Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 27, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

US imposes anti-dumping duties averaging 7 percent as lumber dispute escalates

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 27, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US announced its preliminary determination of 6.9 percent for anti-dumping on Canadian lumber. Although lower than expected and buffered by high lumber prices and a low Canadian dollar, the duties will eventually take a toll. News coverage mirrors that of when the Trump administration announced countervailing duties two months ago. A sampling of quotes include:

  • We will vigorously defend Canada’s softwood lumber industry and we expect to prevail (Jim Carr, NRCan)
  • The ongoing allegations levelled by the US industry are without merit (Susan Yurkovich, BC Lumber Trade Council)
  • These tariffs are a slap in the face to the concept of fair trade (Jerry Dias, Unifor)
  • Until we reach a negotiated solution, the US will continue to vigorously apply the duties (Wilbur Ross, US Secretary of Commerce)
  • We applaud the decision to restore fair trade for US lumber producers (Zoltan van Heyningen, US Lumber Coalition)
  • This action is basically another tax on American home builders and home buyers that will jeopardize affordable housing (Granger MacDonald, NAHB)

The US also made a preliminary decision to exclude three of Canada’s Atlantic provinces from the dumping investigation “at the request of US industry and the Canadian provinces”. The exclusion does not include New Brunswick who are pursuing a similar result.

In other news, a new NASA study says the number of fires ignited by lightning has increased due to “an increase in volatile thunderstorm weather“. Utah State Rep. Michael Noel is blaming “bunny lovers and tree-huggers” for the growth of the Brian Head Fire because “they prevented the state from logging trees killed by bark beetles“. An environmental group rejected the comments, pointing to “climate change and excluding fire from the landscape.”

And finally, France, Austria and Norway are to become home to the world’s tallest wooden buildings according to a new report by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Dust mitigation improves with new wood fibre storage initiative

By Rob Moonen, CEO of the BC Forest Safety Council
Canadian Forest Industries
June 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Earlier this spring 2017, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada Safety Committee (WPACSC) created a new safety working group – the Wood Fibre Storage Working Group (WFSWG) – to facilitate the development of proposed guidelines to assist employers in understanding and assessing the hazards and options for storage and infeed processes along with risk mitigation strategies and assessment. This work follows on from the success that the Manufacturing Advisory Group (MAG) and WPAC have had in working the dust mitigation and management files for sawmill and pellet mill operations. …The significant progress and tangible improvements that have been made on effective dust management and mitigation have only been possible thanks to the commitment of industry leadership and the dedicated work of employers, contractors, workers, unions and other stakeholders to ensure the hazard of combustible dust is being managed. We all share one common goal: getting workers home safe at the end of the day.

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By the end of 2017, softwood lumber will cost almost 7% more to sell to the U.S.

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press in Global News
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL – Canada’s softwood lumber industry faces average duties of about 27 per cent after the U.S. Department of Commerce slapped it with an additional 6.87 per cent in preliminary average anti-dumping tariffs. The new anti-dumping duty will overlap for about two months with average preliminary countervailing duties of 19.88 per cent announced in April that are set to expire on Aug. 27. Final combined duties will be applied around the end of the year when all determinations have been made. …Resolute Forest Products was assessed Monday with the lowest duties of 4.59 per cent while Canfor gets the highest at 7.72 per cent.  Two other mandatory respondents, West Fraser Timber and Tolko, were tagged with 6.76 and 7.53 per cent duties, respectively. The rates are below the average 10 per cent forecast by industry analysts. West Fraser will have the highest combined duties at 30.88 per cent, followed by Canfor at 27.98 per cent and Tolko at 27.03 per cent.

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Anti-dumping duties push softwood lumber industry closer to crisis

By Unifor
Canada Newswire
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA – The re-introduction of a second tariff on Canadian softwood lumber exports pushes the industry closer to crisis, says Unifor. “These tariffs are a slap in the face to the concept of fair trade,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It’s President Trump’s gift to U.S. landowners and hundreds of Canadian communities will pay the price.” …Unifor says that the $867-million forestry industry aid package announced by the Canadian government in May will help cushion the blow, but it is not a long-term solution. “Our forestry industry needs a new softwood agreement that defends good jobs and strengthens Canadian competitiveness,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President. “It’s very unlikely these tariffs will stand up to legal scrutiny, so Canada should bargain from a position of strength.”

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Canadians urge Western Governors group to help tone down rhetoric around NAFTA

By Perry Backus
Missoulian
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WHITEFISH — Canada’s relationship with the western states took top billing at the 33rd annual Western Governors’ Association meeting Monday in Whitefish. …“The importance of our relationship with Canada cannot be overstated,” said Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. “Trade with Canada totals $662 billion. We are each other’s largest export markets. The issues ranged from the need to tweak the North American Free Trade Agreement, the challenges of finding common ground on the softwood issue and the potential for the two countries to work together to develop clean coal applications that could open new economic doors in energy-starved countries like India. Both of the Canadians said it’s important that those who understand the value of the relationship between the two countries spread the word to citizens and other stakeholders and not allow heated rhetoric to drive the discussion.

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Joint Statement of Minister Carr and Minister Freeland in Response to United States Department of Commerce Anti-Dumping Duty Preliminary Determination

By Natural Resources Canada
Canada Newswire
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement… “The Government of Canada stands firmly behind the Canadian forest industry. “We will vigorously defend Canada’s softwood lumber industry, including through litigation, and we expect to prevail as we have in the past. “We are deeply disappointed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to impose unfair and punitive anti-dumping duties against Canada’s softwood lumber producers who sell products into the United States. …”We welcome the step by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding consultations on an exclusion for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador from anti-dumping and countervailing duties on softwood. …however, we will continue to press our U.S. counterparts for the removal of duties for all provinces and would welcome a commitment by the U.S. Department of Commerce to consider an exclusion for New Brunswick.

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U.S. imposes additional tariffs on Canadian lumber as dispute escalates

By Jen Skerritt
Seattle Times
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. will impose further punitive tariffs on imports of softwood lumber from Canada, escalating a longstanding trade dispute that’s already led to higher timber prices. Preliminary anti-dumping duties of as much as 7.7 percent will be levied on Canadian producers, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Monday in a statement. The move follows the government’s decision in April to slap countervailing tariffs of up to 24.1 percent on shipments from Canadian companies including West Fraser Timber Co. and Canfor Corp. Until Canada and the U.S. reach a negotiated solution on softwood lumber, the nation will continue to “vigorously apply” the anti-dumping and countervailing duties to “stand up for American companies and their workers,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

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Welcome to Dust Safety Week 2017!

By Maria Church
Canadian Biomass Magazine
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Dust Safety Week 2017 has arrived! Canadian Biomass and Canadian Forest Industries have all the coverage to keep you informed as we highlight best practices, technical information and solutions for keeping your operations safe, every day this week! At the Wood Pellet Association of Canada safety workshop that took place June 13-14, WorkSafeBC occupational safety officer Mike Tasker said the wood pellet industry has made rapid progress in safety, moving from one of the worst offenders to the best. “There wasn’t just a willingness to reach compliance – the least safe you could be to meet our standards – you started striving for excellence,” Tasker said. As WPAC executive director Gord Murray says in his review of the conference, the industry needs to keep its “foot on the gas”. 

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U.S. excludes three Canadian provinces from softwood lumber probe

By Eric Beech
Reuters in The Financial Post
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday it had made a preliminary decision to exclude three of Canada’s Atlantic provinces from a U.S. investigation into whether Canada is dumping or subsidizing exports of softwood lumber. The decision to exclude Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island follows a preliminary finding by the department in April that Canada subsidizes its softwood lumber exports. …The decision to exclude the three provinces came at the request of U.S. industry and the Canadian provinces and had the backing of the U.S. lumber industry, the Commerce Department said. The exclusion does not include New Brunswick, an Atlantic province bordering Maine, that is also a major producer of softwood lumber.

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U.S. adds another border tax to B.C. lumber

By Tom Fletcher
Nanaimo Bulletin
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The B.C. government’s minority turmoil won’t affect the effort to support the province’s forest industry and negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement, Forests Minister John Rustad says. In his first days since adding responsibility for forests to his aboriginal relations portfolio, Rustad was responding to the U.S. Commerce Department’s announcement Monday that anti-dumping duties are being imposed on top of countervailing duties imposed earlier. …Rustad said the government is prepared to buy lumber for future government projects while it argues its case with the U.S. at the negotiating table or in the courts, but that won’t happen immediately. Premier Christy Clark proposed the purchase option during the recent election campaign. Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, said the latest duty continues efforts of the U.S. lumber industry to restrict imports and drive up the price of their products. “The ongoing allegations levelled by the U.S. industry are without merit,” Yurkovich said. “This was proven in the last round of litigation and we fully expect it will be again.”

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B.C. sawmill workers brace for punitive new U.S. duties on softwood lumber

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

B.C. sawmill workers are bracing for an anxious summer after the United States increased tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. The U.S. Department of Commerce is imposing new anti-dumping duties, assigning specific rates for three major producers based in British Columbia: Canfor Corp. will pay 7.72 per cent; Tolko Industries Ltd. 7.53 per cent and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. 6.76 per cent, while other Canadian producers will pay a weighted average of 6.87 per cent. …“I’m not sugarcoating this. This isn’t good,” BC Lumber Trade Council president Susan Yurkovich said in an interview on Monday. “We shouldn’t have this and it isn’t fair. …Final determinations by the Commerce Department are expected in late 2017. Industry experts say the punitive duties could linger throughout 2018 and possibly into 2019, until Canada and the United States negotiate a solution. Even if Canada wins the trade battle in the long term, smaller producers in the meantime will be especially vulnerable to the financial strain of the duties.

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New American duties on lumber imposed

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

As expected, Canadian lumber producers were hit today with additional duties on softwood lumber exported to the U.S. …For now, the duties have yet to take any major toll on B.C. companies, thanks to high lumber prices, driven by strong demand in the U.S. and a low Canadian dollar. But eventually, they will begin taking their toll. In the past, international tribunals have ruled that the American duties are unjustified. But it can take years for such rulings, and in the meantime some of the less profitable mills are vulnerable, which is why federal and provincial governments prefer to try to negotiate a settlement.

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Western Governors Talk Lumber Trade With Canadian Leaders

By Corin Cates-Carney
Montana Public Radio
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Governors from the western U.S. converge on Whitefish this week for the annual Western Governors Association. Monday, they talked about international trade agreements between the U.S. and Canada. The round table discussion between 10 western governors, a Canadian ambassador, and the premier of Saskatchewan, began with a question about the ongoing softwood lumber trade dispute between the two countries. …Idaho Governor Butch Otter wanted to know the progress of a new deal. “There is a lot at risk in the United States on our lumber supplies and our percent of the market that we have lost since the expiration of that agreement,” Otter said. The softwood lumber agreement was originally made in 2006 to set export taxes on Canadian government subsidized lumber heading south into the U.S. …But that trade deal didn’t work, according to Matt Gold, who teaches law at Fordham University. 

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BC Forest Minister responds to anti-dumping duties imposed by U.S.

By Shannon Waters
My Prince George Now
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced it will be adding preliminary anti-dumping duties of 6.87% to most shipments of Canadian softwood lumber. …“We knew this decision was coming but that doesn’t soften the blow,” Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations John Rustad said in a statement released this afternoon. “Forestry built British Columbia and drives our economy. We will continue to stand strong and fight for the over 140 communities and over 60,000 British Columbians that depend on forestry for their livelihood.” Rustad says the instability caused by this disagreement with the U.S. “isn’t healthy for the industry.” “When you’ve got the countervailing and anti-dumping duties in place that are obviously harming companies and their ability to be able to invest, there may be situations where mills takes an extended downtime for maintenance and other things. However, our industry is strong and I do believe that we will be able to work through this. But if this extends for any length of time it does put jobs at risk in this province.”

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U.S. duties on softwood lumber climb with latest decision on anti-dumping

By the BC Lumber Trade Council
Canada Newswire
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – B.C. lumber producers will continue to vigorously defend the industry against a new round of preliminary anti-dumping duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Canadian softwood lumber. “These duties result from the trade action which is part of the continued attempt by the protectionist U.S. lumber lobby to constrain imports of high-quality Canadian lumber into the U.S. market and to drive up prices for their benefit,” said Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council. “The ongoing allegations levelled by the U.S. industry are without merit. This was proven in the last round of litigation and we fully expect it will be the case again.” …This action by the U.S. lumber lobby ultimately punishes American consumers who are faced with higher lumber prices when they buy, build or renovate their home.”

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Port McNeill Rotary Trail Receives Big Donation

By Tyson Whitney
North Island Gazette
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products has donated $20,000 to continue the next phase of the rotary trail in Port McNeill. The Port McNeill rotary club’s vision for the community trail is a 10 kilometre circle from Port McNeill into Hyde Creek and then back along the coast, which the club hopes will celebrate the natural environment, and promote healthy lifestyles for locals and visitors. “How proud I am to be a part of this community,” said Port McNeill Rotary Club President Deborah Murray, at a Western Forest Products Chamber of Commerce member meeting, which was held on June 20.

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Norbord Secures Wood Allocation for Chambord, Quebec OSB Mill

By Norbord Inc.
Canada Newswire
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


TORONTO – Norbord Inc. today announced that the Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks has granted the Company a wood allocation for its curtailed Chambord, Quebec OSB mill that will take effect April 1, 2018. “We are very pleased to have secured a wood allocation for our Chambord, Quebec mill so soon after acquiring it in the fall of 2016, and this is an important first step toward restarting production at the mill,” said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord’s President and CEO. “Market conditions continue to improve and we believe will support an eventual restart of the Chambord mill. In the meantime, we continue to develop our detailed engineering plan to support the investment needed to ensure the mill’s long-term viability. We greatly appreciate the support we’ve received so far from government officials and the local community.”

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New Brunswick hoping for ‘fair deal’ on softwood exemption

By Adrienne South
Global News
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick softwood lumber experts say the provincial industry is still hoping to reach a “fair deal,” despite Nova Scotia going their own way on countervailing tariff exemption negotiations. Forest NB Executive Director Mike Legere said he’s “optimistic” New Brunswick is getting the pieces into place to commence negotiations. He said it’s “essential” to get back to negotiations as soon as possible. “I think every jurisdiction is going to look to protect their industry as they see fit in the best possible fashion,” Legere said. “I don’t think Nova Scotia is taking a completely different approach than an Atlantic exemption, comments that I’ve heard to date is there’s still much support for a regional exemption from countervailing duty and anti-dumping tariffs.” Legere said if things go through the appeal process, everyone is going to have to defend their position.

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Statement from NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald on Proposed Canadian Lumber Tariffs

National Association of Home Builders
Business Newswire
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas, today issued the following statement. …“This latest action by the Commerce Department to impose anti-dumping duties of up to more than 7 percent on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. is basically another tax on American home builders and home buyers that will jeopardize affordable housing in America.” “Adding this new tariff to the proposed 20 percent countervailing lumber duty that the Trump administration slapped on imports of lumber this spring means that total tariffs would be a whopping 27 percent. Given that lumber is a major component in new home construction, the combined duties will harm housing affordability and price countless American households out of the housing market.”

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U.S. Lumber Industry Applauds Commerce Department Finding of Canadian Dumping

The U.S. Lumber Coalition
PR News Wire
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Lumber Coalition released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Commerce announcement of antidumping duties related to Canadian companies dumping Canadian softwood lumber products in the United States. The Department’s decision is a preliminary finding and now the case will be subject to additional investigation before a final decision on the dumping margins is made by the Department in September. “We applaud the Department of Commerce’s decision to take further action against Canada’s unfair trading practices and restore fair trade for U.S. lumber producers,’ said U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesperson, Zoltan van Heyningen. “For years, Canada has unfairly distorted the softwood lumber market with billions of dollars in support of their producers. 

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Governor touts importance of state’s forest products

By Karen Brasher
Mississippi State University Newsroom
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Forest products are part of the DNA of Mississippi. That is how Gov. Phil Bryant welcomed participants Monday [June 26] to the 71st International Convention of the Forest Products Society, hosted by Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources and Forest and Wildlife Research Center. Bryant, whose grandfather once harvested timber by mule in south Mississippi, made the connection that all Mississippians have been involved in or have a family member involved in the forest products industry. “Our forest products industry is as strong as ever because now we bring our forest products to the world,” Bryant said.

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South Korea, Japan wood pellet imports near records in late 2016

By Wood Resources International
Biomass Magazine
June 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Wood pellet imports to Asia reached an all-time-high in the Q4 2016, when Japan and South Korea together imported 630,000 tons of pellets. Although import volumes were down slightly in the Q1 2017, they were still over 40 percent higher than in the 1Q/16, as reported in the latest issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly.  South Korea is by far the main destination for pellets in Asia, and in 2016, the country was the world’s third largest importer of pellets, trailing only the United Kingdom and Denmark. Although import volumes to Japan have tripled from 2014 to 2016, the usage of pellets is still at a relatively low level. Consumption of pellets in Japan and South Korea has increased quite rapidly the past four years because of new government requirements which favor reducing carbon emissions and increasing the usage of renewable energy.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

This south London build tackles the climate head on

By Gordon Miller
Metro Newspaper UK
June 26, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

ENERGY-EFFICIENT homes are hardly hot news, but the bar has just been raised to a new level in London’s Zone One. Futurehome, at Elephant Park, is developer Lendlease’s 15-year regeneration of the Heygate Estate in Elephant & Castle, and meets Passivhaus standards. …The Futurehome collection has not only been built to Passivhaus standards, but also to level five of the Code For Sustainable Homes, which requires the properties to have a 100 per cent improvement in the estimated CO2 emissions per sqm per year over the Target Emission Rate. This accounts for energy in heating, fixed cooling, hot water and lighting. …The legwork is done by cross-laminated timber (CLT), which is factory-made and fitted together on site; it reduces waste, increases construction speed, and ensures the homes are airtight — the critical aspect of Passivhaus’s standards.

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Europe at forefront of timber construction finds Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat report

By Eleanor Gibson
Dezeen
June 27, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

France, Austria and Norway are to become home to the world’s tallest wooden buildings according to a new report by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which has found Europe to be leading the timber construction movement. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) conducted the study Tall Timber: A Global Audit on built, under construction and proposed towers. It assessed height, location and construction type, including both all-timber and hybrid designs. The report found that 21 timber buildings with a height of over 50 metres are set to be completed by 2019. …CBTUH conducted the study to catch up with the “explosion” of developments in timber construction, as architects increasingly turn towards wood as a building material for its sustainability, quality and speed of construction.

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Forestry

Bark beetle infestation continues to threaten Tahoe-Truckee forests

By Amanda Rhoades
Tahoe Daily Tribune
June 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The rust-colored trees dotting the hillside show that the forest is far from healthy after several years of drought left the trees more vulnerable to bark beetle infestation. “The bark beetle is just the nail in the coffin in the tree mortality issue,” said Placer County Office of Emergency Services Program Manager John McEldowney. “Now we’re seeing large, high, massive amounts of tree mortality across the Sierra.” Placer is one of 10 California counties where bark beetle infestations have risen so high that a state of emergency has been declared in recent years. Other counties are Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Tulare, and Tuolumne. Though the drought recently ended, emergency declarations regarding the beetle remain in place.

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Court ruling puts roadblock on Oregon $1.4B timber class action

Associated Press
Statesman Journal
June 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALBANY, Ore.  — A judge has ruled that Oregon counties can’t sue the state government in the face of a $1.4 billion class lawsuit that seeks damages for logging practices. The Capital Press reports the June 20 decision reverses an earlier ruling which stated that counties could seek damages from state government. The lawsuit, filed in March, accuses the state of Oregon of insufficiently logging state forests. The suit states the 14 counties gave the state forestland expecting to receive a portion of logging proceeds in return. Linn County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Murphy says counties are subdivisions of the state and therefore can’t sue the state government for money.

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Bryant Hopeful for Forestry, Despite Budget Cuts

By Park King
WCBI
June 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the first time since budget cuts were made to the Mississippi Forestry Commission in late May, Governor Phil Bryant has met with the forestry community. $2.6 million will be cut from the M.F.C., as well as the loss of 75 jobs. The seven districts that make up the M.F.C. will be turned into four larger districts. Forestry is a vital part to Mississippi’s economy, accounting for almost $13 billion dollars each year. Despite these cuts, Bryant is still confident that M.F.C. will be able to continue with the same efficiency. “We’ll get back in the woods; we’ll continue our harvesting. We have some amazing saw mills, plywood plants, that are here in Mississippi. Not only getting the trees out of the woods but that value add and processing and export is what we’re looking at just now,” said Bryant.

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National Greening Program nurseries: Not a waste of money

By Nonito M. Tamayo – director, Forest Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources
The Inquirer
June 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…Purchase of mechanical seeders—a waste? In any reforestation program, there is a need to establish a central nursery to supply the activity’s seedling requirements. Since the NGP is considered the most ambitious and largest reforestation program of the government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources introduced advanced technology to facilitate seedling production. To this end, the DENR purchased 11 (not 12) sets of mechanical seeders (MS) and double-rail irrigation booms from Urbinati Nursery Technology of Italy at a cost of P7.2 million per set. 

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Forest Fires

Lightning-Caused Fires on the Rise in the World’s Largest Forest

By Laura Parker
National Geographic
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, United States

As fire season reaches for its annual summer turning point, the role lightning plays as the culprit in setting fires shows a worrisome trend. That’s not good news for the boreal forest, the world’s largest forest habitat, where virtually all wildfires are ignited by lightning. Since 1975, the number of fires ignited by lightning has increased between two and five percent, driven by an increase in volatile thunderstorm weather, according to a new NASA study published Monday in Nature Climate Change. In two of the last three years, immense fires in Alaska and Canada’s Northwest Territories provided a good case study, says Sander Veraverbeke, the study’s lead author and an Earth scientist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Some 82 percent of area that burned in the Northwest Territories in 2014 originated from lightning. The figure is even higher—95 percent—for the burned area in Alaska in 2015. 

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Progress Made on Cariboo Wildfires

By Greg Fry
250 News
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Williams Lake, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Service says firefighters have made progress on two fires of note burning in the Cariboo. “The fire 40 kilometres southwest of Lac La Hache is still being held,” says fire information officer Natasha Broznitsky. “The suppression action taken on the fire is sufficient in that it’s not likely to spread beyond the existing boundaries under the prevailing forecasted conditions.” As a result, she says the 36-hectare fire – which was sparked by lightning Friday – is no longer being classified as “out of control.” “No, this fire has been downgraded from out of control to being held so good news there. It did not threaten public safety or homes at any time. It did start in close proximity to provincial transmission lines but authorities were notified and there’s been no change in the fire’s proximity to those lines.”

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Firefighters still working wildfire near Port Alberni

By Dean Stoltz
CHEK News
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

After a hot weekend across Vancouver Island temperatures were more comfortable Monday but under sunny skies the forests were continuing to dry to out. “For July and August we’re going to start heating up,” said Fire Information Officer Marg Drysdale. “We may have some rain though that period but temperatures are going to be above normal so people do have to be cautious.” There have been 21 fires in the Coastal Fire Centre area so far this season and while that’s only half the normal number due to a wet spring, all of them have been human caused. That includes a 15-hectare blaze in a cut block south of Port Alberni that broke out on Saturday. Firefighters worked on the ground all day Monday to keep it from growing and officials say the exact cause is still being investigated. “We are watching human behaviour. It definitely makes a difference how many fire starts we do get,” Drysdale said.

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Lightning sparks blazes at Big White Ski Resort

The Kelowna Daily Courier
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lightning strikes from a passing storm sparked fires in the alpine at Big White Ski Resort on Monday afternoon. Natalia Jastrzab, the resort’s communications manager, said in a release that the Big White Fire Department received several calls reporting smoke in the areas around Tower 5 of the Alpine T-Bar and in Happy Valley, near the Big White Tube Park. “Big White’s fire chief, Jamie Svendsen, and head patroller Kris Hawryluik headed up the mountain in a Side X Side (small four-wheel-drive off-road vehicle) to get up to the alpine,” Jastrzab said.

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Fire destroys cut wood north of Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay News Watch
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — Fire has destroyed a quantity of cut wood at a timber harvesting operation 75 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry believes the blaze in the MNRF’s Nipigon District was sparked by a lightning strike on Friday evening. Ministry fire ranger crews worked with a heavy equipment operator to separate burning logs from the rest of the cut wood. Firefighters aided by Dorion and Hurkett volunteer firefighters also put out hot spots in the cutover area and attacked the flames along an access road.

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Large fire burning at Lyons lumber company

KATU
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LYONS, Ore. — A large fire is burning at Freres Lumber Co.’s Plant 4 Monday evening, the company says in a Facebook post. The company says the fire is not yet under control. Everyone got out safely and no one was injured, the company says. “Freres Lumber is extremely grateful to the local fire departments that are working on putting out this fire,” the company said. ODOT says the fire caused officials to close OR 226 in Lyons. The closure was between mileposts 22.33 and 25.44. The road re-opened at 9 p.m.

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Lightning fires good practice for what’s ahead

By Greg Stiles
Mail Tribune
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A second straight early-season lightning storm skirted the Rogue Valley on Monday as wildland firefighting crews prepped for nature’s opening salvos on this summer’s wildfire season. Hundreds of ground strikes logged Sunday by the National Weather Service in Jackson and Josephine counties were supposed to be followed Monday by another aerial light show, but that storm skirted largely to the east, authorities said. Thunderheads and their threatening strikes coming out of the southeast into Southern Oregon are common sights in late August, but not in late June, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. “It’s very early,” ODF spokeswoman Melissa Cano said. “It’s a good chance to knock off the cobwebs or any rust our seasonal firefighters may have had. “It always takes a fire or two to get that muscle-memory back,” Cano said.

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Utah politician blames ‘tree-huggers’ for Brian Head Fire

By Andrew V. Pestano
UPI
June 27, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

An environmental group rejected comments by a Utah politician who blamed “tree-huggers” and “rock-lickers” for the destructiveness of the Brian Head Fire in southwest Utah, which has grown to 46,000 acres. Utah State Rep. Michael Noel on Monday said environmentalists would rather see the Dixie National Forest burn down than to see logging occur in the state. “When we turned the Forest Service over to the bird and bunny lovers and the tree-huggers and the rock-lickers, we turned our history over,” Noel said in a press conference. “We’re going to lose our watershed and we’re going to lose our soils and we’re going to lose our wildlife and were going to lose our scenery — the very things you people wanted to protect. It’s just plain stupidity.” Noel said environmentalists have stopped the logging of trees killed by bark beetles. He said the dead trees are the fuel needed for a devastating fire to spread.

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Southern Utah wildfire grows, crews make slight gains Newburgh Gazette

By Dwayne Harmon
Newburgh Gazette
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


In the past two months, Arizona has had more than a dozen large wildfires. It authorizes $200,000 of emergency funds and requests that the State Emergency Council, made up of state and legislative officials, provide the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management additional resources as needed. . …Crews working in rugged terrain during a punishing heat wave are having a tough time building containment of a wildfire that’s burned almost 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometers) in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles. Fire conditions are preventing telescope operators from examining the inside of the building. Authorities said the fire is only 5 percent contained, down from the previous 15 percent.

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Lightning sparks several fires in Willamette National Forest

KVAL
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Lightning Sunday night resulted in approximately 12 fires in the Willamette National Forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Forest Service officials say crews are staffing nearly all of the remaining fires. The few that aren’t staffed are in cliffs. Firefighters are looking for the safest way to access them. “We had over a 100 lightning strikes last night and more are possible today. Fortunately, conditions are still relatively wet. We are flying over the forest to identify any more fires and assess conditions. We will be vigilant and keep the public informed,” stated Holly Jewkes, deputy forest supervisor. Officials say the fires range in size from a single tree to two fires that measure two to three acres. They say none of the fires threaten communities or roads.

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Crews battle heat, rising winds as Brian Head Fire nears 44,000 acres

By Bob Mims
The Salt Lake Tribune
June 26, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Sizzling hot, windy weather had crews sweltering and scrambling Monday as they tried to capitalize on hard-won weekend progress against southern Utah’s still-out-of-control Brian Head Fire. More than 1,400 firefighters opened a second week of battle against the human-caused blaze near the Iron County ski resort, which at 46,000 acres remained the largest active wildfire in the nation. Crews estimated 10 percent containment; the fire is not expected to be fully hemmed in until July 15. …At a Monday news conference, southern Utah politicians blamed the fire’s exponential growth on bark beetles and “tree-hugger” environmentalist groups who, they say, prevented the state from logging trees killed by bark beetles. The groups responded that climate change, excluding fire from the landscape and other factors are culprits for the destructive blaze.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Chatham wood pellet resolution omitted wood pellets

By Mary Landers
Savannah Morning News
June 26, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The Chatham County Commission passed a resolution Friday meant to be about wood pellets — a biofuel exported in huge quantities from Savannah — but it wasn’t the firm stand on the issue that either its sponsor or the advocacy group behind it thought they were getting. Originally aimed at banning the use of county taxpayer funds to subsidize the industrial wood pellet industry, the resolution instead only supported “policies that promote forest conservation.” …The resolution’s sponsor, Commissioner James Holmes, and the environmental advocate who brought it to him, Vicki Weeks of the Dogwood Alliance, didn’t realize until Monday that the language of the resolution had been changed last week, with the meat of the resolution omitted. Both attended Friday’s meeting at which the resolution passed unanimously without debate.

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