Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 11, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Portable CLT apartments and nails made from wood!

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 11, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

If you share your plumbing-based functions, your three-storey micro apartment can become portable. New CLT micro-living spaces provide neo-archaic biourbanism spacial modules that can be erected overnight! If that doesn’t make you feel good, Austrian fibre producers are launching a new luxury fabric made entirely from sustainable wood that will mimic silk. And, putting the final nail in the feel-good coffin—Beck Fastener has invented Lignoloc, wooden nails for use in pneumatic nail guns!

A recent announcement by the BC government to review the professional reliance model in the natural resource sector has generated some heated discussion. Today, Christine Gelowitz, the CEO of the Association of BC Forest Professionals writes in the Vancouver Sun that her association is willing to work with government to ensure that the system meets the needs of British Columbians. 

Finally, the fire stories continue. In California, fires dominate headlines, we have one for you. And while BC pays its outstanding wildfire bills, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction is hosting a webinar about protecting buildings from exposure to wildfire

—Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction to host webinar on exposure of buildings to wildfire

Canadian Underwriter
October 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) will be hosting a webinar later this month on vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies related to exposure of buildings to wildfire. [It] will focus on common vulnerabilities of a building to a wind-blown ember exposure, and mitigation strategies, both in terms of materials and design features, that can improve the ability of a building to survive.

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Ned Dwyer Appointed President & Chief Executive Officer

Catalyst Paper
October 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ned Dwyer

Catalyst Paper today announced the appointment of Edward (Ned) Dwyer as President & Chief Executive Officer. Ned is an industry veteran with more than 30 years in the pulp and paper industry gained in progressively senior roles with global companies. He most recently served as Catalyst’s Chief Operating Officer. Ned is recognized for successfully leading major operational and performance improvements in cost, productivity, efficiency, quality and safety.

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‘There needs to be a financial deterrent’: N.S. premier questions $700 fine of Northern Pulp

By Keith Doucette
Canadian Press in Global News
October 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Nova Scotia pulp mill has been fined nearly $700 by the province after flunking a stack test in June, but the amount has the premier questioning whether it’s enough of a deterrent. Environment Minister Iain Rankin said Tuesday that Northern Pulp received the $697.50 summary offence ticket for failing to comply with the terms of its industrial approval. Rankin said the fine is part of a ministerial order requiring the mill to address the issues with its power boiler. …Under the minister’s order, the company will also be required to post stack test results on its web site.

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Rentech pulling common shares from NASDAQ

Northern Ontario Business
October 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Low share value is compelling Rentech to voluntarily pull its common shares from the NASDAQ Capital Market, effective Oct. 16. In an Oct. 10 news release, the company said it was in contravention of NASDAQ’s Listing Rule and would be unable to comply. “The NASDAQ Listing Rule requires Rentech’s common shares to trade above $1 for 30 consecutive business days before Oct. 9, 2017, or 180 days from which Rentech received notification from NASDAQ regarding its noncompliance with the NASDAQ Listing Rule,” the release said. …In Northern Ontario, the California company owns and operates a wood pellet mill in Atikokan. In February, it announced the closure of its Wawa mill following operating issues.

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South Canterbury forestry ripe for investors but faces challenges

By Ryan Dunlop
Timaru Herald
October 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The South Canterbury forestry industry is ripe for investment, while plantation owners who are keen to expand face various challenges, an industry expert says. Competing against dairying and pastoral crops for viable land, as well as overseas investment requirements, are just some of the factors cited as making investment challenging for both domestic and international markets. Laurie Forestry managing director Allan Laurie said the industry was heading into a peak for the next eight to 10 years and, if younger, he would be planting trees right now. …The improvement in the market was due to the stable economy in China, a key export market for New Zealand, making prices stable. In previous years the market had been unpredictable and prices were “volatile”, which made investment risky, he said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood Solutions Fair boasts a lineup of international speakers

Daily Commercial News
October 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada
TORONTO — The latest developments in the global wood construction sector will be highlighted Nov. 2 as the Wood Solutions Fair returns to Toronto with expert speakers lined up from Sweden, the U.K., the U.S. and Canada. The fair, presented by Ontario Wood WORKS! and the Canadian Wood Council, combines an industry tradeshow with a seminar program created for professionals who design and build with wood, a media statement indicates. The presentation topics include acoustics, CLT design provisions, mass timber assemblies, mid-rise construction, low-carbon solutions and award-winning wood buildings. Among the presenters will be Swedish developer Folkem, a leading European wood builder.

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Why in the world would anyone want a wooden nail?

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
October 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Beck Fasteners totally nails it with the Lignoloc. Nails are wonderful things; the invention of the cheap wire nail made them into a cheap mass produced commodity that contributed to the development of the American housing industry. But they are also a problem; they make it hard to recycle wood, and on finished wood surfaces they are often ugly and can cause staining. Now Beck Fastener has invented something that I would not have thought possible: a wooden nail. You probably couldn’t hit it with a hammer, but it’s part of the LignoLoc system where they fire it with a special pneumatic nail gun.

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Timber Bridges Viable Option for Local Roads

By South Dakota State University
Newswise
October 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Glulam timber bridges are viable and cost-effective options for replacing bridges on low-traffic county and township roads. That’s what South Dakota State University researchers at the J. Lohr Structures Lab concluded after testing a full-scale glulam timber girder bridge. Glulam, short for glued laminated, means the structural members are made of layers of wood strips bonded with glue. The girder bridge, which was made of Southern Yellow Pine, showed satisfactory performance and minimal damage under cyclic loading equivalent to 75 years of service, explained assistant civil engineering professor Mostafa Tazarv, structures lab coordinator and co-principal investigator for the project.  “To our knowledge, this is the first time that full-scale testing has been done on glulam timber bridges,” he said.

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Cold-formed steel heats up as mid-rise and framing option

By Ian Harvey
Daily Commercial News
October 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Cold-formed steel (CFS) is challenging engineered lumber as the material of choice for mid-rise structures, says Larry Williams, executive director for the Steel Framing Industry Association. In fact, he adds, CFS could even go higher if the economics align. “We had an engineering study done which shows it is feasible to go 40 storeys with CFS, though economically it isn’t viable,” he states. …The sector took a small hit when building codes in jurisdictions across North America were changed to allow wood-framed structures for mid-rise application. Engineered lumber surged briefly, Williams says, but things have swung back again. It’s rebounding partly because of the economics and partly because of the alleged risks inherent with wood’s vulnerability to combustion, especially during the construction phase, he notes.

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The University of Essex’s Geodesic Dome Roof

By Timothy A. Schuler
ARCHITECT Magazine
October 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

“If you’re going to make a building complicated, this is it.” That’s how Derek Foster, contracts manager at U.K. construction company Morgan Sindall, summarizes the Essex Business School, a three-story timber-framed building designed by the London office of BDP under the direction of former chairman Tony McGuirk. …The largest roundel, 60 feet in diameter, houses the main lecture theater and is topped by a geodesic timber roof. A lattice of angled glulam beams, each 8.7 inches wide and ranging in depth from 25.2 inches to 26.7 inches, connect in diamond formation via steel knife plates welded to custom hollow steel tubes. …At least seven types of wood appear in the school, including pine in the glulam structure and western red cedar and iroko for its exterior cladding, for a total of 45,000 cubic feet of timber. 

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Lenzing filament marks new era of sustainable cellulose fabrics

By Beth Wright
just-style
October 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Austrian cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing has developed a new lyocell filament it says heralds a new era of sustainable cellulose fabrics for the luxury apparel market as it gives a similar drape and texture to silk. …Made from wood pulp, which is sourced from sustainable wood in line with Lenzing’s strict Wood and Pulp Policy, Tencel Luxe filaments are producred using Lenging’s closed-loop loycell production process, which ensures minimal environmental impact due to low process water and energy use and raw mwterials consumption. 

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Prefab micro apartment occupies the space of a single parking spot

By Lauren Ro
Curbed
October 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Casagrande Laboratory, a multidisciplinary architecture practice based in Helsinki, Finland, has completed Tikku, a three-story micro-apartment building, in a square there. With a footprint of just 8.2 inches by 16.4 inches, or about the size of a single parking space, Tikku is a bare-bones sustainable building constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT) “spatial modules” that can be erected overnight. Touted as a “safe-house for neo-archaic biourbanism,” Tikku offers a minimum of creatures comforts… Everything else—showers, laundry, and food, to name a few—can be found outside the home, eliminating the need for plumbing and a kitchen. Still, Tikku acts as a private refuge in the middle of any city. And because it’s made from a material, CLT, that is five times lighter than reinforced concrete, it can be upped and moved at a moment’s notice.

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Forestry

Texada Island trees net $19.4 million in sale

By Chris Bolster
Powell River Peak
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Management for more than 6,000 acres of private forest land on Texada Island involved in a recent $19.4-million land deal will not change due to the sale. Texada Island Forest Reserve owned the land near Gillies Bay for several decades and hired Monticola Forestry in 1990 to manage and implement a long-term, forest-management plan for the property, said Monticola co-owner Maureen Muenter. …Kootenay-based Selkirk Mountain Forest purchased the 6,327 acres, just under one per cent of Texada’s total land mass, for $19,379,000 on September 15. . …Powell River Regional District Electoral Area D director Sandy McCormick said she felt the purchase was “good news” for the island, particularly if Selkirk Mountain Forest is willing to follow the same forestry practices as the previous owner. “Texada Island Forest Reserve set a high standard for logging practices on Texada in stewarding the land for the long term,” said McCormick.

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We should be thankful for forest-fire crews

Letter by Shirley Waldon
Victoria Times Colonist
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “The changing face of B.C. forest fires,” Oct. 8. Nick Raeside provided a good article on the challenges the B.C. Forest Service deals with each fire season. However, he gives the impression that anyone can join the Forest Service provided they know how to chop wood, and use a shovel or a garden hose. As a retired senior procurement officer who oversaw the fire-crew services contracts for the B.C. Forest Service, I can tell you that skill-set requirements today are much more stringent than those in the past. Successful contractors are required to ensure that all personnel meet strict safety requirements, including specialized training such as Level One Incident Command System training. He also failed to mention the long hours and harsh conditions under which fire crews work. This is no nine-to-five job. It’s typically 12- to 14-hour days in hot, dry, smoky conditions that would make most of us wither in a few hours.

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Opinion: Bringing public confidence to B.C.’s forest management

By Christine Gelowitz, CEO, Association of BC Forest Professionals
Vancouver Sun
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Christine Gelowitz, RPF

The recent announcement from Environment Minister George Heyman setting the terms of reference for the government’s review of professional reliance in the natural resource sector brings some much-needed clarity to an item that was promised by both the NDP and Green Party during the election. As a professional regulator in the forest sector, the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals is supportive of ensuring professional reliance serves the needs of British Columbians and we look forward to working with Minister Heyman to achieve that end. Our 5,400 registered foresters live and work in communities across the province and they know both personally and professionally the importance of having an effective management regime safeguarding our forest ecosystem resources and the values they provide for British Columbians.

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VIDEO: WFP steps up with $250K to bring BC Forest Discovery Centre into 21st century

By Lexi Bainas
Cowichan Valley Citizen
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s all go for the BC Forest Discovery Centre’s $1.5 million Forests Forever project. The Centre invited its backers and board members to be there Thursday, Oct. 5 to launch the fundraising to get all the work done by next spring. The plan, according to Centre manager Chris Gale is to build a state-of-the-art exhibit designed to educate the public about modern innovation in forestry on the B.C. coast. Western Forest Products (WFP), TimberWest and the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) are the project’s first major sponsors. Western announced Thursday that it is donating $250,000 to the project. TimberWest has put in $150,000 and the TLA has contributed $75,000.

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Outstanding BC wildfire bills nearly paid back

By Jonathon Brown
News 1130
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

VANCOUVER – BC’s new Forests Minister says the province has nearly paid back everyone who gave goods and services during this unprecedented fire season. More than 800 contractors along with businesses gave everything from food to hungry families and equipment to help fight the fires, but many waited months to be paid back. Doug Donaldson says 50 extra staff were brought in and have nearly caught up on the backlog. “In one weekend, we managed to process 1,100 invoices, so some of the invoices are still coming in and we’re dealing with those, but our primary focus is to get people who worked on the fires paid.” Donaldson says it was necessary to spend more than $548 million in total this fire season. “An unprecedented figure,” he adds. “The resources will be there to protect public safety and people’s structures and that’s the way that professionals and the BC Wildfire Service do their job.” That’s nearly nine times the budget of $63 million.

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Fire season a fizzle for Whitecourt and region

By Peter Shokeir
Whitecourt Star
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Whitecourt region experienced a largely uneventful fire season this year thanks to wet weather, strong enforcement and vigilant residents, according to Alberta Wildfire. Shannon Stambaugh, a wildfire information officer with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, said the area had 28 wildfires that burned 11.43 hectares with the largest singular fire being eight hectares in size. This was below the five-year average of 58 wildfires burning 184.06 hectares. “It was a quieter year for the Whitecourt Forest Area,” Stambaugh said. “No communities were threatened by any of these wildfires. Our firefighters were always busy, helping out around the province or staying in the Forest Area to carry out normal duties.” This year was wetter in the spring compared to previous years, Stambaugh said, adding that the region typically sees many wildfires between March and May.

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Toronto looks to expand tree planting on private properties

By Gilbert Ngabo
The Toronto Star
October 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Toronto is eyeing private propertyin its quest to increase the urban tree canopy. A report heading to the city’s parks and environment committee next week will detail a possible expansion of the partnership between the city and Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), offering more free trees on private property. Funding would be submitted to future budget planning as part of the city’s Tree Planting Strategy. …But it was only last year that council approved a partial grant of $50,000 for LEAF to help with private property plantings, tree maintenance and educational outreach programs. The grant was increased to $100,000 in 2017. “We’ve been running this program through small grants patched from here and there, so I’m really excited that there’s the will on council to support efforts on private property for tree canopy,” said LEAF’s executive director Janet McKay.

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Province ‘continuing to work on’ 2015 recommendation designed to help private woodlot owners

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

David Coon

The New Brunswick government still hasn’t implemented a two-year-old recommendation to give private woodlot owners a more reliable share of the wood being sold to major forestry mills. Officials from the Department of Energy and Resource Development said staff are “continuing to work” on the recommendation from a 2015 report by Auditor General Kim MacPherson. At the time, the department said it would either comply with the law or suggest that it be changed. “That could be legislative changes, or it may be, if we can figure out a way to approach the legislation that’s there today, it may not be legislative changes,” Assistant Deputy Minister Tom MacFarlane said Tuesday at meeting of the legislature’s public accounts committee. “Neither has happened so far, right?” asked Green Party Leader David Coon. “I think we’re continuing to work on that recommendation,” MacFarlane said. That prompted a laugh from Coon. “Which part?” he asked.

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Fire crews continue to monitor northeast fire situation

CBC News
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Despite a quiet forest fire season in northeastern Ontario, forest rangers are still out in the bush keeping an eye on the situation. The season isn’t officially over until Oct. 31. Fire information officer Isabelle Chenard says the public should keep that in mind when outdoors. …Chenard says due to the quiet forest fire season in Ontario, this province was able to send staff and resources to other areas to help. In total, 1,040 aviation, forest fire and emergency services staff members were sent from Ontario to assist. Most were sent to British Columbia, however Chenard says equipment and staff were also sent to Manitoba, Alberta and Montana as well. She says the coordination of resources is done by a centre in Manitoba. “We have established agreements between our country’s provinces that allow for movement of staff interprovincially when the need arises,” she said. “So how it works basically is that a province that’s seeing increased fire activity like BC this year can place requests … for either equipment to fight fire at the ground level, for aircraft assistance … or for boots on the ground.”

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This company wants to regrow Earth’s forests with drones

By Irina Ivanova
CBS News
October 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Along with taking lives and causing millions of dollars in property damage, the wildfires in California this week are scorching the land in another way: Millions of trees are being destroyed. The blazes have charred more than 770,000 acres in the state alone, as fires around the country seemingly grow more destructive by the year.  Yet even that eye-opening number is a fraction of the devastation happening globally. The planet loses billions of trees every year due to a range of factors, including fire, illegal logging and clearance for agriculture. “Trees are being lost at the rate of about a football field a second,” said David Skole, professor of forestry at Michigan State University. … While governments and environmental groups have committed to re-foresting depleted parts of the world, “We aren’t doing the work fast enough,” added Lauren Fletcher. Fletcher, who spent 20 years as an engineer at NASA and Lockheed Martin (LMT), thinks he has a solution: drones. His company, BioCarbon Engineering, uses drones and data analysis to do large-scale replanting in areas that would otherwise take years to re-plant by hand.

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Greenpeace Fights Logging Company’s RICO Lawsuit

By Nicholas Iovino
Courthouse News Service
October 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO — Greenpeace on Tuesday accused a logging company of misusing federal anti-racketeering laws to attack environmental groups that criticize its logging in North America’s largest forest. “This is a completely inappropriate remedy,” Greenpeace attorney Laura Handman said during a motion to dismiss hearing Tuesday. “[RICO] was originally designed to reach organized crime, but now it’s being used to reach environmental organizations.” Handman urged U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Greenpeace of fraudulently conspiring against a Georgia-based paper and pulp manufacturer to try to increase donations.  …“We have harm that’s caused by communications directed to our customers, the same communications being directed to donors,” Resolute attorney Michael Bowe told the court Tuesday. “This is a false narrative broadcasted to the world on the internet.” …Greenpeace attorneys say Resolute fabricated its claims of a wire and mail fraud conspiracy, that the case is really about alleged defamation, which cannot serve as the basis for a RICO claim.

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‘Dice was really loaded’ for wildfires exploding in California, experts say

By Stuart Leavenworth
The Sacramento Bee
October 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A cascade of extreme weather events fed Northern California’s wildfires that exploded Sunday: Unusually high winds blew flames through unusually dense and dry vegetation, which sprung up following last winter’s heavy rains and then were toasted by months of record hot temperatures. “The dice was really loaded because of the big wet winter,” said Park Williams, a California native and a research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. “That set up the West with a lot of fuel to burn, and this summer has been exceptional in terms of dryness.” Scientists such as Williams say California is especially prone to wildfires, in part because of the state’s dense population, which makes it easy for sparks to be ignited and turn into raging fire storms. But this week’s blazes also show the fingerprints of climate change, he said, a harbinger of what the West should expect in the years to come. “The fingerprint is definitely there,” said Williams, who last year contributed to a study on climate change’s impact on western wildfires. “The connection between temperatures and fire is one we see again and again in the correlation analyses we do.”

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Wildfire in Monongahela National Forest still burning after week of firefighting, rain

By Rick Steelhammer
Charleston Gazette-Mail
October 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Despite nearly one inch of rain and the efforts of 140 firefighters and a helicopter crew, a forest fire began its second week of charring the slopes of North Fork Mountain in the Monongahela National Forest in Grant County on Monday. According to a report released Monday by the U.S. Forest Service, the 198-acre fire was 30 percent contained after firefighters took advantage of Sunday’s high humidity and rain to complete a fire line along North Fork Mountain Trail, which follows the crest of its namesake mountain, on the eastern side of the blaze. On Monday, firefighters focused their attention on assessing potential fire line sites on the steep, rocky terrain of the western side of the fire. …Increased humidity from Sunday night rains ushered in by the remnants of Hurricane Nate could help firefighters contain more of the fire, although the expected arrival of winds gusting to 30 miles per hour could have the opposite effect, according to the Forest Service.

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Plan to protect koalas divides timber-reliant community

By Dom Vukovic
ABC News, Australia
October 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A plan to protect Koalas on the NSW north coast has driven a deep wedge in a community reliant on the timber industry. Labor and the Greens back the plan for a Great Koala National Park covering hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest, inland from Coffs Harbour. In an area of high unemployment, and high value timber, it’s a flash-point that puts Australia’s icon out on a limb. (Click read more hear rest of story)

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Northland’s Michelle Harrison Forestry Awards trainee of the year

New Zealand Herald
October 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Michelle Harrison

Michelle Harrison takes health and safety in the forestry industry very seriously. The 35-year-old, who won Trainee of the Year at this year’s Northland Forestry Awards, also looks out for kiwi during log harvesting. …She has always worked with her husband, Nigel, in forestry, and two years ago the couple started their own logging crew, Wise on Wood Ltd. …Michelle said being a female in the forestry industry was not always easy and to receive the Trainee of the Year award was recognition for the hard work she had put in over the years. …”The job is very challenging but also rewarding. In the 20ha block there were eight kiwi with transmitters, and we have managed to keep them all safe, plus discovered and caught three more,” she said.

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