Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 19, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

US list of NAFTA demands includes make or break issue for Canada

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 19, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US administration included elimination of the Chapter 19 dispute mechanism—a make-or-break issue in the original 1980s trade talks—in their list of NAFTA demands released yesterday. The US Lumber Coalition, which “applauded the move” believes the panel process of “appointing two US and two Canadian members, with a tie-breaking fifth member chosen by coin-toss” as unfair. [Surprised?] According to Zoltan van Heyningen, it’s “unlike any other mechanism or trade agreement we’re party to because it allows foreign citizens to sit on a panel that makes a binding decision interpreting US law.

Although forest fire triggered evacuations continue to create havoc across BC, about 1,000 Cache Creek residents are “being allowed to return to their homes“. Headlines like “how wildfires could radically change forests — and your life” and “How Europe’s forest fires have more than trebled in 2017” don’t surprise but “Heavy rains slow Wisconsin timber harvest” certainly does.

The Tembec takeover is under threat as two of the largest shareholders oppose deal. “It isn’t quite Game of Thrones level, but we are seeing some drama,” said Paul Quinn of RBC Capital Markets. “Ultimately, Rayonier may increase the offer given the overall strategic appeal.

Finally, “US homebuilding rebounded more than expected in June after declining for three straight months” but homebuilders are still “feeling less optimistic about their sales prospects.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canada Wildfires Prompt Lumber Price Surge, Mine Shutdowns

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Wildfires sweeping across British Columbia, the world’s biggest exporter of softwood lumber, sent timber prices surging and forced the closure of two copper mines in the western Canadian province. …“Forests are getting burnt, so that has a supply impact,” said Paul Quinn, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Vancouver. While the impact on supplies is minimal so far, “the worry is they’ll continue to grow and get bigger,” amid hot, dry conditions, he said. Lumber for September delivery rose by the $10 trading limit to close at $387.30 per 1,000 board feet on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That’s the highest closing price for a most-active futures contract since May 8. …At least seven lumber mills operated by West Fraser Timber Co., Norbord Inc., and Tolko Industries Ltd. have also been affected. Tolko was the latest to announce additional closures, saying in a Facebook post on Saturday that it has shut its Soda Creek and Lakeview mills, adding that “they will not be operational for the foreseeable future.”

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U.S. Lumber Coalition Applauds The Administration’s Objectives To Preserve United States’ Ability To Enforce U.S. Trade Laws and Eliminate NAFTA’s Chapter 19 Dispute Settlement Mechanism

US Lumber Coalition
PR Newswire
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Lumber Coalition today commented on the Trump Administration’s objectives for the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including the recommendation to preserve the ability of the United States to rigorously enforce its trade laws by eliminating NAFTA’s Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism. …”We applaud U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for pushing the removal of the Chapter 19 dispute panel system from NAFTA. “Eliminating Chapter 19 will result in a clearer understanding of and confidence in the likely outcome of trade remedy proceedings, and it becomes easier for all stakeholders to reach a negotiated outcome without first exhausting one another, and their governments, in unnecessarily contentious and lengthy legal disputes. 

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NAFTA fight could rock timber industry

By Rob Chaney
Missoulian
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. lumber producers like a Trump administration move to drop part of the North American Free Trade Agreement’s dispute resolution system they say handcuffs their ability to fight unfair Canadian timber sales. But Canadian timber analysts warn the move could further muddy a wood market already clouded by political maneuvers. “We applaud U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for pushing the removal of the Chapter 19 dispute panel system from NAFTA,” U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesperson Zoltan van Heyningen wrote in an email Tuesday. “The Chapter 19 system is unconstitutional, unworkable in practice, and for decades has seriously undermined the enforcement of U.S. law against unfair trade practices by Canada and Mexico, to the detriment of U.S. industries and workers.” …In contrast, International Woods Market Group President Russ Taylor in Vancouver, British Columbia, argues the stiffening U.S. trade stance will result in higher prices for U.S. homebuyers.

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‘This will not be a short negotiation’: U.S. releases list of demands for NAFTA

The Canadian Press
CTV News
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has released its broad goals for a new North American Free Trade Agreement in mostly vague language that offers just enough specific clues to point to potentially tough negotiations ahead. …It also demands the elimination of the dispute-settlement system that has ruled in favour of Canada on softwood lumber. But it’s unclear how the U.S. would replace Chapter 19 — which, to Canada, was a make-or-break issue in the original 1980s trade talks. Canadian negotiators suspended talks over that dispute-settlement issue. Later, on the final evening of negotiations, with a midnight deadline, then-prime minister Brian Mulroney informed the U.S. there would be no deal — without an international arbitration system. Canadian trade expert Peter Clark concurred: “This will not be a short negotiation.”

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Forest fires torching a province’s economy

By Roslyn Kunin
Troy Media
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver BC – The long-term economic impact of fires burning in British Columbia’s interior will be devastating. The blessing of a warm, sunny summer has turned into a curse as forest fires rage throughout much of the interior British Columbia. Weather forecasters predict ongoing warm, windy weather, so no immediate respite is expected for those trying to contain the fires. …The impact of the fires on the BC economy is huge. All economic activity has ceased in the burning and threatened regions. Workers from other areas – including outside BC – have been diverted from their usual activities to fight fires, as have heavy equipment and aircraft, including helicopters. All this represents lost production. Needless to say, a tourist season that showed great promise is lost. …There’s no thought of construction projects in or around the affected areas. And forestry activity has ceased, as had work at mills and wood processing plants.

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Wildfires sideline a thousand workers in the Cariboo

By Shannon Waters
My Prince George Now
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of the major employers in the Cariboo has now been shut down for more than a week now because of the wildfires in the region. West Fraser took a proactive approach in the areas where they have mills impacted. James Gorman, the Vice President of Corporate and Government Relations, says they wanted to make sure their people and their families were safe. …Gorman says steps have also been taken to try and protect their mills from the wildfires. …“During the course of last week the fire did get within several hundred metres of the mill in 100 Mile House. Fire authorities there have been doing a tremendous job of both protecting community and protecting important assets that employ so many folks in the region. 

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Putting a face to softwood lumber

BC Local News
July 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West


A group of northern B.C. mayors and a regional district chair are starting a campaign to put a face to the challenges faced by the forest products industry and impacted communities. …The idea of starting a campaign was suggested by Bill Miller, chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, during the North Central Local Government Association meeting in Terrace last May. “Bill brought a few of us mayors and regional district chairs together and started a conversation about trying to do something as a region regarding the softwood lumber negotiations,” explained Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall, who has taken the lead on this project. “What we have in mind is to try to put a community face in the softwood lumber negotiations and what the current tariffs and anti-dumping duties mean to our communities and to our industry,” he said.

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B.C. Wildfires Create Short-Term Buying Opportunity for Canfor Corporation

By Chris MacDonald
The Motley Fool
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfires plaguing many parts of B.C. of late have been devastating for those living in its rural communities. …These wildfires have impacted thousands of hectares of land, which has subsequently had an impact on lumber supply and on therefore lumber prices. Lumber prices increased to approximately US$400 per thousand board feet from US$379 on July 7. Estimates are that lumber prices could see additional increases based on the total acreage lost to wildfires over the coming weeks — something that has helped boost the stock prices of forestry companies across B.C. Industry experts expect additional lumber price increases between 6% and 8% in the coming weeks, which are partially attributable to reduced supply linked to these fires. …B.C.-based companies such as Canfor Corporation have risen dramatically since July 7 on the strength of improving lumber prices. Canfor’s share price increased more than 7% over the past week alone. 

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Premier John Horgan, NDP cabinet get down to work

By Ragnar Haagen
Surrey Now Leader
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan heads into his first cabinet meeting Wednesday with top priorities of moving ahead with elimination of bridge tolls in Metro Vancouver and increasing income assistance rates by $100 a month. At a news conference at Government House Tuesday after being sworn in along with a 22-member NDP cabinet, Horgan said he must then prepare for a visit to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa and then a trip to Washington D.C. The U.S. visit is to make good on a campaign pledge to personally assist in negotiations for a new softwood lumber trade agreement. In a speech to supporters in a packed ballroom at Government House, Horgan repeatedly referred to the situation facing B.C. residents either evacuated or on alert to get out of the way of forest fires. He said he wants to get to work immediately “so the people in the Interior don’t have to go home to a burned-out community with no jobs.”

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Port Hawkesbury Paper lays off workers as it holds one-week shutdown

By Nancy King
Cape Breton Post
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


POINT TUPPER, N.S. — Most employees at Port Hawkesbury Paper have received one-week layoffs as the mill conducts a market-related shutdown. The layoffs began Sunday, confirmed Archie MacLachlan, first vice-president of Unifor Local 972. He didn’t have a figure for the number of unionized employees affected by the shutdown but said only a skeleton crew remained to maintain the paper machine during the downtime. “When you have a big paper machine like they have here that produces a lot of paper in a short period of time, and I believe that sales might be a little slow right now, this time of year,” MacLachlan said. The mill directly employs almost 350 people. It makes supercalendered paper for the magazine, catalogue and flyer market.

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Tembec takeover under threat after two largest shareholders oppose deal

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press in The Chronicle Journal
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – The takeover of forestry company Tembec could be in jeopardy after the company’s second-largest shareholder said Tuesday it will vote against the US$807-million friendly offer by Rayonier Advanced Materials. Restructuring Capital Associates (RCA), which owns 17.1 per cent of Tembec’s stock, said it will join Oaktree Capital Management in opposing the transaction at a vote July 27. Together, the company’s two largest shareholders control 37 per cent of Tembec  shares. The takeover requires support by a two-thirds majority vote of shareholders. RCA said it supports the proposed merger with Rayonier Advanced Materials. But it added that the Florida company must respond more appropriately to several complaints from Oaktree including that shareholders aren’t receiving a fair price and that Rayonier Advanced Materials can sweeten the offer. Rayonier Advanced Materials dismissed such concerns Monday as “misleading.”

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Tembec takeover in doubt as shareholders voice opposition

By Nicolas Van Praet
The Globe and Mail
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The takeover of Canadian forest products company Tembec Inc. by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Rayonier Advanced Materials has been thrown into doubt as major shareholders of the Montreal firm voice their opposition to the friendly $807-million (U.S.) deal. …Restructuring Capital Associates, another major Tembec shareholder, said Tuesday it is siding with Oaktree. Together, the firms have roughly 37 per cent of Tembec shares. That’s enough to scuttle the friendly takeover as it is currently structured. …In another twist, Oaktree said a highly unusual situation has emerged where a major Tembec investor that backed the deal when it was announced on May 25, Toronto’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, can vote its shares for the transaction despite the fact it has since sold off its roughly 20-per-cent stake. Oaktree says there’s no way these zombie votes should be allowed to decide the outcome for existing shareholders. It is weighing whether to raise the matter with regulators, a source said.

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US housing starts total 1.215M in June, vs 1.16M expected

Reuters
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

U.S. homebuilding rebounded more than expected in June after declining for three straight months, but construction activity remains constrained by rising lumber prices and labor and land shortages. Housing starts jumped 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units, the highest level since February, as both single-family and multi-family construction increased, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. …Economists polled by Reuters had forecast groundbreaking activity rising to a rate of 1.16 million units last month. Homebuilding rose 2.1 percent on a year-on-year basis. Despite the bounceback, homebuilding has lost momentum after strong gains in both the fourth and first quarters. Economists blame the slowdown on supply bottlenecks.

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US homebuilder sentiment declines in July

Associated Press in The Chronicle Journal
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

U.S. homebuilders are feeling less optimistic about their sales prospects, although their overall outlook remains positive. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, released Tuesday, declined to 64 this month. That’s down two points from a downwardly revised reading of 66 in June and the lowest level since November. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has been above 60 since September. The July index fell short of analyst predictions, which called for a reading of 67, according to FactSet.

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Cascades Inaugurates New State-of-the-Art Tissue Converting Plant on the West Coast

By Cascades Inc.   
Canada Newswire
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SCAPPOOSE, OR – Cascades Inc., leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue products, today officially inaugurated its new state-of-the-art, 284,000-square-foot tissue converting facility in Scappoose, Oregon. The grand opening of this US$64 million facility was celebrated by the Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, local dignitaries, members of the community as well as many of Cascades’ partners, customers, suppliers and employees. The new plant is equipped with best-in-class converting lines, high-speed rewinders and folders, and one of the fastest bath lines in the world. The new facility manufactures towel and tissue products under the Cascades PRO™ brand, a leader in the United States and Canadian Away-from-Home markets. 

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Virginia agriculture and forestry industries grow 30 percent in four years

By Evanne Armour
Wavy.com
July 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States


RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia is seeing a major boost in its agriculture and forestry industries. On Tuesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that, combined, the two make up $91 billion in economic impact for the state. “It is a dynamic, growing business here in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he said. The study, which was led by Dr. Terry Rephann of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, found that agriculture accounts for $70 billion and forestry makes up $21 billion. Those numbers are up 30 percent from the most recent study from 2013. Back then, the combined total was $70 billion. The number of jobs has also jumped from 414,700 to 442,200. That means nearly one out of every 10 jobs comes from from agriculture and forestry industries.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Making Wood Work for Timber Town Baseball

By Kerry Eggers
Portland Tribune
July 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West


Lynn Lashbrook has been at it a long time — for more than 20 years, since he moved to Portland from Kansas City in 1996. Lashbrook, founder and president of Sports Management Worldwide, has relentlessly pushed the idea of bringing major league baseball to the City of Roses. …He does have a fresh idea, though, that he believes would provide a ballpark perfectly fitting both for the history and the economy of our state. …Lashbrook went to Tom Walsh with the idea of constructing a ballpark entirely of CLT. …”CLT is a natural outgrowth of what the timber industry has been to the state for many years,” he says. “It’s going to work. It’s revolutionary. I liken it to a product introduced when I was a kid starting in the construction world — which today we call plywood. It emerged in the ’50s, and initially it was laughed at.

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10 of the most ground-breaking uses of plywood in architecture and design

By Alice Morby
Dezeen
July 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

To coincide with the opening of an exhibition dedicated to plywood at London’s V&A museum, we’ve rounded up 10 projects from the Dezeen archives that push the material to its limits. Plywood: Material of the Modern World charts the history of plywood from the 1850s to present day, showcasing examples of how the material has contributed to significant developments in the design industry, from transport to housing and furniture. Objects on show range from planes to skateboards, to now-iconic furniture designs by Ray and Charles Eames, Alvar Aalto and Marcel Breuer, and innovative high-rise housing built with one of the most high-tech forms of plywood – cross-laminated timber.

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Forestry

How wildfires could radically change forests — and your life

By Merritt Turetsky, Associate professor, Integrative biology, University of Guelph
The Conversation
July 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

….Over the past 5,000 years, repeated cycles of burning followed by vegetation recovery have allowed conifer forests to flourish into the great forested biome that today covers much of Canada. But multiple lines of evidence are now telling us a convincing story that boreal fires are changing — they are getting bigger, larger, and more intense, particularly in northwestern Canada. And if this continues, there is a good chance that the next 150 years of wildfire will cause fundamental changes to our iconic northern forests. Conifer trees need fire. Following light or moderate fire activity, trees like black spruce often regenerate immediately. But when northern forests burn too severely, deciduous trees like aspen and birch can outcompete conifers during post-fire succession.

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‘A matter of time’: Kootenay bat count to prepare for white-nose syndrome invasion

By David Bell
CBC News
July 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Canada has so far been free of the devastating white-nose syndrome — responsible for the deaths of millions of bats — but a Parks Canada ecologist says many believe the invasion is imminent. “People expect that it will show up out here,” Anne Forshner told The Homestretch Tuesday. “We do know that it is now in the west in the United States. It was documented in Washington in 2016 and Nebraska in 2017. We don’t know when but we suspect that it’s a matter of time.” She hopes a recent species inventory in Kootenay National Park will help the agency with the latest data if and when the syndrome makes an appearance.

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$90M spent million fighting BC wildfires since April 1

By Katya Slepian
BC Local News in Prince Rupert Northern View
July 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province has spent $90 million on fighting 188,928 hectares of wildfires since April 1. Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said 17 of those fires started on Sunday for a total of 159 currently burning in B.C. Since April 1, there have been 657 wildfires. The total of hectares burned has already exceeded the 10-year provincial season average of 154,000 hectares. With 100,000 hectares burned over the season, 2016 was a ‘slow’ fire season, Skrepnek said, but noted that 2017 has yet to come close to the season highs reached over the past decade. In total, 2015 saw 280,000 hectares burned, 2016 saw 369,000 hectares, 2010 saw 337,000 and 2009 saw 247,000 hectares.

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Project Learning Tree And Sustainable Forestry Initiative Join Forces To Expand Youth Environmental Education Programs

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.   
Canada Newswire
July 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) and the American Forest Foundation (AFF) announced today that SFI has become the new home of Project Learning Tree (PLT). PLT is an award-winning environmental education program that uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase youth understanding of the environment and actions they can take to conserve it. PLT’s integration into SFI provides an opportunity for the program to expand its reach and impact. And SFI’s role as a sustainability leader will be bolstered by PLT’s expertise in education, an increasing focus in SFI’s community engagement work. PLT was previously housed at the American Forest Foundation. PLT has consistently received prestigious awards and recognition from leading educational and community organizations. 

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Why restrict retardant amounts?

Letter by TC Richardson
The Missoulian
July 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Sunday, July 16 Missoulian hid an article under Briefly, “Wildfires: The operators of the Boeing 747 converted from a passenger jet into a firefighting air tanker say it has proven itself battling forest fires.” Who in their right mind would not want as much retardant on a wildfire as possible? It seems that the same mindset that “allows” wildfires to scar our natural resource is now “offering a contract limiting aircraft to 5,000 gallons of fire suppressant and won’t say why,” according to the article. By their actions, the U.S. Forest Service is no longer a firefighting organization, but this article was not on the front page of the Missoulian – a newspaper that prides itself in “local interest”! I believe if President Trump would have been behind this idiotic act, it would have run front-page for three weeks!

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Can Congress Solve Wildfire Funding?

By Tristan Scott
Flathead Beacon
July 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Despite widespread agreement on the seriousness of the fire-funding conundrum, and the immediate need for a solution, some members of Congress have been accused of playing politics by making extreme demands that would limit public involvement in the management of national forests to streamline timber harvests. As another wildfire season begins in earnest across the West, adequately funding wildfire suppression on public lands is at the center of debate, even as a chorus of lawmakers raise concerns about a proposed federal budget by President Donald Trump that cuts critical resources from the Forest Service coffers. …Left unchecked, the share of the budget devoted to fire in 2025 could equate to reductions of nearly $700 million from non-fire programs compared to today’s funding levels. That means that in just 10 years, two out of every three dollars the Forest Service receives from Congress as part of its appropriated budget will be spent on fire programs.

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Forest Service history museum opens in Missoula

By the National Museum of Forest Service History
NBC Montana
July 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont. – A new museum honoring Forest Service history is opening Thursday just west of Missoula. …The Museum, a nonprofit wholly separate from the U.S. Forest Service, is the only museum in the country devoted to telling the conservation story of the United States. The Forest Service has been, and is, the cornerstone of that story, which began more than 100 years ago when President Teddy Roosevelt created the agency and appointed the first chief, Gifford Pinchot. The story is an array of successes and challenges, from clear-cutting to the spotted owl to restoration of streams and forests. The Lolo, Bitterroot, Kootenai, Custer Gallatin, Helena-Lewis and Clark, Flathead, and Beaverhead are all part of this rich forest history, part of the reason Missoula was chosen as the site.

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Heavy rains slow Wisconsin timber harvest

Associated Press in WNMU-FM Public Radio
July 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MADISON, WI — Wisconsin’s logging industry is struggling to harvest wood because of the wet summer, leaving loggers with less money while they wait for work during better weather. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the last three months are among the five wettest on record in the state, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. Henry Schienebeck is the executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association. He says loggers are moving equipment around to look for drier places where they can work.

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How Europe’s forest fires have more than trebled in 2017

By Chris Harris
Euronews
July 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The number of forest fires in the EU has trebled so far this year, according to figures obtained by Euronews, affecting an area nearly the size of Luxembourg. There have been 677 blazes in 2017 – a huge increase on the 215 the bloc saw on average over the previous eight years. Experts have blamed climate change for the rise, saying it has extended the traditional wildfire season and increased the frequency of blazes. They have warned Europe’s forest fires will rage more often in the future and engulf new areas. Portugal, Italy and Croatia have battled blazes in recent days amid high temperatures and lower-than-normal rainfall. It comes less than a month since 64 people died in a forest fire in Portugal, with many victims caught in their cars as they tried to flee.

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Forest Fires

Firesmoke Canada website tracks B.C. smoke to northwestern Ontario

By Gord Ellis
CBC News
July 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

The old saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” is feeling a little inaccurate in northwestern Ontario this summer. This past weekend many people in the region detected a hint of forest fire in the air, despite a general lack of local wildfire activity. But an air quality specialist with the Ministry of Environment in British Columbia says the smoke is likely coming all the way from Williams Lake and 100 Mile House. Wildfires there have been burning for days, and continue to consume large chunks of forest. Warren McCormick says weather patterns can make wildfire smoke appear thousands of kilometres from its source. “These fires are very hot,” said McCormick.” They inject a lot of smoke high into the atmosphere. Where it can be carried with the upper level winds. And then somewhere downstream it runs into another weather pattern…”

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327,000 hectares burned across BC

By Katya Slepian
North Island Gazette
July 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

There have been 327,000 hectares of land burned across B.C. since April 1. Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek reported the number on Tuesday afternoon. There have been 675 total fires across B.C. this fire season. Nine of them started on Monday. There are 155 wildfires currently burning, Skrepnek said. Of those, 27 are fires of note and 15 are directly threatening communities. The firefighting effort has cost the province $98.4 million thus far. “That 327,000 hectares is certainly a significant jump from yesterday,” he said. “That’s a mix of growth on some fires, particularly in the Chilcotin area, but also just some more accurate mapping of what’s going on out there.” …The BC Wildfire Centre is expecting some rain on Thursday, which Skrepnek said will help with the smoke but is unlikely do much for the wildfires themselves. However, the southern part of B.C. is expecting lightning near Hope and Princeton later today.

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B.C. wildfire roundup: interactive map, fire danger rating, road closures

Victoria Times Colonist
July 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 45,000 people remain out of their homes on Tuesday as nearly 160 wildfires burn across the province. … Smoke from numerous wildfires burning in British Columbia’s Interior prompted the Kamloops airport to cancel several flights Tuesday because of poor visibility. Residents of Cache Creek, B.C., are thrilled to be heading home after being rushed out by a fast-moving wildfire, but fear an uphill battle in repairing the community’s tourism economy. It’s been a hectic, busy and emotional 10 days so far for Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall, since Cariboo wildfire evacuees began pouring north. With more than 8,000 evacuees in Prince George as of Monday, it’s both challenging and rewarding.

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B.C. Wildfires: Some evacuees to be allowed to return home Tuesday

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
July 17, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than a week after out-of-control wildfires sparked a mass exodus of about 40,000 people in the B.C. Interior, some residents who fled their fire-stricken communities learned they could be going home.  Residents of the Village of Cache Creek — one of the first communities ordered to leave their homes and businesses — were told Monday they would be allowed to return to their homes on Tuesday afternoon. The Ashcroft Reserve fire, which forced the departure of the village’s 1,000 residents on July 7, is still burning, but the threat has diminished, said Thompson-Nicola Regional District officials. Residents who return home would remain on evacuation alert.

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Verdant Creek wildfire in Kootenay National Park grows 10-fold since Sunday

CBC News
July 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfire burning in Kootenay National Park has swelled to 10 times the size it was on Sunday as smoke from the fire continues to waft eastward, triggering air quality alerts in many parts of Alberta. The fire in the Verdant Creek area of the park, which was estimated to be 150 to 200 hectares on Sunday, had spread to about 2,000 hectares by Monday, according to Parks Canada spokesperson Christie Thomson.The fire is about 2.5 kilometres from Sunshine Village, but remains on the other side of the continental divide, said Parks Canada’s Verdant Creek fire incident commander. The fires is roughly 24 kilometres from the Banff townsite.

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One new forest fire reported in Northeast region

Sudbury.com
July 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There was one new fire confirmed by the afternoon of July 18. Cochrane 18 is not under control at 2.9 hectares. Cochrane 8 is receiving a modified response with limited suppression. Wawa 7 is under control at 0.8 of a hectare There is a total of 13 active fires in the region. In the far north, there are 10 fires that are being monitored to allow for ecological benefit. The forest fire hazard mostly moderate to extreme with the highest hazard located near the James Bay area. There are currently 254 Ontario fire management personnel including Fire Rangers and overhead staff along with suppression and values protection equipment deployed to help with the wildfire situation in British Columbia.

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Forest Service assigns 40 firefighters to Grizzly Fire north of Libby

By John Blodgett
The Western News
July 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

About 40 U.S. Forest Service firefighters were assigned Monday to the Grizzly Fire north of Libby, which an official said was estimated at 15 acres in size. “The firefighters are working to improve access to get a fireline around the fire to get water to the fire,” Forest Service Public Affairs Officer Willie Sykes said via email. “(Sunday), high winds were a concern, but the fire hasn’t grown much. Weather will continue to be hot and dry, but not as windy in the coming days.” The fire was reported about 7 p.m. Friday and is burning in timber, according to the Kootenai Interagency Dispatch Center website.

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