Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada East

Froggy Foibles

Flashback Foible – St. John’s machinist builds car out of wood

CBC News
August 8, 2020
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

No one had a car quite like Don Piercey’s — in part because he assembled it himself, in part because its body was crafted out of wood. In August 1993, Midday spoke to Piercey about his creation, which he gladly showed off to a CBC camera in St. John’s. The two-seater roadster had a sleek mahogany exterior and a maple leaf-shaped hood ornament. It was powered by a Volkswagen engine and anchored to an existing metal chassis.

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Business & Politics

Kruger to Supply Pulp for the Manufacture of Ecofriendly Disposable Masks

Kruger
August 6, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Montréal, Québec – Kruger Inc. has entered into a partnership with Pulp Moulded Products Inc. (PMP) for the supply of low-carbon footprint fibres that will enable PMP to produce a prototype of a low-cost, single-use biodegradable mask. Developed by PMP for non-frontline workers and civilians, this ecofriendly alternative will be made from KruPulp, Kruger’s FDA-compliant and FSC®-certified pulp. “Kruger is very proud to contribute to the collective effort against COVID-19 by helping PMP bring to market this innovative product entirely sourced in Canada and made from a renewable resource. Thanks to our high quality low-carbon footprint pulp, the masks will have the lowest environmental impact possible,” said Maxime Cossette, Vice President of Global Sustainability and Biomaterials, Kruger Inc. KruPulp products are composed of either recycled or virgin fibres that are sourced locally and responsibly.

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Canada’s Forest Sector Developing Biodegradable Face Mask Filters

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
August 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA, ON – …Canada’s forest sector has continued to adapt and implement unique technologies and processes to manufacture new products that contribute to Canada’s pandemic response. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, today announced a $1.3 million investment to FPInnovations for a COVID-19 response project to develop a biodegradable, sustainable filter for single-use face masks made from local, and eco-friendly solutions. Consistent with Natural Resources Canada’s work plan for personal protective equipment (PPE) waste management, FPInnovations will develop the filters using sustainable and biodegradable material made from Canadian forest fibres. Canadian pulp and paper mills will manufacture this product and provide an opportunity to diversify the forest sector’s revenue opportunities. This product has the potential for Canada to expand its markets internationally and lead the production of sustainable and environmentally friendly PPE.

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Canadian Chamber of Commerce call on federal government to prevent strike action at the Port of Montreal

The Market Screener
August 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — Canada’s leading national industry associations, including… the Forest Products Association of Canada issued the following statement regarding the notice of strike action by longshoremen at the Port of Montreal: ‘Our national associations, representing hundreds of thousands of businesses in every sector of the economy are calling on the federal government to facilitate a resolution to the ongoing negotiations between the longshoremen and the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) at the Port of Montreal. …We are calling on the federal Minister of Labour to facilitate a resolution of the negotiations between the longshoremen and the MEA to ensure the continuation of port activities. This issue requires the government’s full attention to preserve jobs and protect Canada’s economy.’

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Construction rebate providing big boost to Newfoundland and Labrador industry, says association CEO

CBC
August 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

With Friday being the last day to apply for the provincial government’s residential construction rebate, contractors and builders across the province say they are seeing a big boost in business over the summer months. …The program allows homeowners to apply for either a 25 per cent rebate on home renovation projects, or a rebate of up to $10,000 on a new home valued up to $350,000 before taxes. …Curtis Mercer, CEO of the provincial branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, estimates that when all is said and done there will be around 10,000 applications. …According to Statistics Canada, the dollar value of building permits issued in the province rose 71 per cent from numbers in May — much higher than the six per cent average across the country. …Scott Wilson, owner of Sun Valley Greenhouses in St. John’s said the price of cedar has gone up … from around $10.20 per piece of two-by-four to $11.35.

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British Columbia judge approves Northern Pulp loan

By Aaron Beswick
Cape Breton Post
August 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia taxpayers are out another $15 million unless the province grants Northern Pulp an environmental approval of the mill’s controversial proposed effluent treatment plant.  On Thursday, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick approved the terms of a $50-million loan to the beleaguered Pictou County mill from parent Paper Excellence Canada and Pacific Harbour North American Resources Ltd. Her ruling allows Northern Pulp to take an initial payment of $15 million to keep it afloat until the end of the year.  To get more from the pot, Northern Pulp and Paper Excellence will have to come back for Fitzpatrick’s approval.  The terms of that debt put it ahead of the $85 million Northern Pulp and its associated companies owe the province.

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New Prototype Face Mask Using Canadian Wood Pulp to Support Canada’s COVID-19 Response

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
July 31, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Seamus O’Regan

OTTAWA — Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, announced $300,000 for a COVID-19 response project by Pulp Moulded Products Incorporated (PMP) — a company based in Newmarket, Ontario, which focuses on products made from Canadian pulp. Additional support for the project is being provided by Kruger Incorporated. The project will see PMP create a prototype for low-cost, non-surgical, disposable masks for civilians and industrial workers. …The mask production and supply chain will also be 100 percent Canadian, eliminating dependency on imports for the production of non-medical masks. Funding for this project is provided through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program.

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Resolute reports small profit in Q2, 2020

By Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
July 30, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTRÉAL — Resolute Forest Products reported net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2020, of $6 million, compared to net income of $25 million in the same period in 2019 and a net loss of $1 million in Q1, 2020. Sales were $612 million in the quarter, a decrease of $143 million from the year-ago period and a decrease of $77 million from Q1, 2020. Excluding special items, the company reported a net loss of $22 million compared to net income of $11 million in the second quarter of 2019. …Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer… “we’ve seen stronger pulp pricing and higher lumber shipments in the second quarter, offset by a weaker paper segment, which reflects lower demand levels since the onset of the pandemic and our resulting capacity adjustments.”

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Nova Scotia accepting applications for fund advancing development of forestry sector

By Aya Al-Hakim
Global News
July 29, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Nova Scotia government announced Wednesday that applications for the $50-million Forestry Innovation Transition Trust will open Friday, July 31. According to the province, the fund was announced in February to continue to advance the transition and development of Nova Scotia’s forestry sector. “The trust may be used by companies, organizations or post-secondary institutions working and researching in the forestry and biological resources sectors,” the province said in a press release.“ A three-member trustee board will review submissions and make spending decisions.” The province said forestry workers may also seek funding to support training or retraining, if other education funding sources have been exhausted.

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Northern Pulp cried poor while paying parent company nearly $60 million, Nova Scotia officials argue in court documents

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
July 28, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province has accused Northern Pulp of misappropriating taxpayer funds and misrepresenting its financial state to allow it to funnel more money back to its parent company.  The accusations are found in affidavits filed by high-level Nova Scotia government officials in the British Columbia Supreme Court in which they argue Northern Pulp shouldn’t be allowed to accept a $50-million loan from Paper Excellence Canada and related company Pacific Harbour North American Resources.    …According to Duff MacKay Montgomery, deputy minister at the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Northern Pulp has soured the well with the province by playing loose with taxpayer funds. …Those negotiators saw that in 2018, when Northern Pulp had come to the province crying poor and seeking loan payment deferrals worth about $3 million, it had found $59.9 million to pay Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corporation. [We respect the copyrights of the source publication – full access to this story may require a subscription]

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Canada Preserving Jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
July 29, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Seamus O’Regan

CORNER BROOK, NL — The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, along with Gudie Hutchings, Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains, announced $442,035 for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited to study bioeconomic diversification opportunities while minimizing risks related to the decline in demand for newsprint. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper will look to diversify and expand its products, enabling the mill to continue accepting 100 percent locally-produced wood chips. This initiative would keep Newfoundland and Labrador’s forest supply chain operating and provide surrounding communities with a source of employment, including 1,125 direct and indirect jobs in a variety of sectors such as transportation, equipment, and maintenance. Funding for this project is provided through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program.

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Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic partner with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper to expand Corner Brook operations

CBC News
July 27, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Darren Pelley

“Partnership” was the most common word in the announcement of the new Corner Brook Centre for Research and Innovation on Monday. The new centre will be operated by Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic, with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited putting up a vacant building and future maintenance. The goal is to transform the company’s vacant human resources building into a leader of research for the forestry sector and help further the life of the town’s mill. “This allows the building to have new life, and certainly as part of that is training for our employees, which is a very important aspect,” said Darren Pelley, vice-president of Kruger, which operates CBPPL. “But it also allows for the research to occur, which really brings all the key players together.” …three levels of government have stitched together $8.9 million to turn the old building into something new. 

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Sawmills struggle with shortage of logs

By James Risdon
The Chronicle Herald
July 27, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Robin Wilber

Lumber mills in Nova Scotia are being squeezed by a double whammy of higher prices for logs and lower revenues for the wood chips and sawdust they produce as a byproduct of their operations. “The closure of Northern Pulp has dramatically affected our profitability,” said Robin Wilber, president of Elmsdale Lumber Co. “Now, we’re selling our chips to a wood pellet manufacturer at half the value of what we used to get.” …The closure of Northern Pulp has… meant woodlot owners, who used to sell their low-quality wood for pulp, no longer have that market, and it has made it less economically viable for them to have their land logged. …That shortage is coming at a time when home renovation stores throughout Atlantic Canada are short of lumber. [We respect the copyrights of the source publication – full access may require a subscription]

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Province opposes Northern Pulp bailout deal

By Aaron Beswick
The Telegram
July 22, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province [Nova Scotia] is opposing a deal that Northern Pulp claims would allow it to continue paying severance to its laid off employees, its share of the cost of Boat Harbour’s shutdown and cleanup, safely idle its kraft pulp mill and work toward an environmental approval for a new effluent treatment plant. The deal is in the form of $50 million in interim financing being offered by Northern Pulp’s parent companies, Paper Excellence Canada and Pacific Harbor North American Resources Ltd. Without access to the loan, Northern Pulp claims that it will run out of money in early August. But the money comes with strings attached. ….The province isn’t commenting on the proposed interim financing deal or its attempts to block it as the matter is part of creditor protection proceedings in British Columbia. The Nova Scotian taxpayer is Northern Pulp’s largest secured creditor, holding just over $86 million in secured loans to the five companies associated with the mill.[We respect the copyrights of the source publication – full access to this story may require a subscription]

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Decks, fences and other pandemic projects lead to local lumber shortage

By Kimberley Molina
CBC News
July 19, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

First, it was TP flying off the shelves during the pandemic. Now, it’s PT — or pressure-treated wood — that’s been disappearing from lumber yards around Ottawa. Blaire Cabelguen has been a contractor for 10 years, and said COVID-19 has caused one of the busiest summers he’s seen. …Cabelguen said he’s seen a 70 to 80 per cent increase in the number of clients he’s had compared to last summer, mostly people wanting work done on their decks, kitchens and bathrooms. “We basically had to tell them that now we’re booking into the winter”. …Tracking down pressure-treated wood has been particularly difficult, he added, with most store shelves “pretty well bare.”

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Crews battle overnight fire at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper

CBC News
July 17, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Emergency crews battled an overnight fire at the Corner Brook mill on Thursday night into early Friday morning. The Corner Brook Pulp and Paper’s emergency whistle began blaring around 11:30 p.m. as the fire started to flare up.  …Just before the mill whistle began blasting, firefighters at Corner Brook’s fire department spotted the flames from the department’s parking lot, which overlooks the mill. Crews assembled and headed down to help the mill’s on-site fire brigade. A paper machine had caught fire, said Corner Brook’s Deputy Fire Chief Craig Harnum. “The majority of the fire was located near the roof itself, and the opening in the roof, so that made it look a little worse than what it was,” said Harnum. …Adding that within 20 minutes the blaze was brought under control, with between 22 to 25 firefighters from the two squads working hand-in-hand.

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ThermalWood broadens market for heat-treated wood with Weston Forest deal

By Rich Christianson
Woodworking Network
July 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

BATHURST, New Brunswick – ThermalWood Canada, a manufacturer of thermally modified wood, will greatly expand its presence in Ontario after inking an agreement with Weston Forest Products to distribute its products. The deal with Weston Forest represents ThermalWood’s first distribution agreement in North America. Weston Forest, a distributor and remanufacturer of softwood and hardwood lumber based in Mississauga, has an Ontario network numbering 300 home improvement stores and a team of 14 sales representatives. Established in 2008, ThermalWood uses a specially designed kiln to heat lumber at precise high temperatures up to 225 C. The company said its baking process modifies the wood’s characteristics producing lumber that offers improved dimensional stability and resistant to rot and damage by insects and requires no chemical additives.

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FedNor to provide $3.9M for youth, young entrepreneurs

The North Bay Nugget
July 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Melanie Joly

The federal government is providing more than $3.9 million through FedNor in a move aimed at supporting youth initiatives and young entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario. Federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages Mélanie Joly announced the funding Wednesday as part of World Youth Skills Day. The non-repayable contributions will be delivered by FedNor, the federal government’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario, and go toward 28 initiatives. …Sault Ste. Marie MP and minister responsible for FedNor Terry Sheehan said the announcement “will help stem the flow of youth out-migration in Northern Ontario by creating meaningful employment opportunities and skills-training for young Canadians, while supporting our next generation of entrepreneurs.” …In Nipissing–Timiskaming, the funding includes: Canadian Institute of Forestry — $31,500 to hire a youth intern as a forest science outreach co-ordinator to assist in the delivery of forest science and knowledge exchange programs.

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Decks become the new hot pandemic project, creating a run on lumber

By Dylan Dyson
CTV News
July 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PEMBROKE, Ontario — First, it was toilet paper. Then, disinfectant wipes. Now, pressure-treated lumber is the hot commodity due to COVID-19. Lumber is selling out across North America, with backyard decks and deck extensions the new growing trend. Ron Reiche runs C.A. Reiche & Sons Lumber and Building Supplies in Pembroke and says they are selling twice as much wood as last year. “With the pandemic, it forced people to stay at home and they were looking for something to do. So they’re not out at restaurants, they’re not going travelling, they’re not going to sports events, but still they’re going to spend money. …C.A. Reiche is one of the few stores in the region that still has a supply of pressure-treated lumber. …Contractors across the region are seeing their workload double this summer, compared to last.

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Finance & Economics

Cascades reports strong results for Q2 2020

Cascades Inc.
Cision Newswire
August 6, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada East, Canada

KINGSEY FALLS, Quebec — Cascades Inc. reports its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended June 30, 2020. The company reports sales of $1,285 million compared to $1,313 million in Q1 2020 (-2%) and $1,275 million in Q2 2019 (+1%). As reported (including specific items), operating income of $94 million compares with of $90 million in Q1 2020 (+4%) and an operating income of $82 million in Q2 2019 (+15%). …Cascades employs 12,000 women and men across a network of over 90 facilities in North America and Europe. 

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Stella-Jones Reports Record Second Quarter 2020 Results

By Stella-Jones Inc.
Global Newswire
August 5, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — Stella-Jones Inc. (“Stella-Jones” or the “Company”) today announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2020. “We are pleased with our financial performance, as each of our three core product categories continued to deliver improved results. Bolstered by exceptional demand for residential lumber, we realized double-digit sales growth of 15% and increased EBITDA by 28% to $120 million this quarter, surpassing the $100 million mark for the first time in a single quarter. We generated $146 million of cash from operations and reduced our leverage, further improving our financial strength and flexibility. Based on our strong quarterly performance and resilient business model, we have increased our annual 2020 EBITDA guidance and announced our intention to repurchase up to 3,000,000 of the Company’s outstanding shares, under a Normal Course Issuer Bid,” stated Éric Vachon, President and CEO of Stella-Jones.

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Norbord Reports Second Quarter 2020 Earnings; Declares Quarterly Dividend

By Norbord Inc.
Cision Newswire
August 5, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO– Norbord Inc. today reported Adjusted EBITDA of $84 million for the second quarter of 2020 compared to $75 million in the first quarter of 2020 and $36 million in the second quarter of 2019. The quarter-over-quarter increase was primarily due to lower manufacturing costs, partially offset by lower shipment volumes, while the year-over-year increase was primarily due to higher realized North American oriented strand board (OSB) prices, as well as lower manufacturing costs, partially offset by lower shipment volumes. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $84 million compared to $68 million in the first quarter of 2020 and $18 million in the second quarter of 2019, and European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $2 million compared to $10 million in the prior quarter and $21 million in the same quarter last year.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

University of Toronto architecture students, faculty install a pop-up park beside the CN Tower

By Stephen Kupferman
University of Toronto News
August 7, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The University of Toronto is bringing a little bit of the natural world to the base of the CN Tower. Pebbs and Hex, an educational pop-up park, was created by Assistant Professor Victor Perez-Amado and forestry PhD candidate Eric Davies, in collaboration with a team of students from U of T’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. …The Pebbs and Hex park consists of a series of wooden “pebbles” – rounded seating structures accentuated with kinetic, solar-powered lighting elements that move with the wind – created using a computer-controlled mill that allows designers to make precise cuts. The “hexes” are modular hexagonal planters that hold a gallery of native trees, including burr oak, black ash, sugar maple and poplar. A series of explanatory plaques helps visitors learn about the different tree species and the important roles they play in Ontario’s ecology.

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Hines and Waterfront Toronto Break Ground on Mass-Timber T3 Bayside share tweet share comment 1

Urban Toronto
July 23, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Representatives from Waterfront Toronto, developer Hines, and all three levels of government gathered in the East Bayfront area to celebrate the start of construction on a mass-timber office complex known as T3 Bayside, located on Queens Quay East, just west of Parliament Street. With the “T3” moniker representing “timber, talent, and technology,” the innovative project from developer Hines, with a design by Danish architects 3XN working with local firm WZMH Architects, will for a time take the crown of the city’s tallest wood-frame building. …Those on hand included project representatives Avi Tesciuba, Hines Canada, and George Zegarac, Waterfront Toronto, Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Laurie Scott, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure; and Toronto Mayor John Tory. …Catherine McKenna, spoke next, stating “it’s exciting to see Canada adopting mass timber construction, a huge competitive advantage for Canada.”

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Forestry

Researchers race to protect Nova Scotia’s hemlocks from invasive pest

By Moira Donovan
CBC News
August 10, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In a shaded, mossy hemlock stand in Kejimkujik National Park. …Like many of the hemlocks in Nova Scotia, these trees are threatened by an invasive insect known as the hemlock woolly adelgid. …To counter the fast-moving threat, scientists are investigating options from chemical treatments to changing the composition of the forest to save hemlock stands from destruction. …”Because it’s not a native insect, it’s not held in check by natural enemies and tree resistance,” said Jeff Fidgen, a biologist with the Canadian Forest Service, one of the agencies involved in the work to save hemlocks. In an attempt to restore some balance, Fidgen and other scientists are investigating ways to recreate the conditions found in the adelgid’s native range, including the presence of insect predators, and are working on a framework for the use of biological controls for eastern hemlocks.

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Ontario must act to prevent hidden deforestation, environmental group says

By Jody Porter
CBC News
July 30, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Thousands of hectares of boreal forest in northwestern Ontario have been laid to waste by the forest industry but remains unaccounted for under Ontario’s forest management and climate change plans, according to a new report from the Wildlands League. The environmental group released an online catalogue on Thursday of nearly 300 sites that have remained barren for up to 30 years. The total deforested area amounts to about 650,000 hectares, according to Trevor Hesselink. The sites are left on the landscape by access roads and heavy equipment use. Those areas fall outside of Ontario’s forest management planning regime. …Ontario disputes claims that logging scars are a problem. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said provincial regulations requires that all harvested areas of the forest be regenerated. …The Ontario Forest Industry Association said it would wait to see the Wildlands League’s online catalogue before considering a response.

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Spruce budworm infestation taking its toll on northern conifers

By Andrew Autio
The Bay Today
July 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…northeastern Ontario is experiencing a surge in the spruce budworm, a native defoliating insect. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) says it’s a continuation of a natural outbreak. …”This forest pest is a free feeding defoliator that consumes the new growth on species of spruce and balsam fir and in extreme circumstances may feed on tamarack when growing in close proximity to other host trees,” said Jolanta Kowalski, MNRF senior communications officer. …The province of Quebec has been battling the spruce budworm for several years, and in 2019 the provincial government committed $33 million for additional aerial insecticide spraying in hopes of limiting the damage to its forests and subsequently, the forest products industry. Reports of damaged trees are emerging from across northern Ontario, from Thunder Bay, to the Sault Ste. Marie area, to Manitoulin Island, Sudbury, Parry Sound, and now Gogama and the Timmins area.

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Province says treaties don’t give Wolastoqiyik right to commercial logging on Crown land

By Hadeel Ibrahim
CBC News
July 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province of New Brunswick says Peace and Friendship Treaties do not allow First Nations people to make a ‘moderate livelihood’ from Crown timber. In January, six Wolastoqey First Nations sued the province for not recognizing their treaty rights to Crown timber. Oromocto, Woodstock, Saint Mary’s, Kingsclear, Tobique and Madawaska First Nations allege the province is infringing on their treaty rights by “wrongfully” limiting their ability to sell and trade timber to gain a “moderate livelihood.” In a statement of defence filed mid-July, the province says the First Nations do not have the right to commercially harvest timber, only domestically. …The First Nations are seeking an order from the court to declare their treaty rights. The province is asking the court to dismiss the case with costs. No court date has been set yet to hear the case.

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Forest fires up across the province, number of hectares lost down: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

By Denis Puska
My Timmins Now
July 21, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s been an unusual scenario for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry regarding forest fires this summer. The number of fires across the province has risen to 400 compared to 262 of a year ago, but the major change is the amount of land consumed by flames….from 262,000 hectares of a year ago, to just over 5,400 hectares this year. Isabelle Chenard with the MNRF says early detection was one of the reasons for the big shift in numbers. “Ontario implemented an aggressive approach to forest firefighting this year,” she said. “That was to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our emergency services strong. “That new approach aims at detecting fires early and responding quickly. Many of the fires this year were contained by water bomber aircraft and more early detection flights.”

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Changing climate having negative impact on Labrador boreal caribou herds: researchers

By Evan Careen
The Cape Breton Post
July 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Climate change is having a significant impact on some of the caribou herds in Labrador, according to a recent study. The study, led by the Department of Forestry and Land Resources, used climate data over a multi-decade period to look at the survival rates of adult female caribou in five boreal herds in Labrador. “We found climate changes that have happened in Labrador in the past two decades have, indeed, impacted boreal caribou survival for some populations,” ecologist Isabelle Schmelzer, one of the lead researchers, said. “This changing climate is part of their future as well.” She said they found a few ways in which the changing climate is having an impact, mostly related to lesser snowfall and freezing rain. …Hunting is having an impact, she said, but can’t account for the declines they’re seen.

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Nature Trust looks to nearly double conserved land over next decade

By Steve Webb
CBC News
July 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW BRUNSWICK — The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is embarking on a campaign to nearly double the amount of land under its protection in just ten years. The plan would require $10 million in fundraising to increase its holdings to 15,000 acres from the current 8,000 by 2030. …The effort comes in the wake of decisions by both the federal and New Brunswick governments to protect more land in government hands by the end of 2020. Ottawa has committed to conserving 17 per cent land across Canada by the end of this year. And, the New Brunswick government has committed to bringing the amount of conserved Crown lands to 10 per cent, up from 4.6 per cent protected in late 2019. …Woodward said the organization generally looks for intact habitat, typically coastland, wetlands and old forest growth. Land that is habitat for species at risk is also a priority.

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Changes being proposed to keep fatal wildlife disease out of Ontario

The Bay Today
July 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ontario government is seeking public input on a proposal to increase protections for the province’s wildlife populations from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that affects members of the cervid family – deer, elk, moose, and caribou. It causes a spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death While it has not been detected in Ontario, it… was discovered in 2018 on a deer farm in Quebec, close to the Ontario border. It has also been found in all five U.S. states bordering Ontario. …In December 2019, Ontario announced a CWD Prevention and Response Plan that will ensure the province has the right approaches in place to minimize the risk of the disease entering or spreading within the province.

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Large forest blowdown southwest of Dryden poses fire hazard

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
July 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

DRYDEN, Ont. — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will keep a close eye on a huge expanse of downed trees about 70 kilometres southwest of Dryden. More than 20 square kilometres of forest was blown down on June 8 by an EF 2 tornado near Lawrence Lake and Brooks Lake. After Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project released satellite imagery showing the extent of the damaged area, the MNRF dispatched an aircraft to take its own photographs. The MNRF’s photos show what Northwest Region Fire Response Coordinator Darren McLarty describes as “a patchwork of chopsticks.” Most of the thousands of downed trees are jackpine. …McLarty said they pose a particularly serious fire hazard for the first few years, after conifers dry and before the forest regenerates. In some cases, the MNRF may conduct prescribed burns on the perimeter to reduce the risk. 

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Landowners plead for help halting caterpillar invasion

By Stu Mills
CBC News
July 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Property owners in eastern Ontario are calling on their local and provincial governments for help handling an invasion of gypsy moth caterpillars. The red-and-blue-speckled caterpillars are an invasive species that can completely defoliate a tree, causing long-term damage.  In the Otty Lake area of Tay Valley Township, about 90 kilometres southwest of Ottawa, the fuzzy caterpillars arrived in June and began munching the oaks and basswoods on Dan Woods’s two-hectare property. “We came here because of the trees. The trees drew us,” said the retired military engineer, who moved to the area with Tineke Doornbosch in 2004. The caterpillars quickly stripped those deciduous trees, then moved into several century-old white pines that dot the mature forest around the couple’s home. …In the Niagara region, Trees Unlimited forester Paul Robertson said a coordinated effort is needed on both public and private property if the destructive march of the gypsy moth caterpillar is to be halted.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Heat waves, wildfire & permafrost thaw: The North’s climate change trifecta

By Catherine Dieleman, University of Guelph
The Conversation
July 23, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Arctic Circle became unbelievably hot on June 20. In the Russian community of Verkhoyansk, temperatures topped 38C, marking what may be the highest air temperature ever recorded within the Arctic. …For scientists the world-over these record-breaking temperatures are alarm bells, demonstrating the kind of extreme weather events we can expect to see more often if climate change continues unchecked. However, it is the long-term fallout from modern heat waves that has many northern scientists deeply concerned, as they will affect our planet for decades to come. …In northern regions like the boreal biome, these fire-promoting conditions can cause large-scale wildfires that burn millions of hectares of forest in a single summer. …When fires burn deep into soils or return too quickly to a forest, they lose their “ancient carbon” stocks. …When permafrost ecosystems burn, the wildfire consumes these protective layers, often triggering permafrost thaw.

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Port of Belledune and New Brusnwick’s greatest resource

By Jessica Casey
Dry Bulk Magazine
July 14, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The lush green forests of New Brunswick are the envy of many who are surrounded by concrete walls in population-dense cities. However, a lot of its own residents may not even know exactly how rich of a commodity the abundance of woods in their own backyards produce. Enter forest biomass – the wood waste left as a result of strategic forest management and local sawmill processing. In being resourceful and taking that ‘waste’ and turning it into value-added product, the wood pellet can be produced and thus, a source of clean energy is created. It is arguably New Brunswick’s greatest underutilised resource. The Belledune Port Authority has worked to become the top biomass exporter in Eastern Canada since beginning to export wood pellets over a decade ago.

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Health & Safety

Public Health Sudbury & Districts says tick tests positive for Lyme disease

CBC News
July 30, 2020
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Sudbury health unit says a blacklegged tick found in the area has tested positive for the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. It’s the second positive tick reported to the health unit this year. Lyme disease is an infection that starts out as a skin rash with or without fly-like symptoms. The health unit says it can progress to arthritic, cardiac or neurological disease if not properly diagnosed and treated. The health unit says if you do find a tick embedded in your skin, to use tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. The tick can be taken to the health unit in a dry container for testing. The person should follow up with their health care provider.

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Deceased identified after bear attack

By Ryan Forbes
Kenora Online
July 29, 2020
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Red Lake and Ear Falls OPP Detachments have identified the deceased 67-year-old man who was attacked by a black bear off of Highway 105 last week. The deceased male has been identified as 67-year-old Peter Franczak of Red Lake. A post mortem examination completed in Toronto determined that the bear attack was his cause of death.  The male was found on July 20, after he left his home that morning to pick blueberries off of Tuzyk Road off of Highway 105, between Ear Falls and Red Lake. A black bear was located in the vicinity of the deceased, and was dispatched by officers. The bear will be sent to Guelph for testing. Police and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are continuing to remind the public to always be aware of their surroundings when outdoors, and to call 911 if a bear is posing an immediate threat to your safety.

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Forest Fires

Heat increases forest fire hazard

By Ryan Forbes
Dryden Now
July 24, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

DRYDEN, Ontario — The high heat and humidity across the region has brought the forest fire hazard to high, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are reminding all residents to burn safely. Six new forest fires were found in the region recently, which includes two fires near Dryden that are not under control, and two fires near Sioux Lookout. Sioux Lookout Fire 23 is not under control, but Fire 22 has been declared out. At this time, there are 14 active forest fires in the region. Five are not under control, five are under control and four are under observation. The forest fire hazard remains high across most of the region, with a moderate hazard near the Minnesota border.

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Nine new forest fires in Northwest Region

Thunder Bay News Watch
July 15, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

DRYDEN, Ont. — A day after thunderstorms passed through the region, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry discovered nine new bushfires in Northwestern Ontario on Tuesday. Six of the fires occurred in the Fort Frances and Kenora districts, while the other three broke out north of Thunder Bay. All the fires are less than one hectare in size. They occurred at Kawene Lake east of Atikokan, Dogtooth Lake southeast of Kenora, Eva Lake east of Atikokan (two fires), a peninsula on Rainy Lake east of Fort Frances, and Crystal Lake east of Atikokan. There were also two outbreaks north of Wabinosh Bay on Lake Nipigon, about 25 kilometres south of Armstrong. The MNRF reports 22 active fires in the Northwest Region, including seven that are not under control.

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