Category Archives: Special Feature

Special Feature

Canada’s budget 2024: $53B in new spending, focus on housing, $40B deficit

By Craig Lord
Global News
April 16, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Justin Trudeau & Chrystia Freeland

OTTAWA — The Liberal government delivered a federal budget geared towards young Canadians, proposing a spending plan that promises to make it easier to buy a first home. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “We are moving with purpose to help build more homes, faster. …We are driving the kind of economic growth that will ensure every generation of Canadians can reach their full potential.” …But the $57 billion in spending comes amid a stronger-than-expected economy and new taxes targeting the wealthiest Canadians. Net new spending included in the budget is pegged at $39.2 billion. …The 2024 budget promises to build 3.87 million new homes by 2031 – two million more than the current expected pace – with a slew of measures and funding to scale up the pace of new home construction. In addition to making more federal land available for homebuilding and accelerating flows of workers into the construction industry, the Liberals announced changes for hopeful homebuyers. …The budget expects that the annual rate of inflation to decline back to 2% target by the end of 2024.

Additional Coverage:

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BC’s two-pronged strategy to address industry fibre needs

By Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor
The Tree Frog News
April 14, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

David Eby, Premier of British Columbia, delivered the final keynote at last week’s BC Council of Forest Industries annual convention in Vancouver, followed by a Q&A moderated by COFI’s Linda Coady. Quoting from the recently released Forest Industry Economic Impact Study, Premier Eby noted the significant contribution the forest sector makes to the province, but also the ‘perfect storm’ of issues it currently faces. Eby also noted many positives, including the fact that forests and forest products are increasing viewed as part of the solution to climate change world-wide, as well as his government’s actions to address industry’s need for reliable fibre supply and stability on the policy front. He spoke of education and training actions taken to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season, and support for the emerging industry, community and First Nation partnerships.

In the Q&A, Eby and Coady discussed how the forest sector touches on so many areas of import to the province. Coady emphasized the import of identifying solutions and expressed appreciation for government’s recognition of industry’s concerns on fibre supply and the rapid rate of policy change. In response to her question on how the premier “sees the forest industry’s future”, Eby opined on wood’s positive and prominent role as a climate solution and the government’s two-pronged approach of working to increase fibre availability in the short term via interim pieces, such as the regulatory change to allow quick recovery of timber from wildfires, new investments via the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund, and agreements on specific First Nation grievances; while at the same time pursuing land use planning and First Nation partnerships to provide long term fibre certainty. In response to other questions from Coady and the delegates in the room, Eby spoke positively on matters such as the potential of active forest management to help reduce wildfire risk, new agreements with individual or collective First Nations and working with industry to co-develop and implement plan elements.

Linda Coady and Greg Stewart, COFI Chair delivered the closing remarks to wrap the conference. Next Year’s conference will be help in Prince George, BC [more COFI highlights will follow in the days to come]

 

 

Check out our Photo Galleries: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

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Greg Stewart, Chief Terry Teegee kick-off COFI conference

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor
The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 11, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

This week, over 700 business, government, First Nations and community leaders have gathered in Vancouver for the BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) annual convention. Greg Stewart, President, Sinclar Group Forest Products and COFI Chair opened the conference by welcoming the many provincial, municipal, First Nation and industry leaders present. Referencing the sector’s current challenges, Stewart said, “this is a pivotal time for the sector because there is no going back. Our collective focus is on what we need to do differently to reshape the industry in the short and long term”. Noting that there are a lot of complex and difficult issues on our plate, Stewart said, ” we need to prioritize our actions and hopefully—by tomorrow when Premier Eby arrives—all be on the same page”.

Stewart introduced Squamish First Nation representatives, who welcomed the delegates to their unceded territory and spoke of their Nations’ unique and long history in the area. Welcoming the delegates on behalf of the host city was Vancouver Councillor Lisa Dominato. Referencing statistics from the economic impact study released by COFI, Dominato spoke of the forest industry’s significant contribution to Vancouver and noted “the importance of talking to the public about this import given that it helps the city meet their goals and bridge the rural/urban divide.

Regional Chief, BC Assembly of First Nations Terry Teegee provided the opening keynote talking about the importance of shared decision making, emphasizing the path forward for the forest industry will be in partnerships that are rooted in free, prior and informed consent through processes that adhere to UNDRIPA. In the Q&A with Shannon Janzen, Chief Teegee talked about how “UNDRIPA can be the path to certainty for the industry, creating the space needed to make the decisions”. With respect to potential disputes, Teegee agrees that there is a need for a dispute resolution process. He said First Nations communities want to be a part of the economy and more First Nations are thinking about opportunities, such as utilizing fibre for energy and creating value added products. 

Do you want to download a picture, here’s the gallery link 

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A Look Into Fire Mitigation Best Practices And Research In BC

By Heidi Walsh
DRS Phoenix Connect
April 5, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF) is located in the northern interior of BC, Canada.  Running since 1989, Burns Lake is the oldest community forest in BC.  Their harvesting, silviculture and forest management activities provide benefits for the Village of Burns Lake, First Nations partners, and for all residents of the Lakes Timber Supply Area in a sustainable manner.  Like so many communities in 2022 and 2023, they were affected by serious wildfires, which resulted in loss of forest habitat, evacuations and financial loss. Community forest general manager Frank Varga is working with Dr. Sonja E.R. Leverkus on a plan for wildfire mitigation in 2024. B.A. Blackwell & Associates provided the basis for their prescribed fire program that proved successful in 2023. Varga said the success of their program is based on three key factors:

  1. We complete pre and post fuel hazard assessments in the areas of treatment.
  2. We track our progress and treatment areas in Phoenix Connect, our forestry management software. For each project, it allows us to track our costs, plan budgets and set up reporting, which is especially important if the funds are secured from multiple government programs.
  3. Using our data set, we support research projects that examine the efficacy of fire mitigation treatments, so we are aware of best practices.

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Appreciating forests for International Day of Forests, March 21, 2024

The United Nations
March 20, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States, International

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees. The theme for 2024 is “Forests and innovation: New Solutions for a Better World.” …Innovation and technology have revolutionized forest monitoring, enabling countries to track and report on their forests more effectively. A total of 13.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide forest emission reductions or enhancements have been reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through transparent and innovative forest monitoring. …Participate in the celebration of the forests. Join the conversation on social media using the #ForestDay hashtag. You can find more information in the International Day of Forests and promotional materials in the Check out the social media kit.

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The Reinvention of Human Capital in the Lumber & Building Materials Industry

By Matt Meyers, Founder & CEO
Yesler Solutions Inc.
January 31, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

Adrian Blocker

Excerpts from a Q&A with lumber industry veteran Adrian Blocker upon the announcement of his appointment to Yesler’s board of directors.

Why contribute your time and expertise on the Yesler board? Capital intensive forest products companies have prioritized investments on improving their manufacturing cost structure as the way to compete… [while] the overall supply chain from the mill to the customer has remained largely unchanged, including the buy/sell process. Therefore the next level of investment to grow margin and leverage the mill investment is on the buy/sell side through sales and transportation efficiency and transparency enabled by cutting edge software. …Yesler is providing the tools to create the efficiency and transparency to realize this.

Why does it take so long for this industry to change? The current buy/sell process is limited by the time and information that one individual has to analyze and determine the best option. However, the Yesler technology greatly expands not only the volume of options in the buy/sell process but also the amount of information. Therefore, with Yesler it’s no longer about not having the technology, but it’s a matter of overcoming the decades old culture of the industry. The very sticky culture problem is the individual people who have held all the knowledge in their own heads.

Tell me about why and how to break down the culture problem? Investing in sales technology will provide the highest ROI given the decades old processes now in place. Small increases in sales margins on every transaction will result in significant increases in profit. Yesler tools not only enable this but also provide the sales metrics that leaders can use to further manage their sales strategy.

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Trees are (part of) the answer

By Bob Saul, a former Bullard Fellow at the Harvard Forest
The Seattle Times
December 7, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

Bob Saul

In September, I attended a conference at Portland’s World Forestry Center to participate in a panel discussion on the future of global forestry investing. …I stopped to talk with one of the protesters and asked her, “What exactly do you want us to do?” She replied, “Stop cutting trees.” The statement is understandable. …With respect to carbon sequestration, one imagines that leaving the forest alone to become an old-growth forest would be an effective means to remove large volumes of CO2. This is true to a degree; however, the “stop cutting trees” idea does not consider the immutable laws of forestry. Old growth forests are certainly critically important keepers of habitats, but older forests are valuable primarily as carbon storage forests, not carbon sequestering forests.

The U.S. and Canada possess the globe’s most productive, most sustainably managed forests. The decades-long history of increases in the rigor of tree-growing and harvesting regulations in North America needs to be acknowledged, then celebrated. The trend has been a huge environmental victory, and it sets the stage for a sustainable wood production and technology renaissance. When this regulatory tightening is coupled with the exceptional efforts by groups like The Nature Conservancy to identify and preserve “habitat-sequestering” acres on North America’s public and private lands, the result is a landscape that comes close to balancing habitat and wood-production benefits. …We cannot stop cutting trees. Instead, we need to grow more of them, and then utilize them more effectively while continuing to set aside the most critical habitat. 

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Building the Future with Wood

By Christopher Cheung
The Tyee
November 15, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, United States

Justin Brown

Justin Brown’s joy in building with wood started as a kid in Trail, BC. …Now at StructureCraft’s headquarters in Abbotsford, B.C., he is a project structural engineer. …The panel approach, explains Brown, means structures go together “just like an Ikea project. You drop one in place, then go get the next one, with a purpose-built set of instructions on how it goes together.” That makes for fast on-site construction. …“We were able to use mass timber on a much larger scale than was ever done in Europe,” said Tobias Fast, director of digital practice at Fast + Epp’s Vancouver office. “I’d say B.C. is still probably the hotbed of design and knowledge,” he observed, though U.S. building codes have allowed quick adoption of similar-sized projects. “Now the Europeans are also trying to go taller. 

Considering that construction accounts for 13 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, proponents of mass timber say it offers a sustainable building solution, as wood stores carbon and trees are a renewable resource. Oregon environmental groups are among those who’ve urged caution about such claims… But Brown offers a calculation of the possible gains by citing a tower in Minneapolis that showed “what the new office building could look like in North America.” Called T3, the building designed by Vancouver’s Michael Green Architecture used 3,600 cubic metres of wood, which will sequester about 3,200 tonnes of carbon during the building’s life. …In 2016, there were only four manufacturers in North America, according to an RBC report. By 2022, that number had risen to 22 and it is expected to more than double in five years.

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In Loving Memory of Diana Blenkhorn

Arbor Memorial
September 7, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Diana Blenkhorn

Diana Lynn Blenkhorn – May 13, 1956 – Sept 1, 2023
Diana, Mom, Nanny, Sister, Auntie Di, Cousin, Friend, Boss Lady, Lady Di – You will be forever loved and missed dearly. At the age of just 67, and after a long battle with illness, Diana passed away peacefully on the evening of September 1, surrounded by her loving family and in the kindness and care of Northumberland Hall care home. Diana started her employment with the Maritime Lumber Bureau on April 18, 1977, first as a secretary but spent the majority of her professional career as the President and CEO (1988) until her retirement in September 2015. Diana dedicated her working years to the softwood lumber industry, advocating for Maritime lumber producers worldwide.

In her capacity as President & CEO of the Maritime Lumber Bureau, Diana served on many national and international organizations and associations including the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board, the National Lumber Grades Authority, Canadian Wood Council and the American Lumber Standard Committee. She received many accolades for her work including “Man of the Year” in 1993 and again in 2006. 

She blazed new trails as a woman in a male dominated industry and not only held her own but was a commanding force with passion and energy behind all of her efforts. During her almost 4 decades at the MLB, she left a legacy and formed lasting friendships with many esteemed colleagues.  She will be fondly remembered for her huge heart, her love of her family, her generosity, and her love of travel.

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COFI keynotes focus on forestry’s role in climate resilient housing and how wildfires are changing the public opinion

By Travis Joern, Director of Communications, COFI
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 12, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Don Iveson

On Day 2 at the Council of Forest Industries’ conference, Executive Advisor, Climate Investing and Community Resilience of Co-operators, Don Iveson, provided the opening keynote on “Forestry’s Role in Climate Resilient Housing and Communities”. The session was moderated by COFI’s Zara Rabinovitch. …Iveson set out four goals to combat this crisis: make it low-carbon, make it resilient, make it affordable, and make it at scale. He argued that changes are required such as housing density and implementing better building codes. …The second keynote David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data led the conversation “From Crisis to Consensus: How Wildfires are Changing the Public Conversation on Forestry in BC”. This session was moderated by David Elstone. …There’s broad, cross-partisan support for government action to actively manage forests to prevent and mitigate wildfires. 73% believe that forestry has a positive impact overall, and 89% see that a strong forest sector is vital to BC’s economy.

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COFI Day 2 focuses on forestry’s future from a local government perspective, and old growth et al

By Travis Joern, Director of Communication, COFI
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 12, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Michael Armstrong

The first panel focused on the perspectives of local leaders with the Mayor of Prince George Simon Yu, the Councillor of the District of Vanderhoof Brian Frenkel and the Councillor of of Campbell River, Susan Sinnott. The session was moderated by Lisa Dominato, MA, GCB.D, Councillor of the City of Vancouver. …The panel discussed potential solutions for wildfire risks, looking to new technology such as AI and how to adjust existing projects. Long-term planning is fundamental with all stakeholders in the room, and the path towards reconciliation is what the municipal government has been wanting for a long time. In the armchair session “Old Growth, Biodiversity, Conservation Financing and Three Zone Management: Connecting-the-Dots on the Managed Landscape”, Deputy Minister, B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, Lori Halls, and Former Chair, BC Forest Practices Board and Co-Author of Old Growth Strategic Review Al Gorley discuss the opportunity ahead. Michael Armstrong moderated the session.

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COFI morning panels focus on economics and investments, workforce resilience and strategies for stabilizing fibre flow

By Travis Joern, Director of Communications, COFI
Tree Frog Forestry News
April 11, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kicking off the first panel, COFI’s Kurt Niquidet introduced the Forest Industry Economic Impact Study, highlighting the economic benefits of the sector in BC. Forestry as an economic powerhouse. …Daryl Swetlishoff, at Raymond James discussed capital flows and the need for further investment in forestry to ensure the future for those benefits for years to come and Kimberly Burns, at Dentons, said challenges in profitability and turnaround time can deter private investors, particularly when there is uncertainty. …During a Spotlight Session, Jason Krips of Alberta Forest Products Association and Louise Bender of Mosaic Forest Management spoke about building workforce resilience through diversity. …One of the most important discussions at the 2024 COFI Convention is BC’s Strategy for Stabilizing Fibre Supply. COFI’s Linda Coady asserted the importance of stabilizing fiber supply requires an “all hands on deck” approach. The Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston, the Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry Innovation Andrew Mercier, and BC First Nation Forest Council’s Lennard Joe sat down together to discuss this critical issue.

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COFI afternoon panels focus on US Trade, forest sector resilience and CEO hopes and dreams

By Travis Joern, Director of Communication, COFI
The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 11, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

During the luncheon Keynote, Arun Alexander, Canada’s Deputy Ambassador to the United States discussed the productive and mutually beneficial trade relationship between Canada and the USA, and how this benefits the forest sector. …Susan Yurkovich at Canfor moderated a Q&A with the Deputy Ambassador, where the two discussed the trajectory of the trade relationship. …At COFI’s panel on “Wildfires, Biodiversity and Natural Disturbances: Building a More Resilient Forest Sector”, we were joined by Torchlight Resources’ Jamie Stephen, BC Forest Practices Board’s Keith Atkinson, United Steelworkers’s Jeff Bromley, and Mosaic Forests’s Molly Hudson with Sandy Ferguson moderating the session. The forest industry is constantly evolving, where forest planning must prepare for natural disturbances, account for Indigenous values, and maintain socio-economic benefits now and in the future. …The last panel of the day looked to the role of forestry leadership, with West Fraser Timber’s Sean McLaren, Western Forest Products’ Steven Hofer, Nanwakolas Council’s Dallas Smith, Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ Robert Dennis Sr. and Gorman Group’s Nick Arkle. Business Council of BC’s Laura Jones, moderated the session. 

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Friends and colleagues gather at the COFI Conference 2024 kick-off reception

By Kelly McCloskey and Sandy McKellar
The Tree Frog News
April 10, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) kicked-off their annual forestry conference in Vancouver, with a sold-out Ice Breaker (more than 700 delegates and 51 booths). The two-day conference promises to be an outstanding event given the expected attendance and high profile speakers such the Hon. David Eby, Premier of BC, Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BC Assembly of First Nations, Arun Alexander, Canada’s Deputy Ambassador to the United States; BC Minister of Forests, Hon. Bruce Ralston and BC Minister of State for Sustainable Development, Hon. Andrew Mercier. Linda Coady, President and CEO of COFI opened the conference noting her delight to be in a room connecting with so many provincial, municipal and First Nation leaders as well as the many firms and individuals that service and supply our mills. The event sponsor, KPMG Partners John Desjardins and Andrew James shared the stage, emphasizing their firm’s work with many forest industry clients, the challenges industry currently faces and the importance of working together to address the issues of concern.

The JW Marriott Park Hotel and Conference centre was the scene of a forest sector reunion of sorts. This evening was a demonstration of the camaraderie and support within the forest sector as delegates and exhibitors mingled, snacked, shook hands and hugged in a display of mutual respect and friendship. Sandy had so much fun pulling all of these willing faces together for group photos. 

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Economic Impact Study Affirms Forest Industry Vital To BC’s Economy

BC Council of Forest Industries
April 9, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – A new economic impact study released by the BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) confirms BC’s forestry industry is a vital part of the province’s economy, generating billions in wages and government revenues, sustaining about 49 thousand direct forestry jobs and contributing $17.4 billion in GDP in 2022. “This Study demonstrates that the BC forest industry is one of the main drivers of BC’s economic base, providing outsized benefits to living standards and government revenue by generating employment, value-added activity, and exports,” said Kurt Niquidet, Chief Economist. …“The industry has been challenged by rapidly changing market conditions, high costs, natural disturbances like fire and insects, and the impact of new public policies. Timber harvesting on provincial crown land has declined by about 30% since 2021.” To capture the impact of these changes the Study provides projections for 2023 that point to a loss of jobs and other benefits delivered by the sector. “We need to find ways to stabilize fibre supply and build a more predictable and sustainable path forward for the sector”, said Niquidet. Among the key findings… BC’s forest industry:

  • Contributes $17.4 billion annually to BC’s GDP
  • Sustains close to 100,000 jobs, including 48,725 direct forestry jobs
  • Contributes $9.1 billion in wages, salaries and benefits
  • Generates $6.6 billion in government revenue
  • Sustains one out of every 28 jobs in BC
  • Represented 24% of all merchandise exports by value in 2022
  • Invested approximately $15.8 billion in construction, machinery, equipment, repairs and maintenance from 2013 – 2023, through local companies & suppliers

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BC Council of Forest Industries Convention to Focus on an Industry in Transition

BC Council of Forest Industries
April 8, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC: This week in Vancouver, the annual convention of the BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) will bring together more than 700 local, provincial, federal, Indigenous and forestry leaders to discuss the future of the province’s forest sector. Held at the JW Marriott Parq Hotel, the convention is one of the largest gatherings of the forest sector in Western Canada and comes at a time when interest in conditions in BC’s forest industry has never been higher, and neither have the stakes. “Harvest levels on public forest lands in BC have dropped by almost half in the last five years”, said Linda Coady, President and CEO of COFI. “Since late 2022, the industry has and continues to experience a series of closures and curtailments. While the reasons for this vary and include markets, beetles, fire, industrial capacity rationalization, and new public policies, the consistent underlying factor is the access by BC mills to an economic supply of timber.”

Issues on the agenda include a new economic impact report from COFI and the current economic and investment outlook for the industry. …The 2024 program will look at increasing demand for products BC can produce, including engineered wood products for affordable housing and biomass and wood waste for energy and recyclable materials. BC Premier David Eby, Forests Minister Bruce Ralston, and Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry and Innovation Andrew Mercier will speak at the event.

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New centre at UBC to advance wildfire research, collaboration and innovation

By Lori Daniels, Koerner Chair in Wildfire Coexistence
UBC Faculty of Forestry
April 5, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Centre for Wildfire Coexistence at UBC Forestry is made possible by a generous $5 million donation from the Koerner family. Our center is pioneering proactive forest and fire approaches to tackle the challenges of our changing climate. Our goal is to co-develop and deliver the transformative change required to coexist with wildfire and adapt to warming climate. The four nearly back-to-back extreme wildfire seasons from 2017 to 2023 collectively affected all parts of BC – emphasizing vulnerability of all communities along the coast, interior mountains, and northern boreal forests – with strong parallels across our nation. The new centre will advance research, collaboration and innovation to enable society to coexist with wildfire through proactive forest management and eco-cultural restoration. Our focus is on “good fire”, cultural fire stewardship led by Indigenous collaborators, as well as forest thinning to emulate historical good fires, combined with prescribed fire when safe to do so, to restore plant diversity, resilient ecosystems, and mitigate risk of future fires.

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Private Land Burning – A Message to Landowners and the Province

By Bruce Blackwell M.Sc. RPF RPBio.
B.A. Blackwell and Associates Ltd.
April 4, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Over the past three years various regions of British Columbia have experienced significant drought. Already the Prince George and Cariboo Fire Zones have put burn bans in place for commercial (Category 2 and 3) burning as of March 28, 2024, prior to the official start of the wildfire season (April 1st). These are sound proactive measures given the current conditions throughout a large part of the Province. However, even with these measures in place there is still a significant risk of wildfires starting on private land that is not regulated by the Wildfire Act. This year the risk is significant and elevated by the drought and potential for a drier warmer spring. …Typically, private landowners start unregulated fires to burn organic debris or grass to either dispose of waste materials or to protect their properties from wildfire. While under the right burning conditions, this can be a sound and effective practice but can easily go wrong when landowners do not have the right experience and knowledge to burn.

Unfortunately, there is very little guidance to private landowners on both burning regulations and the penalties that can be applied when a private landowner’s fire crosses onto crown land. Historically, private land burning has resulted in numerous early spring wildfires that have been damaging to both private and public land. …Given the conditions of this current season I would recommend that private landowners avoid any burning to limit their liability and protect their property.

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Coastal Fire Centre prevention plan under development for 2024 wildfire season

By Rebecca Grogan, Communications Assistant
Coastal Fire Centre
April 3, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ahead of the 2024 fire season, British Columbia Wildfire Service has undergone rigorous data analysis from previous years to help focus resources for wildfire prevention. This data analysis has been amalgamated into a prevention plan at each of the six fire centres across the province, including the Coastal Fire Centre, where staff is currently working to develop initiatives to support the organization’s prevention program goals. Organized around the seven disciplines of FireSmart: Education, Emergency Planning, Vegetation Management, Legislation, Development, Interagency Cooperation, and Cross Training, the prevention plan serves to steer the Coastal Fire Centre’s prevention with the goal of reducing the negative impacts of wildfires on public safety, communities, critical infrastructure, industry, the economy, and the environment. …The prevention plan is a tool used primarily at the fire centre level to display historic trends and program achievements, substantiate program priorities, forecast annual costs, develop work plans, and assess prevention initiatives.

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Helping Students Understand the Nature of Fire

Project Learning Tree Canada
April 3, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

When you ask a child what they think about forest fires, they tend to answer in one of two ways. Eyes wide and a slight look of fear – falling into the “afraid of fire” category. The other is eyes wide and piqued interest – falling into the “fascinated by fire” category. These are the two sides of fire – the good and bad aspects of a natural, if sometimes dangerous, phenomenon. That’s why it’s so important to teach children about both the good and bad of wildland fire, and the differences between “pure” wildfire and managed or “prescriptive” fire. Because while there are definite dangers related to the extreme wildfire events we’re seeing more frequently (human-caused or climate-change driven), there are also notable benefits of fire as a landscape management tool. Fire is a natural event in many forest ecosystems. …

When you introduce children to nature through PLT Canada activities, they’ll learn how to think, not what to think, about the environment. Collaborative, inquiry-based learning uses nature to teach students about math, science, language arts, social studies, economics, art, and even giving back to the community.

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Working to improve the accuracy of fuel typing in Canada

By Kate Bezooyen, MSc (Candidate), FIT; Gregory Greene, PhD; John Davies, RPF
Forsite Consultants Ltd.
April 2, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfire management is of critical importance.  In many cases, contemporary landscapes have been altered from their natural condition due to a variety of factors including decades of fire suppression causing a build-up of fuels to unnatural and non-historical levels. …As land managers, our opportunity to make a difference is through active fuel management to reduce potential fire behaviour.  As such, it is imperative that we have the best available information when making management decisions.

Through the provision of funds from the Innovation Solutions Canada program in 2023, Forsite Fire, in collaboration with Ember Research Services, embarked on developing two product streams that improve the accuracy of fuel typing by using remotely sensed data. Our first product, the Wildfire Fuel Generator (WFG), quickly produces maps for fire response and planning using satellite-derived metrics and proprietary machine-learning technology to classify environmental characteristics into one of the benchmark fuel types. Our second product, FuelID, relies on both LiDAR data and machine learning technology to derive detailed fuel characteristics.

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Wildfire Resilience and Awareness Week

By The Western Canada SFI Implementation Committee
The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 1, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Western Canada SFI Implementation Committee (WCSIC) has once again partnered with the Tree Frog Forestry News to host Wildfire Resilience and Awareness Week. Under the SFI Forest Management Standard, certified organizations are required to limit the susceptibility of forests to undesirable impacts of wildfire and raise community awareness of wildfire benefits, risks, and minimization measures. Wildfire continues to be a top of mind concern in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, as such, the Tree Frog Forestry News, along with some of our sponsors will present the latest on wildfire mitigation and best practices in a series of stories to be published this week. The WCSIC has created a Wildfire Resource Page to complement this weeks coverage — please join us in sharing this important material with your colleagues and communities.

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A Call to Action to Save BC’s Forest Sector

By Gavin McGarrigle (Unifor), Scott Lunny (Steelworkers) and Kelly Johnson (PPWC)
The Tyee
March 11, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC’s forests, an emblem of both natural beauty and economic vitality, have supported communities and families for generations. This economic powerhouse did not develop by accident — good forestry jobs today are the result of many decades of union organizing, strike action and labour struggles. The success of the B.C. forestry sector in the past also hinged on legislative and political leadership from government restricting raw log exports, requiring manufacturing and ensuring B.C. forests benefit B.C. workers and communities. In recent years, this sector has faced a “perfect storm” of challenges, leading to a significant decline in employment and economic contribution. As we navigate these turbulent waters, it is imperative that both the federal and provincial governments take decisive action to protect good forestry jobs and ensure a sustainable future for this critical industry.

The decline in B.C.’s forestry sector is not just a statistic; it is a crisis that affects real people and communities. …The solution to this crisis requires a multi-faceted approach, focusing on the protection and creation of unionized jobs, sustainable forest management, increased autonomy for Indigenous communities and innovation in value-added products. …Public funding needs to generate value for communities, not private shareholders. Funding for existing industries and new startups should flow with strict conditions for job creation, union coverage and apprentice ratios, and include strict targets for equitable participation under community benefit agreements. …On Tuesday, forestry workers from the three unions representing unionized forestry workers in BC will gather in Victoria to discuss the challenges the industry is facing and work together to develop a strategic plan for the future of their sector. …The time for action is now; the future of B.C.’s forestry sector, and the communities it supports, cannot wait.

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Support the Evans Lake Forest Education Society Online Silent Auction

Evans Lake Forest Education Society
March 8, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Building on 60+ years of success, Evans Lake continues to innovate with our forest education experience, efforts to make our programs accessible and inclusive to an even wider community and communicating that experience back to families at home.  In the past several years, more than 80% of Evans Lake summer campers are “more interested in spending time in and learning about the outdoors/forests,” and feel that they “know more about forests and the outdoors” because of their experience. Over 6,000 children, teens, and people from groups attend the Evans Lake Forest Education camp each year.

The Evans Lake Forest Education Society will be holding its online silent auction on April 17th. to April 21st to raise money for our Campership and program initiatives. Over the past two years, our revamped Campership Program supported children from 49 families to attend our programs—funded by Evans Lake. Our Campership Program helps to give underprivileged children and youth this positive experience of attending our camp that they will hold onto for years to come!  It is all about INCLUSION!

“Many adults that I have talked to over the years have told me that going to the Evans Lake camp was a positive experience in their lives that they still remember,” said Brad Techy, a long time board member and volunteer.  

Check out the over 90 donations that we have had for you to bid on!  Visit our 32Auction site today. You can browse the items and sign up as well to bid on them starting April 17th.

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Forestry is key to growing a resilient bioeconomy in B.C.

By Linda Coady, Council of Forest Industries & Stéphane Renou, FPInnovations
Business in Vancouver
February 10, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Linda Coady

Stéphane Renou

In Vancouver, leaders and changemakers will be coming together at the GLOBE Forum 2024 to explore solutions to reimagine our economy, and to look at innovations that go beyond sustainability to regeneration. Globally, the shared challenge of moving towards a net-zero economy and reducing emissions is vital. In British Columbia and Canada, we have a unique opportunity with a sustainable and regenerative natural resource like forestry. …The Canadian forest sector has a critical role to play in meeting this challenge. The forestry industry in B.C. strives to use virtually 100 per cent of every tree. …Bioproducts are being developed that can replace non-renewable materials in items like medical face masks, asphalt for roads, and natural-based glue and adhesives for wood panels in houses and buildings. …If there are no pulp mills, we cannot grow the bioeconomy and develop the value-chain of engineered products and bioenergy that will move us towards a net-zero economy.

Providing fibre certainty for industry creates the conditions for investment and continued operations across the forest sector, which supports families and communities throughout the province. If we take these steps, a key opportunity that could been realized in Canada are examples of transformative modern facilities. These include modern kraft plants that have been developed elsewhere globally, with the ability to yield increased pulp production, energy self-sufficiency, improved environmental performance, excess production of electricity, and employment opportunities. This can drive the creation of bioproducts as platforms for the growth of a high-value and low-carbon bioeconomy. A project of this nature would generate significant benefits for Canadians and secure the future for our sawmill operations.

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Ladysmith ‘snark’ leads international forestry workers’ club

By Duck Paterson
The Nanaimo News Bulletin
January 25, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Beltgens

A Ladysmith man heads a worldwide forestry organization, meaning he has earned the lofty title of ‘snark of the universe.’ Paul Beltgens is assuming leadership of the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo for 2024. The organization, founded in 1892 and based in Gurdon, Arkansas, has nearly 10,000 members in 23 countries. Hoo-Hoo came to the Cowichan Valley in the 1960s when Herb and Gordie Doman decided to initiate a chapter in the area. Today Hoo-Hoo No. 229 Cowichan has more than 65 members who are all involved, one way or another, in the forestry industry. Beltgens is owner of Jemico Enterprises and Paulcan Enterprises and has been a member of the Cowichan Valley’s Hoo-Hoo club since 1983. “The spirit of Hoo-Hoo is expressed in nine fundamental values which encourage members to be fraternal, helpful, grateful, friendly, tolerant, progressive, industrious, ethical and loyal and those are all important to me,” Beltgens said.

His company Paulcan provides customized mill work to global markets, manufacturing any size of wood product, building material, and kiln-dried lumber for domestic and international customers. The Jemico mill produces products such as hardwoods for furniture, doors, mouldings and frames, and Beltgens said it’s the largest producer of alder and maple – and at times cottonwood – products in all of B.C. …Part of the snark position involves visiting Hoo-Hoo clubs in various locations. So far Beltgens has visited Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Houston and Gurdon headquarters, and has plans to visit other clubs in the U.S., Australia and Asia. He pays for his own travel, but said he’s “looked after incredibly” in the places he visits. …Aside from leading to business connections, Hoo-Hoo also has an impact in communities, donating to post-secondary institutions and forestry museums, and providing wood products for school woodworking courses, for example.

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Join the Truck Loggers Association for “A Path to Collective Advocacy”

BC Truck Loggers Association
January 11, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climate change, wildfire mitigation, First Nations reconciliation, innovation, competitiveness, carbon sequestration, certainty, diversification, and strong communities are top of mind for everyone in the forest industry and beyond. Government has tasked the forest industry with providing solutions to tackle these and other important topics for a brighter forestry future. In response, this year’s convention, themed “Solutions From Our Forests” will bring the forest sector together to demonstrate its resiliency and continued ability to lead the way in providing solutions to these concerns as well. Our January 18th panel presentation — A Path to Collective Advocacy — will address strategies to improve and enhance advocacy efforts in the political and public arenas. Vaughn Palmer will lead Derek Nighbor – CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada, Fraser Lockerbie – Vice-President, Digital & Creative, Sussex Strategy Group, and Stewart Muir – CEO, Resource Works Society through a lively discussion. 

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Join the Truck Loggers Association for Wildfire Mitigation and Innovation

BC Truck Loggers Association
January 10, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

There’s still time to join us for the 79th annual Convention & Trade Show. With BC’s escalating wildfire frequency in recent years, it is imperative to ask if we can be doing better at risk mitigating and identify the requirements to make that happen. Our panel on January 17 brings together three experts in the field to share their knowledge and experience. Moderated by Vaughn Palmer – a well known BC journalist and subject expert in forestry – this panel will not disappoint! Join our panelists as they explore proactive risk mitigation and chart the path to a safer future!

  • Dave Peterson, Chair, Board of Directors, Forest Enhancement Society of BC
  • Rob Schweitzer, Executive Director, BC Wildfire Services
  • John Davies, Senior Wildland Fire Specialist, Forsite Consultants

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Global Wood Summit launches in Vancouver in 2024

By Russ Taylor and Kevin Mason
Global Wood Summit
December 15, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mark Your Calendars! RUSS TAYLOR GLOBAL and ERA Forest Products Research have combined forces to host the GLOBAL WOOD SUMMIT, an international conference with a focus on Timber, Forest Products & Trade in Vancouver BC on October 29-30, 2024. The conference organizers are knowledgeable across a wide range of forest products and regions – this allows the scope of the conference to include timely and strategic coverage of forest, logs, lumber, wood chips, pulp and paper and other hot and emerging topics.

Our team has access to key industry, market and trading personnel around the world and we will assemble a cross-section of experts in their fields for the Summit. This will allow discussions to focus in on the key trends, issues and dynamics that are occurring throughout the global wood business and trade. The GLOBAL WOOD SUMMIT will be held at the Sutton Place Hotel, a boutique hotel in Vancouver BC from the evening of October 28 to the mid-afternoon of October 30, 2024. Further conference details and an initial conference brochure with a preliminary program can be viewed at Russ Taylor Global or ERA Forest Products Research.

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Friends came together to celebrate the life of John Worrall

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
October 16, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dr. John Worrall was loved by many. This was clearly evidenced by the large gathering of family, friends, past students and colleagues who came out on Saturday, October 14 to celebrate his life. Held in the Forest Sciences Centre at UBC, guests were treated to a “Worrall Museum” of research papers (yes, he really did write papers!), pictures, huge cones, t-shirts and more. Many came wearing their “Species Please” buttons from Worrall’s retirement party in 2003. A slideshow played out the life and pranks of the great doctor Worrall, and a number of speakers shared their cherished memories. The first to present was John’s younger brother Richard whose voice, mannerisms and physical appearance gave us all a start – it was as if John was with us in the room! Richard talked about their family life growing up in England and “a little about John’s boyhood in rural Lincolnshire on the Humber Estuary”. Other speakers included colleagues and past students, but it was John Davies who made us laugh and cry with examples of Worrall’s past exams, teaching evaluations, and personal stories of their journey together.

We are pleased to present you with the Memorial Slideshow, a Video of the Speakers (and we apologize for the bloopers), a Gallery of Images from the day and Richard Worrall’s presentation script.

In his brother’s words, “Bless you John, you will always be loved, and very much missed”.

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Announcing Celebration of Life for Dr. John G. Worrall

University of British Columbia
September 21, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

In Loving Memory of John Worrall. Please join us for a heartfelt memorial celebration dedicated to Worrall’s life and the lasting impact he made on all of us. All of Worrall’s past students, colleagues, and friends are invited! Let’s gather to swap cherished stories, reminisce, and celebrate the good times. Your presence would mean a lot! After the official welcome at 1:30 pm, the mic will be open for anyone who would like to share with the group. Refreshments will be provided for all to enjoy as we commemorate Worrall’s legacy. 

Saturday, October 14, 2023  |  1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
UBC Faculty of Forestry, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

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When a forester celebrates his 100th Birthday – it’s party time!

By Sandy McKellar, Editor
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

When you reach a milestone like your 100th Birthday, it’s worth having a party. In the case of renowned forester, Gerry Burch, it’s worth having 10!! Yesterday was one of those momentous events! Organized by his daughter, Brenda Burch, this party took place at the BC Forest Discovery Centre (known by locals as the Duncan Forestry Museum), and was attended by 101 of Gerry’s friends and colleagues. Many of them worked with Gerry at BC Forest Products throughout his career. It was lovely to see people reconnecting with old friends and mingling through the museum exhibits. After cake, we gathered in the “Train Room” where several of Gerry’s friends paid tribute to the birthday-boy! Gerry followed with his comments and thoughts and then the mic was opened up for anyone who wanted to contribute to the story. 

Here is a sampling of pictures from the event, and the beautiful video tribute that was created for the birthday party. We will have more on the event next week when we will be excited to share video coverage of the speeches. If you click the Read More, you can access the full gallery of pictures. More images will be added when the second event photographer adds his pictures, so stay tuned!

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Coastland Wood Industries Wows International Order of Hoo-Hoo Delegation

By Kelly McCloskey
The Tree Frog News
September 11, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nanaimo-based Coastland Wood Industries, a privately owned manufacturer of second-growth Douglas-fir veneer and other engineered wood products, hosted a mill and log-yard tour on Saturday, September 9th for the International Order of Hoo-Hoo, a fraternal service organization whose members are involved in forestry, logging and forest products industries.

Leading the mill tour on behalf of Coastland was Keith Hall, VP Fibre Supply and his colleague and log buyer Mark Lade. Hall—a member of the Vancouver Chapter of Hoo-Hoo—opened with a summary of Coastland’s establishment in 1988 and its growth from a single line veneer mill to a triple line mill with an offsite drying facility, two barge loading facilities and three log sorts. Coastland currently employs 280 people and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Speaking passionately about the heart of the operation, Hall noted the speed and efficiency of Coastland’s three veneer lathes, each of which generates between 800 and 1000 linear feet of veneer per minute (which equates to about 1.5 billion square feet of veneer, 1/8th basis annually). Currently, 75% of the veneer is dried at Coastland’s drying facility on Annacis Island in Delta, BC., and 25% is sold as green veneer.

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Former Central Interior Logging Association manager Roy Nagel has died at age 81

By Ted Clarke
Prince George Citizen
September 7, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Roy Nagel

A man of few enemies who made the people around him feel important and loved, Roy Nagel died suddenly of a medical condition on Aug. 23. He was 81. In his job as managing editor of the Prince George Citizen, Roy Nagel had his finger on the pulse of the city and found a way to wade through the politics of running a newspaper to present facts and opinions to the community without treading on too many toes. He later transitioned to a leadership role with the Central Interior Logging Association (CILA), fighting for worker safety and the rights of independent contractors who previously felt powerless taking on governments, regulatory agencies and the lumber giants.

In 1997 he moved from the Prince George Citizen to the CILA as general manager. “They needed a communicator and a negotiator and he was a great spear chucker for them,” said his wife Donna. ”He knew nothing about forestry, but he got in there and knew how to negotiate and found it really interesting how many really smart and successful contractors were out there that weren’t being treated fairly and he drew them all together to think as a group, not individually, so that they had a bigger voice.

After he retired from the loggers’ association in 2009 he took up golf and was part of regular foursome at Aspen Grove. He was fond of sipping good scotch or rum, and took an interest in classic cars, woodworking, gardening and antique clocks.

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A very special 100th birthday party!

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 6, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Yesterday we had the great honour of attending a 100th birthday celebration for renowned BC forester, Gerry Burch. The event, organized by CIF Vancouver chapter, was held on the patio at the Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver. Appropriately, the party was surrounded by trees and the venue was sparkling with sunlight. Gerry was one of the first guests to arrive, proudly bringing along special birthday messages from the King and Queen of England and the Prime Minister of Canada! After a birthday serenade, and a rousing ‘three cheers for Gerry’ lead by his friend Alan Fry, we heard several tributes from friends and colleagues. Finally, Gerry took the microphone. One hundred years hasn’t diminished Gerry’s ability to capture an audience! He started off saying, “This is not the time to talk about the state of the industry … but I’d like to do that!” He wrapped up his address with a personal message to those in the room, saying, “You meet a lot of people in your life and most end up being acquaintances, but then there’s a few who become friends and then there’s a few of those who become special friends. I look upon you people as being special friends!”

Please enjoy the slideshow of images captured at the party (click the read more for the full show and captions). 

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Champion of forest education dies at 85

By John Davies, RPF
Tree Frog Forestry News
August 11, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

John G. Worrall
May 22, 1938 – August 8, 2023

It is with much sadness we announce that Dr. John G. Worrall passed away August 8, 2023, after a two week stay at Vancouver General Hospital. Worrall was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease almost a decade ago and his health has slowly deteriorated since, and more aggressively these last 5-years. After fighting off hospital-onset pneumonia, he just couldn’t recover from the after effects, and quietly slipped away on Tuesday, August 8th with his brother Richard Worrall and ‘surrogate son’, John Davies, by his side.

Worrall arrived in North America on a whaling ship, via the Antarctic, on which he was working as a chemist (his first degree from Newcastle University) in 1965. Upon disembarking, he jumped on a train and made his way the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in forestry before heading to Yale University, to complete a Master’s and PhD (1968). He returned to UBC in 1969 to develop and teach the legendary (infamous?) first year dendrology course, for which he became so well known. For the next 35 years, Worrall dedicated himself to teaching and to his students’ well-being, retiring in 2003. Over his teaching tenure, he made a point of learning (and never forgetting) the name of every new forestry student – and would call on people by last name when they were least expecting it!

A celebration of Worrall’s life will be held in late September or early October and a hike will be planned to Mt. Frosty in Manning Park where Worrall wanted his ashes scattered beneath the golden larch forest of which he was so fond. Further details will be published as plans materialize.

[We would love to hear your stories and see your pictures of Worrall. Please share them with sandy@treefrogcreative.ca and we will include them in a tribute both online and at his Celebration of Life]

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The Dismantling of the American Timber Industry: American Loggers Council Warns of Consequences

By American Loggers Council
Cision Newswire
March 25, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — It seems like every time a forest product mill or plant shuts down (monthly if not weekly) it’s viewed as a singular isolated incident. But viewed collectively, the cumulative impacts and magnitude become more focused and apparent. The individual incidents are all symptoms of a larger serious condition that diagnosed properly reveals and represents an unhealthy state of the U.S. timber and forest products industries. Forest products mill/plant shutdowns directly impact the mill workers and community, but they also impact the logging sector that sustained that facility, although it is typically not addressed in these announcements. Tracking these shutdowns can serve as a barometer revealing the impacts and losses to logging companies. When mills close, logging companies close, and forest health suffers.

Many contributing factors leading to the decline of the U.S. timber and forest products industries are government policy, regulations, restrictions, unfair trade practices, federal timber supply constraints, and incessant litigation. …The brief summary of U.S. forest products mill closures below documents nearly 50 closures, reductions or curtailments, and it clearly represents an alarming trend during a short period of time (15 months), directly (mill workers) and indirectly (loggers) resulting in ten thousand or more jobs lost. …The U.S. has not followed the rest of the developed nations with recognizing the carbon neutrality aspects and reduced greenhouse gas emissions of renewable biomass feedstock when replacing fossil fuels. …Support of the timber, forest products, and bioeconomy sector’s growth will demonstrate a commitment to revitalizing America’s rural economy, communities, and ailing forest health, while developing and transitioning into renewable forest-based bioproducts. Forest health and the timber industry share a symbiotic relationship that is interdependent and mutually beneficial.

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Citigroup’s paperless mistake— telling customers to ditch paper statements or lose digital access

Kathi Rowzie, President
Two Sides North America
November 8, 2023
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States

USA Today and the Wall Street Journal recently published articles on Citibank’s decision to cut off all online communications with their customers who refuse to  go paperless. Two Sides North America sent the following response.

Kathi Rowzie

Recent survey data validates the backlash shown on the WSJ website in response to Citigroup’s decision to cut off all electronic communications to consumers who refuse to go paperless. Commissioned by Two Sides North America and conducted by international research firm Toluna, the survey showed that 81% of Americans, including more than half of 18- to 24-year-olds, believe they should have the right to choose between paper and electronic communications from their banks and other service providers, and 73% believe they should not be charged extra for receiving a paper bill or statement. 46% of consumers said they would consider switching to an alternate provider if their current one forced them to go paperless, up from 41% in 2021.

As the WSJ story mentions, other financial institutions succumb to the temptation to wrap similar paperless initiatives in scientifically dubious greenwashing claims, but credit Citigroup at least for not going down that worn out road. Too often we see other banks claiming they’re “improving the environment” by shifting customers to electronic delivery while scrupulously avoiding any mention of the enormous energy and other environmental costs of electronic communication. By comparison, paper is made from an infinitely renewable natural resource (trees grown in sustainably managed forests) in a process that in the U.S. uses mostly renewable bioenergy and consumes very little water.  And with a recovery rate of 68%, paper is recycled more than any other material in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and best wishes in the New Year!

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog Forestry News
December 22, 2023
Category: Special Feature

It has become a tradition at the Tree Frog News to share our Christmas poem on our last post of each year. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all the best in the coming year.

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John Worrall – In Memoriam

By Robert Kozak, Dean, Faculty of Forestry
UBC Faculty of Forestry
August 10, 2023
Category: Special Feature

John Worrall – our teacher, our mentor, our colleague, our friend – passed away peacefully at the age of 85.  To some, John was the delightfully eccentric man who watered the plants in the Forest Science Centre and tirelessly flipped burgers at the Coconut.  But for generations of foresters, he was their introduction to the Faculty of Forestry and the fascinating world of dendrology.  In fact, in many ways, John embodied the faculty, and taught us so much more than just how to identify trees. In no particular order, some of the things I learned from John are:

  1. Students are the reason why universities exist.
  2. Take the time to observe the transcendent beauty of a Liriodendron tuliperifa in full bloom.
  3. Share your knowledge and experience, and whenever and wherever possible, show a kindness and generosity of spirit that is almost beyond comprehension.
  4. Never, ever, ever sell out, even if it means making some sacrifices.  Respect is something that is earned.
  5. Question authority.  If necessary, subvert from within.  The institution will be better for it.

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