Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for April 19 2021

Today’s Takeaway

US, Europe differ on carbon neutrality of biomass

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 19, 2021
Category: Today's Takeaway

Europe affirms criteria supporting carbon neutrality of biomass, as the US treads water on similar action, and the wood pellet industry gains steam. In related news: Derek Nighbor on the Conservative’s climate plan; Bob Brash on uncertainty and investment in BC’s forest sector; President Biden urged to pressure Brazil on deforestation; and Premier Horgan gains cover in the looming Fairy Creek showdown.

In other news: Paper Excellence shuts its Mackenzie pulp mill; Kandola Forest Products buys Quesnel, BC mill; and Domtar, Kamloops secures grant to pursue plastic-replacing packaging. Meanwhile, how the pandemic made lumber America’s hottest commodity; Canada’s housing starts surge again; and strong wood manufacturing growth reported in Canada, the US, and Vietnam.

Finally, new films on: efforts to stop wildfires in the US West and timber careers in Texas.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Opinion / Editorial

The contradiction of uncertainty and investment in B.C.’s forestry sector

By Bob Brash, Executive Director, Truck Loggers Association
The Province
April 17, 2021
Category: Opinion / Editorial
Region: Canada, Canada West

Yet again, the forest industry is caught in an escalating cycle of those opposed to B.C.’s resource sector and those whose livelihoods rely on our forests. In all ways, we should be thankful that peaceful and lawful protests can occur in our democracy. So kudos to those local community groups expressing desire for change; while we may not be in agreement about the changes, we do agree change is needed, and look forward to working with them in forging a successful future together. These days call upon all of us to take a long, hard look at how B.C.’s citizens want its forestry sector and economy to prosper. And we need to do this with facts and balance, not hyperbole and rhetoric. We will continue to speak out on the need to protect and enhance B.C.’s working forests as an absolute necessity. Without such assurances, any new business will be hard-pressed to make major investments in technology and productivity. 

Read More

Business & Politics

After balking at a takeover bid, this Canfor director is reaping the rewards of a hot lumber market

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
April 18, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Barbara Hislop

Patience and high lumber prices during the pandemic have paid off for a Canfor Corp. director who has sold a portion of her shares for $15.8-million. Barbara Hislop balked at B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison’s bid in 2019 for full control of the Vancouver-based forestry company. Her decision to keep her shares during a roller-coaster ride on lumber markets has started to reap rewards. …Ms. Hislop did not outright fight the bid, but she abstained from committing to vote her shares to back Great Pacific, in sharp contrast to all other Canfor directors. …Her decision to stand her ground has turned out to be financially shrewd. …Ms. Hislop has deep roots at Canfor. She worked at the company from 1977 to 2004, rising through the ranks, including her role as vice-president of operations. She is also the granddaughter of Canfor’s co-founder. [We respect the copyrights of the source publication – full access may require a subscription]

Read More

Island projects funded to improve supply chain

By Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
April 18, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ravi Kahlon

A handful of Vancouver Island projects are among 24 from around B.C. to be awarded funding from the province’s Supply Chain Resiliency Grant Program. The $6-million fund was created to help fund projects that strengthen manufacturing supply chains and make the province more secure in the face of global supply interruptions. … “This investment and partnership … strengthens our province’s supply chains, helps protect our industry sectors from external interruptions and helps B.C. manufacturers become even more globally competitive,” said said Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation. …Included in the mix are Island projects like Atli Resources, the forestry arm of the ‘Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, which has partnered with the Kwakiutl First Nation, FPInnovations, Paper Excellence, the Regional District of Mount Waddington and LinksEdge Ltd. on a project to improve harvest residuals on northern Vancouver Island, develop a fibre-supply chain model and a build a business case.

Read More

Memo to John Horgan: Don’t blow it for the next generation

By Trevor Hancock, senior scholar at the University of Victoria’s School of Public Health and Social Policy
Victoria Times Colonist
April 18, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

I was struck by the immense irony of John Horgan’s recent exhortation to young people not to blow it for the rest of us with respect to COVID. The irony, of course, is that he and his government are blowing it … by continuing to treat the environment as a resource for industrial activity and failing to protect species at risk. …The issue was neatly summarised by Martyn Brown, chief of staff to former B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell … CBC Radio’s On the Island, who described the NDP as “a labour government, not an environmental government,”saying that when there is a clash between what he called “brown” (industrial development) and green values, “the brown guys win.” …In failing to adequately protect and restore the forests, oceans and species that are the beating heart of B.C., Horgan’s government is jeopardizing the ecological and social wellbeing of future generations.

Read More

Paper Excellence shuts Mackenzie pulp mill, investing in Port Alberni, Crofton

By Tom Fletcher
Surrey Now-Leader
April 16, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After a decade reviving the Mackenzie B.C. pulp mill with new investment, Paper Excellence is closing it permanently and putting its investment focus on other B.C. operations with better economic prospects. The company is making a $13 million capital investment in its Port Alberni mill to produce higher-value paper products, and is “working towards making a significant capital investment in its Crofton facility,” Paper Excellence said in a statement April 15. It is also restarting one of two paper machines at its Powell River mill in early May.  …Paper Excellence has extensive holdings in Canada and Brazil, where it grows and processes eucalyptus pulp. Its B.C. operations include a distribution centre in Surrey and mills at Skookumchuck in the East Kootenay as well as Port Alberni, Crofton, Powell River and Howe Sound, which has operated since 1909. The company endorses the B.C. government’s plan to shake up the forest licence structure in B.C.

Read More

Williams Lake forestry company buys abandoned Quesnel sawmill and puts people back to work

By David Carrigg
The Vancouver Sun
April 18, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A specialty products sawmill in Quesnel that fell into bankruptcy last summer will reopen at the end of this month after being taken over by Williams Lake-company Kandola Forest Products. KFP president Neal Kandola said the mill — which turns lumber into engineered wood, wall panelling, shiplap and glulam products — would rehire around 90 experienced workers in “high-paying, full-time positions.” At its peak, former mill owner C&C Wood Products had 185 workers at the mill and in its logging and hauling division (Westside Logging). C&C Wood Products fell into bankruptcy last June after two years of sustained losses. The specialty mill had been operating since 1977. A local consortium called Quesnel Investment Corporation bought C&C’s assets then struck a deal with KFP to sell the mill operation – while keeping the logging business.

Read More

Domtar Pulp Mill in Kamloops receives $194,000 from province’s Supply Chain Resiliency grant

By Aaron Schulze
CFJC Today Kamloops
April 18, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Domtar Pulp Mill received $194,000 from the province. The program funded a grant of up to $400,000 to organizations with wide-ranging projects that focus on improving B.C.’s manufacturing ecosystem. “B.C. pulp and paper mills are working on providing key components for new, renewable, bio-based products that meet industrial and packaging needs, replacing plastics,” Domtar Manager Greg Seebach and Bonny Skene said in a release. …Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation… acknowledged there have been issues with food systems and manufacturers during the pandemic. “Let’s step back and look at all our manufacturing chains and see where the opportunity is for us to make sure we’re producing things locally, and that’s where Domtar comes in,” Kahlon said. “We’re able to provide them $194,000 to put together a strategy for bio-based replacements for petroleum-based packaging material.

Read More

University of BC Faculty of Forestry Recognition Evening

By the Faculty of Forestry
University of British Columbia
April 16, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Please join Dean John Innes, alumni, donors, students, faculty, and friends for our first virtual evening of celebration and recognition. You will hear from some of today’s student award winners, help recognize this year’s Alumni Builder Award recipient, Mr. Domenico Iannidinardo (BSF’01), and take a walk down memory lane to celebrate 100 years of Forestry at UBC. We are also delighted to welcome special guest, Professor Andrew Szeri, Provost and Vice-President Academic, who will help us acknowledge and celebrate some of the outstanding accomplishments that Dr John Innes has presided over during the past 11 years. John will end his second and final term as Dean of the Faculty in 2021. We hope you can join us from the comfort of your home with a glass in hand for this special occasion.

Read more about Domenico Iannidinardo in the UBC Press Release

Read More

Vietnam’s wood exports expected to hit new record

Vietnam+
April 16, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HANOI – Vietnam’s wood exports have increased over the last few years and are expected to reach a new record in 2021. The export turnover of wood and wood products has seen an average increase of 15.4 percent per year in the 2017-2020 period, or 1.35 billion USD. The export turnover of wood and wood products reached approximately 3.7 billion USD in the first quarter of this year, up 41.5 percent, nearly double the growth rate of the total export turnover of the country at 22 percent. …Wood and wood products are also the items with the largest trade surplus, contributing to improving the trade balance. …In terms of market, the US is the largest export market, accounting for 60.4 percent of Vietnam’s total wood export turnover, followed by China with 9.9 percent, Japan 9.5 percent, and the Republic of Korea 5.7 percent.

Read More

Finance & Economics

How the Pandemic Made Lumber America’s Hottest Commodity

The Wall Street Journal
April 19, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Demand for lumber has skyrocketed during the pandemic, sending prices to all-time highs. This video explains what’s driving the lumber boom, who’s profiting, and why those growing the trees aren’t reaping the benefits.

Read More

Annual pace of housing starts posts 21.6 per cent increase in March

The Canadian Press in The Toronto Star
April 19, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The annual pace of housing starts in Canada soared higher in March as it climbed 21.6 per cent compared with February. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 335,200 units, up from 275,567 in February. The annual pace of urban starts rose 24.4 per cent in the month to 300,973 as the pace of starts of apartments, condos and other types of multiple-unit housing projects climbed 33.8 per cent to 222,358 units. The annual rate of single-detached urban starts rose 3.6 per cent to 78,615. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 34,227 units. CMHC says the six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates was 273,664 in March, up from 252,636 in February. [END]

Read More

Canadian wood product sales rose for the third consecutive month

Statistics Canada
April 15, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Following the largest increase observed in seven months in January (+3.4%), manufacturing sales fell 1.6% to $55.4 billion in February. The declines were partially offset by higher sales in the petroleum and coal product, chemical, and wood product industries. …Wood product sales rose for the third consecutive month, up 4.0% to $4.3 billion in February on higher prices and volumes. Prices for lumber and other wood products increased 5.2% in February, while the volume of goods sold edged up 0.2%. The total value of building permits issued rose 2.1% in February and passed $10 billion for the first time on the continued strength of the housing market.

Read More

US Forest Industry, Manufacturing Show Strength in Q1

By Joe Clark
Forests2Market Blog
April 19, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

US forest industry performance in February and March was recently reported by both the US government and the Institute for Supply Management. Total industrial production (IP) decreased 2.2 percent in February (-4.2 percent YoY). Manufacturing and mining fell 3.1 percent and 5.4 percent MoM, respectively; the output of utilities increased 7.4 percent. In the forest products sector, index performance included:

  • Pulp, Paper & Allied Products: +1.0 percent (+5.1 percent YoY)
  • Lumber & Wood Products: +2.9 percent (+25.1 percent YoY)
  • Softwood Lumber: +7.9 percent (+79.7 percent YoY)
  • Wood Fiber: +0.4 percent (+8.6 percent YoY)

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Mass timber put to the test on Metro Vancouver school builds

By Grant Cameron
Journal of Commerce
April 16, 2021
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two elementary schools in Metro Vancouver are being built of mass timber as part of a pilot project that is underway to test whether the material can make the buildings safer and more resistant to earthquakes. Bayview Elementary and Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary schools will each be two storeys tall and are being built by the Vancouver School Board with $46.9 million in funding from the province and $1.48 million from the federal Green Construction through Wood Program that encourages use of the material. …Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC, an industry-led program that promotes the use of wood for buildings, says the projects may result in a shift in how future schools are built. …For these two schools, the whole school is going to be of mass timber, the whole structure, everything, and that is quite unique.

Read More

After a century in storage, wood from Madison lab being used to repair U.S. Capitol

By Chris Hubbuch
Wisconsin State Journal
April 18, 2021
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Sometimes that pile of wood in the basement actually does come in handy. A stash of priceless mahogany that sat for decades in a Madison laboratory will play a key role in restoring damage caused when a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The wood was brought to the Forest Products Laboratory during World War I for research into aircraft propellers. When the project ended, the leftovers — 78 clear mahogany boards about 12 feet long — were put into storage. “A few of us knew it was there,” said Bob Ross, a wood scientist who’s worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture lab for more than three decades. …A spokesperson for the Architect of the Capitol said the wood will be used this summer to repair doors and millwork damaged during the January riot. Because of international protections, the type of high-quality, old-growth mahogany used in the Capitol is no longer commercially available.

Photos can be seen here 

Read More

Forestry

Government of Canada’s youth employment and skills strategy employs youth in the conservation of nature and forests

Parks Canada
Cision Newswire
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER, BC – The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, announced $12.8 million in funding for Project Learning Tree Canada to employ youth in nature conservation. With this funding, Project Learning Tree Canada will employ more than 1,700 youth in nature conservation, such as forest restoration and tree planting. Through this partnership, opportunities for youth will be offered in a wide variety of settings, thanks to a broad network of forest and conservation partners in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative network, the Canadian Parks Council network, as well as, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Ducks Unlimited Canada. Youth and employers interested in this program can apply at Project Learning Tree Canada.

Read More

Indigenous Forestry Program: focusing on collaboration through the respect of culture

FPInnovations
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

FPInnovations has implemented a program that supports Indigenous communities in the development of forest-based economic opportunities and has established collaborations that deliver positive results for those communities. The assistance provided has been articulated in different ways, ranging from economic development plans to support programs. Initially concentrated in British Columbia, in 2014 the Indigenous Forestry Sector Technical Support Program expanded to communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Maritimes. The program has recently received funding from the province of Manitoba to support local Indigenous companies in the forest sector supply chain, and to analyze new economic development opportunities in forestry for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Read More

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get funding from B.C. government

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — The B.C. government has reached an agreement to give Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs $7.2 million in funding to support the implementation of their rights and title. The government says in a statement the three-year funding will support the chiefs’ efforts to reunify members of the Wet’suwet’en nation, which includes six First Nations. It will also support the revitalization of Wet’suwet’en governance structures in areas like water stewardship and wildlife programs, and renovations at a former school that will be used as a governance and administration centre. The provincial government says it has also reached an agreement with the neighbouring Lake Babine Nation to accelerate the distribution of $22 million previously planned over several years. The government says the lump-sum payment means the nation can make larger-scale economic development and forestry investments sooner and create a wealth plan to grow the investment.

Read More

Retired forester Norm Parry continues to wear many hats and give back to society

By Binny Paul
Terrance Standard
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Norm Parry

After 35 years with various agencies connected to forestry with the provincial government, Norm Parry officially retired from managing BC Timber Sales’ Skeena division in 2016. But retirement was no excuse for Parry to stop working. He’s continued – in a voluntary capacity – helping with the social development in Terrace through various non-profit efforts. …A typical day in Parry’s post-retirement life consists of reading grant proposals, preparing meeting minutes and agendas for the many organizations he chairs, networking with industry and community members… Parry is a board member of Terrace Community Forest and Skeena Nass Centre for Resource Economics, co-president of Terrace Badminton Club and also chairs the Terrace Community Foundation. He’s also a co-chair with the plan implementation committee of the Kalum Land and Resource Management Plan.

Read More

The forest for the trees: The fight to change the way B.C. manages its forests

By Brandan Barrett
The Pique News Magazine
April 17, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Herb Hammond

Herb Hammond doesn’t quite fit the picture you probably have in mind of the typical forester. …He fervently believes B.C.’s forest management framework needs a complete overhaul—and urgently. “Forestry causes the largest losses of biological diversity across this province, indeed virtually everywhere that it’s practised. It’s the primary cause of water degradation. It’s a major contributor to floods and droughts, and believe it or not, in B.C., it’s less than two-and-a-half per cent of the gross domestic product. That shows you the power of assumptions of convenience about what’s driving our economy. Certainly it’s not forestry,” he said. “Either we’re going to change this or we’re going to continue to down a path where Earth will change us.” Hammond was the keynote speaker at a forestry webinar …where he picked apart B.C.’s current forestry system, and laid out his vision for a new way of managing …that puts ecological integrity over industry profitability.

Read More

BC Letters to the Editor about Old Growth Logging

Various
BC Newspapers
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The following are letters to the editor carried by different Blackpress papers in BC.

Read More

Comox Valley Regional District to raise concerns about old-growth logging

By Scott Stanfield
Comox Valley Record
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Comox Valley Regional District board received a resolution from Area B director Arzeena Hamir regarding the protection of old-growth forests in B.C. The idea was to forward the resolution to the Union of B.C. municipalities, but the City of Nanaimo has already forwarded a similar resolution to the 2021 UBCM convention. Hamir was spurred by the Comox Valley Youth Climate Council (CYCC), which is deeply concerned about logging that is planned for at-risk areas such as Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. …Courtenay director Doug Hillian, noting such complexities as land tenure and Indigenous rights, suggests direct communication with the province would be an effective approach to the issue. The board approved Hamir’s motion to send a letter that outlines their concerns to Premier John Horgan.

Additional coverage in BC Local News — Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

Read More

Bringing a community forest to Golden

The Golden Star
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After nearly 20 years, the Golden and Area A Community Forestry Team (GACFT) is trying to bring a community forest to the Golden area. The GACFT has provided an update on their progress.  On Jan. 13, the GACFT, along with a representative of the Shuswap Indian Band, attended an educational session hosted by Susan Mulkey of the BC Community Forestry Association. Mulkey laid out how good governance in community forestry can be achieved and supported through thoughtful design of the legal entity formed to manage the forest. Mulkey then presented and facilitated discussion on legalon legal structures and arrangements that have been employed by other community forests in British Columbia. Coun. Mark Thomas of the Shuswap Indian Band, attended the session and articulated the Shuswap’s desire to deepen the Band’s involvement in this initiative and to actively participate in working towards the goal of a community forest for the region.

Read More

First Nation gives Horgan political cover as B.C. logging blockade moves toward showdown

By Vaughn Palmer
The Vancouver Sun
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan gained some leverage this week over an old-growth logging protest that has been festering for months in his political backyard. …The Teal-Jones logging group has been prevented from exercising its timber cutting-rights in the area since protesters set up a blockade in August. …But this week came an open letter from the Pacheedaht First Nation, whose traditional territory includes Fairy Creek. “We do not welcome or support unsolicited involvement or interference by others in our territory, including third-party activism,” said the statement.” …“Our constitutional right to make decisions about forestry resources in our territory, as governing authority in our territory, must be respected.” Next day Horgan seized the opening to issue a butt-out message of his own to the protesters. …The statement from the Pacheedaht leadership strengthened Horgan’s hand in pushing back against the Greens. But so far it has not helped to lift the blockade.

Read More

Despite objections and injunctions, blockades to protect the Old Growth at Fairy Creek remain

By Ryan Hook
Victoria Buzz
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fairy Creek blockades near Port Renfrew remain despite the risk of arrest by the RCMP and objections from both Premier John Horgan and leaders of the Pacheedaht nation. Earlier this month, the Teal-Jones Group, the logging company who intends to cut block Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 46, served Fairy Creek protestors an injunction granted on April 1st by the BC Supreme Court. Since then, the blockades have remained, but the RCMP have yet to enforce the injunction. …There are close to 100 people camping in tents along the logging road. …“There are arborists who have pulley systems in place to attach themselves to the trees. And there’s even a woman who has figured out how to block the logging road by attaching herself to a PVC pipe,” said protestor, Forest Tate. “It’s the Moulin Rouge of blockades,” said Yogi Shambu.

Read More

Wildsight speaks out against logging in Columbia Wetlands

By Claire Palmer
Vernon Morning Star
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildsight is speaking out against a proposed logging operation in the Columbia Wetlands Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located just 50 km south of Golden.  The operation suposedly will help curtail the spread of the Fir Bark Beetle, which is the principal killer of mature Douglas-fir trees in B.C. Wildsight maintains that the logging will do more harm than good to the sensitive ecosystems.  “Logging in the WMA will not control the beetle infestation. The infestation is already advanced and the beetles will likely be elsewhere by the time any logging occurs,” states Robyn Duncan, exectuvie director of Wildsight.  “The proposed logging will further fragment mature forest adjacent to the wetlands and result in further losses to habitat and connectivity for species like grizzly bears and migratory birds.”

Read More

Forest Enhancement Society planting 36 million trees in BC’s Interior

By Darin Bain
My Cariboo Now
April 17, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is set to start planting 36 million trees across the BC Interior.  Steve Kozuki, FESBC Executive Director says the trees are being planted to reforest the areas affected by the 2017 wildfires. “It was quite devastating,” Kozuki says, “working together with the provincial government and the office of the chief forester, we’re partnering to plant as many trees as we can as quickly as we can in order to maximize the recovery of the timber value for future generations, to help manage water, the meltwater, and heavy rainwater, to help promote wildlife habitat restoration, and most importantly to help sequester carbon. Planting these trees is going to help BC and Canada meet our climate change goals.”  Kozuki says each tree planted in the ground costs roughly one dollar, 50 cents for the seed and to grow it in a nursery, and 50 cents to actually plant the seed.

Read More

Noise pollution poses long-term risk to trees: Study

TODAY Online
April 17, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

[Man made] noise pollution poses a long-term risk to tree populations and plant diversity that may persist even after the sources of excess noise are removed, according to research. …While previous research has documented the short-term impact noise has on tree populations as it scares off pollinators such as insects and animals, few studies have investigated the long-term effects. Researchers in the United States looked at tree populations in New Mexico that had been exposed to a high level of artificial noise for 15 years. …The team hypothesised that populations of the trees — in this case juniper and pinyon seedlings — would recover as the jay birds that help disperse them would return to the plots once the noise had disappeared. Instead, they detected a long-term decline in seedling numbers as the jays refused to revisit the sites.

Read More

Jackson Forest is a healthy timber area

By Thom Porter, State Forester and Director of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
The Ukiah Daily Journal
April 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thom Porter

A recent article described an effort by the Mendocino Trail Stewards to turn the western one-third of Jackson Demonstration State Forest into a preserve on the premise that the state is jeopardizing the natural wonders of Jackson through excessive timber harvesting. …Jackson does not look like it does today by lucky accident. Jackson exists in its current condition not in spite of the state’s management, but because of the state’s management. …The Governor’s recent Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan highlights managed, working forests and timber harvest as an essential tool to restore the wildfire resiliency and carbon sequestration potential of California forests. …Casting Jackson forest management as a choice between conservation or commodity production is a false choice, as demonstrated by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s 70-plus year history of managing this wonderful resource from the clear-cut it was in the 1940’s into what we see today.  

Read More

New PBS Film: Loggers, Environmentalists Work Together To Stop Wildfires

By Jim Jakobs
GV Wire
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Can private industry and environmentalists come together in the name of profit and protecting nature and communities? A new documentary says the answer is a resounding “yes.” The film comes in the wake of multiple devastating fires in California, Oregon, and Washington. …Valley PBS will air “The West is Burning“, produced by Landmark Stories at the University of Arizona. The film airs Thursday, April 22, at 4 p.m. and at 11 p.m. …The film’s director, Cody Sheedy, grew up in a former logging town in Oregon. …Sheehy says he went into the process thinking he’d focus on the rift between environmentalists and the timber industry that he remembered from his childhood. “I was pleasantly surprised to find all of this collaboration and that the timber wars were over and things had changed quite a bit,” says Sheehy. …The bad? “The scale of this problem.

Read More

Small protest opposing Cal Fire logging plans in Jackson Forest held in Fort Bragg

By Lana Cohen
The Mendocino Voice
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FORT BRAGG — Around 30 people gathered in front of Fort Bragg City Hall at 4 p.m. this afternoon, to protest plans by Cal Fire to log in the western portion of Jackson Demonstration State Forest.  This is just the latest event in a conflict between the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), which managed Jackson since 1947, and local conservationists. For almost a year, local group the Mendocino Trail Stewards has been working through administrative routes advocating to alter the forest management plan. One of their proposals has been the creation of a 20,000 acre reserve on the west side of the forest. …But Cal Fire deputy director of resource management, Helge Eng, has said it’s unreasonable for Cal Fire to limit logging in Jackson the way activists are suggesting. 

Read More

More fires, less staffing and low pay are taking a steep toll on wildland firefighters

By Ben Elkind, US Forest Service
The Oregonian
April 18, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…I’ve been a smokejumper for the US Forest Service for eight years and worked on the Mt. Hood Hotshot Fire Crew before that. …The Forest Service employs the largest firefighting force in the west, yet the agency refuses to rise to the challenge of climate change and the growing demand that increased fires, short-staffing and low pay presents for our workforce. …Vacancies throughout the west limit our firefighting ability. …As the cost of living and home prices rise in the west, the Forest Service can no longer retain its employees when starting pay is $13.45 an hour. …The cost of paying living wages to our firefighters pales in comparison to the costs that devastating wildfires have on our state. Fire season in 2021 is now underway in the drought-stricken western U.S., yet there have been no policy changes at the firefighting level, or legislatively.

Read More

East Texas timber industry is star of new film

By Josh Edwards
The Daily Sentinel
April 16, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A new documentary by Austin-based filmmaker Curtis Craven lifts the veil of the Pine Curtain and takes viewers deep into the woods of East Texas where money really does grow from trees. Craven’s just-completed “Life in the Logwoods” will be offered to PBS stations around the country later this spring by Austin affiliate KLRU. The film follows East Texans who make their livings through the hard work of logging. “It’s really a series of profiles,” Craven said. …Craven chronicles a diverse cast of logging industry professionals from members of the Wells family and their small sawmill in Tadmor to Stephen F. Austin State University students conducting research on acreage owned by a European electronics company. Of course there are migrant tree planters from Central Mexico, log truck drivers and a Black family whose members have been logging for generations in between.

Read More

Australian senator seeks relief from landmark ruling against hardwood logging in Victoria

By Mike Foley
The Sidney Morning Herald
April 19, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Bridget McKenzie

AUSTRALIA — Native forest logging across the country would be exempted from national environmental protections under a bill proposed by Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie. …Senator McKenzie says her bill would make “explicitly clear” the roles for state and federal governments in regulation of hardwood forestry operations. Senator McKenzie’s bill follows a landmark ruling of the Federal Court in May, which set a precedent for logging to be subject to the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The EPBC Act enables the federal minister to block logging operations if they deem it would have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance. …Senator McKenzie warned the commercial viability of native forestry companies is at risk due to uncertainty caused by Commonwealth powers. …Industry lobby groups and forestry workers’ union, echo Senator McKenzie’s warning.

 

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Statement from FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor on the Conservative Party of Canada’s Climate Plan

By Derek Nighbor
Forest Products Association of Canada
April 16, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Canada’s foresters see the impacts of a changing climate in our forests every day. …These natural disturbances pose a serious risk to the health of forests and forest ecosystems, forestry jobs, and the vibrancy of 600+ forestry communities across Canada. Left unchecked, these threats will challenge our ability to remain self-sufficient, and to provide Canadians with locally grown and sustainably-sourced wood products. We believe every political party should have a robust climate plan and we appreciate the thoughtful steps taken by the Conservative Party of Canada this week to establish climate targets in order to help us achieve Canada’s 2030 Paris Accord commitments. …With the move this week by the Conservative Party … to commit to climate targets and climate policy we can now move to a more robust discussion in Canada about the best way to achieve these targets…

Read More

A FESBC grant is allowing Valley Carriers’ Merritt division to haul slash away for electricity generation

By Kristen Holliday
Castanet
April 19, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wood fibre normally burned in forests as slash piles is being used to produce electricity, thanks to grant money funding a project proposal from Valley Carriers’ Merritt-based division. The trucking company, which specializes in grinding forest fibre and transporting logs and residual wood products, received just over $416,000 in funds from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. Dave Conly, operations manager for FESBC, said they had done previous work with Valley Carriers, who employed “innovative tools and techniques” to try and use slash. “Valley brought forward a very cost effective proposal to utilize a large amount of fibre that was left behind as a result of primary harvesting,” Conly said. “That material is uneconomic in terms of the forest industry today. It’s … really difficult to find good forestry products from and actually utilize.” Conly said FESBC recognized Merritt had also been hit hard by the forestry downturn.

Read More

Tackling Climate Change At Home And Abroad

By John Keppler, CEO Enviva
Forbes Magazine
April 19, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

John Keppler

With the United States settling into a new administration, renewed focus on combatting one of the greatest challenges of our time — climate change — is emerging. …However, with my business firmly rooted not only in the U.S. but also in the U.K., Europe and Asia, I hear a common refrain from policymakers: We can’t regulate our way out of climate change. We can’t “goal” our way to “net zero.” We can’t science-paper our way to a low-carbon future. Change depends on industry. …Looking at recommendations from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)… means replacing high-carbon fossil fuels with renewable alternatives that complement each other, such as wind, solar, nuclear, hydropower and bioenergy. …Additionally… bioenergy is one solution that can help both produce energy and provide negative emissions (through carbon capture and storage) to get economies on the path to net-zero today.

Read More

There’s a Booming Business in America’s Forests. Some Aren’t Happy About It.

By Gabriel Popkin
The New York Times
April 19, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

GARYSBURG, North Carolina — In barely a decade, the Southeast’s wood pellet industry has grown from almost nothing to 23 mills with capacity to produce more than 10 million metric tons annually for export. It employs more than 1,000 people directly, and has boosted local logging and trucking businesses. The industry is not done growing. …It has backers at the Agriculture Department, which recently asked for suggestions on increasing wood bioenergy use. Pellets are undoubtedly having a moment. The open question is whether a world increasingly desperate to avert climate disaster will continue to embrace, or turn away from, humanity’s original fuel: wood. …Many foresters, economists and environmental policy experts endorse that idea. But a legion of ecologists, conservationists and others strongly disagree. …Michael Regan, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is also seen as lukewarm.

Read More

Senate Democrats urge Biden to condition aid to Brazil

By David Biller and Joshua Goodman
Associated Press in The Herald and News
April 16, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

Joe Biden

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — More than a dozen Senate Democrats sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden complaining of a woeful environmental track record by his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, and urging him to condition any support for Amazon preservation on significant progress reducing deforestation. …It comes just days before Biden is expected to meet with Bolsonaro and other foreign leaders at a U.S.-organized climate summit that was a major plank of his campaign pledge to more aggressively fight climate change. The letter seems aimed at curtailing a fledgling bid by Bolsonaro… to refashion himself as a willing partner of Biden on the environment in the hopes of securing billions of dollars in foreign aid to promote sustainable development in the Amazon. …Brazil has shown itself capable of driving down Amazon deforestation in the past, having reached all-time low in 2012. 

Read More

EU taxonomy draft leaves bioenergy and forestry off the hook

By Frédéric Simon
Euractiv.com
April 18, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The European Commission has decided to leave out agriculture but kept controversial criteria for bioenergy and forestry in the first batch of proposed implementing rules due to be presented on Wednesday as part of the EU’s green finance taxonomy. Draft implementing rules spell out detailed criteria that economic activities must meet in order to be labelled as green investments in the EU. …This is a big issue for Nordic countries, which rely on biomass for a large share of their energy needs. On both counts the draft rules were considerably relaxed. On forestry, “changes were introduced to reduce complexity and burdens notably for smaller forest holdings” below 25 hectares. The European Commission also decided to “extend the time frame for demonstrating the climate benefits of forestry” and “rely more on existing sustainability criteria under the recast Renewable Energy Directive,” which considers biomass as inherently carbon neutral.

Read More