Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 14, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

NDP to review of BC’s ‘professional reliance’ system

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 14, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The NDP government has ordered a “review of BC’s long standing ‘professional reliance’ system” which allows industry to use professional foresters, engineers, etc.–rather than government hired professionals–to assess the environmental risks of their operations.

Although weekend rain helped firefighters in many regions, the associated lightning strikes started many more; “19 in Northwest Ontario alone“. Other fire headlines include the “addition of 300 military personnel in BC” and wildfires “rage on in Greece, Portugal and Corsica“. On a more positive note, “BC wildfires are a silver lining for some wildlife“, “fires are natural and necessary“, and “rehabilitation has already begun on Gustafsen fire“.

In business news, “Irving revealed it will create 200 jobs at its new tissue plant in Macon, Georgia”, “Resolute is challenged to recruit skilled trades” for its reopened lumber mill in Ignace, Ontario, and New Zealand First says it will bring in a Canadian-style law to ensure “log exports don’t destroy their wood processing industry“.

Finally, recent wood-framed fires in Massachusetts has the Boston Globe headline writer claiming ‘lessons not learned‘, and some fire officials are hoping the bill calling for a commission will now gain traction.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Irving invite to U.S. commerce secretary ‘great for Canada,’ says economist

By Connell Smith
CBC News
August 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A University of Toronto economist said JD Irving Ltd was smart to invite U.S. President Donald Trump’s commerce secretary to a jobs announcement in Georgia last week. Secretary Wilbur Ross was front and center when the company revealed it’s building a $400 million tissue plant in Macon, Georgia. He even joked about JD Irving’s success during a speech. …Trefler said the Trump government is desperate for a win, which could work to Canada’s advantage in the country’s free trade talks. “The optics are tremendous for the administration, and that just makes it easier for Canada to get what it wants when we renegotiate NAFTA,” he said. Trefler is less optimistic that the event will make a difference in the softwood lumber dispute where the commerce secretary is a key player.

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The Continuous Digester – what we learned last week

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
August 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Paul Quinn

Random Lengths reported W. SPF pulled back again last week to $397/ mfbm (-$12 w/w). Trading slowed as buyers’ sense of the market turned more bearish. The top factor appears to be the coming CVD-free gap period. SYP prices were down $5 w/w to $380/mfbm, continuing to narrow the disconnect with W. SPF prices. Weather continues to be an issue in the South, causing production to outpace sales amid cautious trading. After 2 months of w/w price increases, OSB price momentum has waned and/or looks to have hit the summer peak. According to Random Lengths, mill sales of OSB slowed to a crawl, and prices leveled off in most regions.

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Exports of wood tie us to the U.S.

By Monique Keiran
Victoria Times Colonist
August 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In mid-August 1863, the steamer Flying Dutchman left Burrard Inlet with a cargo of 25,000 feet of three-inch plank lumber. …Then, in November, the earliest shipment of lumber from Burrard Inlet to foreign ports was exported. More than 277,000 feet of lumber and 16,000 pickets were shipped aboard the barque Ellen Lewis, bound for Australia. …But when it comes to our southern neighbours and softwood lumber, we remain hamstrung. We lose out by remaining so dependent on them buying so many of our board feet, even as wildfires affect our ability to supply it. We know they want our lumber — with their economy finally recovering, they’re building more homes and need more dimensional lumber to frame those houses.

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Conifex Timber earnings jump, but it sets millions aside for U.S. duties

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
August 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, B.C.  – Conifex Timber Inc. reported record results second quarter, with sales $116.4 million, and income of $14.8 million – 39 percent ahead of of the 2016 period. But the results exclude $4.6 million the firm set aside for countervailing duties imposed by the U.S. on softwood lumber imports. …”We expect continued uncertainty around the softwood lumber dispute, including the suspension of preliminary CVD in September 2017, and timing related to the final determination of CVD and antidumping duty rates and the potential resolution of the dispute, will contribute to further volatility in U.S. market conditions and pricing,” Conifex said in its earnings release.  …Conifex is buying capacity in the U.S. in part as a hedge against the trade dispute. 

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Wildfires’ economic toll mounting for miners and other B.C. businesses

By Kelly Sinoski
Business in Vancouver
August 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Elephant Hill fire raging in B.C.’s Central Interior is starting to take a significant economic toll, following the shuttering of the West Fraser Timber’s (TSX:WFT) Chasm operation and the prolonged closure of Highway 97, which is making it difficult for small businesses in areas like Clinton and Cache Creek to stay afloat. About 95% of businesses that called into a “wildlife recovery hotline” set up by the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) reported lost revenue as a result of the fire, which has swallowed more than 117,170 hectares since July 7 and is the second largest blaze burning in B.C. …The mill, which employs residents not only from Clinton, but Cache Creek, Ashcroft and 100 Mile House, suspended operations on July 9, along with two other mills in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.

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Resolute restart brings new jobs to small town

By Maria Church
Wood Business
August 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The mill in Ignace, Ont., an almost three-hour drive northwest of Thunder Bay, is more than just a modern sawmill. For the town of about 1,200, Resolute Forest Products is one of its biggest employers. It’s easy to imagine there were cheers when Resolute reopened the 9-foot stud mill in early 2015. But the former AbitibiBowater mill’s restart was not without challenges, some of which are unique to the area and others are felt company and industry wide. “The biggest challenge for Ignace is finding people. Knowledge, including staff knowledge, is difficult to find,” says Michael Martel, vice-president of forest products operations for Resolute in Ontario and western Quebec….Almost 10 years later, Ignace officially reopened boasting $12 million in equipment upgrades to modernize the sawmill as well as the installation of new dry kilns.

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Lumber prices soar alongside construction

By Tad Sooter
Kitsap Sun
August 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

PORT ORCHARD — While the haze from British Columbia wildfires may be clearing from Puget Sound, the building industry is still choking on high lumber prices. “That smoke you’re seeing, that’s Canada on fire,” Scott Blackburn with Evergreen Lumber in Port Orchard said Friday.  Wildfires have disrupted lumber production in the Pacific Northwest this summer, according to Canadian media reports, contributing to a spike in prices. But wildfires alone aren’t responsible for hiking up the cost of wood, industry professionals say. Tariffs on Canadian softwood imports imposed this year also have played a role. 

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Fire chief: Blaze at lumber mill near Junction City could burn ‘for days’

KVAL
August 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

JUNCTION CITY, Ore. – A fire at a lumber mill could burn “for days,” according to firefighters. The fire was reported in stacked wood at Wood Recovery Inc., 29229 Milliron Rd, around 2 a.m. Sunday. Fire crews have been able to break the fire into three separate burns, and crews are keeping those separate fires in check. The total fire area is estimated to be approximately 30 acres. Chief Terry Ney from Lane Fire Authority said the fire is burning in a quarter mile-long stack of wood, enough fuel to burn for days. The damp weather on Sunday morning has helped keep the burn in check, but dryer and warmer weather in the coming days has crews worried about the fire spreading. As of now, all buildings and property have remained unharmed.

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Chinese government-owned forestry firm prepares to log young trees and ship them offshore

By Susan Edmunds
Stuff.co.nz
August 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Northland wood processors are upset overseas companies are taking local trees before New Zealand-owned businesses have a chance to access them, and shipping unmilled logs straight to Shanghai. A meeting is being held between local processors and China Forestry Group on Monday to discuss plans for the forestry block adjacent to the historic Treaty Grounds at Waitangi. And NZ First’s candidate Shane Jones said he was concerned about the activities of Chinese Government-owned China Forest Products in the Rototuna forest near Dargaville. He said it had been harvesting pine trees that were too young to be used by New Zealand firms, and sending them overseas.

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NZ Wood Processing under Threat From Lack of Action

By the New Zealand First Party
Scoop Independent News
August 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand First says it will bring in a Canadian-style law to ensure log exports don’t destroy the New Zealand wood processing industry. “We have a bill before the Parliament to do just that,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters. “Forestry is our number three export, but it is being vacuumed up by foreign-owned companies with devastating results for the wood processing industry in provinces like Northland. “When a Chinese company can employ 18 Chinese for the price of one New Zealand worker how do New Zealand’s wood processors’ compete for the raw log product in the first place. They can’t and politicians should understand that. “Up here in the North a Chinese company is chopping down immature 20 year old trees. “That might suit their economy it certainly doesn’t suit ours.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Lessons not learned

By Kay Lazar and Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
August 12, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Massachusetts belatedly confronts construction fire dangers. …“It was just a wall of fire,” recounted Paul Morrissette, now the town’s fire chief, who was a captain on the first truck to arrive at the scene in 2007. The massive blaze was a wake-up call for fire departments and state officials to the serious potential hazards of these increasingly common engineered wood products, especially during construction, before sheetrock, sprinklers, and fire alarms are installed and operating. East Longmeadow immediately stepped up efforts to reduce the risk of fires at all construction sites, Morrissette said. Now, 10 years later, it’s clear that much of Massachusetts didn’t get the message. Recent spectacular fires at wood-framed apartment complexes under construction in Waltham and Dorchester have revealed big gaps in the state’s approach to fire prevention at these kinds of projects.

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At Wood Pro Expo learn to really run wood through your business

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
August 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Matt Buell – session speaker

LANCASTER, Pa. – Professional woodworking shows go local, as Wood Pro Expo features a redesigned conference, awards event, and bristles with local dealers and distributors at the Lancaster Host Expo and Conference Center October 19-20 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ten conference sessions are planned, forming a core part of the appeal for Wood Pro Expo. Industry personalities including FDMC editor Will Sampson and custom furniture builder Matt Buell will be on hand, along with technical experts drawn from the bountiful resources at regional suppliers.

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Dutch designer creates a wooden motorcycle powered by algae

By Amanda Froelich
Inhabitat
August 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

An algae-powered wooden motorcycle? The concept isn’t too far out, considering algae has been used to create everything from eco-friendly sneakers to living lamps that absorb CO2. There’s even an entire algae-powered building in Hamburg! Dutch designer Ritsert Mans and scientist Peter Mooij created a wooden motorcycle that runs on algae to increase the visibility of the lesser known fuel source. “For every part of the bike, I looked to what nature could provide me with,” said Mans, who built the frame and springs with wood. He used cork for the dampeners and hemp for reinforcement.

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NZ’s biggest laminated wood building takes shape

By John Gibb
Otago Daily Times
August 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International
Main structural work on the four-level east wing is moving closer to completion at Otago Polytechnic’s innovative $20 million accommodation village in Union St, Dunedin. Roofing has already been added to the taller, five-level west wing. It  is the first time specialised laminated timber has  been used to create a multi-storey building in Dunedin. When completed, it will be the largest laminated wood building, by volume, in the country and also the tallest of its kind. The timber products are  prefabricated in Nelson. The accommodation village will house 231 beds and be the first student residential complex fully owned by Otago Polytechnic. [END]

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International House Sydney takes out international design award

By Kirsty Sier
Architecture and Design
August 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Australia’s first engineered timber commercial building has taken out the prestigious Athenaeum and European Centre for Design Award for International Architecture. International House Sydney, designed by Tzannes as part of the Barangaroo redevelopment, received recognition from two of the world’s leading design institutions: the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. …“International House Sydney is an exemplar of placemaking architecture that reduces negative environmental impacts in the built environment,” says Tzannes. “It provides an ongoing store for carbon, pointing towards the future of commercial building construction throughout the world.”

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Forestry

B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson on hot seat with wildfires, softwood lumber talks

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

Premier John Horgan threw Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson figuratively into the fire by appointing him Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Acting to “protect and create jobs by fighting for a fair deal for B.C. wood products” topped the list of Horgan’s priorities for Donaldson in the premier’s mandate letter for the portfolio, but now the 60-year-old Hazelton resident is also dealing with the province’s wildfire crisis. Donaldson, a long-time resident of the vast Stikine constituency — geographically the province’s biggest — was first elected MLA in 2009. In opposition, he was critic for energy and mines on the opposition benches, but will be counting on his experience in a career that spans journalism (his first job in Smithers was as a reporter for the Interior News), education, tourism, forestry consulting and four terms as a municipal councillor in Hazelton to serve him in his present role.

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Fires are completely natural

By Mark Jennings-Bates
Castanet
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fires don’t help tourism and we sure as heck don’t enjoy choking on smoke. The views may not be as stellar as they usually are, but fire is natural and necessary. Today, because of our unnatural management of fire, we are living in one of the oldest and most dangerous forests the western provinces have seen. …That is simply because of large scale forest fires that consume massive amounts of forest and there was no mechanized assistance available to suppress the fires. Today, we live in a veritable tinder box of ageing and dead lumber that ordinarily would have burned off years ago. Our concerns about logging in watersheds are really man-made concerns because those same watersheds years ago were not immune to fire that wiped out the same trees we struggle to unnaturally preserve today.

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Rehabilitation has begun on Gustafsen fire

By Max Winkelman
100 Mile House Free Press
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On the Gustafsen fire, there’s still stuff coming up every day says Paul Wandler, the Incident Commander, but there is some positive news as well. “We’ve initiated a bunch of rehab already. I know they’re looking at starting to sell the wood, starting to develop timber sales. There is some work to do though. Fire Information Officer Heather Rice says there’s a lot of things they have to look at. “There’ll already be someone on that fire walking around assessing the entire area, whether it’s for danger trees or the guards that have been put in, on private property, mind you most property owners might have to assess it themselves, but then we help them work through that and then a plan is put into place on how we do the rehabilitation of a fire.”

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B.C. wildfires a silver lining for some wildlife

By Alex Migdal
CBC News
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


It’s B.C.’s worst wildfire season in six decades, but some ecosystems in the Interior will benefit from the fires, says a wildlife biologist. “What wildfire does in all ecosystems is reset it,” Dave Quinn told guest host Stephen Quinn on CBC’s The Early Edition. Human activity over the past century has sought to end fires as soon as flames spring up. That’s led to dark, overgrown forests in parts of the Interior that aren’t conducive to all wildlife, Quinn said. “If we add fire back into some of them, it helps open up that canopy and gets rid of the trees,” he said. “A lot of shrubs come back in, which are really good for elk, moose and deer in the wintertime and for nesting songbirds. It creates more of a diverse habitat.”

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University of Northern British Columbia professor believes wildfires will have deep impacts on forest industry

By Kyle Balzer
My Prince George Now
August 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dr. Phil Burton

A University of Northern British Columbia Professor fears the wildfires raging across BC will have significant impacts on forestry operators, especially smaller ones focusing on localized areas. “That includes things like the community forests, First Nation tenures, the woodlot operators, some of those might be completely wiped out,” says Professor of the Ecosystem and Science Management program Philip Burton. “For others, it’s a question of what proportion of both their timber that’s immediately ready to cut, scheduled for cutting is affected and how much it will affect some of these future timber supplies; the growth we were counting on the next several decades that now has to be replanned and reinvested in.”

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NDP orders review of government reliance on industry-hired experts

By Lindsay Kines
Victoria Times Colonist
August 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The NDP government has ordered a review of B.C.’s controversial “professional reliance” system, which uses experts hired by industry to assess the environmental risks associated with logging, mining and other projects. Environment Minister George Heyman said in an interview that the province previously relied on its own professionals to protect the public interest. But the Liberal government shifted much of that responsibility to professionals hired by project proponents — a change that critics say creates conflicts of interest and undermines public trust. Heyman said that reviewing the system is a top priority for the NDP government, but he gave no indication of how long it will take or when it will be completed.

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Vancouver Island marmot facing a new threat: creeping treeline

By Richard Watts
Victoria Times Colonist
August 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Habitat of the endangered Vancouver Island marmot is disappearing as the warming climate allows trees to grow higher up mountainsides, turning alpine meadows into forest. Adam Taylor, executive director of the Marmot Recovery Foundation, said the Vancouver Island marmot needs the treeless high-altitude meadows to see, avoid and escape predators. Taylor said as little as 20 years ago, biologists would sit alongside one prominent marmot meadow in the Nanaimo Lakes area and count the animals. Now that meadow is filled with small trees. “And where there are trees, marmots simply don’t survive,” he said. “They get eaten pretty fast.”

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Update from the Alex Fraser Research Forest

By Ken Day
The University of British Columbia
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ken Day – forester

On July 7, 2017 a dry lightning storm went through the Cariboo, touching off many wildfires, including seven fires within the Gavin Lake Block of the Alex Fraser Research Forest. More than a month has gone by and six of the seven fires are still under active suppression. For current information about the status of the wildfires, visit the BC Wildfire Status website. The UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest is 10,000 hectares of crown land managed by UBC Forestry to provide teaching and research opportunities in natural resource sciences.  The Research Forests are self-supporting based primarily upon a sustainable harvest of timber for sale in the log market.

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Ottawa’s emerald ash borer infestation is in decline, but that’s not necessarily good news

By Blair Crawford
Ottawa Citizen
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jason Pollard, Ottawa forester

Like a freeloading relative who cleans out the fridge then skips town, Ottawa’s emerald ash borers are moving on. After eight years and 50,000 tree removals, the voracious tree-killing beetle infestation appears to be on the decline. The reason? There’s just not that much left for it to eat. “We are, in a sense, over some of the more significant and difficult years of large numbers of tree removals,” said Jason Pollard, a forester with the City of Ottawa. The beetle arrived in the city in 2009 with a heavy infestation in the area around St. Laurent Boulevard. Since then, the beetles have spread east, south and west, and the city has aggressively cut ash trees, not so much to control the beetle, but because of the safety risk posed by towering dead trees. The infestation and tree cutting peaked in 2015, Pollard said.

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Charlottetown using new preventative treatment for Dutch elm disease

By Nicole Williams
CBC News
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Charlottetown is taking new measures to protect its elm trees after almost half of the city’s elm tree population has been cut down since 2015. About 450 elm trees are scattered throughout the city, and according to Charlottetown’s parkland conservationist Beth Hoar, have been around for a very long time. …Hoar said for the past twenty years, the city has had to manage Dutch elm disease, a fungal infection that’s carried from tree to tree by elm bark beetles. …That’s why the city is taking new measures to protect it’s healthy elm trees and has started using a treatment called Arbotect 20-S. “We’re actually treating the tree to prevent it from getting the Dutch elm disease and it’s supposed to have a very high success rate,” said Hoar. Hoar said applying the new treatment is labour intensive and is more expensive. On average it costs $360 to treat a tree.

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Resilient forests

By the Editorial Board
The Durango Herald
August 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The public certainly has an interest in the resiliency of its federally owned forest resources. Past ill-conceived management decisions, years of extreme underfunding for forest management and climate-related stresses, have left the forests at risk for a variety of ills. There is great potential for improvement. It doesn’t automatically follow, though, that sidestepping environmental protections and review processes and giving more control to private industry is the best way to accomplish that. The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, House Bill 2936, is being co-sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton, who says he remains a strong defender of public lands, at least in Southwest Colorado. This bill, though, definitely tilts toward the timber industry as the only solution to wildfire risk and forest degradation. What the proponents call “tools” can too easily become means for losing public control of our resources.

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Scientists urge no changes to Cascade-Siskiyou Monument

By Michael Baker, Pepper Tail and Jack Williams
The Oregonian
August 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in mid-July as part of the Trump Administration’s review of selected monuments established under the Antiquities Act. As scientists with many years of research experience in the monument area, we briefly met with Zinke to discuss the scientific basis for the monument’s recent expansion and need for continued protection. We also handed him a letter signed by 220 scientists urging that the protections and boundaries remain unchanged. We were glad to hear him acknowledge the unique nature of the monument and its remarkable biodiversity, but we remain concerned that the review could result in modifications to the monument that would lessen protections for its ecological integrity and remarkable array of species.

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New GOP bill aims at forest protections

Summit County Citizens Voice
August 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Logging projects as large as 10,000 acres could be rushed to approval without environmental reviews under a new bill proposed by Sen. John Thune, (R-S.D.). As introduced, the law would limit public comment and disclosure of the environmental impacts of large-scale logging projects. The measure is similar to a House bill  that also aims to significantly limit public input and scientific environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act “Senate Republicans seem all too eager to let special interests destroy some of our most vital public lands, wildlife and watersheds,” said Randi Spivak, public lands program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This bill would return forest management to the dark ages, when reckless logging devastated wildlife, degraded rivers, and ruined recreation opportunities for millions of Americans.”

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Helicopter logging, other work starts this month above Vail Intermountain

Vail Daily News
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

VAIL — Helicopter logging operations will be taking place soon to reduce the wildfire risk on U.S. Forest Service land near the Intermountain neighborhood in West Vail. The project is part of a multi-year fuels-reduction project coordinated by the White River National Forest, Colorado State Forest Service and Vail Fire & Emergency Services. Preparation work is scheduled to begin in the next few days, when crews will arrive to cut dead and diseased trees in preparation for the helicopter removal, which will occur later in August and into September. …The logging work represents the second phase of the Intermountain Fuels Reduction Project, which seeks to reduce the amount of fuel available for wildfire, reduce the number of dead standing trees, regenerate areas of unhealthy aspen and improve wildlife habitat.

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Earthworms at the Root of Sugar Maple Decline

By Marcia Goodrich
Michigan Tech News
August 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…A Michigan Technological University scientist has fingered non-native earthworms as a primary culprit in the decline of an iconic American tree. …Drought was a suspect—the traditionally damp northern Great Lakes region was in the midst of a dry spell. Other potential causes were forest management practices, soil types, climate change and the mix of species in the area. …Tara Bal, a research assistant professor of forest resources and environmental science found one factor that stood out: the condition of the forest floor. And nothing affects a forest floor quite like earthworms. …Sugar maples have a particular characteristic that makes them even more vulnerable to earthworms. Ninety percent of their roots are in the top few inches of soil, so the trees rely on the litter to keep the soil from drying out. With the litter gone, maples can slowly die of thirst.

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People from across Europe protest logging in Polish forest

Associated Press in the Washington Post
August 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WARSAW — Hundreds of people have gathered in an ancient forest in Poland to protest the widespread logging the government has ordered there. The Bialowieza Forest, one of Europe’s last primeval woodlands and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the subject of a heated political dispute over the logging ordered by Poland’s conservative ruling Law and Justice party. Environmentalists and the European Union oppose the logging, while the government argues it is necessary to fight a bark beetle infestation. Environmentalists from Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Europe joined Polish activists on Sunday to oppose what they see as destruction of the natural site.

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Forest Fires

More military to fight fires

By Nicholas Johansen
Castanet
August 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

More military personnel are coming to B.C. to help fight wildfires. The Province requested more Canadian Armed Forces help, as fire conditions are expected to remain poor in the coming weeks. An additional 300 CAF members will assist in mop-up operations and monitoring under-control fires, bringing the total number of military personnel fighting the fires to 650. …“Given their training and command structure, the military personnel are ideally suited to assist with mop-up, demobilization and patrol work on a number of our larger wildfires,” said Doug Donaldson, minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The work to fully extinguish some of these fires is expected to take several weeks.”

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Dramatic stories told at BC wildfire victim fundraiser in Victoria

By Don Descoteau
BC Local News
August 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Donors who sat down to lunch in the comfortable confines of the Union Club may have had an inkling what was coming. But the powerful messages delivered about the B.C. wildfires and the devastation they’ve caused no doubt caught many in the room by surprise. Billed as Booster for B.C., the Victoria event aimed to raise $40,000 to help the Canadian Red Cross assist victims of the fires during the evacuation period and after they’ve returned home. View Royal Assistant Chief Rob Marshall, one of a number of Greater Victoria firefighters who went north to help battle the blazes, spoke of the group’s experiences working in and around Williams Lake as residents were preparing for, then were evacuated.

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Wildfire forces evacuation from Poplar River First Nation

By Alexandra Paul
Winnipeg Free Press
August 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

About a hundred Poplar River First Nation residents have been evacuated due to threatening smoke from a wildfire in the area, the Canadian Red Cross reported Friday. Flights from the area began Thursday, with stopovers in Norway House on the way to Winnipeg, are expected to last as long as smoke lingers in the community of about 1,200, Red Cross spokesman Jason Small said. Evacuees are reported to be staying in Winnipeg hotels. …Manitoba sees an average of 544 wildfires annually. So far this year, there were 325 as of Thursday with three listed as out of control as of Friday morning. But, in a warning of risks to come, 10 fires sparked up overnight. That’s a number that makes the province’s conservation and wildfire officers sit up and take notice.

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Nineteen new fires confirmed in Northwest region

TB Newswatch
August 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There were 19 new fires confirmed by early evening on August 10 in the Northwest Region and more were expected before the day was done. There were 17 confirmed fires by day’s end on August 09. The forest fire hazard continues to rise in the north and is rebounding in the south despite recent rain. Intense fire behaviour is possible in windy conditions. To track the fire hazards and to see a complete list of fires across the province click on our interactive map. You can also get the latest update on the condition of any fire by clicking the fire icons. The majority of the new fires are caused by lightning but some are still attributed to human-causes.

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Wildfires rage as cooler temperatures arrive

The Oregonian
August 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires are burning across the region, closing some wilderness areas to visitors and putting residents on alert. The cooler temperatures and rainfall have been a relief to crews battling flames on tens of thousands of acres. Nevertheless, the Bureau of Land Management said that starting Monday campfires and other flames will be banned on its acreage in the Cascades and Upper Willamette areas of Northwest Oregon. Here’s a look at some of the wildfires: Nena Springs fire moves east; …Spruce Lake fire active on east side; …Blanket Creek fire half contained; …Falcon fire complex closes 2 areas; …Progress against Bear Butte fire; …Flounce fire creeps, smolders; …Whitewater fire in Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area remains active; …Rebel fire closes trails, campgrounds

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Sapphire Complex fire grows to over 30,000 acres

KTVQ
August 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

ROCK CREEK – The Sapphire Complex fire burning approximately 25 miles south-southeast of Missoula in the Rock Creek drainage has grown to over 30,000 acres and evacuation orders remain in place. A mandatory evacuation order remains in place from Hogback Homestead south to Stony Creek and the Sliderock Mountain area. There are also still pre-evacuation notices for residents in the northern portion of Rock Creek drainage and in the Upper Willow Creek drainage. Private property and structures in the Rock Creek and Upper Willow Creek drainage remain threatened and Upper Willow Creek Road remains closed to the public.

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Wildfires rage on untamed in Greece, Portugal and Corsica

By Joseph Wilson and Demetris Nellas
Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
August 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

As climate warms, an exploding larch beetle population is transforming Minnesota’s forests

By Josephine Marcotty
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Troy Holcombe – Minnesota forester

Eastern larch beetles, tiny burrowing bugs native to Minnesota, are exploding in number across the state’s northern forest and have killed or damaged about a third of the state’s tamarack trees — one of the first clear signs of a rapidly changing climate. With earlier springs and warmer winters, there’s nothing to stop the bug’s relentless march across Minnesota, leaving state foresters helpless in the face of an onslaught that seems destined to eradicate the graceful deciduous pine admired for its striking deep gold color in the fall.

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