Daily News for September 28, 2021

Today’s Takeaway

Tackling climate change requires leadership and wood use

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 28, 2021
Category: Today's Takeaway

Developers are increasingly aware that wood sequesters more carbon than it emits. In related news: health and wellness emphasized in new school construction; Texas A&M on the role of agriculture and forestry; and the Softwood Lumber Board’s latest carbon tracking and timber education initiatives. Meanwhile: Ontario helps Mirmil Products expand; Catalyst Powell River changes site-name to TLA’amin; and the US LBM announces leadership changes.

In Forestry news: Alberta plants 100 million trees in one season; tensions at BC’s Fairy Creek heighten risk of injury; fires and forest management are said to threaten California’s giants; an Oregon study says fire intensity can be calmed by thinning; and why everything California knows about wildfires may be wrong.

Finally, FPAC’s Derek Nighbor says NRDC’s toilet paper scorecard misrepresents the facts.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Catalyst mill and site changing to original Tla’amin site name

By Patti Mertz
My Powell River Now
September 24, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

An agreement between the Tla’amin Nation and Catalyst, a Paper Excellence Company, will bring a change to the name and signage of the Catalyst Powell River mill to the Tla’amin historical designation of the area: tiskʷat (TEES-kwat) which means big river. In the early 1900s, the mill was built on a significant Tla’amin village site, displacing and relocating the population. In a joint news release, the Tla’amin Nation and Catalyst announced today their intent “to build a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out the intentions of all parties to build a new and collaborative relationship together.” “This name change is a long time coming and an important gesture to repairing harm,” said Hegus John Hackett. “Our ancestors will rejoice to hear this place once again being called tiskʷat, and Tla’amin looks forward to the hard and productive conversations to come as we build a new relationship with Catalyst.”

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Ontario Promotes Economic Prosperity in Forest Sector

By Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Government of Ontario
September 27, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

CAMPBELLFORD — The Ontario government is investing more than $2.6 million in Mirmil Products Limited to help promote the forest sector and support economic growth and job creation in South Eastern Ontario. “As a sustainable and renewable industry, the forest sector has been a source of prosperity in Ontario communities for generations,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “By investing in Mirmil Products Limited, our Government is strengthening the economy in Campbellford and promoting a prosperous future for this region.” The funding is being delivered through the Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program and will help Mirmil Products expand operations, invest in new technology, and recruit more than 30 skilled workers to meet a growing demand for its products and services.

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US LBM announces three new leadership team hires

The LBM Journal
September 26, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

BUFFALO GROVE, Illinois — US LBM has announced additions to its executive leadership team:

  • Don Riley has joined US LBM as executive vice president and chief operating officer. As COO, Riley is responsible for leading the company’s sales and operations strategy, which includes operational support functions and US LBM’s six operating regions.
  • Manish Shanbhag has also joined US LBM, as executive vice president and general counsel, serving as the company’s top legal advisor, overseeing legal, compliance and corporate governance.
  • Pat Managan has been promoted to the role of senior vice president of Supply Chain. In this new role, Managan leads US LBM’s purchasing strategy and organization to support the company’s national network of locations.

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Finance & Economics

Forestry stocks are ignoring correction in lumber prices. And for good reasons

By David Berman
The Globe and Mail
September 28, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Lumber prices have fallen sharply from record highs set earlier this year. Yet the share prices of leading Canadian forestry companies are still well up for the year, suggesting that investors see a lot to like in cheaper lumber. They might be onto something here. …Equity prices have been relatively buoyant over the past six months and remain well above where they started the year, implying the stock market has taken the steep drop in the underlying commodity price in stride. The share price of West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. touched its highest level of the year on Monday, closing at $107.52 in Toronto. …The example of Canfor Corp. isn’t quite as compelling, but makes the same point. …“It looks like normalcy is returning, and that strong underlying demand is still there,” Ms. Kosman said, pointing to continued strength in the U.S. housing market. [to access the full story, a Globe and Mail subscription may be required]

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After rising since Labour Day, Lumber prices remain flat

By Keta Kosman
Madison’s Lumber Reporter
September 28, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER, BC –– After falling by -7% in July, US total housing starts for August 2021 increased by +4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.615 million. For August 2021, total residential starts in the US shot up by +12.3% from the same month one year ago, when it was 1.416 million. Improving further over gains throughout this year, permits for future homebuilding in August were up by +6%. …Construction framing softwood lumber prices are a good leading indicator for US housing activity. Looking at lumber prices, after rising incrementally since Labour Day, for the week of September 17, 2021 the price of Western S-P-F 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) remained flat at US$480 mfbm. That week’s price was up by +$33, or +7%, from one month ago when it was $447.

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Frustration building within construction industry

By Alex Veiga
The Associated Press in the Daily Reporter
September 27, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

LOS ANGELES – Even in the hottest U.S. housing market in more than a decade, new home construction has turned into a frustratingly uncertain and costly proposition for many builders. Rising costs and shortages of building materials and labor are rippling across the industry, which accounted for nearly 12 percent of all U.S. home sales in July. Construction delays are common, prompting many builders to pump the brakes on the number of new homes they put up for sale. As building a new home gets more expensive, some of those costs are passed along to buyers. Prices of items such as paint and lumber and other building materials have spiked this year. The Federal Reserve is meeting this week, and its time frame for potentially starting to raise interest rates could indicate how worried it is about inflation.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The Softwood Lumber Board and USDA Forest Service Invest in Mass Timber Installation Skills Training

Softwood Lumber Board
September 28, 2021
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is working to identify, understand, and overcome barriers to wood use. …Surveys have cited the lack of qualified mass timber installers as a key challenge that dissuades developers and designers from choosing or following through with mass timber and thus limits the expansion of mass timber construction in the US. To help solve this issue, the SLB and the USDA Forest Service recently pledged an additional $100,000 each to expand mass timber installation training nationwide. With this funding, WoodWorks is developing construction mock-ups and will launch high-quality, hands-on installer training at training centers in Portland, Boston, New York state, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles in partnership with local carpenter unions. Together, these locations anticipate providing more than 8,500 hours of training annually starting in 2022. The program seeks to… expand to a dozen or more localities nationwide by 2023.

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New school thinking: the school of the future is flexible, adaptable and focused on health and wellness

By naturally:wood
Journal of Commerce
September 24, 2021
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

From improved indoor air quality and disease prevention to versatile and student-centred design, now more than ever, the architecture of schools is under scrutiny. …how we build schools is rapidly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our fast-moving world. The school of the future …reduces its carbon footprint using renewable materials, promotes health and well-being, inspires new ways of learning and teaches students environmental values and citizenship. …designs that once might have seemed ahead of their time—even quirky—are proving functional and timely in 2020… Such is the case with Lord Kitchener Elementary School located in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood. Completed by the IBI group in 2012, the project entailed a rehabilitation, seismic upgrade and adaptive reuse of an existing century-old wood structure along with the construction of a new building. The added facility, constructed of glulam timber post-and-beams, includes community-use facilities and does away with the traditional division between classrooms. 

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Forestry

Sustainable Forest Management is Essential to the Canadian Paper-Based Packaging Industry

By Rachel Kagan, Executive Director, Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)
Paper Advance
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Rachel Kagan

Sustainable forest management is a fundamental pillar for PPEC and its members and is essential to the Canadian paper-based packaging industry. While most paper packaging made in Canada is made with recycled content, the paper fibres it was originally made from came from a tree. However, less than half of one per cent of Canadian commercial forests are harvested for paper-based packaging, and every hectare that is harvested must be successfully regenerated. According to Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) most recent State of Canada’s Forests annual report, at least 427 million seedlings were planted across Canada in 2018… All PPEC-member mills have independent, third-party certification that verifies that their paper fibre sources… are responsibly sourced…. And given that our industry doesn’t use much in the way of freshly cut trees, the little that is harvested – that 0.2% – must be successfully regenerated, making packaging’s share of deforestation zero.

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The greatest tool in tackling climate change needs our help: nature

By Catherine Grenier, CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada
The Hill Times
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Last week was National Forest Week, so let’s consider what our forests provide. The short answer is, much more than we realize. The roots of trees, from British Columbia’s hulking cedars to Prince Edward Island’s flaking black birches, reach out to us all, connecting Canadians to each other and to this land. …Canada is home to nine per cent of the planet’s forests. Consider the work that trees do every day to keep us safe and healthy: they continuously give. …From roots to canopy, forests serve as a key nature-based solution in the struggle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. …Canada’s corporations and individuals have a major role to play in forest conservation as governments cannot do it alone. Investing in nature-based solutions mean protecting and restoring the forests and peatlands that absorb carbon, and the natural areas that protect communities. [to access the full story a Hill Times subscription is required]

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FPAC CEO Responds: Toilet paper brands fuel climate calamity

Letter by Derek Nighbor, president and CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada
Vancouver Sun
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Derek Nighbor

An article by Colin McClelland (Financial Post, Sept. 20) is based on a report from a U.S.-based lobby organization that misrepresents the facts about how Canada’s forests are managed and how toilet paper is made. In Canada, most fibre in toilet paper comes from wood residuals — in other words, materials that would otherwise be wood waste. Trees are a renewable resource and are sustainably harvested to make low-carbon building materials like lumber. Leftover wood chips, bark, and sawdust go into other products like toilet paper, sanitary products, biofuels, and other low carbon biomaterials. This is the circular economy in action and represents our ‘Made in Canada’ commitment to reducing waste by getting value from every part of the tree. It’s also preferable to the alternative, which would be letting wood chips pile up and risk the starting of a forest fire.

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Alberta forest companies’ plant over 100 million trees in one season

CFWE Radio
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jason Krips

In 2021, Alberta’s forest companies planted over 100 million trees in our forests.  …The tree species native to Alberta typically have a maximum lifespan of about 150 years. Without human involvement, historical fire patterns show that most trees and forests wouldn’t reach that maximum lifespan; on average, Alberta forests would burn every 50-100 years. The province has significantly more mature forests as a result of sustainable forest management practices, including measures to limit the spread of wildfire. “Planting 100 million trees in one season is a significant step in ensuring Alberta’s forests are perpetually sustainable. Our members take sustainability very seriously and are strongly committed to giving back more than we take to ensure the health of Alberta’s forests. We don’t look at our forests as just an economic benefit, but rather as a resource with crucial environmental, social, and cultural benefits”, saidJason Krips, President and CEO, Alberta Forest Products Association

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Old growth trees are worth more standing than when cut

Letter by Bernhard H.J. Juurlink, Mill Bay, BC
Cowichan Valley Citizen
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There has been massive clear-cutting of old growth trees in the past two decades all in the name of ‘we need the jobs’. So, has this actually created jobs? In 2009, according to Statistics Canada, there were 93,479 forestry-related jobs in B.C. Between 2009 and 2019 forestry-related jobs in B.C. decreased by the following numbers: Forestry & Logging – 6,565; Pulp & Paper – 10,596; Support Activities for Forestry – 11,262; Wood Product Manufacturing – 14,457. Thus, 42,880 in forestry-related jobs have been lost while we were busy clear-cutting old growth forests. This has been due to a number of reasons: increased mechanization, shutting down of local mills and a massive increase in the export of raw logs. …The solution … is to stop export of raw logs and to promote the development of local mills that can handle second and third growth trees and promote wood manufacturing. The solution clearly is not to cut more majestic old growth trees…

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Could the answer to Fairy Creek protests be solved by B.C implementing its Old Growth Strategic Review?

By Lee Wilson
APTN News
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Garry Merkel

A member of the Tahltan Nation in British Columbia says the province’s forestry practices need to be modernized – and the government has a report in its hands that will help it do just that. Garry Merkel, an industry expert behind a report called the Old Growth Strategic Review, says the province needs to change its ways if forests are to be saved. “Part of this report speaks on the necessity of bringing together and planning this transition together because this is a major, major shift, and you don’t want to have government trying to drive the whole thing because then they become the lightning rod trying to impose something too big on society, we need society, all the key players to collaborate plan how we move through this transition,” he said.

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BC Forest Practices Board to audit forest licence near New Hazelton

BC Forest Practices Board
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – During the week of Oct. 4, 2021, the Forest Practices Board will audit the forest planning and practices of Gitxsan Forest Licence Inc. on forest licence A16831 in the Skeena Stikine Natural Resource District. Auditors will examine whether timber harvesting, road construction, road maintenance, reforestation, fire protection and associated planning met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The audit area is located near New Hazelton. The area has mountainous terrain, rivers and lakes, and is home to an abundance of recreational activities and wildlife species. Once the audit work is complete, a report will be prepared. If the licence-holder may be adversely affected by the audit findings, representatives will have a chance to respond. The board’s final report and recommendations will then be released to the public and government.

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City of Parksville uses tree mapping software for inventory, planning for future

Parksville Qualicum Beach News
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

At the Sept. 20 Parksville city council meeting, Warren Payne, parks supervisor, provided council with information on TreePlotter, a web-based comprehensive GIS tree management software application for field data collection and data management. Operations staff use this information to plan their work, monitor and assess trees. Trees are plotted on a map in the field or in the office with any web connection. Information collected for each tree includes common and Latin name, location, condition, size, required maintenance tasks, and an inspection cycle. The program can generate reports on trees and calculate ecosystem benefits provided by the trees such as estimate of air quality, carbon, and stormwater benefits.

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Thompson Rivers University study on wildfire communication includes connecting with First Nations communities

By Sean Brady
Kamloops this Week
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thompson Rivers University researchers have completed their study looking at wildfire communication during the 2017 and 2018 seasons and have come up with recommendations for communicators to reflect upon. The study was completed on June 30, meaning it does not address the issues seen during this past wildfire season, which was the most destructive on record for the Kamloops Fire Centre, with more than 160 structures lost within the TNRD alone and hundreds of thousands of hectares burned. Among the recommendations made within the report: Build and maintain trust with remote and First Nations communities; Develop a program to increase communications availability in remote/First Nations communities through either satellite phones or amateur radio; Meaningfully distinguish between risk and crisis communication; Lobby to improve broadband internet access in remote and First Nations communities; and Draw upon examples of success in wildfire communications among groups such as the Simpcw First Nation.

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Sea to Sky old growth: it’s a matter of balance

By Stacy Thomas
The Squamish Chief
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver Island isn’t the only area where old-growth logging is happening. Despite calls for protection elsewhere in the province, Sea to Sky old-growth logging continues. …It’s a lack of public awareness that keeps the big logs coming out of the woods, they say, as well as a history of overlogging. …In the Sea to Sky specifically, there are approximately 464,000 hectares of Crown forest, 203,000 of which are considered old growth. Almost half of that old growth is protected or is in an area prohibited from harvesting, leaving 28,000 hectares of unprotected old-growth forest in the Sea to Sky. Community advocate Nick Gottlieb… “I feel like the public, especially in Whistler, would be absolutely outraged if they knew that we were logging old-growth this entire time,” he said. 

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‘Someone Is Going to Be Seriously Injured or Killed’

By Michelle Gimage
The Tyee
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

At Fairy Creek, tensions between protesters and RCMP create heightening risk. Experts say it won’t end well. Lawyers, a doctor, a criminology professor and dozens of protesters are warning that RCMP enforcement on the frontlines of the Fairy Creek blockades could lead to serious injury or death. …Tensions have passed the boiling point on the southern Vancouver Island frontlines. For weeks protesters have been saying RCMP officers have been using increasingly dangerous tactics during arrests. …Rob Gordon, a criminology professor at Simon Fraser University, said protesters are using “passive opposition techniques.” …The RCMP are asked to do “almost the impossible,” said Gordon. On the one hand, they’re required to enforce the injunction and use military tactics to clear out the protesters. On the other hand, they still have to act as a police force, not as an army.

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Study: Thinning moderates forest fire behavior even without prescribed burns – for a while

By Oregon State University
EurekAlert
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Mechanical thinning alone can calm the intensity of future wildfires for many years, and prescribed burns lengthen thinning’s effectiveness, according to Oregon State University research involving a seasonally dry ponderosa pine forest in northeastern Oregon. Findings of the study, led by OSU research associate James Johnston are important because reducing accumulated fuels on federal forestland has been a congressional priority for nearly two decades; research such as this helps determine which techniques work. …“Although the models show that thinning alone moderates fire behavior for a number of years, prescribed fire is still a key tool for meeting fuel reduction and fire management objectives in the ponderosa pine forests of the southern Blue Mountains and elsewhere,” Johnston said. “Prescribed fire will extend the longevity of what the mechanical thinning accomplished when the conifers regenerate significantly and those surface fuels start to rise above desired thresholds.”

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Four plead guilty to setting California wildfire — and are ordered to pay over $40 million

By Joshua Tehee
The Fresno Bee
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Criminal sentences have been handed down to four people responsible for settingthe Pier Fire in 2017. That wildfire sparked Aug. 29 of that year and burned more than 35,000 acres near the Tulare County community of Springville in the Sequoia National Forest to an estimated $40 million in damages. The defendants were arrested in October on suspicion of causing the fire. Earlier this year, Isiac Renteria, Richard Renteria, Osvaldo Esparza-Guerrero and Breane Ojeda pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, including arson of a structure or forest and taking a vehicle without consent. The four set fire to a stolen car in an attempt to destroy it, which in turn ignited what became the Pier Fire. …The defendants are being ordered to pay more than $40 million in restitution.

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Battle of the giants: Why saving giant sequoia isn’t just about climate change

By Alexis Bernal, researcher, University of California, Berkeley’s Stephens Lab
The Hill
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…with devastating fires ravaging across the only region where giant sequoia exists, we are all in jeopardy of losing that connection. Over the last two weeks we’ve seen desperate attempts to save giant sequoia from wildfires. The prevailing narrative being pushed by major media outlets is that climate-driven wildfires are to blame. …But for scientists that study wildfires, we know that climate change isn’t the only monster in this battle to save giant sequoia. Our current approach to forest management is the other beast lurking in the shadows and its effects can be more insidious than climate change. That’s because it’s a problem that we’ve created for ourselves but seem to lack the courage to address. …We need more thinning and prescribed burning. Unfortunately, doing this in California has been a constant struggle because socio-political barriers hinder us from doing good work. …We can do more — it’s more forest management.

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Why Everything We Know About Wildfires May Be Wrong

By Bob Sipchen
Los Angeles Magazine
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As Northern California continues to burn and Southern California’s traditional peak wildfire season prepares to blow in on the Santa Ana winds, the state’s taxpayers face a climate-change-driven reckoning. Local, state, and federal agencies nationwide are sinking massive amounts of money into wildfire prevention and suppression. …But even as California’s wildfire industrial complex blossoms, philosophical antagonisms are flaring over virtually every aspect of what to do about this force of nature, including which fires should be fought, when and where fire can be prevented, and the most effective ways to protect people and property when flames are headed their way. …But as soon as the immediate threats fade, the battles of how to manage wildfires in an environment under unprecedented pressure from climate change resumes.

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Elevated boardwalk opens amid giant redwoods

By Vickie Aldous
Mail Tribune
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Visitors can now walk through the Grove of Titans without damaging the sensitive roots of the massive redwood trees. Officials announced this month the completion of a 1,300-foot-long elevated boardwalk through the Grove of Titans at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in Northern California. Construction began in November 2019 as part of a multi-year, $3.5 million project organized and carried out by California State Parks, Save the Redwoods League, Redwood Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service. …Although giant redwoods may seem indestructible, they have shallow, fragile root systems. People walking and climbing on the trees have created exposed tree roots and compacted soil. The sensitive understory of ferns, fungi and other organisms has been trampled, according to the Save the Redwoods League.

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Oregon Forest Fire Intensity Can Be Calmed By Thinning: New Study

By Colin Miner
Patch.com
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Oregon — With forest fires a seeming permanent and growing threat in the Pacific Northwest and other places, a team of researchers from Oregon State University are studying a variety of techniques to help keep them from becoming monsters. For years there has been a debate about whether mechanical thinning or prescribed burns are more effective. The OSU team, led by James Johnston spent months going through years of data. The answer they believe is a combination of the two. First, use a device like a feller-buncher or cut-to-length harvester to think the forest. After that use prescribed burns over a period of years. “Most of the studies that have been published so far suggest mechanical thinning that isn’t followed by prescribed fire is not as good for moderating fire severity than thinning combined with prescribed fire,” Johnston said.

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Wyo loggers fear extinction as federal forest policy evolves

By Nick Reynolds
WyoFile
September 28, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Wade Pearson

WYOMING — Wade Pearson’s… family ranch has stood for five generations. Wade Pearson still occupies the land held by his father and father before. He was raised and schooled in the logging community of Hulett, a popular stop on the route to Sturgis, South Dakota. …Earlier this year, a Neiman-owned sawmill across the border in Hill City, South Dakota, shut down, taking roughly 120 jobs with it. Industry analysts predict that unless things turn around, another mill — either in Spearfish or Hulett — could close within a year. And that, local officials fear, could have a catastrophic effect on the region. …The threat doesn’t stem from simple economics alone. Resource management policy also has a role to play and federal foresters believe the current pace of logging threatens to collapse of the forest ecosystem. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The Softwood Lumber Board Launches New Carbon and Sustainability Initiatives

Softwood Lumber Board
September 28, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

The SLB recently announced the launch of new carbon transparency initiatives. … The Wood Supply Shed Carbon Balance Tool involves creating a credible and transparent digital tool to report growth/ drain by wood supply area. This tool could be used to report land carbon value for reporting to the GHG Protocol as well as provide an “A0” add-on to the North American Wood Products environmental product declarations (EPDs). …The Fiber Sourcing Transparency Tool will be designed to provide sustainability and forest certification data in a framework that is practical and easily accessed. …The A4 Transportation Tool will make the average CO2 equivalent transportation to site metric (A4) available for each region based on data about where products come from and modes of transportation and distances. The tool will be available to life cycle assessment (LCA) databases. …The SLB’s investment in this area is in response to the growing need and urgency for this work, including to counter arguments from competitors as they increasingly market their own carbon benefits.

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When it comes to cutting carbon emissions, the real estate industry is running out of time

By Diane Hoskins, architect, co-CEO of Gensler.
CNN Business
September 27, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Achieving global policy ambitions like the ones set in the 2015 Paris Agreement will require leadership from the private sector. …Most carbon reduction efforts in the building sector have focused on operational efficiency. And while these efforts have furthered the industry’s goal of getting buildings closer to net zero operationally, we can no longer ignore that building materials account for half of a building’s total lifetime carbon footprint. …Embodied carbon must become a priority for the entire industry value chain. With commercial buildings, concrete and steel have traditionally been used for construction. However, building with structural wood has increasingly gained traction as an alternative, given that it sequesters more carbon than it emits. Developers are becoming aware of its versatility and sustainability, and if adopted on a global scale, mass timber could challenge steel and cement as the preferred materials for construction. 

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Study looks at U.S. climate change mitigation related to forestry and agriculture

By Paul Schattenberg
AgriLife Today
September 27, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

Climate change mitigation investments in carbon sequestration related to forest management can help offset greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. crop and livestock production, according to a collaborative study that included a leading authority from Texas A&M University. A new study published in the Journal of Forest Economics investigates the role of U.S. agriculture and forestry in greenhouse gas mitigation. Bruce McCarl, Ph.D., an agricultural economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences… said results of the study will help decision-makers assess opportunities for greenhouse gas mitigation in forestry and agricultural systems as well as better understand how mitigation costs may change over time and under fluctuating economic conditions. …McCarl said that income and increasing demand for agricultural commodities are positively related to agricultural and forest product consumption and, in turn, relate to greenhouse gas emissions and sequestration in agriculture and forestry.

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Forest Fires

Fires threatening California’s sequoias continue to grow

Associated Press in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 28, 2021
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

THREE RIVERS, Calif. — California firefighters battled fast-growing forest fires threatening giant sequoias and small communities in the Sierra Nevada on Monday and worked to fully surround a suspected arson wildfire that destroyed homes last week. More than 2,000 firefighters were on the lines of the Windy Fire burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and in Sequoia National Forest, including Giant Sequoia National Monument. The fire had scorched more than 133 square miles after growing by nearly 11 square miles in 24 hours, according to a Sequoia National Forest statement. Just 2% of the fire was contained. …To the north in Sequoia National Park, two fires that were ignited by lightning and then merged covered more than 73 square miles (189 square kilometers) after experiencing large growth during the weekend. The KNP Complex was 8% contained, according to a statement from Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, which have both been forced to close.

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