Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: August 2017

Today’s Takeaway

There’s a new front in the trade war over trees: newsprint.

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 31, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

There’s a new front in the Canada-U.S. trade war over trees: newsprint, and given the climate for “protectionist stuff”—according to ERA’s Kevin Mason—“it seems to be metastasizing”. Speaking of trade, WA State Senator Wyden “blasts” the Department of Commerce decision to delay the levying of final tariffs on softwood lumber.

The Nova Scotia forestry review was “officially announced” with the “appointment of William Layey“, a former deputy minister and current president of the University of King’s College. Elsewhere in eastern Canada, “glyphosate spraying begins despite call for stoppage” by the mayor of Moncton.

Lots of forest fire news [still], particularly in Washington and Oregon. Headlines include:

Finally, Williams Lake is asking for a $1 billion recovery fund to “help wildfire impacted communities in BC“.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Newsprint the latest front in North American lumber war

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg
August 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

There’s a new front in the Canada-U.S. trade war over trees: newsprint. A Washington state paper maker is asking the U.S. government to impose duties on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper, used in everything from newsprint to book publishing. North Pacific Paper Co., or Norpac, alleges Canadian imports are subsidized and are increasingly taking market share from domestic producers… The Washington, D.C.-based trade administration will announce its decision on whether to initiate an… investigation on Wednesday. …“A whole host of industries see this as an opportune time to file for these types of cases,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Caitlin Webber. “The Trump administration is seen as being more supportive of U.S. manufacturing.”

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Forest fibres key to reinvigorating rural B.C. towns, says resource adviser

By Jon Hernandez
CBC News
August 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As interest in LNG projects wanes, and with the future of the mighty Site C dam called into question, a group of rural researchers are urging the province to think outside the box in hopes of reigniting some of B.C.’s rural economies. … “We’ve got all kinds of fibre laying on the ground everywhere,” said Grace McGregor, a member of B.C.’s rural advisory council — a group established by the previous government to come up with creative solutions to stimulate economic growth in rural B.C. McGregor and her colleagues have long advocated for the increased utilization of decomposing wood fibre ravaged by the pine beetle as well as logging waste.

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Norbord’s “Thank A Framer” Campaign Recognizes Unsung Heroes of Construction

By Norbord Inc.
Canada Newswire
August 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to the NAHB, more than 70% of builders reported a shortage of framers while 78% reported a shortage of sub-contractors able to handle rough carpentry. With more than 200,000 construction jobs already vacant, the industry needs to train more Americans to fill these positions. On August 29, 2017, Norbord Inc. will be launching its “Thank a Framer” campaign to show its appreciation for framers who work tirelessly to build the structures that house our families, and to inspire the next generation of men and women to take up their tools.

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Softwood fight threatens Indigenous exporter

By Kathy Fitzpatrick
Policy Options
August 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NorSask is one of a growing number of Indigenous businesses that rely on the export market. Could the softwood lumber dispute derail their success? As Canadian producers nervously await the outcome of softwood lumber talks with the US, the stakes are especially high for one Indigenous-owned sawmill in Saskatchewan’s northern boreal forest. NorSask Forest Products in Meadow Lake sees about 60 percent of its production going to the US. It is part of a growing Indigenous small business sector that tends to export at a higher rate than other small Canadian firms, according to a recent report by TD Economics. However, freshly imposed American trade sanctions could pull NorSask under, warns Al Balisky, president and CEO of Meadow Lake Tribal Council Industrial Investments (MLTCII).

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Wyden Blasts Decision on Subsidized Softwood Lumber

KAST 1370AM
August 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Ron Wyden, Sen. D-Ore

Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.,  criticized the Commerce Department’s announcement of a two-month delay in levying final tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber that is subsidized and dumped in the United States.   “The administration’s decision forces American companies to pay the price for continued talks with Canada. This delay creates a window for Canadian companies to ship subsidized lumber to the U.S. without paying tariffs, inviting major harm to U.S. producers and workers,” Wyden said. “I support continued negotiations to reach a lasting solution on softwood lumber, but more talks need not and should not come at the cost of not enforcing the law.”

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High level bid to save SW mill

By Karen Hunt
The West Australian
August 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Forestry Minister Dave Kelly met Nannup Timber Processing directors on Friday in a bid to save the company’s green mill after the announcement of a restructure that will cost 30 jobs. Mr Kelly confirmed the meeting had taken place after the company said Nannup’s green mill would close as soon as September 6. “While the details of the discussions are confidential I will be continuing these discussions to explore options to keep the mill open,” Mr Kelly told the Times. The directors had not commented publicly at the time of writing but a widely published letter… cites poor sawlog quality, lack of resource security, “excessive increases” in sawlog prices, rising power costs and market demand.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Little London apartment building is made of Cross-Laminated Timber

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
August 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

It’s a really interesting mix of CLT, brick and yes, wicker. Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT, or crosslam) is a fascinating material. It was invented in Austria about 20 years ago to use up bits of lumber that were left over after cutting out the big stuff, and now it is finding its way into taller buildings all over the world. That’s because it has some real benefits over concrete and traditional wood frame construction when it comes to multi-family housing. Amin Taha Architects demonstrate this in a very neat little apartment building in London.

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Forestry

Williams Lake requests $1 billion rural fire recovery fund

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Williams Lake is calling in a 9-1-1 to the federal and provincial governments asking for a $1-billion recovery fund to help wildfire-impacted communities in B.C.  “We are in dire straights,” Coun. Scott Nelson said during Tuesday’s city council meeting as he put forth a motion calling for the government aid. The “emergency” motion, which council endorsed unanimously, suggests the fund be called the Rural Fire Recovery Fund 2017. …“There’s no doubt this has been an unprecedented year and we are still in the midst of it in terms of an economic crisis. Today there has been more than $410 million in direct costs fighting fires in the province, close to 11,000 square kilometres of timber, bush and grasslands have been destroyed.”

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Verdant fire opens forest for endangered pine species

By Tanya Foubert
Rocky Mountain Outlook
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the smoke settles on Verdant Creek wildlife, officials with Parks Canada have already started looking to the future and how destruction from the blaze could be used to regenerate an endangered species of pine tree. Pinus albicaulis – or whitebark pine – is considered an endangered species under the Species at Risk Act and its native habitat includes the Rocky Mountains of Kootenay National Park. Parks Canada fire and vegetation specialist Jed Cochrane said the Verdant Creek wildfire, which has burned 15,500 hectares across Kootenay and Assiniboine Provincial Park, has burned down whitebark pine trees on the landscape. The good news, Cochrane said, is that whitebark pine is a fire dependent species and the wildfire would also result in improved habitat into the future.

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Letter: TimberWest meeting on bypass was a farce

Letter by Donald Hurst
Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you watched CHEK news on Monday, or read the article in the Lake Cowichan Gazette Aug. 21, you would have thought TimberWest was planning to solve the mud and dust issue resulting from logging trucks driving through Youbou. Nothing could be further from the truth. …The vast majority of the people who spoke at the meeting were opposed to the bypass. It would not reduce the dust, because logging trucks on the gravel bypass would create dust for the entire length of the bypass. This dust would drift downhill into the entire town of Youbou, not just the first couple of kilometers as occurs now. TimberWest also did not mention the safety issues that would occur when the logging trucks would have to cross Youbou Road as they exit the bypass, something that is not required now.

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Emergency plan found wanting when BC wildfires struck

By Jennifer Saltman
Vancouver Sun
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Williams Lake Indian Band Chief, Ann Louie

WILLIAMS LAKE — The first thing Williams Lake Indian Band administrator Marg Shelley did when a fast-moving wildfire began to bear down on her community last month was pull out the band’s emergency management plan and start making phone calls. She was shocked to find that many of the numbers listed were unavailable — including the one for Indigenous and Northern Affairs, which the department didn’t know was out of service — or the lines were busy. …That initial experience of implementing the emergency plan, which otherwise worked to get band members off the reserve safely and help those affected, taught the band its first lesson of this year’s wildfire season — it’s time for an update.

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A homegrown BC tree frog!

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tree Frog news reader Steven Kiiskila, nursery manager at Western Forest Products in Saanichton discovered a hitchhiker in a crop of Douglas-fir seedlings he was shipping out for planting. We were delighted that he snapped a picture to share with us – a Homegrown BC Tree Frog! Thanks Steven. We couldn’t resist sharing with everyone. 

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Forests Ontario Commends the Ontario Government for Increasing Funding for Tree Planting Program

By Forests Ontario
Canada Newswire
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – The government of Ontario has pledged additional funding for the 50 Million Tree Program through the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account Initiative; this increased support allows Forests Ontario and our partners to continue to work toward healthy, abundant, and sustainably-managed forests across Ontario. The government of Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program offers landowners with 2.5 acres or more of open land to apply for funding support to cover a significant portion of the costs of planting trees to create new forests on their property.

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Forestry practices to be reviewed by former deputy minister

By Paul Withers
CBC News
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

William Lahey

The government of Nova Scotia has asked William Lahey, a former deputy minister of environment and the current president of the University of King’s College, to review forest practices in the province. Lahey will be paid $30,000 to make recommendations on clear cutting, harvest levels and the future use of 225,000 hectares of the former Bowater Mersey Paper mill lands bought by Nova Scotia in 2012. His report is expected in February. “I have a blank sheet to carry out my analysis,” Lahey told reporters Wednesday. Natural Resources Minister Margaret Miller would not commit to adopting recommendations in advance. “We’re not going to ask Professor Lahey to do this report and not listen to his recommendations,” Miller said.

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Glyphosate spraying begins despite call for stoppage: Moncton mayor

By Sean Previl
Global News
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Moncton Mayor, Dawn Arnold

Despite a request by Moncton’s mayor to stop the spraying of the herbicide glyphosate in the Turtle Creek watershed, Mayor Dawn Arnold says spraying has begun. In a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, Arnold said she learned the planned spraying by JD Irving had started and was informing the public that City of Moncton staff were on site monitoring the process. “The sprayers are not breaking the law, since they do have a permit from the province to aerial spray,” wrote Arnold. …Current regulations restrict aerial herbicide spraying to within 3.2 kilometres of the reservoirs. But in the letter, Arnold asked the no-spray zone be expanded to include land within the entire watershed indicated on this map.

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Nova Scotia forestry review to consider clear cutting: minister

By Keith Doucette
Canadian Press in Chronicle Herald
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Natural Resources Minister Margaret Miller

HALIFAX — Clear cutting will be among the contentious issues examined in a new review of Nova Scotia’s forestry practices, the provincial government announced Wednesday. Natural Resources Minister Margaret Miller said University of King’s College president William Lahey will lead the independent study, which is due by Feb. 28. … “The forestry review will examine harvesting types and rates across the province, with a focus on the western region,” Miller told a news conference. “It will also be looking at market access concerns and will consider current forestry practices.  Lahey confirmed he’s been given a broad mandate and will examine clear cutting, a controversial practice that drew public attention last year when the Liberal government said it was backing away from a previously stated goal of reducing the practice on Crown land by 50 per cent.

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Groups sue to protect Yellowstone bears as hunts anticipated

Associated Press in The Spokesman-Review
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS – Wildlife advocates and a Montana Indian tribe have asked a U.S. court to restore protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park so that trophy hunting of the fearsome animals would not be allowed. The Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Humane Society and several conservation groups filed three lawsuits Tuesday and Wednesday in federal court in Montana, challenging the government’s recent move to lift protections. Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are planning limited public hunting of the region’s roughly 700 bears, although no hunts are expected this year.

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‘Rails to Trails’ project mostly blocked by Weyerhaeuser

By Jackson Hogan
The Longview Daily News
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An effort to turn the old Weyerhaeuser Co. Woods Railroad into a trail linking Longview to Toutle has hit a speed bump. Weyerhaeuser, which still owns the land along the abandoned line, says it won’t allow the route to be turned into a “rails to trails” project for safety reasons. Spokesman Anthony Chavez said the timber company works too closely to the rails to make them suitable for a biking or hiking path. “At this point, we have a diverse age class of timberland along those 22 miles, so at any given day there could be operational activity,” he said. “It’s just not compatible with having a trail against those timberlands.”

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Crews begin rehabilitation efforts at Dixie National Forest after Brian Head Fire

Associated Press in the Salt Lake Tribune
August 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

St. George, Utah • Federal forest managers are starting the lengthy process of restoring the expanse of burned-out forest left behind by a massive wildfire near the ski town of Brian Head in southern Utah. They will begin by aerial seeding and mulching over more than 8.8 square miles of the forest, according to Dixie National Forest news release. More than 111 square miles across Iron and Garfield counties were consumed by the June 17 wildlife that is believed to have been started by an individual using a weed torch, The Spectrum reported. The forest could take between one to five years to recover from the fire, Dixie National Forest Public Information Officer Cigi Burton told the newspaper in a previous interview.

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Bass Creek burn raises questions; forest spokesman cites misunderstanding

By Eve Byron
The Missoulian
August 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Forest Service officials took advantage early Monday morning of a previous tree-thinning project in the popular Bass Creek Recreation Area, using torches to light fires to pre-burn underbrush and grasses as part of an effort to remove fuel if the Lolo Peak fire extends south into the area. But some area neighbors are suspicious of the activity, saying the Forest Service took advantage of the Lolo Peak fire to complete planned burns that were part of the 2013 tree-thinning project, but were thwarted by environmentalists. In a letter to Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Julie King and Stevensville District Ranger Tami Sabol, Shura Bugreeff wrote that she and her husband Steve Pachal had heard rumors for the past week of a longtime plan to burn Bass Creek toward the old Kootenai burn for fire management purposes.

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Illegal logging leases in Papua New Guinea to be shut down

By Eric Tlozek
ABC News, Australia
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Papua New Guinea Government has promised to finally shut down illegal logging leases that have enriched foreign companies and dispossessed traditional landowners. The country’s new Lands Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, has formed a committee to review 175 controversial Special Agricultural Business Lease (SABL). “Our customary landowners have had a tough time with this situation, and we must ensure that their rights are upheld and they get true justice for getting their land back for the right purpose,” he said. SABLs allow companies to clear land for agricultural development. They have been widely exploited, primarily by Asian logging companies who sell the valuable timber while making token investments in agriculture.

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Greenpeace protesters stop illegal logging in Poland’s Bialowieza Forest

By Greenpeace
WebWire
August 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Warsaw – Peaceful activists from 12 European countries, brought together by Greenpeace Poland, have put themselves in the way of state-run logging machinery which is violating a July 27th EU Court of Justice interim ban on logging one of Europe’s oldest forests. Greenpeace protesters have chained themselves to harvesters and are standing in front of other logging equipment with banners reading: ”We are the forest. We are in danger”. They are demanding that loggers comply with the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union and stop cutting down and removing trees from the forest.

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New forestry board appointed

By Talent Hawri
The Herald
August 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri

Government yesterday announced the appointment of new Forestry Commission board members tasked to spearhead efforts to turn around the parastatal in the coming three years. The commission’s new board will be chaired by Professor Amon Murwira, head of the University of Zimbabwe Geography and Environmental Science department. …“These selected individuals are knowledgeable in the complex forestry related issues and I am confident that they have the capacity to unlock value from our forestry resources,” said Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri. …The appointment of the board members comes at a time the forestry sector was facing numerous challenges.

 

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Forest Fires

Crews fighting BX wildfire

Vernon Morning Star
August 29, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters continue to tackle a blaze in the BX. The fire in the Dixon Dam-Tillicum area is about 0.1 hectares in size. Grounds crews remain on scene while the helicopters have returned to base and air tankers were not used. “There is no update on containment at this point,” said Jodi Lucius, with the B.C. Wildfire Service. Lucius could not say if ground crews would remain on scene overnight. Crews are working on a wildfire in the BX that broke out before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The fire is in the area of Dixon Dam and Tillicum roads. “We have three firefighters, two helicopters and fixed wing aircraft on site or on route,” said Jody Lucius, with the B.C. Wildfire Service, at 5:30 p.m.

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Optimism takes hold of crews fighting Philpott Road fire

By Andrea Peacock
The Kelowna Daily Courier
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Noelle Kekula, BC Wildfire officer

The Philpott Road fire is still active, but crews are starting to get a better handle on it, says Noelle Kekula, a fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service. “We’re not seeing a lot of fire behaviour on the fire today,” Kekula said Wednesday. “We’re taking advantage of this calm weather and trying to make as many gains as we can.” Challenges in fighting the fire in Joe Rich, which started last Thursday, include the steep terrain and the lack of available water, said Kekula. “The preference is always to find a nice water source, but we are having to use alternative methods like our bladders and water tender trucks,” she said. “But that’s not stopping us from fighting it aggressively. We’re still working as hard as we can.”

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BC forest fires cause of flaming-red Edmonton sun

By Mitch Goldenberg
Edmonton Journal
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Particles clouding the atmosphere were the cause of a red-glowing sun that hung in the Edmonton sky on Wednesday morning. “I’m suspecting that it’s due to the forest fire smoke in the atmosphere from Kelowna,” said Frank Florian, director of planetarium and space sciences at the Telus World of Science. “The clouds and humidity, along with the matter from forest fire smoke, scatters the light in the atmosphere.” In this situation, short-wavelength colours like the greens, blues and violets disperse, while long wavelength colours at the other end of the rainbow, such as red and orange, come through unhindered. Florian said the sun will continue to remain red until the carbon from the forest fires in the atmosphere disappears.

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Wildfire 0.3 hectares in size burning near Port Alberni

CTV News
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews are battling a small forest fire that was discovered Tuesday near Cameron Lake, east of Port Alberni. The fire is only about 0.3 hectares in size and is burning north of the lake near Mount Horne, according to the Coastal Fire Centre. Nine fire personnel have been deployed and two helicopters are bucketing water onto the blaze.

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Major U.S. wildfire jumps the border, prompts closure of provincial park

By Shelby Thom and Doris Maria Bregolisse
Global News
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Parks has shut down Cathedral Provincial Park southwest of Keremeos due to safety concerns as the Diamond Creek wildfire expanded rapidly into a blaze with rank four and five fire behaviour on Wednesday. Rank four and five fire behaviour describes a fast-moving blaze that can move through forest like a storm. The fire crossed the U.S. border aggressively overnight and into the day, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. The blaze is within 20 km of Cathedral Provincial Park’s western boundary, though it’s not burning within the park itself. It has now scorched more than 1,700 hectares of B.C. forest directly south of Princeton and is currently burning 17 km east of the Highway 3 community of Eastgate.

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Pelican Narrows under mandatory evacuation order, ‘aggressive’ fire activity expected to continue

By David Shield
CBC News
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfires that have forced residents out of the northern Saskatchewan community of Pelican Narrows could rage for another week or more, government officials say. Saskatchewan Wildfire Management Branch executive director Steve Roberts said there’s no significant rain in the forecast for the area. “We will continue to see aggressive fire activity around the clock and we do not see any huge reprieve from a weather perspective for at least a week,” Roberts told reporters on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. Three fires are burning within 10 kilometres of the community of several thousand people. The largest is the Granite fire, covering an estimated 50,000 hectares.

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Wildfire 3.75km from Ring Creek community

The Squamish Chief
August 29, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfire burning east of Squamish is around 3.75 kilometres from Ring Creek, according to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. The community is home to 40 to 60 people, depending on the time of year. There is currently “no immediate threat” or evacuation alert for residents of Ring Creek, which in a part of the SLRD and, therefore, outside the boundaries on the District of Squamish. The wildfire is 13 kilometres east of Squamish and, as of this afternoon, is three hectares in size and 60 per cent contained. Ring Creek is an off-grid community that is well-known to many mountain bikers because it’s near some popular trails.  

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Questioning Alice Creek fire strategy

Letter by Justin Nelson
Helena Independent Record
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

I would like to first thank all the fire fighters for their hard work in fighting all of Montana’s wildfires this season. This being the volunteer fireman to the paid fireman in all state, local and federal agencies. With this said however, I can’t speak highly of the Forest Service officials that let the Alice Creek fire go unattended. I was under the false pretenses that the Forest Service moved away from the 1988 policy of let it burn. Clearly they still follow this policy since the Alice Creek fire started July 22 and within a couple weeks they pulled firefighters off the fire. When personnel where pulled off the fire was under 100 acres but was not called out.

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Multiple new fires spark throughout area

By Stephen Floyd
Herald and News
August 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Wildfire activity in Southern Oregon and Northern California intensified Tuesday as multiple new fires were spotted in the region. The Lost Forest Fire was sparked between Christmas Valley and Wagontire, in Lake County. Latest reports placed the fire at 90 acres and 15 percent containment with the fire spreading slowly as crews responded. The Naylox Fire was spotted near Hagelstein Park after a barn caught fire on Algoma Road, north of Klamath Falls. On Wednesday, the fire was reported at 400 acres and 5 percent contained as it spread eastward. Due to fire activity, Algoma Road was closed between Old Fort Road and Highway 97 as well as Forest Service Road 9718.

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Wildfire closes route into Yosemite National Park

Associated Press in the Press Democrat
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

OAKHURST — A Central California wildfire has closed the southern roadway leading into Yosemite National Park. Officials with the Sierra National Forest said Tuesday they blocked traffic on Highway 41, but other entryways into Yosemite remain open. Officials also ordered the evacuation of Sugar Pine, a small community of homes and vacation rentals threatened by the nearby flames. Firefighters say the wildfire has burned 60 acres (24 hectares) of steep terrain covered by pine trees and brush. The fire is under investigation as crews battle flames from the ground and air.

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Growing wildfire east of Lake Oroville destroys 10 homes; 1,500 people told to flee

By Veronica Rocha
Los Angeles Times
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A fast-growing wildfire near Lake Oroville has destroyed 10 homes and triggered evacuation orders for 1,500 residents, fire officials said. The Ponderosa fire erupted just after 1:10 p.m. Tuesday in a wooded and rugged area about two miles northwest of Forbestown, 21 miles east of Oroville, said Mary Ann Aldrich, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in Butte County. By Wednesday morning, the blaze, which started at 40 acres, swelled to 2,500 acres and had destroyed 30 structures, including homes near Feather Falls. “It’s going to be a long fight because of the weather conditions,” she said.

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Wildfires burn around Oregon; 4500 people evacuated Statesman Journal

Associated Press in Statesman Journal
August 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. — Wildfires in Oregon are burning an area roughly equivalent to half the state of Rhode Island, affecting air quality throughout the state and forcing the evacuations of more than 4,500 people, fire authorities said Wednesday. Two dozen fires in southern, eastern and central parts of the state had scorched a total of 571 square miles (1,478 square kilometers). And although fire crews appreciated cooler weather and some fog on some fire lines, they are bracing for triple-digit temperatures and the return of windy conditions and extremely low humidity later this week and into the weekend, said Terry Krasko, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman.

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Activity on Mendenhall Fire slows as Boulder Valley residents keep watch

By Sam Wilson
Billings Gazette
August 29, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

MCLEOD — Only in the past couple days has a relative calm descended on the Boulder Valley, where homeowners still remain ready to flee after a sudden wildfire blew up last weekend and prompted a temporary evacuation order for the isolated community. Hot, but relatively calm weather over the past several days has offered much-needed relief for firefighters battling to keep the 1,275-acre Mendenhall fire from encroaching further on the homes and ranches that line the northwest side of the valley. But last Saturday found resident Tom McGuane and his wife, Laurie, scrambling to move more than a dozen horses, pack their necessities and prepare to evacuate as flames marched across the ridgeline immediately above his home in the scenic valley south of Springdale.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Mayor launches £1 million London ‘green fund’

Air Quality News
August 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Mayor of London has today launched a £1 million fund for community groups to deliver more ‘air quality improving trees, plants and green play areas’ in the capital. Launched at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew this morning, the Greener City Fund is part of a wider £9 million funding pledge to help schools, councils and community groups implement projects that are likely to improve their local environments. …According to the Mayor’s office, pollution-busting street trees could help to cut climate change but also improve air quality – particularly by London’s busy roads.

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Bioenergy from the US is a critical tool in the UK’s climate strategy

Jennifer Jenkins, chief sustainability officer, Enviva
BusinessGreen
August 31, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Jennifer Jenkins, Enviva

The international community of scientists agrees that deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions must be made in order to avoid the most harmful effects of climate change. …Displacing fossil fuels and increasing renewable energy is central to success. This means that power derived from biomass, as well as wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal, are key resources. …We can set the record straight on an important point. Using biomass from the Southeast US reduces carbon emissions, and here’s why: carbon released from fossil fuels is carbon that had been stored safely underground for hundreds of millions of years, i.e., fossil carbon is a pure new addition to the atmosphere.

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A total of 33 companies joining forces with VTT to develop new generation sustainable forest product

By VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
EurekAlert
August 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Together with a large industrial consortium, VTT Technical Research of Finland has launched a EUR 4.5 million project to speed up the development of fibre-based products as alternatives to oil-based materials like plastics. The project, funded partly by the European Regional Development Fund ERD, has brought together 33 companies, ranging from small to large, global companies. …Global awareness of climate change is driving the search for sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to oil-based products and materials. The forest industry is looking for energy-efficient and low-carbon solutions to improve production. In addition, they are looking for new applications and solutions to adapt the production infrastructure to changes in the market.

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