Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 26, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

PwC Study Confirms Forest Industry a Cornerstone of BC’s Economy

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 26, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

An economic study by the BC forest industry says the sector is still a key driver of the provincial economy; generating one out of every 17 jobs in the province. The report, by PwC, also highlights the sector’s challenges; softwood lumber trade, rising costs and the impacts on fibre supply from wildfires and the Mountain Pine Beetle. 

Celebrating National Forest Week in Canada means headlines such as:

Wood Products news includes Vancouver’s Brent Comber talking about what inspires his wood designs; London’s Andrew Waugh celebrating sustainable timber’s impact on climate change; and Australia’s Luke Johnson speaking to wood’s efficiency through prefabrication. Meanwhile, a massive CLT factory is planned for Washington State and Maine seeks the same to replace steel and cement construction.

Finally, burning wood for power is a renewable energy solution, unless you’re David Brooks who says “quite the opposite“.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Forest industry continues to be cornerstone of B.C. economy

By Susan Yurkovich, Council of Forest Industries and Rick Jeffery, Coast Forest Products Association
Vancouver Sun
September 25, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rick Jeffery

Susan Yurkovich

B.C.’s forest sector recently released a new economic study that highlights the fact that the province’s forest industry continues to be a cornerstone of the provincial economy and a significant economic contributor to communities around the province. The study conducted by PwC shows that B.C.’s forest industry is critically important to families and communities across the province. In fact, 140 communities depend on the forest industry through their mills, manufacturing facilities, forestry and logging operations. Employment-wise, last year, forestry generated one out of every 17 jobs in the province, making it one of B.C.’s largest employers — that’s more than 140,000 total jobs that generate $8.6 billion in wages to workers. Forestry was an equally important revenue generator for government, providing municipal, provincial and federal governments with $4.1 billion in payments that include stumpage, taxes and fees. The forest industry also contributed $12.9 billion to the provincial GDP with $33 billion in total output.

Report

Press Release

Brochure

 

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Business & Politics

Paper industry urges NAFTA caution

Recycling Today
September 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Donna Harman

Donna Harman, president and CEO of the Washington-based American Forest and Paper Association joined other business leaders in late September 2017 at a press briefing to “underscore the importance of retaining investor protections ahead of the upcoming round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.” …“NAFTA countries account for 45 percent of forest products industry total exports, making them a hugely important market for our industry,” Harman said at the event. …Continued Harman, “ISDS is a strong trade enforcement mechanism that ensures U.S.-owned assets aren’t subject to unfair government investment practices by our trade partners. It is an essential part of a new and improved NAFTA for the future. She cited an example when an AF&PA member company “faced expropriation of assets by a Canadian provincial government action. manufactured products.”

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Domtar, union agree on four-year contract; 2% raises per year

By Cam Fortems
Kamloops This Week
September 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union that signed a four-year deal at Domtar’s Kamloops pulp mill hopes the new contract will pave the way for investments by the corporation. Members of Unifor Local 10b ratified a deal that gives about 250 unionized workers at the Domtar operation raises of two per cent a year. President Rene Pelleriin said it also gives higher incentives to retain trades workers, along with what he called ”significant health and welfare increases.” Unifor is targeting operations on a pattern agreement based on a deal signed with Canfor in Prince George. It takes that deal and attempts to implement it at other pulp mills across B.C.

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Cornwall city councillor wants to create separate property tax for polluters in Ontario

By Alan Hale
Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
September 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Elaine MacDonald

CORNWALL – Elaine MacDonald’s dismay over the City of Cornwall’s continuing scramble to find money to help a property developer remediate one of the community’s many brownfields has convinced her to change how Ontario municipalities tax polluters. On Monday, the Cornwall city councillor unveiled a new policy initiative she wants the City of Cornwall to develop and then champion at municipal conferences in the hope that Queen’s Park will pass it into law: a polluters’ tax. …The mayor said because of the city’s experience with false promises from property owners such as Domtar, MacDonald’s proposal was a prudent one. “In 2006, Domtar sat at the end of that table right there,” said O’Shaughnessy gesturing to the guest speaker table in the council chambers. “Domtar stated that they would not leave the city of Cornwall with a legacy.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Interior Design Show Vancouver: Brent Comber gets into The Mix

By Aleesha Harris
Vancouver Sun
September 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brent Comber

What do Vancouver designers and artists have in common with their counterparts in The Netherlands? If you were to ask Brent Comber, it’s something refreshingly simple.  “Honesty,” he says. …And the differences?  “Material choices, and articulation,” Combers explains. “…Storytelling is one of the main focuses when it comes to the creation process for me.”  …“The trees from the Pacific Northwest and the wood it provides captures the geography, climate and a warmth that resonates with me,” Comber says asked of his design inspiration. “I love walking among them, and when I work with its wood, I use it like a language that hopefully brings its story to light. I can appreciate forests, trees and wood from other parts of the world, but there is nothing that fills my soul more than our own rain forests.”

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California’s Tree Die-Off Gives Life To New Business

By Christin Ayers
CBS SF Bay Area
September 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST — Deep in California, in the Sierra National Forest, there are more dead trees than live ones. And figuring out what do with them is a towering task. Forest Supervisor Dean Gould sees the evidence every day of the state’s massive tree die-off, a crisis that’s claimed more than 102-million trees over eight million acres in the past seven years. “It’s unprecedented. A whole variety of conditions had to happen simultaneously and they did,” Gould said. …Most of the dead trees are being trucked to biomass plants where organic matter is turned into energy. At the Rio Bravo Rocklin Biomass plant in Placer County, plant manager Chris Quijano says his plant receives between 25 and 40 truckloads of California’s dead trees each day. 

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Massive factory planned for CLT lumber components in Washington State

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
September 26, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West
SPOKANE VALLEY, Calif. – Katerra, a high tech construction firm, will open a new factory in Spokane Valley, Washington, where it will produce mass timber products including cross-laminated timber (CLT) and Glulam. The materials will be used in its modular building manufacturing process. …Katerra is already applying its high-tech construction techniques to manufacture building sections in a Phoenix factory, in processes similar to auto plant plants. …Katerra says its new 250,000 square foot mass timber manufacturing facility will help scale up U.S. production of CLT so that the material can be more broadly adopted across the construction industry. Katerra says its manufacturing presence in the region will provide hundreds of jobs and stimulate additional jobs through the larger supply chain and associated industries, including design, engineering, and construction. 

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How the Bangor region could manufacture a new type of timber to replace steel and cement

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
September 26, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

New building methods are making wood construction competitive with concrete and steel, in a shift that holds potential for parts of Maine hit hard by the paper industry’s free fall. The new type of engineered wood is already making its way into construction in the United States and Canada, but the Northeast market lags behind. As momentum grows, the question is whether the wider Bangor region can capitalize on the burgeoning growth to become the place that manufactures it. Several recent signs point to the Bangor region’s potential to host cross-laminated timber manufacturing, including a $101 million investment in Maine forestland and a $500,000 award to the University of Maine in Orono. But no one has yet made solid plans to locate a facility here. …“Mass timber and CLT is the first real wood product that competes with and displaces steel and concrete rather than other wood products,” said Stephen Shaler, director of UMaine’s School of Forest Resources and associate director of the university’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

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Prefab ‘innovation hub’ for Macquarie University constructed in just five months

By Patrick Hunt
ArchitectureAU
September 26, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A prefabricated “innovation hub” designed by Architectus has opened at Macquarie University in Sydney just five months after construction began. …The architects decided on a predominantly timber design, which was fabricated swiftly off-site and assembled at Macquarie University, including a ceiling structure made of cross-laminated timber (CLT), large span Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) beams and Glulam V columns. Construction involved Lipman and Strongbuild. Johnson said the use of a range of engineered timbers allowed the architects to create “a sequence of spaces that are tactile and characteristically warm, and somewhat unexpectedly, the natural aroma of this timber palette is a pleasure for its users.” The majority of components was prefabricated offsite and quickly assembled to minimize disruption to the working campus.

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London architect fights climate change with timber high-rises

By Vivien Jones
CNN Money
September 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Architects are turning to one of the oldest construction materials to solve a new problem: how to build homes without damaging the environment. A London firm says sustainable timber could help the city address its housing shortage while reducing carbon emissions. “If you look at a building’s climate footprint over 14 years, it is about 80% the building materials that go into it,” Andrew Waugh, a founding partner at Waugh Thistleton, told CNNMoney. “We need to change the way we live for climate change.” Buildings are responsible for approximately 45% of carbon emissions in the U.K. but very little attention is paid to the role of construction materials, Waugh said. Waugh Thistleton has just built a 10-story, 17,000-square foot structure entirely of timber in east London. They billed it as the world’s largest construction made out of cross laminated timber, an engineered hardwood.

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Forestry

Minister Carr Marks National Forest Week

By Jim Carr – Minister of Natural Resources
Government of Canada
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Minister Jim Carr

OTTAWA – Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, issued the following statement today, to mark National Forest Week: Every September, Canadians celebrate our shared forest heritage and recognize the importance of this valuable, renewable resource through National Forest Week. This year’s celebration, under the theme “Our Stories, Our Future: Celebrating Canada’s Forests”, will be enjoyed by many Canadians through a series of national and regional activities. For centuries, our forests have played a vital role in the lives of Canadians, shaping our history and forging our identity.

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It’s Time for a Clear Vision for the Future of Our Forests

By Derek Nighbor
Media Planet
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

Never in the history of British Columbia have so many people, from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, paid such close attention to how we manage and protect our forests. As I attend forestry meetings and visit mills and woodland operations across the country, everyone is talking about what’s happening in BC. With more than one million hectares burned, 2017 has been the worst wildfire season on record. …Canada’s forest products sector has long taken pride in balancing environmental and economic goals. You only need to talk to our foresters and biologists to realize that we are Canada’s greenest workforce. …The responsible way in which we manage our forests is very much a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. …We’ve embraced world-leading environmental standards, spending millions every year on forest planning, and committing to continuous improvement using the latest research.

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Forestry Standards — Good for the Planet and Good for Business

By Ken Donohue
Media Planet
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Strict forestry standards protects Canada’s forests and sustains them for future generations, while helping to improve your company’s reputation. As consumers and as a society, we face a big quandary: we need to use and consume things to survive and build the lifestyles we enjoy, but we also realize we can’t do so at the expense of our long-term future and that of our environment and ecosystem. Nowhere is this problem more evident than with forest products. They provide vital building materials, paper, tissues, and many other consumer products we use every day.  How can we benefit from these products while ensuring we don’t destroy our forests for the future?

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Bryan Baeumler Knows the Importance of Sustainable Forestry

By Gavin Davidson
Media Planet
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Bryan Baeumler

A natural-born teacher, Bryan Baeumler has been educating and entertaining viewers across Canada and the U.S. for more than 10 years on the hit shows House of Bryan, Disaster DIY, Leave it to Bryan, and Bryan Inc. …Baeumler knows a thing or two about lumber — including the importance of using sustainable Canadian wood. And, as always, Baeumler is happy to share his knowledge. “Lumber has always been the first choice for me as a builder. If you build a house properly, lumber will withstand all the elements. It is easier to replace than concrete and has a much smaller carbon footprint than any other building material.”

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Festival of Forestry takes teachers to Port Alberni

Forest Friendly Communities
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year, Festival of Forestry took a group of 20 school teachers out into the forest to learn about sustainable forest management, and ways to educate their students about BC’s forests. #FestivalofForestry #BCForestry

Posted by Forestry Friendly Communities on Monday, September 25, 2017

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Managing BC’s Forests for the Public Good and Future Generations

By The Association of BC Forest Professionals
Media Planet
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Christine Gelowitz, Executive Director, ABCFP

The forestry industry is entrusted to professionals use their skills and knowledge to sustainably manage our forests and make responsible decisions. It’s hard to imagine the moniker “super natural British Columbia” holding up if our province didn’t have such vast forests. …This makes BC unique in the world. But many people in Vancouver believe that all trees in our forests are at risk of being cut for logging. Fortunately, that’s not true. Forest management in BC involves the consideration of multiple values, in consultation with many parties, before a single tree is cut. …BC forest professionals have specialized training and education based on either four-year university degrees or two-year technical diplomas from accredited forestry or allied science programs.

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Sustainability Beyond the Forest

By Roy Falletta
Media Planet
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The newest initiative by Dakeryn Industries is reshaping what sustainability means to help keep the forestry industry green. When we talk about sustainability in regard to the lumber industry in Canada, the bulk of the conversation will rightfully focus on tenure holders and the processes they use to harvest our forests. This is where sustainability starts and in theory the processes developed there will ensure the long life of our valuable natural resource and of the industry that is so important to our country. Dakeryn Industries Ltd. is a lumber distributor and specialties producer based in North Vancouver,  BC. 

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Fir beetle ‘a growing problem’ in P.G. area: Kordyban

By Barbara Geernaert
The Prince George Citizen
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bill Kordyban

The Douglas fir beetle continues to make its way into Prince George. “The Douglas fir beetle is already here,” Bill Kordyban, president of Carrier Lumber, said at a presentation to city council last week. “Overview flights of Prince George reveal a growing problem related to the beetle and government data suggests epidemic numbers.” Infestations in the Prince George forest district increased from 1,305 ha to 8,127 ha between 2015 and 2016. “Prince George is iconic for its forested escarpments and it’s at risk. We want to be proactive, not reactive.” Last year, the beetle was seen mostly in the Pidherny Recreation area on the Hart. About 150 truckloads of infested trees were removed from the area over this past winter. But the beetle is continuing to spread.

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Wildfires spark talk

By Kate Bouey
Castanet
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lori Daniels

With wildfires still simmering in parts of the province, Okanagan College’s speaker series opens this fall with a look at the issue. Since April, the BC Wildfire Service has reported 1,275 fires across the province, burning more than 1.2 million hectares. Currently, more than 100 wildfires are active. The college’s Science in Society Speaker series will host Lori Daniels, professor of Forest Ecology and director of the Tree-Ring Lab at the University of British Columbia next month. Daniels will present her long-term forest fire patterns research and speak about forest resilience to climate change. “Wildfire is driven by climate, weather and fuels that vary among ecosystems and through time,” said Daniels.

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West Kootenay loggers defend watershed harvesting

By Will Johnson
Nelson Star
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ken Kalesnikoff

There was standing room only in the Regional District of Central Kootenay board office Thursday morning as West Kootenay logging company owner Ken Kalesnikoff spent over an hour being grilled about watershed harvesting. The meeting was triggered by the ongoing dispute around proposed logging by BC Timber Sales in the Ymir watershed, as well as an RDCK resolution that opposes the project. Kalesnikoff was representing the Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association, of which he’s the president. …“We’re hoping to have a very positive conversation. We’re doing this in the spirit of education,” Kalesnikoff told the board. “There is a lot of work and effort and energy that goes into cutting down a tree.

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No, we can’t — and shouldn’t — stop forest fires

Alliance for the Wild Rockies & John Muir Project
The Washington Post
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The American West is burning, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) tells us in his recent Post op-ed. He and officials in the Trump administration have described Western forest fires as catastrophes, promoting congressional action ostensibly to save our National Forests from fire by allowing widespread commercial logging on public lands. This, they claim, will reduce forest density and the fuel for wildfires. But this position is out of step with current science and is based on several myths promoted by commercial interests. The first myth is the notion that fire destroys our forests and that we currently have an unnatural excess of fire. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a broad consensus among scientists that we have considerably less fire of all intensities in our Western U.S. forests compared with natural, historical levels, when lightning-caused fires burned without humans trying to put them out.

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Buck Fire burning in Trinity Co. now 4,850 acres

By Haleigh Pike
KRCRTV.com
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

TRINITY COUNTY, Calif. – The Buck Fire, burning in the Trinity National Forest, has burned 4,850 acres and is 38 percent contained.  According to the U.S. Forest Service, the fire was started by lightning on September 12 around 6:45 p.m.  Sunday’s fire behavior was moderate with occasional single tree torching. The fire continued to back down into drainage’s and consume the majority of 1/4 to 3-inch dead fuels. Large limbs above 3-inch to 9-inch logs continue to be fully consumed.  To the north, the fire has reached the Forest Service Road 28N10 from White Rock Campground to Grasshopper Flat Campground. Engines and crews are patrolling the road looking for any spot fires that may cross the road. Fire crews have begun and will continue to implement tactics to keep the fire south of the road. 

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Forest Service tried to quash paper debunking Montana wildlife authority

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
September 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service has disavowed a legal analysis it commissioned that showed federal land managers have given state wildlife departments more authority than they really possess.  In June, the agency asked the University of Montana to remove the draft report five days after “Fish and Wildlife Management on Federal Lands: Debunking State Supremacy” appeared on the Bolle Center for People and Forest’s website. Three weeks later, it terminated a two-year contract with the center and its director, Martin Nie, citing the “provocative title” as a reason. …“The myth that ‘the states manage wildlife and federal land agencies only manage wildlife habitat’ is not only wrong from a legal standpoint but it leads to fragmented approaches to wildlife conservation, unproductive battles over agency turf, and an abdication of federal responsibility over wildlife,” the report stated.

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Alaska, Miners & Loggers Lose Fight Over Tongass Forest

By Eva Fedderly
Courthouse News Service
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON (CN) — Big industries and the state of Alaska have no grounds to challenge a federal policy regulating road-building and tree-cutting in 58 million acres of national forests, a federal judge ruled, dismissing the 16-year-old case with prejudice. Alaska was joined by mining, logging, construction, road-building and utilities industries in challenging the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, created in 2001 during the Clinton administration after swaths of forests had been logged to clear spaces for roads. …“The timber industry, and a handful of states where the industry was politically influential, didn’t like these protections, and fought them in court,” EarthJustice said in a statement. “Alaska has been especially tenacious, pursuing a challenge in the District of Columbia after two other federal appellate courts rejected similar lawsuits.”

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Jones Fire now 80% contained; smaller Kelsey Fire at 15%

KVAL.com
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OAKRIDGE, Ore. — The lightning-caused Jones Fire has burned an estimated 10,220 acres and is 80% contained while the 441-acre Kelsey Fire is estimated at 15% containment, officials said Monday morning. …Fire suppression repair is set to begin. Left disturbed, containment lines can affect natural drainages causing soil erosion, damaging fish habitat, and reducing water quality. Firefighters work to limit these effects through a variety of techniques, including the installation of water bars.

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Genetic probe of redwoods, giant sequoias is key to restoring forests

By Peter Fimrite
San Francisco Chronicle
September 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Redwood trees, those ancient living monuments to California’s past, are as mysterious to science as they are magnificent, so a team of researchers led by a San Francisco conservation group is attempting to unlock the genetic secrets of the towering conifers. Scientists affiliated with the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League are attempting for the first time to sequence the genomes of coast redwood trees and their higher-elevation cousins, the giant sequoias, a complex and expensive undertaking that experts hope will help preserve the trees’ ancient groves as the climate changes over the next century. The five-year, $2.6 million Redwood Genome Project is the most intensive scientific study ever done on the state’s famous primeval forests. The goal is to enable scientists to maintain forest resiliency and genetic diversity by choosing the most robust, adaptable genes when planting or doing regeneration or habitat protection work.

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Logging changes are for the better

Letter by Jack Carter
The Register-Guard
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tillamook Fire 1933

Shelly Collins longs for the old days when publicly owned forests were more actively “managed” (meaning harvested), and blames the owl and snail huggers. She also blames current management practices for current wildfires. She apparently forgets the Tillamook fire of August 1933, during an era of unfettered timber “management,” when 350,000 old-growth acres burned, including 20 astonishing hours when 420 square miles burned. Rather than environmentalists, much of the blame is on basic economics. Historically, sales of public timber have often brought little net financial proceeds to public coffers. After the cost of roads (paid by the public), some timber sales actually cost more than they bring in. It’s understandable that the forests’ owners would rather have intact mature forests compared to the perceived wreckage after a harvest that yielded little public coffer benefit.

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Environmental group challenges aerial spraying

By Kelly Sullivan
Monroe Monitor
September 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Snohomish County environmental group is working to alert residents to the hazards of aerial spraying in the Sky Valley. The Skykomish Valley Environmental and Economic Alliance (SVENA), which is one of the three organizations that worked to halt the Singletary Sale this year, has posted a petition addressing timber companies and the Washington Department of Natural Resources. It asks that alternatives to dropping pesticides on tree farms be used along the U.S. Highway 2 corridor. … While it varies who sprays per year, this season California-based Sierra Pacific Industries, the second largest lumber producer in the U.S., and Seattle-based Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the largest lumber producers in the world, sent in applications this season.

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Fire whirls 300m high tear through pastoral property in the Kimberley

By Emily Jane Smith
ABC News Australia
September 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Four devastating ”fire whirls” have ripped through a pastoral property near the Kimberley town of Fitzroy Crossing, tearing trees from the ground and amazing those who witnessed them. The whirls, described as being as high as 300 metres, formed during a blaze that scorched three million hectares in the region. …Fire whirls are a rotating vortex on a fire front and they typically contain flames, said fire weather researcher for Bureau of Meteorology Mika Peace. “They can range from less than a metre to three kilometres across and the winds in fire whirls winds can reach 50 metres per second,” she said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Any Renewable Energy Solution Requires Extracting the Full Value of Biomass

A.J. Marshall – Bioindustrial Innovation Canada
Media Planet
September 25, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

AJ Marshall

The shift from carbon to an industrial bioeconomy is resulting in an opportunity for Canada to become a leader in the industry. Canada’s forestry and agriculture offer an abundant source of biomass supporting our nation to become a global leader in the burgeoning bioeconomy. This biomass can be transformed into a myriad of useful products such as biomaterials, biochemicals, biofuels, renewable natural gas, and bioenergy that can provide alternatives to the traditional petrochemical products. …However, to accelerate the industrial bioeconomy, it is critical that we follow the strategy of maximum value extraction from the biomass. Maximizing the production of biomaterials (such as wood products, cellulose, fibre, and lignin), biochemical, and biofuels will maximize the value extraction from the biomass. 

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Burning wood for power makes sense – or so I thought

By David Brooks
Concord Monitor
September 26, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

It’s no fun to realize that you’ve been wrong, so this isn’t a fun column. For years I’ve supported the idea that whenever possible, Northern New England should swap fossil-fuel power and heat for wood-fired power, taking advantage of our tree-laden status as the “Saudi Arabia of biomass” to boost the logging industry while also doing environmental good. It’s a pretty obvious position. But over the years I’ve come to realize that surprisingly often, this isn’t a good idea from the environmental point of view. Quite the opposite. …But it does mean that my simplistic “just switch to burning wood” argument needs to go. …clearning operations – tops and limbs – it would be all right. But the mechanics and economics of wood harvesting mean this often isn’t the case.

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