Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 23, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Caribou protection plans run the risk of putting thousands out of work

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 23, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

FPAC’s Derek Nighbor warns that Caribou protection plans must factor in more science or “run the risk of putting thousands of forest sector workers out of a job”. Rick Jeffrey of Coast Forest calls Premier Horgan’s plan to develop a new species at risk legislation “an opportunity to generate a made in BC policy”.

Sticking with opinions worth a read:

Elsewhere, TimberWest is the first SFI participant to be certified under the Progressive Aboriginal Relations program, and a report on the potential restructuring of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto includes the suggestion of closing the faculty altogether. 

Finally, the Canadian Institute of Forestry awarded award the Forest Capital of Canada to the Petawawa Research Forest located in Chalk River, Ontario and COFI announced the winners of their annual photo contest. 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

International investment in Prince George energy producer welcomed by Province

By the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
Government of British Columbia
October 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – The Government of British Columbia is celebrating a major investment in a Prince George forestry manufacturing facility by Sumitomo Corporation. Sumitomo Corporation of Japan recently acquired a 48% stake in Pacific BioEnergy, the second-largest manufacturer of wood pellets in Canada. Pacific BioEnergy, which employs 55 people at its facility in Prince George and generates another 50 indirect jobs, produces about 550,000 tonnes of industrial wood pellets annually. “This investment by Sumitomo shows once again that B.C.’s manufacturing sector is recognized around the world for its ingenuity and innovation – in this case, turning wood waste into a clean and valuable energy source,” said Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston.

Read More

Tolko pledges inclusive, diverse workforce

By Roger Knox
Vernon Morning Star
October 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brad Thorlakson & Tina Strehlke

If you want to create change, sometimes you have to look at where you are and find a new path forward. That’s what Brad Thorlakson, president and CEO of Vernon-based Tolko Industries Ltd. was doing as he added his name to the Minerva Diversity Pledge, steering the company toward a more inclusive and diverse future. The Minerva Foundation is a B.C. charitable organization that supports women and girls to gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their leadership potential. …“We are committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace at Tolko,” said Thorlakson. “Supporting the Minerva Foundation and signing the Diversity Pledge is another step in this commitment. Embracing the principles of this pledge will help our business thrive and our communities to grow stronger.”

Read More

Tolko requests “fair” stumpage rate to harvest fire-damaged timber

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
October 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kevin Sytsma, Tom Hoffman & Randy Chadney

Williams Lake city council has endorsed Tolko Industries Ltd.’s request that the provincial government adopt policies that would make harvesting and extraction of fire-damaged timber economically viable. Council agreed to write a letter of support for the request after Tolko representatives made a presentation during a regular council meeting last Tuesday. “The Province needs to look at a stumpage rate that is commercially viable and recognize the added costs companies are going to face in order to process the fire-damaged timber,” Tolko woodlands manager Tom Hoffman told council. …In the Quesnel and Williams Lake area about 46 million cubic metres of timber and another nine million cubic metres in the 100 Mile House area were impacted by the wildfires, Hoffman said.

Read More

MP blasts softwood inaction

By Colin Dacre
Castanet
October 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richard Cannings

South Okanagan—West Kootenay NDP MP Richard Cannings laid into the current and previous federal governments this week for failing to stand up to the United States on softwood lumber. In a lengthy speech in the House of Commons Thursday, Cannings blasted Justin Trudeau for failing to reach a deal with former President Barack Obama, despite the duo’s “highly flaunted bromance.” “Now we must negotiate with President Trump, whose administration has moved to hit our softwood lumber industry with even more tariffs,” he said, adding the industry is “reeling.” Pointing to tariffs as high as 27 per cent hitting softwood lumber, and 300 per cent tariffs in the aerospace industry, he said “the way we negotiate trade deals is wrong.”

Read More

FPInnovations announces signing

By Technoparc Montréal
Canada Newswire
October 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Technoparc Montréal and FPInnovations today concluded the purchase of lands by FPInnovations for its establishment at the Technoparc de Montréal. The lands, totaling more than 360,000 square feet (33,400 square meters), are in the southern part of the Technoparc de Montréal, the Eco-campus Hubert Reeves section. “I am pleased in regard to this first step toward building an integrated international biomaterials innovation centre under FPInnovations’ leadership. This is an opportunity for the greater Montreal area as well as for the Quebec and Canadian forest industry to lead the way in the field of biomaterials and clean technologies,” said Mr. Pierre Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of FPInnovations.

Read More

Detour Gold fined for harvesting Crown timber without licence

Northern Ontario Business
October 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Detour Gold has pleaded guilty to, and been fined $62,500 for, harvesting Crown timber without a licence.  Court heard that on Dec. 8, 2014, Detour Gold Corp. applied for a Forest Resource Licence to harvest 159 hectares of Crown forest within the Detour Gold Mine properties located northeast of Cochrane. During an internal review of the licence application, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry determined that a portion of the harvest area fell outside the boundary of a previously approved environmental assessment (EA). Detour Gold Corp. was notified of this issue and informed by the ministry that a subsequent EA would need to be completed before the approval of any harvesting activities within that area.

Read More

Potlatch Nears Deal to Combine With Deltic Timber in Stock Swap

By Dana MAttioli
The Wall Street Journal in Cetus News
October 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Lumber company Potlatch Corp. is nearing an all-stock deal to combine with Deltic Timber Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. Deltic shareholders are to receive 1.8 common shares of Potlatch for each share of Deltic that they own, the people said. Based on Friday’s closing prices, that would amount to a roughly 7% premium for Deltic shareholders. …Potlatch shareholders are set to own around 65% of the combined company, to be named PotlatchDeltic. The companies are big timberland owners and lumber manufacturers. Together, they own nearly 2 million acres, with 1.1 million in the U.S. South, 600,000 in Idaho and 150,000 in Minnesota.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Lever Architecture crafts a mass timber office building in North Portland

By Antonio Pacheco
The Architect’s Newspaper
October 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

In Portland, Oregon, even the buildings are bespoke and locally-sourced. At least, that’s the case with Lever Architecture’s Albina Yard project, where the developer—Portland-based Reworks—tasked the architects with creating a marquee structure that could be used as a testing site and showroom for emerging mass timber systems built from locally-sourced lumber. The 16,000-square-foot speculative office building is a love letter to mass timber construction that proudly utilizes prefabricated elements as finishing materials, leaving raw Douglas Fir cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and glulam beams rough and unadorned. Albina Yard is the first building in the U.S. to use domestically produced CLT panels as the primary structural building element.

Read More

New UA dorms to be built of timber

By Jaime Adame
Arkansas Online
October 23, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

FAYETTEVILLE — A construction method rarely used in the United States underpins a new student housing project at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Large panels of wood and glue-laminated wooden beams from a European supplier will form the main structural elements of two five-story halls built to house 710 students, said Daniel Clairmont, the university’s director of engineering and construction. The alternative to steel framing and concrete is expected to add roughly $1.3 million in construction costs to the estimated $79 million project, with UA officials describing it as a way to possibly boost the state’s timber industry should the method — hailed as having benefits that include increased environmental sustainability — catch on widely. “It’s an opportunity to maybe generate interest and kick-start investment,” Clairmont said.

Read More

Forestry calls for wooden public buildings

By Eric Frykberg
Radio New Zealand
October 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The new government could help revive forestry by favouring wooden buildings, the Wood Council of New Zealand says. Commercial forestry has been struggling and there are concerns about the environmental impact of cement and steel. Wood Council chairman Brian Stanley said the new administration was well placed to help. “Modern high rise buildings can be built of wood. They are doing it all over the world now – 16, 20, 30 storeys high,” he said. “There is no reason why when the government is building new schools or office blocks they can’t use wood that is currently going offshore.” …Three foreign thinktanks, Climate Analytics, Ecofys and NewClimate Institute, found the construction sector could not meet the climate goals agreed at the Paris climate accord using current technology for steel and cement.

Read More

New Government ‘needs to take extra step for wood use’

Voxy New Zealand
October 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Brian Stanley

The forest and wood processing industry says it is looking forward to greater use of timber in New Zealand with the coalition government now in place. But WoodCo Chair, Brian Stanley, says the new government needs to introduce a wood-first policy for government buildings as well. “We’ve got a new drive from the top for more plantings, a greater thrust for forestry in regional development and a commitment to use trees for carbon sequestration. The missing link though is the government specifying wooden construction as the first choice for its new buildings.” “Developments in wood engineering, such as cross laminated timber, are enabling medium and high rise buildings to be built with timber as their primary component.

Read More

From seeds to skyscrapers, these wooden towers are eating CO2

By Alexandra Simon-Lewis
WIRED
October 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Timber towers are branching out around the world. Designed to trap thousands of tonnes of carbon within their walls, wooden skyscrapers are more than just architectural statements – they’re monoliths of modern environmentalism. “I can hold the number of tree seeds it took to build Murray Grove in my palm,” says Andrew Waugh, of Waugh Thistleton Architects. …The timber boom started from tiny seeds, but it’s now starting to take root. A report by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat found that 21 such structures with a height of more than 50 metres will be completed by 2019. “People want to be connected to nature, even when they’re indoors,” says Philip Vivian, director of design firm Bates Smart. … “Research predicts that if we used mass timber in place of concrete and steel, we could cut global emissions by up to 31 per cent.”

Read More

Forestry

Caribou plans need to consider complex science, Forest Products Association of Canada urges

By Maria Church
Wood Business
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

Caribou protection plans must factor in more comprehensive science or run the risk of being ineffectual and putting thousands of forest sector workers out of the job, warns the Forest Products Association of Canada. “We ask that the decision makers not jump to conclusions with partial science. If you start shutting down mills you are putting families at risk and it’s not certain you’re addressing the caribou problem,” said FPAC CEO Derek Nighbor …”Before we start jumping to the conclusion that industrial activity is the reason this is happening, we need better and more comprehensive science to prove that point. With our website, www.cariboufacts.ca, we’ve been very clear in saying the federal government did a lot of good research five years ago, but… they did not look at climate change, which affects nutrition conditions. We know there are caribou populations declining in the far North and in the eastern part of Quebec and Labrador where there is no industrial activity.”

Read More

In Canada, the ‘Davids’ are the hooligans fighting our resource ‘Goliaths’

By Peter Foster
Financial Post
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Peter Foster

It is a reflex of human nature to support David versus Goliath, but what if Goliath is righteous, and David is a job-destroying hooligan? Three alleged corporate Goliaths have suffered recent legal and/or or public relations setbacks in confrontations with radical environmentalism. A San Francisco court this week threw out a case brought by Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products against Greenpeace and Stand.Earth over the environmental NGOs’ campaigns of misinformation and intimidation. …The assault on Resolute is central to NGOs’ parallel attempts to control Canadian forestry. For years the company has had to put up with abusive misinformation from Greenpeace and Stand.Earth about its logging activities, but, unlike its quivering corporate colleagues, it had the guts to do something about it, bringing suit both in Canada and, more controversially, in the U.S. under racketeering laws. 

Read More

Opinion: Yes, even environmentalists must respect the rule of law

Editorial Board
Vancouver Sun
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The rule of law is a fundamental principle underlying Canadian democracy. The role of the courts is to ensure everyone is accountable to the law and that justice is dispensed equitably. …Environmental advocacy group ForestEthics, now known as stand.earth, launched a legal challenge in 2014 against the National Energy Board’s approval of changes to Line 9, a pipeline that runs between Ontario and Quebec. ForestEthics lost its case… and Enbridge was awarded costs of $14,559. Stand.earth says it refused to pay “on principle.” Whatever principle stand.earth was espousing doesn’t override the requirement to respect a court ruling. …Stand.earth cried poor, accusing Enbridge, which reported earnings of $1.5 billion for the six months ended June 30, of bullying the non-profit whose five staffers sit at desks purchased on Craigslist for $30. However, stand.earth’s U.S. parent recently reported assets of $1.4 million.

Read More

Forestry’s Top 10 under 40 young professionals of 2017

Wood Business
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada
For an industry that’s actively searching for its next generation of leaders, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the successes of young individuals who are already making their mark in the forest sector. Canadian Forest Industries annual Top 10 Under 40 is our way of highlighting outstanding loggers, sawmillers, researchers and other contributors to forestry in Canada whose stories may otherwise go unheard. We had a record number of nominees this year, all of whom deserve to be celebrated. Each of our 10 winners has been selected because he or she is excelling at his or her job and contributing to advancements in Canada’s forest sector. Their stories speak for themselves.

Read More

TimberWest is the First SFI Program Participant to be Certified Under the Progressive Aboriginal Relations Program

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ottawa, ON TimberWest is the first Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Program Participant to achieve the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Bronze certification under the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program. This certification demonstrates to Indigenous communities that TimberWest is a good business partner, a great place to work and is committed to the prosperity of Indigenous communities. TimberWest is also the first BC forest company to earn PAR certification.  “As a forester by training I am very pleased that TimberWest has shown its commitment to Indigenous communities by undergoing PAR certification. This leadership demonstrates to other forest companies, and other companies outside BC’s forest sector, that strong Indigenous relations make good corporate policy,” said JP Gladu, President and CEO of the CCAB

Read More

Indigenous skills training builds natural resource sector opportunities

Journal of Commerce
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

New funding will help First Nations in central and northeast British Columbia build skills and explore careers in environmental stewardship and natural resource development. The $390,000 investment will go towards the Environmental Technology Access program which is open to members from McLeod Lake, Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Saik’uz, Stellat’en, Takla Lake, Tl’azt’en and Yekooche First Nations. …Fifteen First Nations members will be able to use the program to obtain skills for employment in the natural resource sectors or post-secondary education in the environmental resource technology program. Participants will receive training in forestry, fishery enhancement, environmental assessment, mining, oil and gas and grassland ecology.

Read More

BC Council of Forest Industries Announces Winners of Second Annual Forestry Photo Contest

Council of Forest Industries
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, B.C. – The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI), with media partner Canadian Forest Industries (CFI) Magazine today announced the winners of the 2017 Forestry Photo Contest. “For this year’s contest, we really wanted to showcase the significance of the forest industry to the people and communities throughout B.C.,” said Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of COFI. “We received some stunning photos that depict how people live, work and play in B.C.’s beautiful forests and forest dependent communities.” Of the 106 submissions received, ten photos have been selected to appear in the print edition of September-October edition of CFI Magazine.

Read More

There’s a lot we can learn from US wildfire hotshots

By Aaron Williams – forest firefighter
The Globe and Mail
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Aaron Williams

British Columbia may have had a record number of wildfires this summer, but the ongoing situation in California is much worse. More homes at risk, more lives in danger, stronger winds, faster rates of spread. Those factors require an excellent forest firefighting program. Though we may have a different situation – most of British Columbia’s wildfires don’t put communities and people at risk – we can still learn from the American program. I fought fire in the United States twice during my nine years fighting fire for the Ministry of Forests in British Columbia and both times were in Idaho. In British Columbia, I was part of a 20-person firefighting crew known as a “unit crew” – a configuration modelled after the American “hotshot” crews. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a hotshot crew in action.

Read More

Seven amazing portraits of tree planters working in B.C.’s remote backcountry

By Jessica Bloom
Toronto Life
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Maria Agucci

Toronto’s Rita Leistner has decades of experience as a war zone photographer, but she battled a different sort of rough terrain for her new portrait series, The Tree Planters. At first glance, her images look like the posed dioramas you might find in the ROM, but the shots are so full of detail that you can almost smell the sweat and bug spray. The large-scale photos will be on display at Stephen Bulger Gallery until November 18, alongside drone video footage that shows exactly how Leistner wields a $30,000 camera through thick brush and up steep mountains. Leistner worked as a planter herself between 1983 and 1992, and decided to return to the bush, camera in hand, to document the young people invested in Canada’s reforestation—a job that seems simple, but takes grit and grace.

Read More

Public safety first priority of B.C. Wildfire Service

By Doug Donaldson, B.C.’s minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development
Victoria Times Colonist
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

Nick Raeside is certainly correct in saying that wildfire management practices have changed in British Columbia since 1957 (“The changing face of B.C. forest fires”, Oct. 8). The challenges that the B.C. Wildfire Service faces have also changed dramatically over the past 60 years, due in part to increased development in rural areas, the impact of mountain pine beetle infestations on our forests and the growing effects of climate change. …B.C.’s wildfire management professionals use advanced fire-detection and firefighting technology to “hit hard and hit fast.” In recent decades, that approach has been coupled with a better understanding of wildfire behaviour and how fire can help renew forests where lives and property are not at risk. Our first priority is public safety.

Read More

Report on potential restructuring of Faculty of Forestry released

By Jillian Schuler
University of Toronto’s Varsity Paper
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The second round of consultations related to the potential restructuring of the Faculty of Forestry began on October 5, when Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr published a report summarizing the results of the first round and opened the floor to comment on the report. Concerns and suspicions remain among students, alumni, and administration from both the faculty and the broader university administration. In the first round of consultations, they were given the option to submit online written opinions, as well as meet with members of the administration to express their views on the issue. . …Potential restructuring suggestions ranged from expanding the current faculty to closing the faculty altogether and transferring the programs into cognate units.

Read More

Insect damage to Newfoundland’s forests remains in check: scientists

By Ashley Fitzpatrick
The Telegram
October 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Bud Worm

The federal government recently released its annual “State of Canada’s Forests” report, showing Newfoundland and Labrador recorded 85,921 hectares defoliated by insects and beetle-killed trees. The count is provided each year to the feds and is based on the most recent year’s data (in this case, 2015). But this latest federal report appeared to be alarmingly higher than the 12,033 hectares recorded just a year earlier (2014 data results). When The Telegram followed up on the jump, it was told there had been a mistake. …The Government of Canada has been notified, according to a provincial rep. There is no alarming year-over-year jump in insect damage. That said, Newfoundland and Labrador must remain vigilant and manage insect spread and forest damage wherever possible … given the potential financial consequences of an outbreak.

Read More

Petawawa Research Forest Named Forest Capital of Canada 2017-2019

Pembroke Daily Observer
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA – The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (CIF-IFC) is pleased to announce the Petawawa Research Forest (PRF), located in Chalk River, Ontario as the Forest Capital of Canada (FCC) for 2017-2019. The FCC Award was presented at the 2017 CIF-IFC Annual Awards Banquet.  “The FCC designation was established in 1979 and celebrates a community or a region for its connectivity to the forest,” noted Dana Collins, executive director, CIF-IFC.  …The PRF was selected for this special designation due to its strong forest history and scientific legacy, and continued dedication to long-term studies in fire, genetics and silviculture research, undertaken by the Canadian Forest Service, in collaboration with various partners. As Canada’s oldest and continuously run research forest, this designation coincides with the PRF 100th anniversary in 2018.

Read More

Flathead Forest research project seeks to adapt forests to climate change

By Perry Backus
The Missoulian
October 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HUNGRY HORSE — It takes a different kind of patience when you sign up to study a forest. A research project started in one lifetime might not bear fruit until the next generation of scientists comes along. Across the country, forest researchers are setting the stage for projects they hope eventually will offer insights on management techniques that will help forests of all types make the transition that’s coming as the climate continues to warm. In five different locations — including Flathead National Forest lands adjacent to the Coram Experimental Forest — researchers are preparing to set up new plots that could offer future scientists insights into whether it’s best to stick with what’s already there or help the transition along by introducing species that will be more tolerant to the new normal.

Read More

Pine beetle poses threat to Southwest Colorado forests

By Jonathan Romeo
The Journal
October 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The forests of Southwest Colorado may be facing yet another new and highly destructive threat: the pine beetle. “It’s not completely unexpected, but it’s worrisome,” said Gretchen Fitzgerald, a forester for the U.S. Forest Service’s Columbine District, which manages nearly 700,000 acres of the San Juan National Forest in La Plata and San Juan counties. Over the past two decades, more than 120,000 acres of the Weminuche Wilderness – Colorado’s largest designated wilderness area at 488,210 acres – have fallen prey to the destructive spruce beetle. …The pine beetle, on the other hand, is another destructive force all its own. …Unfortunately, there’s not much in the way of preventing a beetle outbreak. Certain steps, such as thinning and prescribed burns, can hold off a massive die-off, but those costly measures can work only for so long.

Read More

Fires are costing taxpayers $1 billion a year. Here’s an idea to help pay for prevention now

By Todd Gartner, senior associate, World Resources Institute
The Sacramento Bee
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Todd Gartner

The fires that have swept across Northern California are made even more tragic by the fact that some of the devastation could have been prevented. A multitude of factors – including California’s historic drought, a wet winter, and the interface of wild and urban lands – converged into a perfect storm of 21 fires. But the fires are also part of a damaging trend: In the past few decades, wildfires have become larger, more frequent and more damaging. …But there are things we can do now to make future fires smaller and less intense. Among them is proactive restoration. Forests that have become unnaturally dense due to decades of fire suppression must be restored to a healthy state, especially when these forests are near populated areas.

Read More

Deadly Plant Disease Confirmed For First Time In Pacific Northwest Fir Trees

By Jen Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
October 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For the first time, scientists have found a deadly plant disease infecting fir trees in the Pacific Northwest. The so-called “European” strain of sudden oak death showed up in southwest Oregon a few years back. It was known to spread to fir trees in Europe, but that hadn’t been seen in the state. The European strain is different from the North American strain of sudden oak death. The latter has been killing tanoak throughout Curry County for years, but the European strain has forest managers particularly worried – because of its potential to infect the commercial timber base. It’s now the subject of a new study published in the journal, Plant Disease. “This report shows that it is able to infect Douglas fir and grand fir. And it’s doing it in the forest,” said Oregon State University forest pathologist Jared LeBoldus, lead author of the study.

Read More

State official: Trying to put out Lolo Peak fire early ‘almost like a suicide mission’

By David Erickson
The Missoulian
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sending in firefighters to try to stop the Lolo Peak fire while it was still relatively small this past summer would have been “almost like a suicide mission” according to Jordan Koppen, a fire information officer for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. That’s because the fire started in such remote, heavily forested and steep terrain that there would have been no way to escape quickly if the fire acted erratically due to wind or other factors, he said. He added that more aerial drops of retardant wouldn’t have stopped the blaze because the thick tree canopy in that area would have stopped the retardant from hitting the undergrowth below.

Read More

Why Protecting the Northern Spotted Owl Sparks Forest Fires

Terry Anderson
Newsweek
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This past summer, wildfires scorched nearly eight million acres across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. …Increased fuel loads over the last century—resulting from trees that are diseased, insect infested, and dead—are a major cause of these massive wildfires. The Forest Service wants to use scientific management techniques—including logging, prescribed burns, and thinning—to treat forest fuel loads, but it is continuously thwarted by environmental activists who want to let nature take her course. …But it will take more than congressional hearings and directives from cabinet secretaries to remove barriers to sound land management. It will take rewriting laws such as the Endangered Species Act (1973), used by environmental groups to stop treatment projects on the grounds that logging, brush clearing, and prescribed burns would further threaten endangered species. A case in point is the spotted owl controversy of the 1990s.

Read More

West Orange Man Honored With Green Communities Achievement Award

TAPinto.net
October 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CHERRY HILL NJ — In recognition of his outstanding contributions to urban and community forestry, West Orange Open Space Commission (WOOSC) chairman Joseph McCartney was one of four recipients to be honored with the 2017 Green Communities Achievement Award at the New Jersey Shade Tree Federation Dinner at the New Jersey Shade Tree Federation’s 92nd Annual Conference Dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill. 

Read More

Jacinda Ardern’s coalition government to bring back the forestry service

By Donna-Lee Biddle
Waikato Times
October 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

It was once of our biggest employers. Now the incoming coalition government is to recreate the New Zealand forestry service. And it’s understood the service will be headquartered in Rotorua – one of the first government departments to ever be based outside the three biggest cities.  Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick says she will be in talks to hammer out the “nuts and bolts” – but some forestry companies are less chipper about the plans. They fear the forestry service would cut out private companies that have put years of investment into growing New Zealand’s timber exports.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

‘Makes it more extreme:’ Prof says climate change added to historic fire season

The Canadian Press in CBC News
October 22, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climate change didn’t directly cause major wildfires in Alberta and British Columbia this year but it did contribute to their extreme nature, says a University of Alberta researcher. B.C. recorded its worst-ever fire season. Wildfires that began in early April scorched just over 12,000 square kilometres of timber, bush and grassland and at their height forced 45,000 people from their homes. Last month, Waterton Lakes National Park was evacuated after lightning sparked a blaze just inside the B.C. boundary. The flames eventually crossed into the park in southwestern Alberta. …The phenomenon isn’t just in Western Canada, says Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta. He points out fires around the world this year have been “head and shoulders above the previous record.”

Read More

‘Huge’ power plant on way

By Heather Peden
The Chronicle Journal
October 22, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Whitesand First Nation will soon be home to an industrial park that will support clean energy generation, replacing the current need for diesel, and create jobs. The first tenants of the industrial park, known as the Bio-Economy Centre, will be community-owned and operated Sagatay Cogeneration LP and Sagatay Wood Pellets LP. “It will create jobs for community members and other surrounding areas,” said Allan Gustafson, chief of Whitesand First Nation. “(The co-generation plant) is going to be a huge facility. We’re going to be powering Armstrong, Whitesand and Collins with co-gen and we’re also going to have a pellet facility to make pellets and put it on the market.” …The project, which will break ground on Monday, is expected to create 64 full-time jobs and 60 seasonal jobs.

Read More

Could regreening the Earth fight climate change?

By Karen Graham
Digital Journal
October 22, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States
Forests have the greatest potential to cost-effectively reduce carbon emissions. They absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, removing it from the atmosphere. However, wildfires have devastated our forests globally and we need to take this problem seriously. …The study focused on three options for increasing the number and size of trees. Reforestation, avoiding forest loss, and better forestry practices could cost-effectively remove 7.0 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually by 2030, equivalent to taking 1.5 billion gasoline-burning cars off the roads. That is an impressive amount of carbon dioxide that could be removed in just 13 years. However, in the past several years, with a warming climate, prolonged periods of drought and extreme weather events, we have ended up having a marked increase in the number and intensity of wildfires.

Read More

Logging slash becomes biochar for local farms

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
October 20, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Drew, Oregon …Wildland firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service stood in a clearing, breaking up the charcoal inside a kiln before piling on more logs and sticks. Umpqua Biochar Education Team, a committee of the South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership, partnered with the Umpqua National Forest Tiller Ranger District to transform 40 piles of logging slash into biochar, a form of charcoal used in soil to hold in nutrients and moisture. Though the team’s biochar production has often gone toward small gardens, this was its first large-scale project to be used for agriculture. At the end of the day, the crews poured buckets of water into the sizzling kilns to mix it in and cool off the smoldering char. Once the product had cooled, the crews piled it into white plastic bags to be shipped to small farms in Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties.

Read More