Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: September 2017

Today’s Takeaway

National Forest Week wraps with awards and recognitions

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 29, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

National Forest Week—established circa 1920 as Forest Fire Prevention Week—wraps up with an array of awards. SFI’s President’s Award went to Craig Blair of Resource Management Service, J.D. Irving was the recipient of SFI’s Conservation Award, and Maine’s Implementation Committee was the winner of the SFI’s Achievement Award.

ECOSYNTHETIX won the Bio-Based Chemical Innovation award, ECO Canada’s Impact Award for auditors went to Chis Mosher and the City of Quesnel and Cariboo Regional District were recognized for their use of wood in construction. Related stories include a feature on the future of Canada’s forests (by Kathy Abusow) and a logging demonstration for 300 students in Port Alberni.

Elsewhere, BC Interior politicians call for prescribed burns to deal with wildfire and Senators Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., testify in support of Senate Bill 605 – Litigation Relief for Forest Management Projects Act.

In Business news:

Finally, some United Arab Emirates University students seek to make paper from sand and a design proposal for Tampere’s new museum in Finland—with its giant wooden blades—is mind-blowing. Have a look.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor 

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Local governments recognized for leadership in wood design and building

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 28, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Six local governments were recognized by Wood WORKS! for leadership in wood design and building at the 2017 Union of BC Municipalities Convention. Meanwhile, six universities in Ontario hosted Timber Fever – a reality TV show-like contest that pits students against each other in a race to design and build a wood structure. In timber news, UMaine gets $455K for mass timber commercialization and Oregon’s push to use mass timbers takes a political turn.

In forestry news:

  • Michael Rosen (Tree Canada) speaks to the challenges of preserving urban forests
  • Doug Donaldson (BC Forest Minister) says extra staff required to process wildfire bills
  • Nature Canada and SFI recognize Inger Andersen from the Int. Union of Conservation of Nature
  • Tom Martin (American Forest Foundation) reports on the Fed’s impact on family forests
  • Rick Nolan (D-Wa) supports bill that would reduce reviews on federal forests
  • Robert Bonnie (former undersecretary) says “there will be fire” and Congress needs to invest in restoration now

Finally, Jasen Stock of New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association gives a pro-biomass retort to yesterday’s column on the use of biomass for energy. 

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

United Arab Emirates University students seek to make paper from sand

By Daniel Bardsley
The National
September 28, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A project by the students at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al Ain aims to produce paper without wood pulp, using instead sand and pellets of a polymer, a material made from repeated chemical units joined together. Their method could offer environmental benefits, since it requires less energy than traditional paper production from wood pulp. It also does not need water, an advantage in countries such as the UAE that face severe demands on their water resources, and in turn it does not generate waste water. 

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Business & Politics

U.S. takes tough stand on trade deficit in NAFTA talks

By Sean Kilpatrick
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
September 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Trump administration took a hard line on shrinking the U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico as the third round of negotiations on rewriting the North American free-trade agreement concluded in Ottawa on Wednesday with little substantive progress. Washington’s unshakeable focus on reducing its trade deficit in the NAFTA talks was immediately challenged by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Ms. Freeland would not say whether the U.S. stand on trade deficits and protectionist measures against aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Inc. and Canadian softwood lumber are signs the Americans want to dissolve NAFTA, as Donald Trump vowed to do during his presidential election campaign. …”I do not have the superpower that allows me to look into the heart of a counterparty and divine their true intention,” Ms. Freeland told reporters when asked if the United States is serious about negotiating a new deal.

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WOOD MARKETS is now FEA-Canada – A New Era Begins!

By Russ Taylor
WOOD Markets Monthly
September 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Russ Taylor

In 1993, I formed a company — R.E. Taylor & Associates Ltd. — based on my fifteen years of experience in forestry and wood products, and five years of domestic and international consulting work. Over time, the company became recognized internationally as one of the leading publishers of ground-breaking wood products analysis, research and forecasts. …In 2005, the company was rebranded as International WOOD MARKETS Group Inc. …We are now embarking on a new chapter! effective august 2017, forest economic advisors llc (fea) is the new owner of international Wood markets Group. The acquisition provides FEA with a deeper understanding of key trends in Canada, along with exposure to the comprehensive international business developed by the WOOD MARKETS team. 

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Catalyst Paper’s corporate welfare

By Murray Dobbin, freelance writer
Powell River Peak
September 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

City of Powell River’s current council, …may not be much different than the old city council when it comes to serving the interests of a single taxpayer: Catalyst Paper Corporation. It is extremely disappointing to see the finance committee, …recommend a paltry $300,000 increase in Catalyst’s taxes. …In 2007, Catalyst paid $4.94 million in taxes. In 2009, it played the bully and said it would only pay $2.2 million. Council, led by Catalyst cheerleader and then councillor Dave Formosa, immediately caved and agreed to lower the company’s taxes. Other Catalyst communities refused and received their full tax revenue, backed by the Supreme Court. Then a “revitalization” bylaw (it should have been called the corporate-welfare bylaw) officially lowered Catalyst’s tax bill to $2.2 million and since that time we have effectively paid Catalyst approximately $15 million (it now pays $2.8 million following an increase of a half million in 2014).

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Arkansas manufacturing company to buy old plywood mill, add 123 jobs

By Rachel Herzog
Arkansas Online
September 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A manufacturing firm will add 123 jobs by expanding its Garland County facility, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission said Wednesday. Morfe Manufacturing Co., which is owned by Hot Springs-based window supplier WinChoice, is reportedly investing about $3.8 million in its Mountain Pine facility by purchasing the now-closed Weyerhaeuser plywood mill. The mill closed in 2006, and the area lost nearly 700 jobs, according to a news release. Morfe Manufacturing CEO Morgan Wiles called the expansion “a dream come true.”

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Company thanks Irma responders after groundbreaking for huge plant

By Stanley Dunlap
The Telegraph
September 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia — Irving Consumer Products held a barbecue Thursday for first responders for their efforts during and after Tropical Storm Irma. Irving also held a groundbreaking Thursday for a $400 million Macon-Bibb County manufacturing plant. …Fans were blowing and a tent was set up to counter the sweltering heat Thursday at the future site of a $400 million manufacturing plant in south Bibb County. It was a stark difference from about nine months ago, when gas heaters were needed as Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority leaders courted Irving Consumer Products executives about building a state-of-the-art facility here. …Construction will start soon on the 700,000-square-foot plant, where soft bath tissue and paper towels will be made. The Canada-based company expects to have about 200 employees working at the facility when it opens in 2019.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

City and Cariboo Regional District recognized for use of wood in West Fraser Centre

By Melanie law
Quesnel Observer
September 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Quesnel and Cariboo Regional District (CRD) received an award this week from Wood WORKS!, a national campaign to increase the use of wood in commercial, industrial and institutional construction. The City and CRD were recognized for their joint venture, the West Fraser Centre, for the use of wood in the building. Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson said the award was a surprise, as there is no nomination process. …Wood was used in the new arena’s ceiling and mezzanine, as well as many other areas of construction.

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3GATTI’s museum proposal in finland aims to be a landmark with its giant wooden blades

By Apostolos Costarangos
Design Boom
September 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The concept for the new ‘tampere art museum’ in finland is inspired by one of the best and most famous local distinctions: wood. the nordic country is the largest producer of wood in europe and among the largest in the world. 3GATTI’s proposal with its giant wooden blades would like to create an important landmark that can be easily remembered by the visitors and create a clear identity of the area. the architectural object will be very powerful because of its simplicity, but will also let perceive from the exterior its enormous interior complexity. in fact, those huge walls distant only 1.2 meters from each other will let filter inside not only the light but also the view and the pedestrian’s flow that will drain freely through the lateral slits.

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‘Timberscrapers’ could soon dominate urban skylines

By Andrew Tarantola
Yahoo Finance
September 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

They just don’t make ’em like the Sakyamuni Pagoda anymore. Built from wood in 1056 in the Shanxi province of China, the building has remained standing to this day despite seven earthquakes rattling the region within its first 50 years of existence. Since then, it’s held up against a slew of seismic events, even when more modern structures have failed. Now thanks to recent advancements in timber technology, modern architects are rediscovering the benefits of working with wood. Wood was the go-to construction material from the dawn of time up until the late 19th century. …”When you compare a wood building with a concrete building, wood wins every time,” Jim Bowyer, an emeritus engineer at the University of Minnesota in St Paul, told Nature in May.

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Forestry

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Announces Award Winners

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Craig Blair – SFI President’s Award

Ottawa, ON — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced the 2017 SFI Awards at the SFI Annual Conference. Craig Blair, President and CEO, Resource Management Service (RMS) LLC took home the SFI President’s Award. Craig is being recognized for providing the vision and strong leadership that helped Project Learning Tree (PLT) find a new home at SFI. J.D. Irving was the recipient of the SFI Leadership in Conservation Award recognizing SFI Program Participants across Canada and the U.S. who are involved in strong partnerships focused on conservation. Finally, the Maine SFI Implementation Committee was the winner of the 2017 SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award, recognizing the exceptional work of the grassroots network of 34 SFI Implementation Committees across the U.S. and Canada. 

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The future of Canada’s forests

By Kathy Abusow, president and CEO, SFI Inc
The Prince George Citizen
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Kathy Abusow

It’s hard to imagine a landscape that touches Canadians in as many diverse, important ways as our forests do. It’s equally difficult to think of another landscape that requires as much complex management. I recently participated in a briefing session of assistant deputy ministers involved in forests across Canada, and I can attest that the hard work, strong cooperation and broad engagement are the new normal. That’s because, more than just part of our environment and economy, Canadian forests are a way of life. And forest managers are collaborating across widespread geographies and integrating a broad range of disciplines to ensure forests remain strong and healthy for Canada’s next 150 years and beyond. This summer’s devastating forest fires that affected parts of the country from B.C. to Ontario are a stark reminder of how forests can affect our everyday lives.

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The State of Canada’s forests report

Natural Resources Canada
September 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Canada has rich forest resources and we manage them sustainably. Through The State of Canada’s Forests Annual Report, Natural Resources Canada provides the only national snap shot of Canada’s forests and forest industry. We’ve been tracking our journey towards sustainable forest management for 27 years. This year we celebrate Canada’s 150 years as a forest nation. Read about the history of Canada’s forest sector and how the sector is leading the way in the global bioeconomy today. Learn about how citizen scientists can help us better understand spruce budworm outbreaks, and how science-based systems are helping forest managers predict, monitor and manage forest fires. Read the message from Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, visit our table of contents or download the full report as a PDF.

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4 Challenges We Must Overcome To Preserve Canada’s Urban Forests

By Michael Rosen, R.P.F, President of Tree Canada
The Huffington Post
September 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Today is National Tree Day (Sept. 27), a day for all Canadians to appreciate — and be reminded of — all the great benefits that trees provide. Trees, of course, are the infrastructure of the urban environment, offering shade and clean air, canceling noise, absorbing dust and water, reducing energy consumption, providing people with psychological and physical well-being and more.  Sadly, forest cover in Canadians cities has been declining over the past 20 years. Considering Canadians have always tied much of our national identity to nature, this is especially concerning when you consider that 80-plus per cent of our population now lives in urban areas — four out of every five people.  …Here in Canada, you might be surprised to learn there is currently no federal leadership strategy to preserve, protect and promote urban forests for their life-giving value to Canadian communities.  …There is also a severe lack of knowledge in the country when it comes to urban forestry, which is why Tree Canada advocated for the University of British Columbia to develop Canada’s first and only bachelor’s degree program in urban forestry back in 2015.

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Forest Practices Board auditor recognized by ECO Canada national award

BC Forest Practices Board
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY – Christopher R. Mosher, CPA, CA, EP(CEA), Director of Audits and Chief Financial Officer for the Forest Practices Board, is the recipient of the inaugural 2017 ECO Impact Award in the Auditor Impact category. Chris was nominated for his work developing the Board’s field-based compliance audit program. “This award is really a recognition of the Forest Practices Board’s program and what staff and board members have accomplished over the past 21 years,” said Mosher. Chris has been an Environmental Professional (CEA) for 15 years, in addition to being a Chartered Professional Accountant. The ECO Impact Awards were established as part of ECO Canada’s 25th anniversary celebration.

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Port Alberni students take part in National Forest Week

By Karly Blats
Alberni Valley News
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A National Forest Week event took place at McLean Mill for Grade 4/5 students in School District 70. More than 300 students got the opportunity to watch logging demonstrations, learn about stream riparian and fish discussion, wildfires and take part in a forestry nature walk. This event is a collaboration between the South Island Natural Resource District, BC Timber Sales, Island Timberlands, Western Forest Products, TimberWest, Alberni Community Forest, BC Wildlife Service, West Coast Aquatics, ADSS, Port Alberni Elementary Schools and Wickaninnish Community School.

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Forests have value

Letter by Ross Muirhead, Elphinstone Logging Focus
Coast Reporter
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ross Muirhead

In Doug Hockley’s opinion piece from Sept. 15, he states, “‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’ doesn’t need to apply for the District of Sechelt. We still have a Community Forest that requires harvesting to keep it healthy for future generations.” The comment begs deeper analysis of the direct benefit that Sunshine Coast Community Forests (SCCF) – a logging company, actually – contributes to the long-term economic health of Sechelt. For every clear-cut forest heading off Coast on the back of a logging truck, there’s an associated loss of a natural asset. …The forests being logged by SCCF are not second-growth tree farms so are not being “harvested” – they are the last remnants of the natural forests at low elevations that once graced this coastline.

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Mop up work being done on the Elephant Hill fire

By Tara Sprickerhoff
100 Mile House Free Press
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the Elephant Hill fire at 100 per cent containment and that ever-desired “under control” status as of Sept. 27, there are still firefighters on the lines working to do the final cleanup on the fire. The 100 Mile Free Press joined a tour to the front of the fire lines with other local media to see what firefighters are working on in what is hopefully the ending stages of the fire. … The crew is on their sixth deployment of the year, having started on the fire near Princeton working 26 hour shifts to keep it from entering the town.

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BC Wildfire assessing Cawston fire

Keremeos Review
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Seven BC Wildfire Service firefighters are working on the fire burning about two-kilometres southwest of Cawston. The fire is estimated at three hectares in size and is burning up slope in extremely steep terrain. Firefighters are building guard at the base of the fire. Hand-ignition operations are taking place to strengthen the guard, so an increase in smoke can be expected this afternoon. At this time, the fire does not pose a threat to public safety, structures or values.

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Verdant fire now being held

By Cathy Ellis
Rocky Mountain Outlook
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Verdant Creek wildfire in Kootenay National Park and Assiniboine Provincial Park is no longer considered out of control. It’s not out by any means, but Parks Canada officials say recent cooler temperatures and precipitation allowed crews working directly on the fire’s edge to make significant progress. …The last estimate on the size of the fire was about 17,644 hectares – or 1,760 square kilometres. No new update on the size of the fire is being provided at this stage. The lightning-sparked Verdant Creek fire was first discovered on July 15. It completely burned down a backcountry warden cabin the following day as 70km/h winds spread the fire quickly.

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Wildsight Working with East Kootenay Lumber Industry on Responsible Salvage Logging

By David Opinko
Summit107.com
September 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildsight’s Conservation Director John Bergenske claims there have been cases in the past where loggers tried to clear out a forested area after a heavy fire season and did so irresponsibly. …Bergenske adds that salvage logging can be beneficial to an area if done correctly, which is why his group is working closely the local forestry companies and the provincial government. …So far, he says it has been a very open, cooperative process that he hopes will be an example of industry and the environment working together for the benefits of all.

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BC Interior politicians call for prescribed burns to deal with wildfire

By Jennifer Saltman
Vancouver Sun
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Municipal politicians from B.C.’s Interior are appealing for more help from the provincial government to prevent wildfires from threatening their communities. From prescribed burns to legislative changes to allow clearing in old-growth forest areas, they expressed their concerns to representatives from the B.C. Wildfire Service at a panel hosted by the Union of B.C. Municipalities on Thursday. …“The scale caught everyone by surprise,” said Cariboo Regional District vice-chair John Massier, whose region was hard hit by this year’s fire season. Massier said there is a movement in favour of returning fire to the landscape in the form of prescribed burns. He said they work because areas that were burned 20 to 25 years ago were spared from fire this year. 

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Reducing the risk of wildfires: opinion

By Tim Ryan, Chair, BC Forest Practices Board
BC Local News
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tim Ryan

Sept. 24 to 30, 2017 marks National Forest Week in Canada. Established around 1920 as Forest Fire Prevention Week, the origins were to encourage greater public awareness towards Canada’s forests. At the time, the greatest threat to forests came from forest fires, mainly due to human causes. Since then, National Forest Week, as it was renamed in 1967, has evolved to encompass the many and varied human and environmental aspects of Canada’s forest resources – past, present and future. While much has changed in the last century, one could be forgiven for concluding that once again, the greatest threat comes from forest fires, only now due in large part to climate change.

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Seeing Canada through the trees: Why Canadians can lead the world in forest conservation

Dan Kraus, Nature Conservancy of Canada
Sault Online
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Kraus

Forests define our Canadian geography and identity. One-third of our country is covered with trees, and forests occur in every province and territory. Jobs in forestry employ more than 200,000  Canadians and support many Indigenous and northern communities. Our forests are the reason why I’ve had days in the backcountry when I’ve encountered more tourists, such as Germans in the Yukon, or Japanese in Algonquin Park, than Canadians. … There are opportunities for Canada and Canadians to do more to become world leaders in forest conservation. In Canada’s north, we have a unique opportunity to create the world’s largest network of protected forests in the world. 

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Full crew responds to blaze south of Kamloops

By Cole Wagner
Merritt Herald
September 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A full response crew from the BC Wildfire service is currently battling a blaze 15 kilometres south of Kamloops near Lac Le Jeune. “The fire grew to about .65 hectares in size, so it was really small. It’s in full response right now,” said fire information officer Max Birkner. “There were six firefighters who went there yesterday, and there are six firefighters there today as well.” The fire was discovered late on Sept. 25.  “Initially it was suspected to be lightning cause — now it’s possible that it wasn’t. They’ve now sent fire origin and cause staff out there to investigate it,” said Birkner. The fire has been dubbed the “Hull Hill” fire, due to the its proximity to a hill of the same name. The Coquihalla Highway remains open in both directions despite the fire. (END OF STORY)

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EDITORIAL: Fire ban lifted prematurely

BC Local News
September 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Despite the provincial government green-lighting campfires across the province, our little slice of land known as the North Okanagan is still a tinderbox. And as such, local jurisdictions, including Vernon, Coldstream, Armstrong, Enderby and Spallumcheen, have decided to ignore the provincial governments’ lead and remain under a fire ban. “The wildfire risk remains high, despite the cooler temperatures. This measure will help prevent human-caused wildfires until the hazard level drops,” said Enderby fire chief Cliff Vetter.

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Questioning salvage logging

Letter by John Bergenske, conservation director, Wildsight
BC Local News
September 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Bergenske

With the colder weather and rain, wildfires are coming under control and plans for salvage logging are being put together quickly across the province. The science over the past two decades has been clear: salvage logging is risky for our natural systems and delays or even prevents ecosystem recovery. Fire salvage logging increases soil compaction, increases erosion and losses of organic matter (with effects on both plants and streams) and decreases the landscape water-holding capacity, potentially leading to larger floods and increased surface run off. The less logging after a fire, the better for our natural ecosystems.  …Poorly planned salvage logging can easily negate the benefits that fire provides. If we are going to salvage log, careful management is crucial. Green tree patches must be retained. Enlarged riparian buffers and green tree retention is needed to minimize impacts on rivers and streams.

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Sumas First Nation signs declaration in Abbotsford

By Kelvin Gawley
BC Local News
September 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sumas First Nation unveiled a bold declaration asserting title rights over its ancestral territory at a ceremony on Friday. The nation’s chief and band councillors signed the Semá:th Declaration at their Sumas Mountain Road longhouse following song, dance and speeches. The declaration affirms the nation’s rights to all land, mountains, minerals, trees, lakes, rivers, streams and resources extending through its traditional lands beyond its small reserve at the foot of Sumas Mountain.

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Prescribed burns planned after Sunday

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — Authorized timber harvest slash-burn fires will begin at two locations in Olympic National Forest west of Port Angeles after Sunday, when the statewide ban on outdoor burning that exempts recreational fires will be lifted, fire officials said Wednesday. But the ban could be extended in Clallam County if it doesn’t rain enough, Clallam County Fire District Chief Sam Phillips said Wednesday. And it’s already been extended beyond Oct. 1 until further notice in Jefferson County, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue Chief Gordon Pomeroy said Wednesday. “It’s all about the burnable fuels,” Pomeroy said.

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Gianforte wrong on wildfire causes

Letter by Carol Edwards
The Helene Independent Record
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Your views are ill-informed, if not downright deceitful, as regards both the causes and solutions to the fire danger facing us here in Montana. Cutting down forests does not stop forest fires. In a time of ever-increasing heat indexes and drought, fire is inevitable in our forested areas. Logging only creates a damaged, barren landscape, and lines the pockets of the timber industry as they hack away the vital living forest, at the expense of the taxpayers and their beloved public lands. This depletes our beautiful forests, which are a critical component in the state’s major economy.

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State-federal agreement awards Ketchikan company second-growth timber sale

By Joe Viechnicki
KTOO Public Media
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Ketchikan company has been awarded a $2.6-million sale of second-growth timber on an island in Southeast Alaska. The state of Alaska prepared and awarded the contract for logging on federal land on Kosciusko Island under an agreement with the federal government. The sale is the first of its kind in Alaska under what’s called a good neighbor authority agreement, which allows the state’s Division of Forestry to handle sale preparation, administration and oversight for the logging on the Tongass National Forest. … “The benefit for the state government is helping the Forest Service with capacity issues and actually getting timber sales prepared quicker and out for sale,” said Chris Maisch, state forester and director of the Alaska Division of Forestry. 

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Senators pitch forest management bill

By Patrick Reilly
Daily Inter Lake
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As Montana’s historic summer wildfires smolder down, U.S. Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., are focused on future blazes. The two spent Wednesday testifying in support of the Litigation Relief for Forest Management Projects Act. …the Act aims to remove legal obstacles facing forest management projects ­— the logging and thinning operations that, they say, can remove fuel from fires’ path. …In particular, the bill addresses the outcome of a 2015 lawsuit, Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. U.S. Forest Service. In that case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Forest Service had violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to re-enter consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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New Incident Management Team Will Take Over Chetco Bar Fire This Weekend

By Sam Marsh
KAJO
September 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new incident management team is taking over the massive Chetco Bar Fire as activity on the nation’s largest blaze continues to wind down. The new team’s primary mission is repair work, erosion control and cleaning up lines that have the wildfire almost fully-contained at just over 191,000 acres. The US Forest Service reports approximately 367 miles of containment lines were constructed of which 130 miles were direct attack lines. Forest officials have asked that the recently renewed Biscuit Fire line be left intact in the event there is another large wildfire in the future. Illinois Valley Fire District Chief Dennis Hoke said there is still a couple days of work left on the east side of the Chetco Bar Fire in Josephine County. He said the fire camp at Lake Selmac is being demobilized and the helibase at the Illinois Valley Airport is also in the process of being shut down.

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Companies’ ‘zero deforestation’ pledges: everything you need to know

By Tess Riley
The Guardian
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Whether it’s the destruction of rainforest shared by elephants and orangutans in Sumatra to produce palm oil; reports linking fast food giants to the burning of tropical forests in Brazil and Bolivia; or the hundreds of thousands of hectares of tree cover loss per year in West Africa – the world’s forests are being razed to sate global demand for produce such as palm oil, beef and cocoa. As of March 2017, 447 companies had made 760 commitments to curb forest destruction in supply chains linked to palm oil, soy, timber and pulp, and cattle – principal forest-risk commodities – according to NGO Forest Trends. But what does this mean? And why do deforestation scandals keep emerging? ..Around 70% of deforestation is linked to the production of agricultural commodities that end up in food products eaten around the world.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Who are the winners of the Bio-Based Innovation Awards (Americas) 2017?

Bio-Based World News
September 28, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Jeff MacDonald, EcoSynthetix Inc. (centre)

This week at the end of the first day of Bio-Based Live Americas in San Diego, the winners of the Bio-Based Innovation Awards (Americas) were announced. The winner of our Bio-Based Chemical Innovation of the Year (Americas) 2017 is ECOSYNTHETIX with their DuraBind™ Engineered Biopolymers – Sustainable Binders for Wood Composites Applications. Thee bio-based alternatives are an improvement on traditional binder systems which have been used for decades in the wood composites industry and offer higher productivity, less downtime, increased line speed, reduced panel sticking and improved panel quality and environmental benefits through the re-use of waste water.

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Using wood energy for residential heating in rural regions

By Allen Brackley, David Nicholls, Elaine O’Neil, and Maureen Puettmann
Canadian Biomass
September 28, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Southeast Alaska is a remote island chain, located about 1,100 kilometres north of Seattle, Wash. …Although the region is heavily forested…, there are no commercial wood pellet mills capable of supplying the region’s needs. …Thus, pellets for residential heating must be imported, often from Washington or Oregon. …we used life cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental impacts on global warming potential associated with converting home heating systems from heating oil to wood pellets in southeast Alaska. …Wood pellet use for residential heating in southeast Alaska was evaluated as a cradle-to-grave life cycle analysis. When comparing the global warming potential of pellets, locally produced cordwood, and heating oil, we found that global warming potential was lower for all scenarios that included wood pellet substitution.

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Plant closures could be turning point for Minnesota biomass industry

By Frank Jossi
Midwest Energy News
September 29, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Minnesota utility regulators are studying a proposal by Xcel Energy to close two biomass plants that could mark a turning point for the industry here, particularly as prices for renewable energy drop. The proposal — which has approval by the state legislature and the communities affected — would close Benson Power, which burns turkey waste and wood, as well as a biomass plant in northern Minnesota owned by the Laurentian Energy Authority (LEA). Closing the two plants, which make up half of Minnesota’s biomass generation, could cost hundreds of jobs, and state forest management officials and the poultry industry say it will create turmoil among various suppliers to the plants. Their message is simple: slow down.

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Tropical forests worse carbon emitters than U.S. trucks and cars: study

By Tom Melville
Reuters
September 28, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

LONDON – Tropical forests emit more carbon each year than all of the cars and trucks in the United States, scientists said on Thursday, calling for greater efforts to stem forest loss and damage. Almost 70 percent of tropical forest emissions are caused by degradation, a study in the journal Science said, measuring the less visible form of damage for the first time along with deforestation which has long been recognized as problematic. “These findings provide the world with a wakeup call on forests,” the study’s lead author, Alessandro Baccini, a scientist with the U.S.-based Woods Hole Research Center, said in a statement.

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Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source

By Jonathan Watts
The Guardian
September 28, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The world’s tropical forests are so degraded they have become a source rather than a sink of carbon emissions, according to a new study that highlights the urgent need to protect and restore the Amazon and similar regions. Researchers found that forest areas in South America, Africa and Asia – which have until recently played a key role in absorbing greenhouse gases – are now releasing 425 teragrams of carbon annually, which is more than all the traffic in the United States. This is a far greater loss than previously thought and carries extra force because the data emerges from the most detailed examination of the topic ever undertaken. The authors say their findings – published in the journal Science on Thursday – should galvanise policymakers to take remedial action.

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