Category Archives: Forestry

Forestry

Mercer International releases 2023 Sustainability Report

Mercer International Inc.
May 27, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

Mercer International released its 2023 Sustainability Report. The report, titled “Fit for Future: Transition and Transformation” sets out Mercer’s progress toward its 2030 environmental goals and other sustainability commitments, practices and accomplishments for 2023. Highlights include:

  • Mercer completed a climate change scenario analysis to assess climate-related risks and explore opportunities for low-carbon products. The Company also launched a lignin pilot plant in Rosenthal, Germany, focusing on sustainable materials.
  • Mercer improved all key water quality indicators at its mills as part of its continuous improvement initiatives, focused on increasing environmental performance.
  • Mercer updated its materiality assessment with a double materiality lens, expanded third-party assurance to include Scope 3 emissions, and implemented a Supplier Code of Conduct to promote responsible practices across its supply chain.

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B.C. forestry practices under scrutiny in documentary shown in U.K.

By Paul Johnson
Global News
May 26, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

B.C.’s forestry practices came under international scrutiny after a BBC documentary highlighted wood pellets being burned for power in the U.K. The documentary focuses on alleged environmental problems with the wood pellet industry in B.C.’s Interior. The practices examined in the documentary were said to breach Canadian environmental regulations 189 times. “The forest policies at play here in BC, Alberta and across Canada, are a huge point of contention in the UK,” Tegan Hansen said, Stand.earth’s senior forest campaigner. …The documentary was not broadcast in Canada. Hansen said the reason B.C.’s wood pellet industry is a focus is the Drax Power Station in England. …While Drax says its primary feedstock is residue from sawmills, Hansen said she’s seen whole logs at their facilities. …B.C. Forests Minister Bruce Ralston told Global News that “our old growth forests are not being turned into pellets and… Drax has been working to raise standards on the plants they’ve acquired in B.C.

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Unifor leadership explores deeper forestry collaboration in Port Alberni

Unifor Canada
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT ALBERNI, BC — Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle met with Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry Innovation Andrew Mercier and Local 592 and 686 leadership to tour the Paper Excellence Port Alberni facility. …Unifor representatives met with Mercier to discuss B.C.’s forestry industry, including the state of the Port Alberni pulp mill and long-term economical fibre supply. …Despite the province’s enormous supply of timber, most of B.C.’s pulp and paper mills are struggling to find the fibre they require to operate on a consistent basis. …Fibre supply and strengthening B.C.’s entire forestry industry to grow good jobs and support forestry communities is a core component of the joint campaign initiated by Unifor, the United Steelworkers, and the PPWC. …Unifor representatives were joined on the pulp mill tour by Tseshaht First Nations Chief Ken Watts to explore working together on forestry and employment initiatives to help secure an ongoing local fibre supply.

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Conservation strengthened in Great Bear Rainforest

By Ministry of Forests
Government of British Columbia
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Province and Kwiakah First Nation have created a new Special Forest Management Area supporting regenerative forestry and conservation in the southern Great Bear Rainforest. …Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests said, “This partnership with Kwiakah represents a continuation of our joint work to ensure the Great Bear Rainforest will continue to provide sustainable jobs and healthy forests for our children and grandchildren.”Chief Steven Dick of Kwiakah First Nation, said: “By creating the M̓ac̓inuxʷ Special Forest Management Area, we are asserting our inherent responsibilities and creating an Indigenous-led conservation economy that will steward, heal and mend our territory while allowing our people to thrive.” …The M̓ac̓inuxʷ Special Forest Management Area covers 7,865 hectares of forested land within the Great Bear Rainforest. …Any lost harvesting revenue is intended to be counteracted through the generation of carbon credits and regenerative forestry jobs.

Additional coverage in the Globe and Mail by Wendy Stueck (subscription only): New forest management area inside Great Bear Rainforest aims to offset lost revenues with carbon credits

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Squamish stewards of the forest: New doc spotlights Indigenous forestry workers

By Jennifer Thuncher
The Squamish Chief
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Explore the evolution of sustainable forestry practices through the lives of Indigenous families deeply rooted in the industry, as showcased in the documentary ‘Stewards of the Forest.’ “My dad was a boom man, my brother was a boom man, my uncle George was a boom man,” says Squamimsh’s Tom Harry, in the new Indigenous Resource Network documentary,”Stewards of the Forest: Indigenous Leadership in Forestry.” A “boom man” is a skilled worker who walks on the logs in the water and uses a pole to move them into a bundle. The 16-minute documentary, which is now available on YouTube, features many other locals who work in the forest industry, including Paul and Roger Lewis, Kayla Buckley, and Daniel Morckinson. Each local talks about their deep connection to the forest industry and the land. They also speak to the changes in the industry over time that have made it more environmentally sustainable. 

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New studies reveal high risk to at-risk trout from Kananaskis logging

By Jessica Lee
The Rocky Mountain Outlook
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KANANASKIS COUNTRY – A planned logging operation in the upper Highwood River watershed threatens critical habitat for at-risk trout species, raising concerns over increased erosion, sedimentation and altered stream flows that could harm sensitive fish populations. A new report from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and Freshwater Research Ltd. found lumber company West Fraser’s 1,100-hectare logging plan poses a high risk of significant changes to watercourses, riparian zones, and hillslopes in the Loomis Creek watershed – a tributary of the Highwood River – due to increased peak flows and surface erosion. …Based on what was presented at West Fraser’s annual open house earlier this month, no changes have been made to the logging plan. Joyce Wagenaar, director of communications for West Fraser, said the plan is still paused as the company continues to seek out actionable feedback. 

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Canada’s logging industry is seeking a wildfire ‘hero’ narrative

By Stefan Labbé
Victoria Times Colonist
May 26, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

[This story is making a second appearance in the news. It was first published in Vancouver is Awesome on April 23, 2024] …Many of the speakers at the annual B.C. Council of Forest Industries (COFI) convention focused on how the sector could return to higher levels of harvest or slow the pace of government regulations. Then the conversation turned to wildfires. David Coletto, head of the market research firm Abacus Data, presented the results from a poll he designed with COFI. After Canada’s most destructive wildfire season on record, the results suggested the B.C. public was ready to accept a narrative that the forestry industry could act as a saviour. As Coletto put it, everybody in this province agrees who is the villain: it’s the fire. …The call to re-frame forestry as the solution to wildfire comes less than a year after the most destructive season in Canada’s recorded history burned an area roughly half the size of Italy.

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AI helps fire detection, but no substitute for ‘boots on the ground’

By Cindy White
Castanet
May 25, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

AI and other technologies may help detect wildfires sooner, but the human element is still integral to preventing fires from spreading, says a local researcher. A wildfire solutions symposium is scheduled to run in Kelowna from June 3 to 5, and one of the co-hosts has been leading the charge to snuff out the flames before they explode into the kind of destructive infernos we saw last summer in parts of the Southern Interior. Dr. Mathieu Bourbonnais, with the Centre for Wildfire Coexistence at UBC Okanagan, has been working with Rogers Communications for the past three years. His team has been installing low-cost sensors in the forest that collect data on moisture levels and other elements used to predict fire risk. There are about 100 scattered around the Okanagan. The data is helping craft models to predict where fires might start and what that fire might do.

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Environmental groups critical of new B.C. government old-growth logging report

By Isaac Phan Nay
CBC News
May 26, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has released a report on its progress protecting old-growth forests, but some First Nations and environmental groups say the plan released Friday falls short. …Sarah Korpan, B.C. government campaign specialist with non-profit Ecojustice, said she was disappointed to see the province change its timeline for implementing enhanced old-growth protection. …Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said in a press release the action plan is a “welcome step,” but the B.C. government must accelerate its timeline. …Tegan Hansen, senior forest campaigner for Stand.Earth, said the government’s plan lacks a commitment to bring a long-term end to logging in old-growth forests. …Jens Wieting, the senior policy and science adviser for Sierra Club B.C., says that the last time the province collected data, covering a full year of old-growth logging, was in 2021.

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British Columbia needs a unified response to respond to the biodiversity crisis

By Jennifer Sunday, David Castle et al
The Conversation Canada
May 26, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

From massive kelp forests to monumental old-growth on land, British Columbia’s biodiversity — which is unrivalled in Canada — provides an array of cultural, economic, social and other benefits. …However, current conservation initiatives lack co-ordination and there is no independent organization or provincial governing body overseeing the many actions underway. …The fragmented nature of B.C. biodiversity work is a missed opportunity that can lead to gaps and blind spots that ultimately undermine action. Potential interconnected threats like diseases, invasive species, ecological impacts of new developments and a range of other issues may be missed. …Establishing a system of natural capital accounts would provide a clear picture of the value our ecosystems provide empowering decision-makers. …We may not have to look far for an effective model. Québec recently launched Biodiversité Québec — a partnership across government, scientific and Indigenous partners — to create an integrated monitoring system for nature.

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The Test – a documentary about community wildfire resilience in the town of Logan Lake, BC

You Tube in the BC Community Forest Newsletter
May 27, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The town of Logan Lake spent 18 years preparing for a wildfire they hoped would never come. And then, in the summer of 2021, it did. The Test is the story of the town of Logan Lake’s efforts to make their community more fire resilient, eventually becoming the first FireSmart community in Canada. But when the 2021 Tremont Creek Wildfire roared toward them, all eyes were on the little community as nobody knew if all of that work would pay off and if they would pass the test. Many thanks to FireSmartBC, The District of Logan Lake, The Co-operators, The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, and Teck Highland Valley Copper for helping to make this possible.

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Two New Videos Highlight First Nations-led Forestry Project to Rehabilitate Wildfire Impacted Land

Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd.
May 15, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pressy Lake, B.C. – Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR), a joint venture company owned by the Tŝideldel First Nation and the Tl’etinqox Government, is proud to announce the release of two new videos highlighting the ongoing efforts and successes of a pilot project to rehabilitate areas severely affected by the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire. In the wake of significant challenges facing the British Columbia forestry sector, including mill closures and timber supply shortages, CCR has taken a proactive approach to create new opportunities within the industry. The videos “Trying Something New” and “What We Learned” explore these innovative approaches to manage and utilize damaged and burnt trees to create a higher value product like biomass and wood chips at their Pressy Lake project, as well as rehabilitate large areas of land.

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Lil’wat Nation leading way in reducing wildfire risk this summer

By Rosin Cullen
Victoria Times Colonist
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Lil’wat Nation is undertaking a proactive wildfire risk reduction initiative to ensure the safety of the entire community this summer. The Forest Fuels Management Project is being led by Lil’wat Forestry Ventures Ltd (LFV). The project is being conducted in a residential area in Mount Currie. Trees will be thinned in 50-acres of forest, residents can suggest work they think should be done within 30 to 50 metres of their homes. General manager of LFV, Klay Tindall, emphasized the importance of selective thinning work to create more resilient forests. “The selective thinning of the forest will not only mitigate the risk of wildfires to the local homes and properties but will also enhance residents’ visibility to observe wildlife such as wolves, bears and cougars in the area to better ensure their family’s safety,” said Tindall. …One of the challenges the project faces is a lack of provincial or federal funding.

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Webinar: Urban Tree Trouble — Insights from Stanley Park

UBC Faculty of Forestry
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

ZOOM: June 25, 2024 | 12-1 PM. Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park recently captured headlines following plans to remove looper moth-killed trees from the forest. Water scarcity and extreme heat are adding layers of complexity to urban landscape management. What can urban foresters tell us about this valuable community resource, along with present and emerging best practices in the field? What role do residents play in decisions surrounding living infrastructure in their neighbourhoods? Dr. Richard Hamelin will moderate a panel discussion with guests Bruce Blackwell (Principal of Blackwell & Associates Ltd.) and Joe McLeod (Urban Forestry Manager for the City of Vancouver). Join us for an engaging expert panel discussion to answer these questions and more, including audience-generated queries.

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Albertans asked to remain diligent; more than 75% of wildfires determined as human-caused

By Cindy Tran
The Edmonton Journal
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Todd Loewen

ALBERTA — Recent rain in many areas of the province has led to a significant decline in active wildfires, but experts are warning Albertans to remain diligent with more than three-quarters of this year’s wildfires determined as human-caused. Forestry and Parks Minister Todd Loewen said preparation from Alberta Wildfire and municipal firefighters have allowed the province to take advantage of favourable weather conditions. …At this time last year, Alberta had over 520,000 hectares of forest burned. Whereas so far in 2024 we have just under 29,000 hectares burned,” Loewen said. There are currently 30 wildfires burning in the forest protection area. Two-thirds are carry over wildfires from the 2023 season, three are classified as being held and the rest are under control. So far this year the province has responded to 358 wildfires, of them 346 have been extinguished. This year 77% of wildfires have been determined to be human-caused.

Additional coverage on Alberta wildfires in CBC News: Weather helping damp down Alberta wildfires but careless behaviour still a worry

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B.C. misses the mark with old growth update, critics claim

By Rochelle Baker
The National Observer
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government continues to move at a glacial pace to meet an overdue promise to transform the logging industry and protect endangered old growth forests and ecosystems, say B.C. conservation groups. On Monday, the province issued its progress report on transforming forestry practices to preserve ancient forests. The plan is a hollow effort that fails to include any new steps, specific details, or deadlines urgently needed to preserve what little old growth remains, said Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC’s advisor. …In the old growth update, the province highlighted a $1.1-billion three-way agreement with Indigenous leaders, and Ottawa to protect 30% of B.C.’s land and oceans by 2030. …Ralston’s office did not provide comment or respond to questions by Canada’s National Observer about what the plan is for the unprotected priority deferral areas moving forward and what level of protection, if any, they can expect.

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Environmentalists say BC should focus on ‘paradigm shift’ when it comes to old-growth

By Curtis Blandy
Victoria Buzz
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This week, the BC government provided an update on their actions to better protect old-growth forests within the province, however some environmental activists say their actions have fallen short.  In 2020, an independent review of BC’s old forests was conducted by an independent panel titled, A New Future for Old Forests, who offered the Province 14 official recommendations. …Sierra Club BC said that this latest update did not contain the “critical actions needed to implement a paradigm shift in forest stewardship in the near future”, and they are critical of the Province delaying the finalization of their Ecosystem Health (BEH) Framework from 2024 to 2025. Sierra Club BC says that the province needs better outlined ecosystem-based targets to protect old-growth and easy-to-access funding for First Nations who have lost revenue to this endeavour. … Stand.earth, the Ancient Forest Alliance and the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance have all spoken out regarding this old-growth update.

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Province ‘standing up an army’ for wildfire fight equipped with new tech, additional aircraft

By Michael Potestio
Castanet
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Premier David Eby is preparing for war ahead of this year’s wildfire season, with more crews, tech and aircraft than ever before. “Functionally, at the provincial level, we’re standing up an army between equipment and the frontline wildfire staff fighting those fires,” Eby said. …He said the province is spending “nine times more than the previous governments” on fire preparation work across B.C. He also noted the BC Wildfire Service is now operational year-long, and more money is being spent on firefighting equipment. “This is not a cheap enterprise, but safety for our communities when it comes to wildfire is non negotiable,” Eby said. BCWS provincial wildfire information officer Erika Berg noted myriad initiatives the province has undertaken to be better prepared for wildfires this year, including using AI to predict wildfires, extending the hiring window for firefighters and spending millions of dollars in more equipment.

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Environmental group welcomes old growth protection, hopes for more action

By Ryley McCormack
My East Kootenay Now
May 22, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildsight, a local environmental activist group, said B.C.’s newly unveiled Old Growth Action Plan is a welcomed change, but urgent action is still needed. The Provincial Government outlined the next steps toward better forest care and job security for B.C.’s forest sector. This will include the following: establishing the $1-billion Tripartite Framework Agreement on Nature Conservation (the Nature Agreement); Ensuring forestry communities get more local jobs, including boosts to made-in-B.C. wood manufacturing; and Improvements to mapping, data and knowledge sharing. “Additionally, through Forest Landscape Plans (FLPs) the Province is ensuring local values drive decisions on the landbase, including those related to forest resilience, wildfire prevention, economic development and community well-being,” said B.C. officials. They note that nine FLPs are in development with more to come later. …Wildsight feels B.C.’s current logging regulations, particularly regarding old-growth, are unsustainable and will ultimately lead to further harm to the environment and humans.

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Land One first-year program recognized for innovation

UBC Faculty of Forestry
May 22, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Land One, a first-year cohort program at UBC, has won the D2L (Desire 2 Learn) Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning in recognition of its transformative approach to student-centred learning. The program launched in 2018 supported by the Faculties of Land and Food Systems and Forestry offers integrated first-year courses in a supportive environment as students adjust to university academics, as well as several opportunities for personal development, such as learning about different worldviews and participating in field trips. “By fostering a holistic understanding and providing practical skills, Land One empowers students to contribute meaningfully to sustainable solutions,” says Dr. Fernanda Tomaselli, program coordinator in the Department of Forest Resources Management. Central to Land One is inclusive pedagogy and decolonizing education, integrating diverse ways of knowing such as Indigenous perspectives and worldviews. Students speak of the transformative impact of this approach, with many expressing a newfound interest and appreciation for Indigenous knowledge.

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B.C. village declares, then rescinds, wildfire state of emergency

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
May 22, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ed Wood

Harrison Hot Springs declared a local state of emergency over the threat of wildfire on Tuesday, and rescinded it the following day. Mayor Ed Wood issued a notice about the measure on Tuesday, saying it was needed “due to the significant threat of an interface fire and imminent threat to the loss of life and property.” The order was rescinded on Wednesday following a request from B.C.’s Ministry of Emergency Management. Wood had told CBC News on Wednesday that the nearest current wildfire was around 18 kilometres away. …A statement from the Emergency Management Ministry on Wednesday said that officials were in direct contact with the village to determine the reasons for the emergency declaration, and “to ensure a shared understanding of the appropriate use of such declarations.” …Council in Harrison Hot Springs has been wracked by infighting and disagreement since Wood was elected in 2022, hampering its ability to function and govern the village.

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Burnt trees, new life — thousands of trees were destroyed in a wildfire outside Halifax last year

By Aly Thomson
CBC News
May 26, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

HALIFAX — Many property owners in the woodsy suburbs of Upper Tantallon and Hammonds Plains are working with a group of organizations to have blackened trees removed from their land. They are being given a new life at a lumber yard in Greenfield, Nova Scotia. Every part of the tree has a use — from wood pellets to lumber — lumber that those in the industry say could easily wind up helping rebuild homes destroyed in the very community they were plucked from. And while clearing the trees has been cathartic for some residents who felt their appearance forced them to relive that day, those in forest ecology say they should have been left alone. …Willett and Freeman Lumber worked with every resident to decide which trees would stay and which would go. Some people wanted mostly everything removed. Some wanted all their hardwoods kept in the hopes it would sprout new life.

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Wanted: tree seeds. National seed centre in Fredericton collecting samples

By Jennifer Sweet
CBC News
May 26, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Donnie McPhee

The National Tree Seed Centre in Fredericton is trying to add to its already substantial stockpile of seeds, with varieties that are in short supply, for restoration projects and to prepare for the possibility of poor growing seasons in the years ahead. The centre collects seeds for 724 tree and shrub species in 1,000 different eco-districts across the country, said co-ordinator Donnie McPhee. Initially, its focus was to help with research and recovery from things such as insect infestations and wildfires. But that mission has been evolving, said McPhee, since the federal government created a funding program to plant two billion trees. Calls have been coming in from people all over the country who are looking for certain species for their planting projects, many of which are in riparian zones or flood plains, he said. Red maple, elm, and silver maple have been in high demand but “that seed wasn’t available.”

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Alarming spruce budworm infestations are brewing across the Thunder Bay area

By Sandi Krasowski
The Chronicle Journal
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

THUNDER BAY, Ontario — A forester and arborist is sounding the alarm on increasing spruce budworm infestations across the Thunder Bay area and expects a further surge this season. Vince Rutter, of Rutter Urban Forestry, said “This year’s spruce budworm infestation leaves me with big concerns about tree health that start with losses to individual landscape trees and can lead to widespread tree mortality, which results in economic losses to the forestry sector, but worse, can lead to fuel for forest fires”. In the region, Rutter said he noticed significant feeding damage last year. This year he expects more damage and defoliation, a trend continuing for the next few years at least. …He pointed out the Kamview Nordic Centre as an example of a forest area which he expects 90% mortality over the next few years.

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Prince Edward Island speeds up tree planting with new programs and greenhouses

By Nancy Russell
CBC News
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Hailey Blacquiere

The province is ramping up tree production over the next six years, following in the footsteps of a federal program called 2 Billion Trees. The national program aims to plant that many trees by 2031. Provincially, there are four programs that will plant 300,000 additional trees per year. That’s on top of the 1 million trees that were already being planted annually. The P.E.I. 2 Billion Trees program is run by the provincial Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action. “These trees will help us reach our net zero goals as well as hold carbon, create buffer zones, help with wildlife corridors, and generally increase our green spaces on the Island,” said Hailey Blacquiere, the 2BT co-ordinator for Prince Edward Island. …The trees are being grown at the J. Frank Gaudet Tree Nursery in Charlottetown, which has three new greenhouses to help support the increased production for the 2BT program. 

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Prince Edward Island Forestry Commission turns to public for new policy

By Jillian Trainor
PEI Canada
May 22, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Islanders had an opportunity to provide input to the PEI Forestry Commission on what they see as forestry priorities during the second of six public meetings being held across the province. The commission is working to create a new forest policy for the province and wanted public feedback on what Islanders believe that policy should include. Over a dozen attendees gathered for an informal, open meeting. Woodlot owners and other attendees shared their thoughts and questions to Jean-Paul Arsenault, chair of the Forestry Commission, and other members of the commission. …Mr Arsenault said the province’s Forest Management Act – passed in 1988, is due for a review. A discussion paper has been created, giving a summary of what the members of the Forestry Commission have learned since they were appointed in January of 2023, listing 13 issues the Commission believes are critical to the development of a new forest policy.

 

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Douglas fir die-off in Southern Oregon gives a glimpse into the future of West Coast forests

By Erik Neumann
Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 26, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Chris Chambers

ASHLAND, Oregon — On a clearing overlooking Siskiyou Mountain Park in Ashland, a navy blue helicopter is making laps back and forth up the forested hillside. …In areas of this forest, anywhere from 20-80% of the fir trees are dead.” …Chris Chambers worries that a large wildfire could permanently change this forest if hotter temperatures driven by climate change make it hard for fir trees to grow back after a fire. He says this thinning work will help soften the blow. If we don’t stay ahead of it, then we might not have a forest in 20, 30, 40 years”. The work in the Ashland watershed is aimed at the symptoms of the Douglas fir die-off. But it doesn’t explain why the trees are dying. …Max Bennett is a retired Oregon State University extension forester. He’s been researching this fir tree die-off, and he co-authored a 2023 paper called “Trees on the Edge.”

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Bureau of Land Management cannot harvest spotted owl habitat for fire resiliency plan, Oregon judge says

By Alanna Mayham
The Courthouse News
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An Oregon magistrate judge issued a recommendation on Friday that could omit commercial timber sales from a federal fire resilience and forest restoration plan in southern Oregon. The findings and recommendations from U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke largely favored conservation groups who sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for approving large-scale commercial logging, thinning and prescribed burning in forested habitats occupied by northern spotted owls. On Apr. 10, 2023, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center led three other conservation groups in suing the bureau for approving its project without the environmental impact statement that is typically required by the National Environmental Policy Act. “The BLM failed to demonstrate that the IVM project and the associated timber sales and logging activities, including but not limited to Late Mungers, promotes and maintains [northern spotted owl] habitat, including foraging habitat and habitat for prey species,” Klamath-Siskiyou wrote in its complaint.

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General Sherman passes health check but world’s largest trees face growing climate threats

By Terry Chea
Associated Press
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, California — High in the evergreen canopy of General Sherman, the world’s largest tree, researchers searched for evidence of an emerging threat to giant sequoias: bark beetles. The climbers descended the towering 2,200-year-old tree with good news on Tuesday. “The General Sherman tree is doing fine right now,” said Anthony Ambrose, executive director of the Ancient Forest Society, who led the expedition. “It seems to be a very healthy tree that’s able to fend off any beetle attack.” It was the first time climbers had scaled the iconic 275-foot (85-meter) sequoia tree, which draws tourists from around the world to Sequoia National Park. Giant sequoias, the Earth’s largest living things, have survived for thousands of years in California’s western Sierra Nevada range, the only place where the species is native.

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University of Idaho research team secures $15 Million grant to investigate impact of drought and fires on forests

By DFortin
Fox 28 Spokane
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tara Hudiburg

MOSCOW, Idaho—A multidisciplinary team led by University of Idaho researchers has been granted $15 million to investigate the long-term impact of drought and fire on forest ecosystems. The six-year award comes from the National Science Foundation’s Biology Integration Institutes, which supports diverse and collaborative teams addressing critical biological questions across multiple disciplines through research, education, and training. The funding will establish the EMBER (Embedding Molecular Biology in Ecosystem Research) Institute, uniting researchers from various institutions and backgrounds. This includes molecular and cellular biology experts, organismal physiology, and ecosystem sciences. “We are looking at how stress caused by increasing drought and wildfire affects forest recovery and resilience. By working together, we are not just investigating how trees or microbes respond but how organisms depend on each other to survive,” said Tara Hudiburg, principal investigator for EMBER and professor in U of I’s Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences.

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Oregon Department of Forestry awards $14 million to reduce wildfire risk

KPIC News
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is releasing $14-million to help protect the state’s waterways and reduce wildfire risk. It’s part of a local, state, and federal partnership called the “20 Year Landscape Resiliency Strategy.” The strategy prioritizes areas at high-risk for wildfires. This year through mid-2025, the three programs paid for by the state’s General Fund will invest about $14 million into local, state, federal, and private partners’ projects. The investment will expedite work on over 100,000 acres. The partners will implement these landscape resiliency strategy projects to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk. The state is leveraging almost 30 different sources of funding for the programs, such as the Landscape Resiliency Program and the Small Forestland Grant Program, with an eye towards not just reducing the risk of wildfire, but also building local economies and protecting water resources.

See the Department of Forestry press release: ODF Grants $14 Million to Help Protect Water and Reduce Wildfire Risk

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Valley of the Giants, home to some of Oregon’s largest trees, closed by huge debris flow

By Zach Urness
The Salem Statesman Journal
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A massive debris flow has brought a long-term closure to the Valley of the Giants, a popular hike through some of Oregon’s oldest and largest trees in the Coast Range. In early December 2023, heavy rain triggered a flow that obliterated part of the North Fork Siletz River Road. It’s the final stretch in a network of remote roads leading to the trailhead west of Falls City. “It’s the biggest (debris flow) that I’ve ever seen on our lands,” said Andy Frazier, supervisory forester for the Bureau of Land Management’s Marys Peak Field Office. “It was massive. After it happened, we were standing on the road culvert and (the debris) was 15-20 feet above our heads.” The road and trail are closed and not likely to reopen for multiple years, Frazier said, adding, the debris flow started somewhere high above North Fork Siletz River Road.

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Not Too Wet To Burn

By Madeline Ostrander
Hakai Magazine – Coastal Science and Societies
May 14, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Brian Harvey

The forests of the Pacific Northwest, for instance, are made with prodigious quantities of water. Some of the rainiest spots on the continent lie along a strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the western slopes of the Cascade Range from northern California up to Oregon and Washington. The sodden conditions continue up the west side of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia and through the Alaska Panhandle to the edge of Prince William Sound, close to Anchorage, Alaska. All along this region grows a dense tangle of lush forest. It is “a pretty good spot on the planet to grow big trees really fast,” explains University of Washington forest fire ecologist Brian Harvey on a vividly clear day in late July 2023. …So the scientists are here to consider what happens to the West Coast’s old-growth rainforests in an era of more wildfire?

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Logging in our state is part of our history and culture

Letter by Steve Tradewell
Conway Daily Sun
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Another frivolous lawsuit from environmentalists. A Vermont activist group is suing the White Mountain USFS over logging projects. New Hampshire has a very long history of logging, and it brings numerous jobs to the region. The USFS has done a very fine job managing the forest and logging for many decades without issue. … Their suit mentions an endangered bat. Years back, I held a seat on a local school board, any town that adjoins the National Forest receives money from the logging operations. One year, I was told by the Forest Service supervisor that there was not going to be any money because of an environmental group’s lawsuit. He told me that they were investigating the charge that deceased endangered bats were brought in from Vermont and planted in the White Mountain National Forest. …Let’s hope the bats that claim this time are New Hampshire bats. The forest service goes to great lengths to protect the forest and ensure that loggers play by the rules. 

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The fight to save America’s iconic tree has become a civil war

By Kate Morgan
The Intelligencer
May 27, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

NEW YORK — For the past two decades, Sara Fern Fitzsimmons has raised seedlings of the American chestnut in research orchards along the Eastern Seaboard, keeping them fed and hydrated and charting their growth. At the turn of the 20th century, the “redwoods of the East” dominated forests with their towering trunks, accounting for an estimated one in every four trees from southern Maine to northern Florida. They fueled a major timber industry, and their nuts were a vital source of food for both livestock and countless families. As one historian wrote, the tree “was possibly the single most important natural resource of the Appalachians.” …A breakthrough in genetic engineering was intended to bring them back and transform the science of species restoration while potentially netting its inventors millions of dollars and wide acclaim. Instead, a mix-up in the lab has sparked a veritable civil war in the niche conservation community.

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Pittack Logging named 2024 Minnesota Logger of the Year

Business North
May 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Rick Horton, Scott Pittack and Joe Pittack

Pittack Logging of Bovey has been named the 2024 Minnesota Logger of the Year by the Minnesota Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee. The award was presented to Scott and Joe Pittack at the Minnesota Logger Education Program workshop held in Virginia. The Logger of the Year Award recognizes outstanding independent logging contractor performance with the purpose of honoring Minnesota’s competent professional independent logging contractors. The formal nomination clearly demonstrates that Pittack Logging is recognized by their peers for professionalism, commitment to sustainable forestry, using best business management practices, trade organization involvement, fostering excellent landowner and forester relationships, and for their exceptional community outreach activities.

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New Zealand wood processing sector grapples with new EU deforestation rules

By Monique Steele
The New Zealand Herald
May 27, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New Zealand’s wood processing sector is trying to work out how those sending product to prove their supply chains are free of deforestation. …New Zealand exported $100 million worth of wood products like wood chips to Europe last year – with more than half going to the Netherlands. Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association chief executive Mark Ross said there was some confusion around the new rules, tipped to be implemented in late December, and how they would play out. …He said processors would need to provide documentation detailing where the trees came from before products were processed, and if the forest site was replanted. “They’ll need to have geolocation data that shows where those forests have come from when it comes to wood products,” he said. “We will need to have satellite images like GPS co-ordinates showing where those trees were harvested before they were processed.”

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Environment watchdog made ‘backroom deal’ with state-run logging group putting endangered marsupial at risk, advocates claim

By Michael Slezak
ABC News Australia
May 26, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has made a “dodgy backroom deal” to support loggers, angry environment groups claim, after an announcement that logging could go ahead in forests known to be safe havens for greater gliders. The groups claimed only minimal daytime searches were made to avoid killing the endangered nocturnal marsupial. In a joint statement, the groups claimed the announcement by the EPA drew a “road map to extinction” for the species. …Kita Ashman, a forest scientist with World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Australia said instead of protecting an endangered species, the EPA was protecting the timber industry. “It’s extremely clear we have an endangered species whose sole requirement is trees, we also have an industry whose sole requirement is trees,” Dr Ashman said. …The EPA has strengthened rules for protections around areas where greater gliders have been spotted. …Environment groups said the protection rules were not enough.

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Hawkes Logging win four major Eastland Forestry awards

The Gisborne Herald
May 27, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Dana Kirkpatrick and Curtis Hawkes

NEW ZEALAND — The Eastland Forestry Awards were presented in Gisborne on Friday night and the top award went to Curtis Hawkes, of Hawkes Logging. A crowd of about 500 celebrated the numerous nominees and winners put forward by their peers and their companies. Hawkes Logging came to the region from Northland, and Curtis Hawkes leads his crew on the extreme terrain of the East Coast. He took away the Skilled Professional of the Year 2024 trophy as well as Harvesting Excellence, Crew of the Year and Outstanding Health & Safety awards. East Coast MP Dana Kirkpatrick, who presented the top award, said Hawkes had shown a high level of professionalism and work ethic in all aspects of the job. He was recognised as a true leader by example, “not asking anything of anyone that they themselves will not do”.

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Forests Pivotal For Building A More Resilient Environment

New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Scoop Independent News
May 22, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New Zealand Forest Owners Association says a new report is a promising step towards addressing complex land use management issues in New Zealand but needs to recognise the value of forestry in building a more resilient environment. The report, Going with the Grain: Changing land uses to fit a changing landscape, was released by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE). It acknowledges the longstanding complexities of land use management in New Zealand and the need to shift to a more granular, mosaic approach in the face of a changing climate.  The association’s chief executive, Dr Elizabeth Heeg, says forest owners are supporters of an integrated land use conversation but says forestry must first be recognised as a valued part of that land use mosaic. 

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