Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 8, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Rains help New Brunswick wildfires but emergency persists in BC

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 8, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Weekend “rains helped crews contain wildfires in New Brunswick”, but there is “no end in sight in BC, one month after state of emergency declared”. Meanwhile, in Alberta, the appearance of the mountain pine beetle on “the hillsides and valleys of Jasper is fuelling wildfire fears in the national park townsite”.

Although most people view large wildfires as destructive, fires are “exactly what many Oregon ecosystems need to thrive”, according to an article in the Mail Tribune.  “Attempting to put out every wildfire disrupts these natural cycles and is unsafe for firefighters”. A similar theme appears in Payson Roundup, which asks “why did foresters for 80 years support the doomed effort to permanently ban fire from the forest?”

Taking the law into their own hands, a “group of grannies manned a friendly blockade” to protect vulnerable forests from fire in the Vernon area. Evidence of a more authoritarian version of law enforcement in the struggle to contain fires comes from a military official in Indonesia who “ordered that anyone who deliberately sets fire to forest areas be shot”.

The recently released federal plan to protect caribou is “a risky experiment that will do little to help the animals, but will hurt companies already struggling with US softwood tariffs,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada.

Finally, a heads up that there will not be any news this Thursday as we prepare to launch the NEW Tree Frog News this Friday. More on the upgrade tomorrow.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

Trump’s Stalled Trade Agenda Leaves Industries in the Lurch

By Alan Rappeport
New York Times
August 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump promised Americans that they would be exhausted from “winning” on trade under his presidency. But nearly seven months after Mr. Trump took office, the industries he vowed to protect have become tired of something else: waiting. …For many businesses that had raised their hopes, frustration is mounting by the day. …These days, home builders may not be as apt to cheer. In April, the Trump administration announced that it would impose new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber, saying the exports are unfairly subsidized. The proposed tariffs, which could be as high as 24 percent, have already led to a spike in lumber prices. …“The increase in cost is due to the trade war with Canada,” said Gerald Howard, chief executive of the National Association of Home Builders. “The availability of Canadian lumber is at risk, so the price is going higher.”

Read More

Freeland sees outline of softwood deal but can’t predict when it’ll be settled

Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald
August 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the outlines of a deal with the United States to resolve the softwood lumber dispute are in place. But she can’t predict whether the persistent trade irritant will be settled before negotiations begin on Aug. 16 to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement. “I do think an agreement which benefits both Canada and United States … is absolutely possible and achievable and I can see the outlines of that agreement already,” Freeland said Monday in a teleconference call from Manila, Philippines, where she was attending meetings with her counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “Having said that, I can’t today say whether or not and when such an agreement might be achievable.”

Read More

Premier John Horgan weighs in on softwood lumber dispute

Business in Vancouver
August 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC NDP leader and premier of British Columbia John Horgan joined Business in Vancouver on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM on Aug. 4 by phone to discuss his trip to Washington, D.C. to meet softwood lumber negotiators and representatives. 

Read More

Tolko Armstrong installs 3D sensors on unscrambler

By Maria Church
Canadian Forest Industries
August 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sensors in the sawmill industry have come leaps and bounds over the last several years, and there are seemingly endless new players in the manufacturing game.  When Tolko Armstrong lumber mill in British Columbia chose ifm’s 3D sensors to replace the photoeyes on its unscrambler as part of a larger upgrade to the mill in 2014, Dwayne Bueckert, a control systems specialist with Tolko Armstrong lumber mill, was a bit sceptical. “There was a little bit of hesitation going in, because this sensor is very inexpensive,” he says. “When it comes to cutting-edge technology, it’s pretty rare to see a sensor this inexpensive that does what it does.”

Read More

B.C. wildfires fanning construction costs on Vancouver Island

By Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
August 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A province on fire and the torrid pace of construction on Vancouver Island are driving up the cost of building materials — and there appears to be no price relief in sight, according to industry insiders. The staples of home construction — lumber and sheeting materials such as plywood and oriented strand board — have increased by 10 and 40 per cent, respectively, and the pace of price changes appears to be increasing. According to Tim Urquhart, president of Slegg Building Materials, the company has tried to maintain prices for contractors for a minimum of 30 days, but with fires raging and mills closed in British Columbia it’s been difficult to hold the line.

Read More

Softwood Lumber Dispute and Wildfires: Should You Buy This Timber Stock? [West Fraser]

By Susan Portelance
The Motley Fool
August 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Timber has been in the news in recent months thanks to the seemingly never-ending softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. Should you stay away from lumber stocks, or is this a good time to invest? Softwood lumber has been a touchy subject in Canadian-American trade relations for decades. The dispute ramped up again this spring when the U.S. twice decided to increase tariffs on Canadian wood, because it believes our lumber is unfairly subsidized by the Canadian government. Average duties around 27% have been added to most of Canada’s softwood lumber, making it more expensive and less attractive for American customers to buy Canadian timber. One company with the highest duties assigned to it is West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. Its highest combined duties (from both American increases) are 30.88%. This makes West Fraser sound like a bad deal at the moment, right? Not necessarily.

Read More

Energex invests nearly 500K a year to modernize pellet mill

By Anabel Cossette Civitella
Canadian Biomass
August 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

One of the largest pellet plants in Quebec, Energex, could also be the oldest. Max Béraud, the mill manager, does not even hesitate to call it an antiquity! Created in 1983 by BioShell – in the midst of an oil crisis – the plant located in Lac-Mégantic, Que., in the Eastern Townships benefited from the know-how and oil standards in place to develop its efficiency. …This is why Energex has installed an explosion shock wave detection system. …The added efficiency is worth the $360,000 investment. Béraud would not do without it anymore. “When it explodes, you’re happy, because nothing has moved. It only takes time to fill the balls and put the detonator back on.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

How cross-laminated timber buildings are built

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
August 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Sustainable construction firm Adera and cross-laminated timber (CLT) pioneers Structurlam met with media to discuss the construction of Adera’s new Virtuoso building. Virtuoso is poised to become North America’s first market multi-family development using CLT. “Yes, a lot of people are suspicious (of mid-rise wood construction) at first,” acknowledges Eric Andreasen, vice-president of marketing and sales. “But the reality is that CLT — or mass timber, as it’s also known — meets or exceeds concrete in many areas. It’s seismically superior because it doesn’t crack or shatter like concrete. You can’t light it on fire because it self-chars, meaning oxygen can’t get at it. It’s more sustainably produced, requires less energy to recycle, and since the panels are pre-assembled by computer, there’s virtually no on-site waste.”

Read More

Gap Inc. Takes on Forest Degradation

By Alyce Evans
The Trend Spotter
August 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

As more companies join the mission to make fashion ethical and eco-friendly, it appears that going green is 2017’s biggest trend. This week, Gap Inc. launched their new Wood-Derived Materials Policy in a bid to fight global climate change and forest degradation. The policy commits Gap Inc. to the ethical sourcing of products and the use of sustainable raw materials. Additionally, it prevents them from using ancient and endangered high carbon value forest areas to create cellulose-based textiles. This policy is likely to have a big impact, as it spans across all of Gap Inc.’s brands. These include Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and more. As a part of this new step towards eco-friendly fashion, they will work with the international, environmental not-for-profit organisation, Canopy. [Scroll down in the source link to find this story].

Read More

Forestry

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Opens Request For Proposals: Seeks New Partners For Conservation And Community Projects In The U.S. And Canada

August 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON and OTTAWA — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) announced today the opening of its annual request for proposals for the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. The grants program supports SFI’s work to promote sustainable forest management through partnerships with conservation groups that are contributing to the understanding of critical links between forests and communities across the range of American and Canadian forests, and community groups working at the intersection of sustainable forestry, responsible procurement and thriving communities. “SFI is proud to stand with so many partners that lead the way on positively impacting the future of our forests. This new grant cycle allows us to reassert our role as a sustainability leader that is working beyond supply chain assurances to elevate conservation value and foster community engagement,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

Read More

Canadian forestry industry urges Ottawa to rethink plan to protect caribou

By Mia Rabson
The Globe and Mail
August 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Canada’s forestry industry says a proposed federal plan to protect caribou is a risky experiment that will do little to help the animals, but will hurt companies already struggling with U.S. softwood tariffs. Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada, wrote to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna this week asking her to rethink the proposed caribou action plan issued in late July. The caribou are a Canadian icon people see every time they look at the back of a quarter, but scientists have said they will become extinct without an effort to stop their decline. Mr. Nighbor said the industry wants to protect the animals as much anyone, but the federal plan is based on incomplete science about the impact of industrial activities and doesn’t consider other factors such as climate change, air pollution, natural predators and disease.

Read More

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Opens Request For Proposals: Seeks New Partners For Conservation And Community Projects In The U.S. And Canada

August 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON and OTTAWA — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) announced today the opening of its annual request for proposals for the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. The grants program supports SFI’s work to promote sustainable forest management through partnerships with conservation groups that are contributing to the understanding of critical links between forests and communities across the range of American and Canadian forests, and community groups working at the intersection of sustainable forestry, responsible procurement and thriving communities. “SFI is proud to stand with so many partners that lead the way on positively impacting the future of our forests. This new grant cycle allows us to reassert our role as a sustainability leader that is working beyond supply chain assurances to elevate conservation value and foster community engagement,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

Read More

Peachland residents, loggers collide on water issues

By Carli Berry
BC Local News
August 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents concerned with the impact clear-cut logging will have on Peachland’s watershed and wildlife have ramped up an information campaign in an attempt to deal with issues they say could be caused by logging in the area. The newly-formed Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance has raised issues about logging in the area around Peachland, where four companies are planning work in the area: Ntityix Resources (Westbank First Nation), Crown corporation BC Timber Sales, Gorman Brothers Logging and Tolko Industries Ltd. “Our creeks are getting more and more muddied and one of the reasons could be runoff and sedimentation due to clear-cut logging,” said public relations officer with the Peachland alliance Taryn Skalbania.

Read More

University of New Brunswick chemical engineering student studying in Taylor wins award

Bu Jessica Fedigan
Energetic City
August 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

TAYLOR, B.C. – A University of New Brunswick student that came all the way to Taylor to co-op, has won a Greenest Workforce Green Dream scholarship. 21-year-old Melanie Flack says she’s had nothing but a positive experience so far in northeast B.C. since arriving in Taylor to work at Canfor’s Taylor plant. Prior to coming to Taylor, Flack had never been beyond Ontario borders. While exploring northern B.C., Flack is also learning about the forestry industry firsthand.

Read More

‘B.C. is burning and we’re only right at the very beginning,’ says MP Doherty as British Columbia’s wildfires season officially starts

By Rachel Aiello
The Hill Times
August 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia is in a state of emergency as the forest fires continue to burn out of control in the province, and the MPs whose ridings have been impacted the most say that while the federal government’s response so far has been adequate, resources are tapped, emotions are running high, and much more assistance will be needed. “B.C. is burning, and we’re only right at the very beginning,” said Conservative MP Todd Doherty, whose Cariboo-Prince George, B.C., riding has been one of the hardest hit by the forest fires that have set parts of British Columbia’s Interior ablaze for weeks. “It may not be on the front page of newspapers, or the top headlines of the stories, but British Columbia is burning.”

Read More

Mountain pine beetle fuelling wildfire fears in Jasper

CBC News
August 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The hillsides and valleys of Jasper are a sickly shade of orange, covered with stands of trees killed by the mountain pine beetle — which has heightened wildfire fears in the national park townsite. “In the last couple of years, there has been a significant movement into Jasper,” said Mark Fercho, Chief Administrative Officer for the town of Jasper. “The red trees are the trees that were infested last year, and now they’re turning. “The beetle is visible from town … the change is striking.” The beetle has been an issue in B.C. for almost two decades, but its appearance in the national park has been sudden to the casual observer and coincides with one of the worst fire seasons on record, just west of the Alberta border.

Read More

Nova Scotia woodlot report looks beyond ‘mining our forests’

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
August 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Small woodlot owners must better organize if they want more clout in the forestry industry, according to the co-author of a new report that urges the province to find new markets and better track the inventory of trees in Nova Scotia forests. Digby County forester Harold Alexander was part of a group that travelled to Finland last year to look at why forestry there is booming and learn what lessons could be used to improve the industry in Nova Scotia. A final report on the trip was completed last month and highlights a variety of issues. It found two of the biggest differences between Finland and Nova Scotia are the amount of power small private woodlot owners have in the Scandinavian country and how intensely that country monitors its forests.

Read More

Environmentalists are urging the USDA to reject this genetically engineered eucalyptus tree

By Chelsea Harvey
The Washington Post
August 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A genetically engineered, freeze-tolerant eucalyptus tree is moving closer to receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, amid concerns about the tree’s possible negative effects on the environment. The USDA has proposed lifting restrictions on commercial production of the trees, based on a draft environmental impact statement that concluded the trees pose few significant environmental risks. Planting the trees would “either not differ or may be slightly worse from those caused by the cultivation of planted plantation pine,” the report said. Brazil approved a genetically modified eucalyptus, created by biotechnology company FuturaGene, for commercial growth two years ago. But this would become the first genetically engineered tree approved for commercial use in the United States.

Read More

Feds to give states more flexibility in protecting wild bird

Associated Press in the Herald and News
August 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department on Monday unveiled a plan to protect the threatened sage grouse that gives Western states greater flexibility to allow mining, logging and other economic development where it now is prohibited. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the strategy for the ground-dwelling bird that has suffered a dramatic population decline across its 11-state range. Zinke insisted that the federal government and the states can work together to protect the sage grouse and its habitat while not slowing economic growth and job creation. While the federal government has a responsibility under the Endangered Species Act to protect the bird, officials also have an obligation “to be a good neighbor and a good partner,” Zinke said. The new plan ensures that conservation efforts “do not impede local economic opportunities,” he said.

Read More

Tree planting in Wallow Fire burn scar helps regenerate forest

By Trudy Balcom
White Mountain Independent
August 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In the dim light and dewy damp of early morning a few short miles northwest of Big Lake, 13 young men step out of a crew van and prepare to plant about 13,000 trees. They will finish the job by the end of their work day. They strap on hard hats with face shields and pick up canvas sacks that are fitted with a waist belt. They fill the sacks with about 30-40 pounds of six-inch tree seedlings. Then they pick up a hoedad — a hand tool that is a cross between an axe and a hoe — and stride briskly into a burned-over section of the forest. Despite the weight they carry, they step easily over the charred logs that lay everywhere. Following a rough zigzag pattern across the terrain, they stop about every 20 feet and swing their hoedad. It hits the earth with a dull thud. Thankfully, the ground is soft from recent rains.

Read More

What will our grandchildren say about us?

Payson Roundup
August 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Here’s the most baffling question raised by our dangerously overgrown forests, prey to crown fires, bark beetles and other catastrophes. What were they thinking? How on earth did generations of foresters and federal officials figure they could indefinitely expel fire from the forests of Northern Arizona? …So why did foresters for 80 years support the doomed effort to permanently ban fire from the forest? …The policy worked great for decades. Fire frequency dropped dramatically. But fire suppression was always doomed to failure. All it did was allow tons of flammable debris to accumulate on every acre of the forest as tree densities grew from 50 per acre to 1,000 per acre. The result: A fire-adapted ecosystem that thrived on low-intensity fires is now a catastrophe in waiting.

Read More

Montana State University Billings fungal research has potential to fight bark beetles

By Matt Hudson
Billings Gazette
August 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A discovery by scientists at Montana State University Billings may help forest managers battle the next epidemic of bark beetles. Research at the university found that a specific molecule, as well as a few variants, slow the growth of fungi related to the mountain pine beetle and the western pine beetle. Managing the fungi could help slow the next large-scale beetle infestation. MSUB science professors David Butler and Kurt Toenjes, who chairs the biological and physical science department, secured a patent for their findings on June 27 with lab manager Joy Goffena. “What is not known is if we disrupt the fungus, do we kill the beetle?” Toenjes said.

Read More

Court opts against injunction for Washington thinning project

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
August 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An environmental group has failed to convince a federal appeals court that an injunction is warranted against a 12,800-acre thinning project in Washington’s Colville National Forest. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies hasn’t proved that halting the A to Z Project is justified based on alleged violations of federal forest management and environmental laws, according to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiff has “not demonstrated serious questions, much less a likelihood of success” in accusing the U.S. Forest Service of botching its environmental analysis of the project, the 9th Circuit said.

Read More

Logging won’t reduce climate-driven wildfires

By George Wuerthner
The Register-Guard
August 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

During the 1992 election campaign, Bill Clinton’s campaign manager famously coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” to admonish George H.W. Bush for his failure to understand the real problems facing voters. Today, the timber industry and U.S. Forest Service continuously advocate logging to reduce fuels and assert that this will reduce large wildfires. But fuels don’t drive large wildfires. It’s the climate and the weather, stupid. There is a well-documented correlation between wildfire and extended drought. For instance, one study found that in the years from 800 to 1300, known as the Medieval Warm Period, the western Sierra Nevada experienced the greatest number of wildfires in the past 3,000 years. …These studies suggest that thinning and logging is a poor strategy in part because it fails to acknowledge that climate and weather are the driving force in large wildfires. …The current advocacy for more logging and thinning (except within a hundred feet or so of home) is misguided.

Read More

Guest Opinion: We need responsible forest fire policies, not more logging

By Dominick DellaSala and Timothy Ingalsbee
Mail Tribune
August 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Many people view large wildfires as only destructive. But fires in Oregon’s forests are exactly what these ecosystems need to thrive. After wildfire, the forest is transformed into the earliest stage of forest growth that allows a completely new fire-adapted community of plants and animals to get their time in the sun. …Attempting to put out every wildfire in the backcountry disrupts these natural cycles, is unsafe for firefighters and, most importantly, diverts limited funding from protecting homes and communities. …Firefighters also can strategically direct fire suppression efforts at defending towns while working with backcountry fires to maximize ecologically beneficial effects and minimize risks to firefighters and the public.

Read More

Taneum watershed tour looks at forests through evolutionary lens

By Matt Carstens
Daily Record News
August 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Forests in the Central Cascade mountain range have a problem — a tree problem. More specifically, there are too many of them. That was the point Nature Conservancy Forester Brian Mize drove home during his talk at the Central Cascades Forest summer social, which gave people a tour through the Taneum watershed recently. …The Nature Conservancy owns and manages 49,000 acres in its Central Cascades forest, which includes land in Kittitas County. …Jumping to current day, after a century of fire exclusion, poor management and logging practices, the forests are over-stocked with species like grand fir, which are not adapted to fire and more prone to diseases and insects. Under the right conditions, this can lead to high intensity wildfires, since there is so much fuel to burn.

Read More

Virginia Department of Conservation protects forested wetland

By Carlton N. Owen
US Endowment for Forestry and Communities
August 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Southampton, Va. – A new conservation easement on 130 acres of forested wetland will help protect more than one mile of frontage on the Nottoway River, a State Scenic River. The Nottoway River is a major source of drinking water for the citizens of the Hampton Roads region. The property is in the Albemarle Sound watershed and the mature cypress-tupelo swamp conserved as a result of this project will provide habitat for migratory waterfowl, songbirds and other wildlife. The project was completed with financial assistance from an Enviva Forest Conservation Fund grant.

Read More

New national standard for plantation forestry

By The New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
August 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Dr Nick Smith

A new nationwide set of environmental rules for managing New Zealand’s 1.7 million hectares of plantation forestry will better protect the environment and deliver significant savings in compliance costs, Minister for the Environment Dr Nick Smith and Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston say. “Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest primary industry but its efficiency is hampered by the confusing mix of planning rules across New Zealand’s 86 councils. The strength of this national approach is that it will better protect the environment while also improving the productivity of the forestry sector by applying consistent environmental standards to reduce operational costs,” Dr Smith says.

Read More

Forest Fires

No end in sight for B.C. wildfires one month after state of emergency declared

By Linda Givetash
Canadian Press in CTV News
August 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Wildfires are continuing to tear through British Columbia one month after the provincial government declared a state of emergency Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said the province has seen 904 fires since April 1 and most of the major blazes wreaking havoc are ones that prompted the state of emergency declaration July 7. We have a lot of people out there doing everything they can to contain fires, to keep people out of harm’s ways,” he said. “This is a natural disaster and unfortunately it’s going to be natural factors that are going to decide when a lot of these fires start to really calm down.”

Read More

Grannies to protect woods

By Darren Handschuh
Castanet
August 4, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A group of grannies will be protecting the forests in the Yankee Flats area. Pat Peebles lives in the area north of Vernon and she will be one of the grandmas manning a friendly blockade this weekend in an effort to keep off roaders from the tinder dry woods. The Ministry of Forests announced earlier today that off road vehicles are banned in the backcountry across most of Southeast B.C. In response to extreme fire risk, recreational off-roading is banned in the Cariboo Fire Centre, Kamloops Fire Centre and Southeast Fire Centre. In addition, all on-highway vehicles must remain on defined road surfaces.

Read More

Rains helping crews contain wildfires in New Brunswick

By Nathalie Sturgeon
CBC News
August 6, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Restrictions on burning in parts of New Brunswick have been lessened as of mid-afternoon Sunday and crews are still at the scene of numerous wildfires. There had been a complete ban on burning in the province for about a week. Sunday’s rain allowed the province to ease those restrictions so some burning will be allowed between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.  The ministerial order barring forestry operations between noon and 8 p.m. remains in effect. Several fires broke out in the province on Saturday, including one on the outskirts of Riverview.

Read More

Order to shoot forest burners

Oman Tribune
August 5, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

JAKARTA—A military official in the Indonesian province of Jambi said on Saturday he had ordered that anyone who deliberately sets fire to forest areas be shot, as authorities struggle to contain fires that cause choking smoke in the region. Five Indonesian provinces have declared emergencies because of forest fires, according to Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB), with the number of hotspots steadily increasing in many areas over the past week. The BNPB is working with many government branches, including the military, to contain the fires.

Read More

Tunisia loses swathes of forest in fires

eNews Channel Africa
August 5, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

TUNIS – Around 2,000 hectares of forest in Tunisia have gone up in flames over the past week, with some of the fires probably started deliberately, the authorities said on Saturday. Many of the blazes have been put down to a heatwave gripping the North African country, but arson has also been blamed in some cases. “Since July 29 we have experienced a wave of forest fires — 94 outbreaks across eight provinces,” emergency services spokesman Salah Korbi told a news conference. The secretary of state for agriculture, Omar al-Behi, said “around 2,000 hectares” of forest land (4,950 acres) had been lost.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

USDA office told to use ‘weather extremes’ instead of ‘climate change’

By Devin Henry
The Hill
August 7, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Officials at a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) office told staffers to avoid the term “climate change” in their communications and use language like “weather extremes” instead, The Guardian reported Monday. According to emails obtained by The Guardian, officials told staffers in the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to change the way they discuss climate change in their work. According to the office, climate change would become “weather extremes.” Climate change adaptation should instead be “resilience to weather,” and efforts to “reduce greenhouse gases” should instead be deemed as ways to “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency.”

Read More

Burning trees for fuel may soon qualify for state subsidies

By Davel Abel
Boston Globe
August 7, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The Baker administration plans to designate a fuel derived from felling trees and clearing brush in forests as a form of renewable energy, a move that environmental advocates say would increase emissions and counter promises the governor made after President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord. The proposed rules, which stem from a provision in a 2014 law supported by the logging industry, would provide financial incentives for the energy source known as woody biomass — wood chips and pellets made from tree trunks, branches, sawdust, and other plant matter. Administration officials say biomass is part of an effort to diversify the state’s energy portfolio, and that over time, the fuel shouldn’t increase carbon emissions, especially when it’s used in place of fossil fuels.

Read More