on a sunny morning in the winter of 2011 while he was flagging trees for clear cutting in the old-growth forest fringing the north bank of the Gordon River. 

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Repair List Begins With Resource Sector – North Central Labour Council Head

By Don Hawkins
250 News
June 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, BC – The head of the North Central Labour Council says the forest sector and working forests are a mess because they’ve been neglected for 16 years and calls on an anticipated NDP government to refocus on the benefits of the forest resource for job stability, growth and opportunity. NCLC President Don Iwaskow says “making changes to the Forestry Act would be a good start. It was dismantled by the Liberals in 2002 and has not resulted in any net benefit to workers or communities, especially the value-added sector.” Iwaskow also wants a halt to the export of raw logs stating “anytime we export raw unprocessed products it’s a loss to the people of the province and exports jobs out of the country.” “We can do more with our wood waste and timber, its just more cost-effective to ship out the raw product, which is wrong-headed and should be unacceptable to any government. 

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Anti-logging residents await answer on appeal to federal government

By Cam Fortems
Kamloops This Week
June 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While logging is beginning in the Upper Clearwater Valley, residents concerned about potential flood damage and threats to mountain caribou are awaiting an appeal to the federal government and a change in the legislature in Victoria. Trevor Goward, a scientist and one of the community leaders opposed to logging by Canfor, said the legal application to block clearcut logging under the Species at Risk Act in the Upper Clearwater Valley is in front of federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. Mountain caribou in the North Thompson is at risk of extirpation. “The Canadian Wildlife Service (under the Environment Ministry) wrote and said they’re reviewing it they will make a recommendation to the minister,” Goward said. Residents and outside scientists have made a 68-page legal application to halt logging.

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B.C.’s responsibility on World Environment Day

By Linda Hannah, Nature Conservancy of Canada
Victoria Times Colonist
June 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Monday is World Environment Day, and this year Canada has the privilege of being the host country for this annual day of awareness and action for the protection of the environment. Started by the United Nations in 1974, World Environment Day reminds us that the world we live in is singular, precious and in need of thoughtful stewardship. British Columbia has an important role to play in global efforts to conserve and protect our natural environment. With its vast forests, fertile grasslands, rugged coastline and vital wetlands, this province is defined by superlative landscapes and unparalleled beauty.

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Logging operations critical to forest restoration

By Luke Thompson
Yakima Herald-Republic
June 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new collaborative approach hopes to show responsible environmental stewardship can boost the health of Washington’s forests and the state’s regional economies. Efforts to work together toward the common goal of improving the forest trace back to the formation of the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative in 2007. Its focus continued to narrow as the Little Naches Working Group, with 40 regular members representing a wide variety of interests and expertise, helped the Forest Service develop plans for the nearly 57,000-acre Little Crow Area. Work previously done on a 711-acre parcel of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in southern Kittitas County and a small part of Yakima County makes it the ideal starting point for Little Crow restoration, says U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Holly Krake. And, significant commercial logging efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire should provide jobs and add revenue to help pay for future treatments to restore a more natural state.

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Economically Pressed Timber Counties Voice Concerns

By Tristan Scott
Flathead Beacon
June 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Hard-hit rural Montana counties that are the richest in timber are also among the poorest in the state, and stakeholders say major shortcomings in federal land management is at the root of the crisis. On June 2, during a roundtable discussion at F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company in Columbia Falls, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas — both major policy leaders in land management issues — heard from county leaders and wood products industry officials who bemoaned the current state of federal land management, the loss of jobs and the flurry of litigation that derails timber sales. …But Montana’s junior senator said he wanted the chairman to hear concerns firsthand from stakeholders in an industry that is often overlooked in Washington, D.C., where members of Congress aren’t well versed in the business of trees.

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Why the Endangered Species Act can’t save whitebark pines

By Maya L. Kapoor
High Country News
June 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Bob Keane has studied whitebark pine, a coniferous tree of the high country, for more than thirty years. Still, when asked to describe a whitebark to someone who’s never seen one, he takes a breath and pauses for a moment. “Gosh,” he says. The shape of the tree is very distinctive, Keane says. Instead of growing cone-shaped like other conifers, whitebarks branch like hardwoods. “A lot of the undergrowth is very small, so you see these open park-like stands of beautiful spreading trees,” he says. This shape is an adaptation that shows Clark’s nutcrackers flying past that a tree below has many nutritious cones and might be worth a travel stop.

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Idaho forests more than a ‘crop’ to be harvested

By Craig Gehrke, state director, The Wilderness Society
Idaho Statesman
June 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will be visiting the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Friday, giving him a great opportunity to broaden his perspective on the national forests he is charged with overseeing. Perdue recently told Congress that the trees of our national forests are “crops” that “ought to be harvested.” I hope the secretary takes the time to listen and learn how much more the national forests yield states like Idaho beyond their value for cutting. …Perdue has one of the finest collections of natural resource professionals under his jurisdiction, who go to work every day with the goal of managing our national forests far beyond a commodity, and for the greatest good of all Americans. These professionals don’t see the national forests like the politicians seem to — as payback for campaign funders.

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Senator vows to reform timber litigation laws

By Sam Wilson
Daily Inter Lake
June 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Montana’s junior senator vowed to reform laws governing environmental litigation that he blames for Montana’s flagging timber industry, speaking during a roundtable discussion with timber industry representatives and local government officials in Columbia Falls Friday morning. …While he said a comprehensive solution to the struggles of the state’s lumber mills would require action within all three branches of the federal government, Daines characterized lawsuits that have delayed or stopped logging projects on federal forest land as the biggest barrier to local timber supply. “You always come back to litigation at the end of the day,” he said. “You can’t solve the problem if you can’t crack that nut.”

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Companies suspected of illegally harvest eucalyptus trees

Associate Press in the Idaho Statesman
June 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Kailua-Kona, HAWAII — The Kamehameha Schools are accusing two companies of illegally harvesting eucalyptus trees on the private district’s properties along the Hamakua Coast. The Kamehameha Schools filed a complaint in the 3rd Circuit Court against Jonathan Spies and his companies Hamakua Renewable Enterprises LLC and Golden Lion Hawaii LLC, West Hawaii Today reported. The complaint asks that the court immediately and permanently stop the defendants from trespassing and illegally harvesting trees on Kamehameha Schools’ property. The Kamehameha Schools says the companies harvested more than 28 acres (113.3 sq. kilometers) of eucalyptus timbers at two of its properties. Along with the filing, the school filed a lumber theft report in May. 

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Tasmanian farmers allowed to cut down more native timber under government changes

By Emilie Gramenz
ABC News Australia
June 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmanian farmers will be able to cut down more native forest on their properties as the Government relaxes land clearing rules. From the end of the month, farmers will be able to clear up to 40 hectares per year. Resources Minister Guy Barnett said the clearing process was being streamlined to encourage growth in the rural sector. …Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said private-land forests are a carbon store. “It’s estimated land clearing contributes around 20 per cent of global emissions every year,” she said. “The last thing we need to be doing as a state is allowing for emissions from land clearing.”

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Forest Fires

‘No danger’: Wildfire haze drifts over Fort McMurray

CBC News
June 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A thick blanket of smoke is hanging over the Fort McMurray region as haze from a wildfire in Wood Buffalo National Park blows into the area. The smoke is drifting from a fire between Lake Claire and Mamawi Lake, roughly 220 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, according to a bulletin from Alberta Forestry. The sister lakes are just a few kilometres south of the community of Fort Chipewyan. Brad Grainger, deputy fire chief for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, said the wildfire poses no risk to Fort Chipewyan or to the city of Fort McMurray.  …The wildfire danger in the Wood Buffalo region is classified as very high. Temperatures in the 20s and a lack of rain have created dry conditions in the boreal forest. The risk will remain until the region receives a significant amount of rain, officials said.

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Crews drop exploding balls to help contain wildfire in Coconino National Forest

By Clarice Silber
Associated Press in the Daily Miner
June 2, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

PHOENIX – National forest crews have been fighting fire with fire in the last week by dropping combustible spheres that resemble ping-pong balls from helicopters to help control a lightning-caused blaze in Arizona. The devices are filled with flammable substances that cause them to ignite once they hit the ground. By using the exploding balls, authorities didn’t have to send firefighters into unsafe and remote areas. “The flammable spheres burn out in a circular pattern on the forest floor, as each circle of fire slowly grows they eventually burn into each other,” said Kaitlyn Webb, a spokesperson for Coconino National Forest. …“Crews walk around with what we call drip torches, which have a fuel mixture inside and they drip fuel onto a wick, which in turn drips fuel when it’s lit onto the ground and makes a path of fire,” McElfresh said. The majority of the forest hasn’t seen a fire in 20 to 30 years, Webb said, but like other ponderosa pine forests, it should be experiencing a fire every five to 12 years as part of a natural cycle.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The Paris agreement – a pretentious, moralistic, socialist document

By Lorne Gunter
Edmonton Sun
June 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

It’s funny how esteem for the Paris climate accord has grown since it was signed in December 2015. Back then it was seen as a weak, political document filled with meaningless promises, diplomatic compromises and dubious science. Yet now that U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn his country from the accord, you would think the Paris agreement had descended, wrapped in gold, from a shimmering cloud. The Paris accord isn’t close to being a binding agreement. Nor is it based much on science. …All of the models that show the Paris accord stopping climate change are based on “massive deployment” of biomass energy coupled with technology to capture the carbon dioxide that will be created and “sequestering” it in the ground. But the technology for neither of those – neither mass energy generation from biomass (burning wood chips, seaweed, cornstalks, etc.) nor mass carbon sequestration – exists yet on a large enough scale. And there is no evidence on the horizon it is coming, either.

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Biomass More ‘Carbon Friendly’ than Natural Gas Study Shows

Timberline Magazine
June 2, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A study recently released by an industry group demonstrates that carbon emissions are dramatically lower when using forest biomass to fuel a power generating plant instead of natural gas. The study, sponsored by the Biomass Power Association, found that carbon emissions from a biomass power plant burning forest residue-based fuel were 115% lower than those of a natural gas facility in one year. Over 100 years, the savings remain at 98% after accounting for emissions from logging activities. The study was conducted by Madhu Khanna, professor at the University of Illinois, and Puneet Dwivedi, assistant professor at the University of Georgia.

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BIA Business Perspective: New Hampshire should just say no to energy subsidies

By Jim Roche, BIA President
New Hampshire Union Leader
June 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The need for a steady, reliable supply of electricity at lower rates in New Hampshire is well established. …If capacity in New Hampshire and our neighboring states can grow, market forces will begin to push down the prices every homeowner and business owner pays to keep their lights on and equipment running. Biomass energy plants use pulp, lumber, wood scraps or other organic materials to fire their generators. The prospect of using wood to make electricity is attractive to those in the turbulent wood products industry, which has never fully recovered from the closing of paper mills and furniture manufacturing. Operators of the Berlin biomass plant said biomass efforts there would create up to 200 new jobs in logging and transportation, but a recent story in New Hampshire Business Review calls this into question. …When the state mandates the purchase of a certain kind of energy, like biomass, at an over-market rate, they’re not making the cost per kilowatt hour go down. It will go up.

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