Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada West

Froggy Foibles

Alberni logger discovers a mystery in a rock face

By Susie Quinn
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
August 4, 2020
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

“Shawn”

When veteran logger Fred Thompson agreed to drive a truck for a job in Drury Inlet on the central coast of British Columbia, finding a megalith was the last thing he figured he would be doing. Thompson, 77, is a semi-retired logger from Port Alberni. …he was working on a site in Jennis Bay—part of Drury Inlet, in Queen Charlotte Strait—near the Broughton Archipelago. …“My crew pointed to a rock formation and said ‘we call that guy Shawn, a nickname for the owner of the company,’” Thompson said. They dismissed the face in the rock as a natural anomaly of the cliff. …Thompson said the features revealed in the rock face look similar to the stone moai (sculptures) on Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. …the shape of the stone is not characteristic of the artwork typical of the Indigenous people from the area.

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Business & Politics

The Holy Grail of Job Creation in BC’s Forest Sector?

By Ian MacNeill
BC Truck Loggers Association
July 30, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Truck LoggerBC magazine has published numerous stories about the challenges independent manufacturers face when it comes to accessing affordable fibre for their operations. At one time, BC had competitive open markets for timber, logs, and lumber, and the independents had access, using it to produce high-quality finished products, and jobs. Over the last couple of decades, the markets were transformed such that… the independents faced increasingly high prices and more limited access. They watched a slow erosion of available fibre, and inevitably, independents started going out of business, taking with them the jobs they provided. …In 2002 the Independent Wood Processors Association had 107 members, it is now down to 52. …British Columbians deserve to derive the most benefits from a publicly owned resource. Let’s hope that any new provincial policies and regulations, whenever they are unveiled, are a step in the right direction. Then maybe we can focus on the elephant in the room, tenure reform.

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Grant to reduce waste of wood and create jobs in Cariboo-Chilcotin

By Dave Barry
CFJC Today
August 6, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A joint venture company, owned by two First Nations, is receiving a $1 million dollar grant to decrease the amount of wood that goes to waste in the forest. The funding is being provided as a grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC to Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd., a joint venture company owned by the Tŝideldel First Nation (Alexis Creek First Nation) and the Tl’etinqox government (Anaham First Nation). The company received a $3.4 million grant in 2017 to reduce wildfire risks and rehabilitate mountain pine beetle forests near Anahim Lake. In the second phase of the project, the new grant will find uses for the 200,000 cubic metres of waste wood created in the initial phase. Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. will send waste fibre to either Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s pellet plant or to Atlantic Power to generate electricity. Both plants are located in Williams Lake. Cariboo Pulp in Quesnel will receive pulp grade logs.

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New heat exchangers and better measurement make West Fraser more competitive

Energy Efficiency Alberta
July 21, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the highly competitive global pulp industry, energy efficiency is providing an edge. Pulp production is energy intensive and Canada has tougher environmental standards than many other major pulp-producing countries. Staying globally competitive requires industry to anticipate environmental standards and find operational efficiencies. West Fraser’s Alberta facilities are facing this challenge head on and seeing results. The team at West Fraser’s Slave Lake Pulp mill has worked to reduce the energy intensity of their operations for many years. In 2016, they launched into the clean energy space by commissioning an anaerobic digester to break down organic waste material created by the mill. The resulting biogas can generate electricity to power the plant’s operations. But by 2018, only 60 per cent of biogas produced was used in electricity generation, with the rest unused. With support through Strategic Energy Management, the Slave Lake Pulp team created a new system to measure all forms of energy use.

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Alberta appoints CIBC executive to lead Crown entity focused on Indigenous project investment

By James Keller
The Globe and Mail
July 30, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alicia Dubois

The Alberta government has appointed a CIBC executive to lead a Crown corporation that will provide $1-billion in loan guarantees to Indigenous groups seeking to buy into resource and infrastructure projects such as pipelines. Alicia Dubois, currently the vice-president for Indigenous markets at the bank, will become chief executive of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp., or AIOC, on Sept. 1. … Ms. Dubois, who identifies as Indigenous, said the corporation will have an “echo effect” for those communities, allowing them not only to buy into specific projects, but also to build the capacity to pursue other economic opportunities later on. …“Ultimately, our aim is to act as a bridge of sorts between Indigenous groups and industry players in the development of meaningful partnerships,”  … The AIOC will guarantee loans for Indigenous groups to invest in energy projects, … as well as forestry development and mining. The minimum size of those loans will be $20-million.

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Court approves sale of C&C Wood Products and Westside Logging in Quesnel

By Angie Mindus
The Williams Lake Tribune
July 30, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In just five days, C&C Wood Products Ltd. and Westside Logging Ltd. will have a new owner. On Wednesday, July 29, B.C. Supreme Court approved the deal PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) made earlier this month with a company named Quesnel Investment Corporation. According to an update provided on PWC’s website, the court issued an order which approved PWC’s work as receiver of the bankrupt companies including; statement of receipts and disbursements, sale process of the Quesnel operations and assets and the non-licence asset purchase agreement and the licence asset purchase agreement. … The non-licence asset purchase agreement is expected to close within five business days and the forest and timber licences purchase agreement is expected to close by October 31, 2020. … [The] sale transaction of C&C Wood Products and Westside Logging Ltd. “may preserve jobs in Quesnel, thereby promoting the interests of the community.”

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Finance & Economics

Western Forest Products reports Q2 net income of $8.5 million

By Western Forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
August 6, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products reported adjusted EBITDA of $29.5 million in the second quarter of 2020. …Net income of $8.5 million was reported for the second quarter of 2020, as compared to net loss of $0.7 million  for the second quarter of 2019 and net loss of $21.0 million in the first quarter of 2020. …Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2020 was $29.5 million, as compared to $15.1 million from the same period last year. Despite the negative financial impacts and significant uncertainty arising from COVID-19, we maintained employment and operating levels supported by the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) program. …Operating income prior to restructuring and other items was $14.6 million, as compared to $1.4 million in the same period last year.

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Western Forest Products Inc. Announces Renewal of Normal Course Issuer Bid

By Western Forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
August 7, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — Western Forest Products announced that it has received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to renew a normal course issuer bid (NCIB) to purchase for cancellation up to 18,759,858 of its common shares, representing approximately 5% of the 375,197,166 common shares issued and outstanding as of August 6, 2020. The NCIB, which will begin on August 11, 2020 and end no later than August 10, 2021 will be conducted through open market transactions through the facilities of the TSX or other Canadian marketplaces. …The Company believes that, from time to time, the market price of its common shares may be attractive and their purchase would represent a desirable use of its capital to increase shareholder value.

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Sales of softwood lumber remain strong during usual seasonal slowdown

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
August 4, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Following a Board-generated spate of confusion early the previous week, the U.S. Western S-P-F Softwood Lumber market returned to a frenzy of demand last week to close out July. …Prices were up significantly on all commodity items and sawmill order files stretched into late August or early September. Canadian Western S-P-F purveyors described a state of near-pandemonium in the market last week as the price of R/L #2&Btr 2×4 eclipsed the vaunted US$600 mfbm mark, rising $30 to US$620 mfbm (net FOB sawmill). All other dimension offerings climbed between $10 and $44, aside from #4/Economy 2×4 and 2×6 which remained flat. Customers have become numb to sticker shock in recent months.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Knock on wood: Dismantling old barns boon for new business

By Evan Radford
Regina Leader-Post
July 31, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tyler Slowski

Neither an injury nor the pandemic has slowed Tyler Slowski’s business, Prairie Barn Brothers, based in the Yorkton area. Originally started in January 2018 by Tyler and his brother Nathan, the company sees western Canada’s rustic, abandoned barns as still holding value; a value that’s better realized when the barns aren’t dotting the landscape while getting battered by wind and rain. Slowski and his crew deconstruct the barns, refurbish any salvageable wood, then sell it to buyers. Demand, he says, has been constant since the company’s early days, and especially halfway through 2020, pandemic be damned. “The months of March and April were our busiest months of the year,” he says. “Last year I was offered 100 barns; I had to turn down 90 per cent of them because I just don’t have the capacity.”

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‘It’s the only way to go’: Coffin company offering its eco-friendly products at farmers markets

CBC News
August 2, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sita and Gavin Then, co-owners of Evergreen Coffin Company, are making the rounds at markets on Vancouver Island to showcase the eco-friendly wooden coffins they make with B.C. lumber and sell for just over $1,000. Based in Royston, B.C., Sita Then says travelling to farmers markets is an opportunity to not only make sales, but to talk to the public about the importance of death care — often a taboo subject — and help people take more control of the process for either themselves, or a loved one. …The coffins are made with a mix of sustainably grown B.C. pine and have no metal or plastic on them. They are held together by glue and untreated hemp rope that serves as handles. This makes them ideal for people interested in the growing trend of green burials, which do not include the use of any toxic materials. 

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Forestry

British Columbia’s looming extinction crisis

By Sarah Cox
The Narwhal
August 8, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chocolate brown fur, a pointy face and rounded ears give fisher the appearance of an old-fashioned teddy bear. Yet biologists call it “the ninja of the forest.” A fisher is about the size of a housecat, but stretched out like a limo, and it’s one of the fastest land animals on the planet when it comes to short bursts of speed. It’s also known for its ferocity. A fisher will attack and eat a porcupine two or three times its size, zipping in to bite the porcupine’s nose and dashing away to avoid a tail of quills that strikes like a lightning bolt.   If you’re planning to go out in the woods, though, don’t expect to see this little-known member of the weasel family. Even scientists who study fisher rarely see them in the wild. If they do, according to B.C. government biologist Rich Weir, it’s “like winning the lottery.”

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Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

By Greg Sakaki
Nanaimo News Bulletin
August 8, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Protesters speaking for the trees gathered in Nanaimo this weekend to ask for protection of B.C.’s old-growth forests.   A rally organized by Extinction Rebellion was held Saturday afternoon at Maffeo Sutton Park, capping off a 13-day hunger strike by two Nanaimo men. Extinction Rebellion members James Darling and Robert Fuller protested in various locations the past two weeks and Fred Speck, who spoke at Saturday’s event, thanked and praised the hunger strikers who he said were “able to speak for the trees, our forests that cannot speak or defend themselves.” …Darling called the impacts of logging old-growth forests “eco-cide.” “It’s our drive to dominate nature and really this culture that puts expansion and growth ahead of all other concerns that is at the root cause of what’s going on,” he said.

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Western Forestry Contractors’ Association Rumour Mill RoundUpDate

By John Betts
Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
August 7, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year’s summer planting season is within days of ending with no COVID-19 reported across the planting, nursery, and forestry sector since the pandemic began. Only 20-million fall seedlings remain of the more than 300-million trees planned for this year. That final campaign will begin in late August in the Interior and on the Coast. With COVID-19 cases rising again in B.C. contractors, consultants and nursery operators met yesterday to discuss protocols and practices to keep their crews safe from infection during the late summer and fall. Even as the rest of the province relaxes constraints BC Safe Forestry Advocate Jordan Tesluk is recommending crews do the same pre-season isolation and follow the same protocols at work that have kept us safe so far. Planting contractors reported that many workers just laid off were reluctant to leave the safety and security of their crews and camps.

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Private forest land improvement ideas shared

By Jim Hilton
BC Local News
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest land often needs some human intervention to maximize a range of forest values. I was recently invited to see some examples of forest stand improvement projects on private land near Rose Lake. After many years working in the forest industry, Rick McLeod has been doing some thinning and pruning trials on his spruce and pine stands. He was thinking about fertilization options and was looking for some advice about how it might improve the stand yield. During my visit I admitted not having much experience with fertilization of pine stands but a few days later I was able to find a good resource about some work done near his place. An article by R.P. Brockley about thinning and fertilization on the growth and development of young lodgepole pine showed tree radial growth increased with thinning intensity, whereas per-hectare growth was greatest at the highest stand density.

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Cutting permit threatens caribou

Letter by Bill Bryce
BC Local News
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mountain caribou is an iconic large mammal that is seriously threatened with extinction in Southern BC. The southernmost herds of the Selkirks and Purcells have already disappeared and an area of winter habitat for a small remnant herd at the north end of Kootenay Lake is threatened by logging. Cooper Creek Cedar is applying for a permit on the Argenta-Johnsons Landing Face, an area where this shrinking herd is known to forage. With the extirpation of these large mammals through habitat loss, it is incumbent upon our governments to move with extreme caution when considering whether or not to proceed with resource extraction. The loss of these animals through destruction of their habitat simply to extract a short-term economic gain would be sad commentary on our priorities. Why are we standing by as government after government leaves the problem of vanishing species to the future? If not now, when?

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1992 study reveals recreation, ecology, viewscapes trump logging in municipal forest reserve

Letter by Larry Pynn
Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Almost three decades ago, North Cowichan’s Forest Advisory Committee retained a consultant to review municipal logging on Maple Mountain and to ask people and organizations to fill out a questionnaire on what they value in our forests. … The questionnaire was sent to “government agencies responsible for resource management,” forest companies operating in the municipality, resource groups using the area, water licensees, and individuals who expressed interest. … Respondents “identified the highest resource values as aesthetics, hiking and other recreational activities (and) indicated the Forest Reserve must be viewed as providing many resource values besides those associated with timber harvesting.” … The municipality has currently suspended public consultations on the future of the forest reserve for 60 days. It’s a good time for the public — and council — to reflect on what we really value … and to put the lie to claims that continued logging is the highest and best use of our forests.

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Paul George named to the Order of British Columbia

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul George

Paul George of Gibsons is among the 13 people named this week to the Order of British Columbia. …The official bio supplied by the province notes that over the past 40 years George has “helped to steward a contemporary view of B.C. beyond a province of just resource extraction with the creation of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee.” …George and friends founded the Western Canada Wilderness Com-mittee, now known as the Wilderness Committee, in 1980 and in the years that followed helped found North America’s first Green Party, the Green Party of B.C., and led dozens of campaigns for wilderness protection. The official bio calls George “an inspirational leader [who] came up with ideas for unique campaigns, tactics and strategies that no other environmental group had used.” …He said that he’d like to see the government acting now to protect areas like Vancouver Island’s old growth stands and Mount Elphinstone.

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Environment minister says he shares concerns of B.C. hunger strikers

By Carl Meyer
National Observer
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two people are on a hunger strike on Vancouver Island, demanding an end to logging of old-growth forests in B.C., and Canada’s federal environment minister says he shares their concerns over biodiversity loss. During a media teleconference Tuesday, National Observer asked federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson about James Darling and Robert Fuller, who are on their ninth day of no food, protesting in front of the office of Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley. Darling and Fuller, who are representing Extinction Rebellion, have written a letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan saying they won’t eat until he implements a ban on old-growth logging. …“In general, I feel that politicians are really good at saying the right things and expressing their concerns for the environment, and saying they want to protect species. But we’re living, globally, in a mass extinction event that’s driven by human activity,” Darling said.

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Save the last of B.C.’s endangered forests

Letter by Paula Foot
Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to the respected Sierra Club, very few old-growth forests are still standing across the province — and most of them are slated to be logged. …the daily area of 500 soccer fields of old growth forest is being clearcut in B.C. These forests support our health and wellbeing, are critical for endangered species and salmon habitat, provide essential carbon storage, support jobs in tourism, and help defend our communities from flooding and other worsening impacts of climate change. The last of these highly endangered, globally rare ecosystems are being logged to the brink and unless concerned citizens write to our government about it, the last giant trees will vanish. …please write and request the support of legislature, starting with John Horgan and Sonia Furstenau… I am calling on all who care about the future of our planet and our families to act now before it is too late to save the last of B.C.’s endangered forests.

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Thompson Rivers University funded for wildfire research chair position

The North Thompson Star/Journal
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

Thompson Rivers University has been granted a new research chair position to examine the impact of wildfires in British Columbia. Through a $5 million provincially funded endowment, the new B.C. research chair in predictive services, emergency management and fire science is expected to help the province forecast, prevent and respond to wildfires. The chair will head a team, lead research, direct and supervise graduate students and work with researchers at TRU and other universities. The chair’s research will support wildfire data modelling and help explore the relationship between climate change and its effect on wildfire risk. TRU president Brett Fairbairn said… “This research chair is going to help chart a new course for wildfire protection and response in British Columbia”. …Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson said the research will help provide more information about the changing nature of wildfires.

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Program offers young people work experience with BC Parks, Conservation Officer Service

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Young people interested in environmental management and conservation will have opportunities to gain experience, skills and training through a new government program that offers employment with BC Parks and the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS). “These new positions give young people an opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience in the natural environment protection sector and reflect our commitment to an inclusive and diverse workforce,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Creating job opportunities… for young British Columbians, whose jobs have been hardest hit by COVID-19. We all benefit from enhancements to BC Parks and stewardship of our natural environment.” The $1.8-million Youth Employment Program (YEP) offers employment opportunities for young people through the fall and winter months. …The duties will range from public outreach and education, facility and trail maintenance, to invasive species removal and supporting conservation and recreation projects.

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First Nations work together to increase wood-fibre use

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A $1-million grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. will increase use of waste wood fibre, bring more wood products to market and support forestry jobs in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. is a joint venture company owned by the Tŝideldel First Nation (Alexis Creek First Nation) and the Tl’etinqox government (Anaham First Nation). The first phase of this project began in early 2017, when a $3.4-million grant from FESBC allowed the company to reduce wildfire risks and rehabilitate forests impacted by mountain pine beetles west of the Anaham community. The $1-million grant that FESBC provided in 2019 funds the second part of the project. Beginning in September 2019, it focuses on recovering and using at least 200,000 cubic metres of waste wood fibre that accumulated during the first phase of the project. 

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Province announces $3.8M for renewal at the Hinton Training Centre

RDNnewsnow.com
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Work will commence shortly on $3.8 million in updates to maintain the Hinton Training Centre, the provincial government announced on Tuesday.  This world-class facility develops and delivers technical and safety training programs for forest and wildfire management, providing services to more than 10,000 clients each year.  The province says the funding announced Tuesday will allow for interior updates in the Mountainview and Valleyview residences to support a better learning environment and experience at the centre.  “Alberta’s government is spending about $8.6 million on four Hinton infrastructure maintenance projects,” Premier Jason Kenney noted in a release. “This is part of an almost $2 billion investment into capital maintenance and renewal projects throughout the province that can be actioned quickly so we can keep companies operating and Albertans working.”

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What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

By Tom Fletcher
Aldergrove Star
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson has had an independent report on old-growth forest preservation on his desk since May, but it will be some time before it is released and longer before any of its recommendations are acted upon.  Donaldson appointed two experts to conduct the “strategic review” in October, with the forest industry struggling with poor economic conditions, the B.C. government’s latest logging restrictions and continued protests calling for a moratorium on old growth logging.  Questioned on his ministry’s $489 million budget at the B.C. legislature, Donaldson said the report is expected to be released soon, but that will be followed by engagement on the recommendations. …Donaldson made a couple of things clear in his answers to B.C. Liberal MLA John Rustad. He isn’t considering any change to the province’s definition of old growth forest, or a moratorium on old-growth logging for an industry that has seen steady increase in protected areas and restrictions on the Crown land base.

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Government of Canada protecting species-at-risk habitat in British Columbia

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – Protecting nature is an essential part of addressing biodiversity loss and fighting climate change. …Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the Government of Canada has invested $2 million over four years in Kootenay Connect—a program that aims to help protect and restore species-at-risk habitat and ecological connectivity in four biodiversity hotspots in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. This funding, provided through the Nature Legacy’s Canada Nature Fund, enables partners to advance the protection of habitat vital to the survival of iconic Canadian species. Kootenay Connect focuses on the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor, Creston Valley, Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor, and the Columbia Valley Wetlands and will help to conserve important habitat for 28 species at risk including grizzly bears, northern leopard frogs, western screech-owls, American badgers, Lewis’s woodpeckers, little brown myotis (bats), and many other important species.

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Starving for Old Growth Forests

By Natasha Simpson
The Tyee
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On July 27, James Darling and Robert Fuller stopped eating. Equipped with signs and lawn chairs, they set up camp in front of the office of Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MLA for Nanaimo. In a letter to Premier John Horgan and all MLAs, the two men said they were launching a hunger strike until the government ended old growth logging in B.C. …A hunger strike is “an extreme thing to do,” Darling told The Tyee. “But at this point in history, I think this sort of thing is absolutely necessary.” The NDP government isn’t taking current climate and ecological issues seriously, Darling says. “It seems incredibly shortsighted and stupid to be cutting and wiping out these rare ecosystems that are still intact.”

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Methods to maximize the use of forest residual material

by Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester
BC Local News
July 31, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the impacts of beetles and wildfires all options should be considered to make up for the timber shortfalls. Considerable research has been done on the restoration of B.C. logging roads, skid trails and landings which are often compacted by harvesting activities.  “In the Interior of British Columbia, log landings typically occupy about three per cent of the harvested area in the working forest (Thompson and Osberg 1992). If landing rehabilitation could be successfully conducted on all soil and slope conditions, it may be feasible to return as much as two-thirds of the landing areas to productive forest, and thereby increase the amount of forest land available for growing trees. Corresponding gains (up to two per cent) in the Long Run Sustainable Yield and Allowable Annual Cut could also be realized.”

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Save your ash, don’t move firewood in Manitoba: Nature Conservancy of Canada

By Shane Gibson
Global News
July 31, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is calling on Manitobans … to do what they can to help stop the spread of an insect already causing widespread damage to Winnipeg’s tree canopy. …crews in Winnipeg have been waging a war against the Emerald Ash Borer, that has the power to wipe out the city’s entire ash tree population. Cary Hamel, director of conservation with the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Manitoba, says those heading out camping or to the cabin this weekend may be unknowingly helping the beetle spread. He says the single best thing we can do to help is not move firewood. …But even with healthy ash trees being treated, the city expects all of Winnipeg’s 350,000 ash trees — 100,000 of which are located in public parks and on boulevards — will eventually die due to the beetle over the next 10-20 years.

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Opinions needed on draft Dryden Forest plan

By Ryan Forbes
Dryden Now
July 31, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Dryden Forest Management Company is seeking comments and opinions on their draft 2021-2031 Forest Management Plan for the Dryden Forest. A public forum …was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, residents are asked to review the plan and provide comments when they’re able to. Comments will be accepted until September 28, 2020. The Dryden Forest Management Company says the plan will provide long-term direction for the forest, as well as guidance for the levels of access, sustainability, harvest, renewal and tending activities required to achieve the desired forest and benefits. The province also requires the plan to consider the conservation of natural landscape patters, forest structure and composition, habitats for animal life and the distribution of forest ecosystems. It also considers social and economic factors, the amount of forest cover, and more.

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B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Canadian Press in Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News
August 3, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A First Nation on Vancouver Island is the first in Canada to use digital twinning software to improve mapping and resource management across its territory, says the Victoria-based creator of the platform that looks almost like a video game.  TimberOps is the software that functions as the “digital twin” of more than 350,000 hectares of unceded Mowachaht-Muchalaht territory near the west coast of Vancouver Island, said Charles Lavigne, CEO of the LlamaZOO, the software’s creator.  “With this digital twin, you can effectively fly down to the ground floor and see the individual trees and fly up into the sky and see the rivers and the roads and the communities,” he said.  It’s a three-dimensional illustration of the territory’s topography, including hundreds of rivers and lakes, as well as mountains, roads, trails and buildings, and it integrates those features with both cultural knowledge and data from timber operations over the last century.

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Kamloops Land Resource Management Plan stands the test of time

Barriere Star Journal
July 31, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kevin Kriese

A man with connections to the North Thompson Valley has gone on to take important jobs at the provincial level and is now the chair of B.C.’s Forest Practices Board. The work he did while here, while it has been updated, is still an important standard in land use planning. Kevin Kriese grew up in Kelowna and Salmon Arm… After he graduated from high school he studied forestry and, in particular, integrated resource management. …One of the controversies in the early 1990s was a proposal by Weyerhaeuser to log in people’s watersheds in the East Blackpool area. …Much of the area of contention is now part of Wells Gray Community Forest but back then it took a good deal of discussion to develop an integrated management plan… His next project was coordinating the Land Resource Management Plan for the Kamloops Timber Supply Area…

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Logging company does not have Argenta community support

Letter by Jennie Phoenix
BC Local News
July 30, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I find it surprising that Cooper Creek Cedar assumed it has local support when individuals in our communities, and our Argenta-Johnsons Landing liaison committee have stated many residents do not support plans to log our hillside. On June 13, Cooper Creek Cedar held a community meeting in Argenta to communicate plans regarding logging up Salisbury Forest Service Road. The communities of Argenta and Johnsons Landing have since held meetings to discuss how to respond. From the minutes of one of those meetings: “Those present decided to set up a community committee to liaise with Cooper Creek Cedar about plans for the Argenta–Johnsons Landing hillside.” … In October 2019 the majority of adult members in our two communities signed a petition to Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and other members of government requesting a moratorium on logging this hillside. I believe this request should communicate to a logging company that they do not have community support.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Grants for Williams Lake First Nation to support wood pellet production

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
August 3, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Grants for the Williams Lake First Nation from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC are helping to create jobs, fight climate change, and reduce wildfire risk near its community. To date, FESBC’s grants have supported the removal of 64,000 cubic metres of debris from forest fires and over the next two years, the figure will rise to 200,000 m3. The ongoing project will also create around 26 jobs for both the WLFN and the Tŝideldel First Nation, which has partnered to grind the debris on-site and ship it to local markets. The high-quality slash fibre is used by Pinnacle Renewable Energy to make industrial wood pellets. Lower-quality slash fibre is turned into ‘hog’ fuel, to be used by Atlantic Power Corporation’s biomass-fired generating facility in Williams Lake, to provide thermal electricity for the community’s energy grid.

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Terrace Community Forest gets grant to turn logging waste into wood pellets

By Matt Simmons
The Narwhal
July 31, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

After two years of stockpiling wood waste from logging, the Terrace Community Forest — a company owned by the northwest B.C. city of Terrace — has finally found a way to put the wood to use.  The company received a provincial grant of nearly $450,000 to process and transport wood waste to Skeena Bioenergy, which will turn it into wood pellets to be burned for bioenergy in Canada and abroad. The first shipment went to the pellet plant this week. While supporters of the project say it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use wood that would have otherwise been wasted, critics challenge the environmental claims and say such projects could promote wasteful logging. …The grant comes from the Forest Enhancement Society, a Crown corporation set up in 2016 to support B.C. forestry projects that make use of damaged or low-value forests, among other initiatives.

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Health & Safety

BC Forest Safety Council COVID-19 Restart Planning

BC Forest Safety Council
August 4, 2020
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Forest Safety Council is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation to determine how we can best support forestry workers, contractors and employers throughout BC. We continue to follow guidance from public health officials and will adjust and enhance our resources and information to ensure all necessary precautions are being taken to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission and illness to forest sector employees. BC’s Restart Plan is a four-phased approach to ensure the gains and efforts we have made to date allow us to continue to move forward. Industry sectors are encouraged to develop enhanced protocols aligned with the Public Health and Safety Guidelines and WorkSafeBC and will be expected to adopt and implement sector COVID-19 Safety Plans. The BCFSC has assembled resources and information for Phase 2 and Phase 3 to help the forestry sector restart safely. This information is catalogued by operational use based on the type of company you run. 

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Forest Fires

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

By Jim Bailey
Nelson Star
August 6, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a time of extreme fire danger, Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire and Rescue was put to the test on the weekend. Regional fire and rescue crews extinguished a series of three intentionally set fires in Marsh Creek near Fruitvale on Friday, and another blaze on Tamarac Avenue in Trail on Saturday. The first call came in at around 5 p.m. Friday, and regional firefighters from Trail, Montrose, and Fruitvale responded to a wildfire on Red Road near Marsh Creek Rd. The fire was under control within a half hour, however, while regional crews and a BC Wildfire team were conducting an investigation, a second fire was set at 8:09 p.m. … Just over an hour later, the third fire of the night was lit back in the forest. … Trail RCMP is leading the investigation.

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The wildfire near Shuswap Lake is still burning, and fire crews are still on scene

By Brendan Kergin
Castanet Kelowna
August 4, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfire near Shuswap Lake is still burning, and fire crews are still on scene. BC Wildfire Service is listing the fire at 1.8 hectares, and stating the fire is still out of control. “The fire is in a terrain that has cliffs and is quite steep, which has been a challenge to the crews on site,” says fire information officer Gagan Lidhran. “It is still considered out of control because they haven’t been able to pull a full guard around the perimeter.” Lidhran says the advisory urging the public to avoid the area will be in place until the fire is completely out. BC Wildfire Service is still investigating the cause of the blaze, as it is unknown at this time.

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Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Nanaimo Bulletin
August 3, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters say a quick response in the middle of the night helped them contain a wildfire in tricky terrain on Pender Island. According to a social media post from Pender Island Fire Rescue, the department responded to a forest fire on the north side of Harbour Hill Drive at about 12:20 a.m. Monday and found a blaze approximately 70 metres by 70 metres. The department mentioned “extremely difficult terrain and accessibility” and said the fire is 75 per cent contained. B.C. Wildfire Service said it is assisting with helicopters and a crew.

UPDATE: Firefighters ‘mopping-up’ forest fire burning on Pender Island mountain

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Lightning ignites dozens of fires across B.C.’s Southern Interior

CBC News
August 1, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thunderstorms moving through B.C.’s Southern Interior over the weekend are suspected to have caused dozens of wildfires. In the past two days, the B.C. Wildfire Service has recorded 46 new wildfires, bringing the total number of active fires in the province to 49. The Kamloops Fire Centre says a storm cell that passed through the area Friday evening caused multiple fires, with 15 new wildfires confirmed on Saturday. The Solco Creek wildfire, 27 kilometres northeast of Oliver, is the largest in the province and has grown to approximately 13.8 hectares in size. It is classified as out of control. Later in the afternoon Saturday, thunderstorms moved southeast where 13 new wildfires are suspected to have been ignited by lightning. 

Highly visible wildfire ignites in West Kelowna, B.C. – Global News

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