Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 4, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Canadians and Americans celebrate birthdays; spar on softwood

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 4, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

July 1st and 4th are special days in Canada and the US, respectively. Canadians celebrate the enactment of the Constitution Act of 1867 which united the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick; while Americans mark the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which separated the 13 American colonies from British rule.

Notwithstanding the festivities and their history of trade, Globe and Mail columnist Barrie McKenna says that “Canada and the United States can’t yet see the forest for the trees on the never-ending softwood dispute”, the Alberta industry says it’s “fundamentally opposed and prepared to fight”, and the BC premier-designate is heading to Washington “to advocate for the province.” South of the border, US Senator and former SNL comedian Al Franken called the additional trade penalties “good news for Minnesota”, while the National Association of Home Builders explains how the “lumber tariffs add to the current housing shortage”.

New forest fires are reported near Whistler and Harrison Hot Springs in BC, Muskrat Falls in Labrador and Zortman in Montana. The Brian Head Fire in Utah has grown into the largest in the US, burning more than 100 square miles. 
In company news, Domtar is grieving the loss of one of its employees after a “heavy equipment accident at the Kamloops pulp mill,” while having to “defend itself [yet again] from criticism that it isn’t cooperating on possible mercury contamination near its Dryden mill site”.

Finally, a new analysis shows that frog populations exploded after an extinction event 66 million years ago contradicting earlier evidence suggesting a much more ancient origin for many key frog groups. 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Frog evolution linked to dinosaur asteroid strike

BBC Science and Environment
July 3, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A new analysis shows that frog populations exploded after the extinction event 66 million years ago. It would appear to contradict earlier evidence suggesting a much more ancient origin for many key frog groups. The work by a US-Chinese team of researchers is outlined in the journal PNAS. Frogs became one of the most diverse groups of vertebrates, with more than 6,700 described species. But a lack of genetic data has hampered efforts to trace their evolutionary history. The new study shows that three major lineages of modern frogs – which together comprise about 88% of living frog species – appeared almost simultaneously.

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Business & Politics

CETA, NAFTA, softwood and beyond – So little time, so much for Canada to do on the trade front

By Barry McKenna
The Globe and Mail
July 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Maybe it’s the cloud of geopolitical uncertainty hanging over the world. Or the lingering economic unease at home. Perhaps it’s all the rain. But the buzz surrounding Canada’s 150th birthday bash pales in comparison with the national euphoria that marked the celebration of the first 100 in 1967. And now a symbolic milestone that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hoped would coincide with the big anniversary has been quietly put off. Implementation of the free-trade deal with the European Union did not happen as planned on Canada Day, bogged down by European angst that Canada may backtrack on key concessions on cheese imports and drug patents. The two sides recently resumed discussions to get the deal – already a decade in the making – over the finish line.

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Global timber and wood products market update from Wood Resources International LLC

American Journal of Transportation
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

“Volatile” could best describe many of the North American regional market conditions in the first quarter of 2017! The volatility came in many different areas; adverse weather events, operation breakdowns, plant explosions, and idling, as well as uncertainties over looming trade policy decisions, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR). Wood flows across Canada and the U.S. northern tier of states as well as through the Pacific Northwest were impacted by weather–either too much snow (leading to transportation difficulties), or mild temperatures followed by early breakup.

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National Associations of Home Builders: Here’s how the Canadian lumber tariffs add to the current housing shortage

By Brenda Swanson
HousingWire
July 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The looming Canadian lumber tariffs do little to solve the actual lumber problem in America, mostly putting homebuilders and homebuyers at a greater loss, the National Associations of Home Builders explained after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced another tariff this week. To NAHB, the potential 30% jump in Canadian softwood lumber would jeopardize affordable housing in America. Softwood lumber is made from trees that have cones, such as spruce, pine and fir. It’s primarily used in home construction, and the U.S. is also Canada’s biggest export market. In a follow-up interview with HousingWire, the association explained, “NAHB and its members depend on a steady, affordable supply of quality lumber to build homes.” The best way to accomplish this is a speedy and sustainable softwood lumber agreement, which to NAHB, the new tariffs don’t do.

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New round of U.S. softwood lumber duties

By Jeremy Appel
Whitecourt Star
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s lumber industry and government, as well as their federal counterparts, are getting ready to take on the U.S. in international tribunals after the Americans imposed a second round of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber on June 26. …Brock Mulligan, spokesman for the Alberta Forest Products Association and Softwood Lumber Trade Council, said that although the new round of duties are troubling, now is not the time to panic. “It’s definitely going to be a further barrier to competitiveness, which in our largest export market is worrisome for sure. We’re going to have to see what the impact of the tariffs is through a full market cycle,” he cautioned. “We’re fundamentally opposed and we’re going to fight them,” Mulligan said.

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Jaffray lumber mill lays off workers in the face of softwood lumber bills

By Ezra Black
The Free Press
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A local forestry company is cutting production as the United States prepares to charge additional duties on softwood lumber exports. “Half of our operation is shut down right now and we’ve got about eight guys laid off,” said Jay Nelson, who is in charge of purchasing and personnel at Galloway Lumber Company. “It’s an incredible hit to a company our size.” Galloway, which has less than 50 employees, has shut down its planing mill that takes cut boards and turns them into finished dimensional lumber. Their sawmill is working at well below capacity.

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Employee dies after industrial accident at Domtar’s Kamloops mill

By Ashley Legassic
Infotel News
June 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – A Domtar employee is dead and another is injured after a heavy equipment accident at the Kamloops pulp mill. Domtar’s manager of regional public affairs, Craig Timm, said in a statement today, June 30, that the incident happened around 3 p.m. yesterday. Two employees were injured in an accident with heavy equipment at the plant. Timm said the mill emergency response team responded to the incident and other emergency services were called to the scene. Both employees were taken to Royal Inland Hospital by ambulance, where one employee died and the second employee has been treated and is under observation.

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Face to face meetings and international trade disputes

Column by Kick Cannings MP
The Nelson Daily
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last Monday I travelled to Washington, DC with Tracey Ramsey, the NDP critic for International Trade. I was there in my role as NDP critic for Natural Resources, and we were both there to talk about softwood lumber with senators, congressmen and their staff. …Our visit happened to coincide with the announcement of a second round of duties placed on exports of Canadian softwood lumber. …The conversations on Capitol Hill were interesting on a number of levels. Many politicians and staffers appeared unaware of the long and tortured history of the five softwood lumber disputes dating back to 1982. Many didn’t know that Canada had won repeated appeals of American duties, four times at the World Trade Organization, and ten times at various NAFTA dispute resolution panels.

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An inside look at how Koch Industries does business

By Christopher Leonard
Washington Post
July 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Charles and David Koch are best known for their controversial political empire, where they ply their combined personal fortunes of nearly $96 billion into conservative causes and candidates across the nation. They’re less known for the business empire that’s enabled that wealth: Koch Industries. …A year-long look into Koch Industries’ $21 billion purchase of wood and paper giant Georgia-Pacific, involving interviews with Georgia-Pacific employees from the factory floor to the executive suite, offers a rare view into how the brothers run their businesses. …Charles Koch, who did not comment for this story, has implemented deep changes at Georgia-Pacific. Most of them exploit one of Koch’s key advantages: The company is privately held, with essentially only two shareholders: the brothers. This gives the firm flexibility to operate in a way that makes it more nimble than many publicly traded firms. 

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Ex-assemblyman Gordon to head California Forestry Association

By Dave Boyce
The Almanac Online
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Rich Gordon, a former member of the state Assembly and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, has dropped plans to run for another elective office, a seat on a state tax board. Mr. Gordon said he has accepted an offer to be president and chief executive of the California Forestry Association, a post he will take on July 17. He’ll be leaving the government-relations position he’s had since January with Caminar for Mental Health in San Mateo, he said in an interview. As the forestry association’s chief executive, Mr. Gordon will work four days a week in Sacramento and telecommute on the fifth. He will retain his home in Menlo Oaks, he said.

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Crackdown on Canadian lumber good news

By Laurel Beager
International Falls Journal
June 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Additional trade penalties on Canadian softwood lumber imports are good news, say state and federal officials. U.S. Sen. Al Franken called the action Tuesday by the United States Department of Commerce another victory for Minnesota timber workers and their families. For the past year, Franken has pressed the federal government for action on Canadian lumber, which he says will help improve the demand for Minnesota-sourced timber. Minnesota Rep. Rob Ecklund and Wayne Brandt, executive vice president of the Minnesota Forest Industries, said they think the penalties will open talks for a new agreement between the two countries on softwood imports. …“I’ve heard from lumber producers and sawmills across Minnesota that are struggling to get by after being forced to grapple with an influx of unfairly priced foreign imports,” said Franken.

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Victoria government to buy Heyfield timber mill

By Pia Akerman
The Australian
July 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Victorian government has intervened to stop a further 250 jobs leaving the Latrobe Valley, reaching an in-principle agreement to buy the country’s largest hardwood timber mill. Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford today confirmed an agreement had been reached with Australian Sustainable Hardwoods to buy the Heyfield mill, just two weeks after the company said the government’s offer was unacceptably low. ASH announced earlier this year that it had no option but to shut down because its timber allocation from state logger VicForests was too low to support sustainable operation. The company blamed the government for failing to review environmental controls on the Leadbeater’s possum that ruled out extensive tracts of commercial forestry zones from logging.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

After being destroyed in a fire, Canadian-firm Patkau Architects rebuilds the Temple of Light

By Mackenzie Goldberg
Archinect
July 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Construction is nearing completion on the Temple of Light at the Yasodhara Ashram in British Columbia, Canada. Located near Crawford Bay and a visible landmark from Kootenay Lake, the temple was the vision of Swami Radha, a pioneer in the North American yoga movement who completed the original center in 1992. …The Temple of Light employs a unique system that was developed through design research at Patkau Architects. The structure is primarily wood and almost entirely prefabricated off site in modular units. While the surfaces of the building curve continuously along multiple axes, their constituent parts are built of straight engineered timber. The design minimizes complex joinery, and yet the assembly is a highly sophisticated combination of CNC milling and hand craftsmanship, executed by Spearhead Timberworks. The dome-like volume is a combination of a ribbed vault and an integral shell, with the prefabricated wooden modules working together like stones in and arch.

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Huge development to bring 14-story high-rise to downtown Tacoma

By Kate Martin
The News Tribune
July 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A 14-story high-rise could be the centerpiece of a roughly $60 million development proposed along two blocks in Tacoma’s Brewery District. …While the 14-story tower would use cross-laminated timber for each floor, reports that it would use the wood product for its entire superstructure are incorrect, Spurlock said. “It will have a continuous steel structure all the way up, with wood floors,” he said Wednesday. …“The high-rise will be the one that raises the most questions and be the most complicated” among city planners, Sullivan said, because cross-laminated timber is such a new product. The complex would take years to build, and Sullivan said the builder could incorporate more cross-laminated timber to buildings as regulators gain more familiarity with the product.

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Grant to find solution to hazardous treated timber waste

By the New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
July 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International


Grant to investigate solution to hazardous treated timber waste Scion is to investigate the feasibility of remediating treated timber with government funding of $163,000, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today. Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a preservative for timber that has been commonly used in New Zealand since the 1950s. However, CCA-treated timber becomes a hazardous waste material when sent to landfill, that can leach arsenic into the ground. “To date, there have been no practical remediation options available to this problem, so I am delighted that Scion believes they may have one and that I am able to support them in testing its feasibility,” Mr Simpson says. “This study could provide New Zealand with an opportunity to divert CCA-treated timber from landfills and offer an environmentally friendly solution reusing both the wood fibre and the extracted metals.”

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Plans for engineered timber fire station show material is not a safety risk

By Willow Aliento
The Fifth Estate
July 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

If you needed proof that timber buildings could provide comparable fire safety to typical construction, look no further than Maryborough in Queensland, which is set to break new ground in the use of engineered timber for an overhaul of its 1950s heritage fire station. The project involves some of the leading innovators in the space, including Hyne Timber, XLam, Hutchinson Builders, Baber Studio and the University of Queensland’s Centre for Future Timber Structures (CFTS). …Dr Cristian Maluk, lecturer of structural fire safety engineering at UQ, said mass timber construction could have the same or better reaction to fire as concrete and steel constructions. This is why its use for the Maryborough Fire Station and Emergency Response Centre is supported. “Design solutions including engineered timber products have demonstrated to be fire safe and viable,” Dr Maluk said. “The market for timber buildings is expected to imminently grow following the fire safety engineering developments used for the design of timber structures.”

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Forestry

Northwest Alberta councillors worry province’s caribou plan will hurt forestry industry

By Scott Leitch
Edmonton Journal
July 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Councillors in six northwestern Alberta municipalities are worried a “cookie-cutter” solution to dwindling caribou populations would cause a serious drag on the local forestry industry. Each province and territory is required to develop caribou range plans by October, which the federal government will then adopt or reject. The plans are to help the threatened species’ low populations recover. Preliminary plans from the provincial government set aside 1.8 million hectares for permanent protection in Alberta’s northwest corner. After learning of the plan in 2016, councillors from six northwestern municipalities formed the Northwest Species at Risk Committee to develop an alternative plan which doesn’t involve permanently protected areas.

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A trial by imaginary fire for women who want to fight real wildland flames

By Louis Sahagun
Los Angeles Times
July 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The veteran wildland firefighter holds up a stopwatch, his thumb on the button. “Everyone ready?” he asks. For four of the competitors lined up in the scrubby terrain near Hansen Dam, it will soon become apparent that they should have answered, “No.” Fifty-four candidates filed applications to participate in the U.S. Forest Service’s Women in Wildland Fire Basic Training Camp — the first to be held in Southern California’s Angeles National Forest. Now it’s down to 10. Women have fought wildfires in the U.S. for decades. But a wide gender gap remains, with women holding about 13% of the permanent wildfire-suppression jobs in the Forest Service.

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Midcoast Conservancy gets $400,000 grant to buy 1,000-acre nature center

By Jason Pafundi
Press Herald
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson operates on private land its parent organization leases from the land’s owner, but that’s about to change. The Midcoast Conservancy recently was awarded a $400,000 grant it will use toward the purchase of the center’s 1,000 acres in Jefferson. A spokeswoman for the organization didn’t respond to a request for comment. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, which provides grants to local governments, tribes and qualified nonprofits to establish community forests that will provide economic and environmental benefits as well as education, stewardship and recreation opportunities.

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Thinking big: In the Valley of the Giants, tall trees reign supreme

By Bennett Hall
Corvallis Gazette-Times
July 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Here in the Valley of the Giants, a protected pocket of public land about 30 miles west of Salem, there is an unusual concentration of massive old growth conifers. But somewhere on that mist-shrouded hillside, Hopkins believes, may be the biggest of them all. “There are some big ones out here,” said Hopkins, a biologist with the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that oversees the area. “Most of the biggest ones are right around 280 feet, but there may be a 300-footer out here.” …Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this isolated grove is the simple fact of its survival in the midst of an industrial logging zone. Viewed from above, it appears as a small island of primeval forest in a sea of clearcuts and second-growth timber plantations.

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Lawsuits coming over plan to remove Yellowstone grizzles from endangered list

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Arguing that politics shouldn’t overrule science, two coalitions of environmental groups and an Indian tribe announced plans on Friday to sue the federal government over delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The U.S. Interior Department published its final rule removing Endangered Species Act protections from Yellowstone grizzlies on Friday. The same day, grizzly protection advocates filed two separate 60-day notices of intent to sue over the delisting. The notices make it highly likely the bears’ fate will return to court before state wildlife managers in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming get an opportunity to open grizzly hunting seasons. Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso represents the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe, Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association and the Sierra Club on the first intent-to-sue notice filed on Friday.

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Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest spraying for bark beetles

ABC FOX MT
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service will be applying insecticides in recreation sites throughout the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest over the next several weeks. Current mountain pine beetle activity has heavily affected many areas throughout southwest Montana and has already impacted some individual trees within popular recreation areas. …“Spraying will begin in early July with individual tree treatments in those places we know a large majority of forest visitors and users will be this summer – campgrounds, day-use areas, and trailheads,” commented Silviculturist Anton “Campground users will notice packets stapled to trees… To be effective, we must spray the live trees before the beetles fly again and bore into and, subsequently, lay their eggs in the new-found trees.”

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Oregon Lawmakers Want $100M To Protect Part Of Elliott State Forest Jefferson Public Radio

By Anna Griffin
Jefferson Public Radio
July 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon state lawmakers want to use $100 million in state bonds to help keep the Elliott State Forest in public hands. Oregon legislators released their list Monday of projects to bond in the next two years. Money for the Elliott State Forest is the most controversial item. The 82,500-acre Southern Oregon forest is supposed to be used to raise money for education, but revenue from timber harvests has dropped in recent years. State leaders had planned to sell the forest to a private timber company and a partnering Native-American tribe. But environmentalists objected. In May, Gov. Kate Brown, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and Treasurer Tobias Read voted as the State Land Board to stop the sale and instead pursue other ideas for keeping the forest public.

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Resilient Federal Forests Act reintroduced with wide support

By John Lovett
Van Buren Press Argus-Courier
July 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Testimony in May to the House Committee on Natural Resources stated there are more trees dying in Colorado and California than trees growing. U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas says this is a result of decades of forest management abandonment on federal lands in western states. In contrast, the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas has shown an increase in biodiversity. “They’re using timber management and continue to grow more than they’re using,” Westerman said of those in the Ouachita National Forest. With biodiversity and geography in mind, Westerman explained the bill provides a framework for “all stakeholders” to come together and create a forest management plan for various geographies. “This is not about clear cutting,” Westerman said of allowing salvaging of “snags” left behind in a disastrous wildfire.

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Timbering near Copperhill needs extra attention

By Pam Sohn
Chattanooga Times Free Press
July 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Now, a proposed logging plan called the Dinkey sale project in the Cherokee National Forest in Polk County, Tenn., has conservationists worried once more about the upper waters of Tumbling Creek, a sparkling trout stream that winds through hemlocks and beech trees about 10 miles east of the old mining site and the town of Copperhill. Well over 1,000 acres of regrown forest would be cut — some clear-cut, some cut to leave just five or six trees per acre. There also would be at least 700 acres of prescribed burns. Much of the area in question is on steep slopes and sensitive soils. If past Cherokee National Forest logging history in the Copperhill region is any indication, regrowth would be iffy, and severe erosion would be a good bet.

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Kodama leaving as head of Forestry Commission

The Times and Democrat
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

COLUMBIA — South Carolina State Forester Gene Kodama announced that he will be “departing” the Forestry Commission in January 2018. He is only the 10th state forester since the agency’s inception in 1927, serving the third-longest tenure of his predecessors. “I am not using the word ‘retire’ because I plan to continue to work, but in a different setting that could be in either the public or private sector,” Kodama said in a statement. “This has been an extremely difficult decision to make because my almost 10 years of working with the commission and all its partners in the forest products industry, the General Assembly and the natural resources community has been a fantastic, rewarding experience.”

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Mandated education efforts dwindle, but DNR says they are priority

By Steven Verburg
Wisconsin State Journal
July 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The political pressure and budget cuts that dismantled the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources science research bureau are also taking a toll on the agency’s ability to engage the public in conservation. Under Gov. Scott Walker, the DNR has reduced environmental education efforts despite state law and department regulations mandating an active effort to ensure that citizens understand natural resources topics. “It just seems like they are getting out of the business of educating people about our natural resources, which seems strange to us,” said Betsy Parker, of the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education, a nonprofit whose 400 members work in parks and outdoors centers.

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The black forest and climate change

By University of Freiburg
Phys.Org
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As the climate change progresses, droughts are expected to become more and more common and more intense in Europe, as in many parts of the globe. However, many plants are not able to handle this kind of climate. This includes the Norway spruce, which is Germany’s most important commercial tree species and accounts for the majority of trees in the Black Forest. Valentia Vitali and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus from the Chair of Silviculture at the University of Freiburg are thus studying other types of needle-leaved conifers to find alternatives. Conifers play a far greater role in commercial forestry and climate protection than broad-leaved trees.

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Europe’s contribution to deforestation set to rise despite pledge to halt it

By Arthur Neslen
The Guardian
June 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Europe’s contribution to global deforestation may rise by more than a quarter by 2030, despite a pledge to halt such practices by the end of this decade, according to a leaked draft EU analysis. An estimated 13m hectares (Mha) of the world’s forestland is lost each year, a figure projected to spiral in the next 30 years with the Amazon, Greater Mekong and Borneo bearing the brunt of tree clearances. But despite signing several international pledges to end deforestation by this decade’s end, more than 5Mha of extra forest land will be needed annually by 2030 to meet EU demand for agricultural products, a draft EU feasibility study predicts.

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Forest Fires

Back to the bush: Veteran B.C. firefighter values being ‘a better asset out in the field’

By Gordon McIntyre
The Vancouver Sun
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfire season is around the corner, and Gord Shaw has seen his share of them. Shaw started fighting forest fires in 1981 in the Interior’s Mackenzie region, where he still battles blazes today. “I was awaiting a job working on Williston Lake on tugs, moving logs,” the 60-year-old said. “Suddenly, they needed emergency firefighters.” He’d deliver gear to the site, drop it off, return for another load. Over the years he’s performed lots of duties, including some brief office work in another ministry. He was dealing with expense items such as food vouchers, medical payments and the like for the department responsible for children, family and housing.

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Reckless disregard for fire safety in B.C.’s backcountry an ongoing problem

By Patrick Johnston
Vancouver Sun
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Spotting the messy aftermath of campfires and fireworks in the backcountry should give anyone pause. …Rene Lemckert is an avid backcountry user. A week ago on a ride up the Harrison East Forest Service Road, he came across a chilling site: a pile of recently used fireworks, casually tossed on the side of the road. Below, a steep cliff, with trees below. …Marg Drysdale from the B.C. Wildfire Service’s Coastal Fire Centre said the risk of fires starting from fireworks — which are currently prohibited — or careless camp fires was anticipated ahead of the Canada Day long weekend. …Lemckert is blunt about the recklessness he sees: “there’s an old saying, ‘you can’t fix stupid.’” 

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Fire near Harrison Hot Springs, BC, triples in size overnight

By Matt Meuse
CBC
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters in B.C. are working to contain an out-of-control, human-caused forest fire near Harrison Lake that tripled in size overnight. The fire was first reported Saturday afternoon. By the evening, it was 20 hectares in size and had grown to 60 hectares by Sunday morning. B.C. Wildfire Services issued a notice-to-leave order for the area Sunday afternoon to clear people out. The order does not affect residences or businesses.

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Wildfire burning at base of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler

By Cheryl Chan
Victoria Times Colonist
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters are battling a fire at the base of Blackcomb Mountain near Whistler Village. The Resort Municipality of Whistler said the ground fire was ignited around 5:30 p.m. Sunday above Painted Cliff Road in the Blackcomb Benchlands area. No homes or structures are affected. More than 50 firefighters from Whistler Fire Rescue Service, Whistler Blackcomb, and the B.C. Wildfire Branch are responding, with at least five aircraft dropping water and fire retardant on the fire. The B.C. Wildfire Branch has sent 19 firefighters, two helicopters and air tankers to fight the blaze, said fire information officer Marg Drysdale.

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400-acre wildfire burning in Phillips County within a mile of town of Zortman

By Mike Kordenbrock
The Billings Gazette
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A 400-acre timber fire is burning along a ridge to the southwest of the town of Zortman in Phillips County, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Named the July Fire, the blaze was was within a mile of the town, according to BLM spokesman Johnathan Moor. In a press release, Moor said that no mandatory evacuations had been ordered. No containment of the fire had been reached “at this early phase of initial attack,” according to the release. Speaking at about 9 p.m., Moor said winds and terrain were currently carrying the fire away from the town, which he estimated to have a population of about 70. He said the fire began at around 4:30 p.m. and its cause is still under investigation. The fire had yet to destroy any structures by nightfall and was burning mixed timber along a ridge in the Little Rocky Mountains.

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Brian Head Fire burns northward

By David DeMille
St. George Daily Spectrum
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Fire officials reported continued progress Monday in efforts to halt the Brian Head Fire, which again pushed northward in the mountains between Cedar City and Panguitch. Crews said the wildfire, which has grown into the largest in the U.S., was actively moving through pockets of dense timber and felled trees in the area of Little Creek Peak, a 10,000-foot mountain about 30 miles northeast of Cedar City near the border between Iron and Garfield counties. As of Monday morning, the fire had burned more than 100 square miles. A small army of firefighters was working to contain the blaze, with 1,789 total personnel on hand, along with 13 helicopters, 83 engines and 49 different crews. “Similar conditions are expected today for this area and may result in smoke columns,” according to the morning incident report, pointing to continued dry July heat and expectations that the fire could continue to move to the north.

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Noel is off-base blaming big fire on ‘bunny lovers’

By the Editorial Board
Salt Lake Tribune
June 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Whenever something big and bad happens, it is just human nature that we search for something big and bad to blame. …That paranoia was given voice the other day when a member of the Utah Legislature, whose political bread and butter is blaming outsiders for everything bad, started spouting off about how the Brian Head fire in southwest Utah was the fault of “bunny lovers” and “tree huggers” and federal officials who left the area ripe for such a large blaze. …But, unlike Noel and some other Utah state officials, neither the Forest Service nor independent experts were buying the idea that rooting out the bark beetles’ victims or otherwise going all Paul Bunyan on the landscape would have helped much.

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One Thousand Hectares Burned In Forest Fire in Turkey

Prensa Latina
July 3, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Amid a heat wave that has affected the whole country, a forest fire that broke out near Turkey”s third largest city Izmir has entered its third day, threatening the water flow of the city and its surrounding districts due to the damage it caused in power lines leading to a dam that serves as the city”s main water supply. Eleven helicopters and 4 fire planes are fighting the huge fire in Izmir. Speaking to reporters in Izmir, Ismail Üzmez, head of the General Directorate of Forestry, explaiend that amid a heat wave sweeping across the country, temperatures reached up to 41°C (105.8°F) in Izmir and more than 40°C in western Turkey. As the heat wave and dry weather has increased the risk of forest fires, people in urban areas have also been affected from power and water cuts while trying to cope with temperatures some 10 degrees above seasonal averages.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Dust Safety Week 2017 is a wrap!

By Maria Church
Canadian Biomass
July 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Dust Safety Week 2017 is wrapping up today after five days of coverage on new developments and processes to help sawmills and pellet plants manage combustible dust. Our main stories this week stemmed from the Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s safety conference that took place in Prince George June 13 and 14. WorkSafeBC occupational safety officer Mike Tasker told attendees the wood pellet industry has made rapid progress in safety, moving from one of the worst offenders to one of the best. An article from WPAC executive director Gord Murray urged pellet operators to keep their foot on the gas to improve safety even more. He focused on the importance of process safety management.

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Kimberly-Clark struggles with post-consumer waste as it surpasses carbon goal

Edie
July 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Personal care consumer product manufacturer Kimberly-Clark has surpassed a 2016 emissions goal, and is forging ahead towards a 20% reduction by 2022, as outlined in the company’s latest sustainability report. Released last Friday (30 June), Kimberly-Clark’s latest report details the progress made against key indicators of its Sustainability 2022 strategy, established last year on the back of “aggressive goals” that were surpassed by the firm. The latest report highlights a 16.8% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions against a 2005 baseline. Kimberly-Clark, which is which is responsible for brands such as Kleenex, Andrex and Huggies, had set a 10.7% reduction goal for 2016. “At Kimberly-Clark, our vision is to lead the world in essentials for a better life, and through our commitment to sustainability, we are proud to demonstrate our values through proactive environmental and social programmes in the communities where we live, work and sell our brands,” the company’s chief executive Thomas J. Falk said.

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