Daily News for May 24, 2024

Today’s Takeaway

Paper Excellence and Nova Scotia reach a settlement

The Tree Frog Forestry News
May 24, 2024
Category: Today's Takeaway

Nova Scotia settled with Northern Pulp’s owner—the Pictou mill will not reopen but a new facility will be explored. In related news: BC looks to diversify its economy amid shutdowns; and no progress is reported on rail negotiations as strike is unlikely before mid-July. Meanwhile: Canadian Wood partners with Furniture Designers; the Softwood Lumber Board celebrates code change wins; and Auburn University highlights mass timber innovations.

In Forestry/Wildfire: Oregon invests $14 million to reduce wildfire risk; Idaho researchers to investigate impact of drought; BC is equipped with new tech for wildfire fight; Alberta urges caution as 75% of wildfires are human caused; BC First Nation rehabilitates wildfire impacted land; spruce budworm infestations are brewing in Ontario; and ENGOs say BC missed the mark on old-growth update.

Finally, wrapping up Forest Safety Awareness Week are three stories by the BC Forest Safety Council:

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

 

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Special Feature

Enhancing Forest Industry Safety: A Spotlight on BCFSC Forestry Resources

BC Forest Safety Council
May 24, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada West

The British Columbia Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) works closely with industry partners, employers, workers, and regulators to develop comprehensive safety programs, training and resources specifically tailored to address the unique needs and challenges faced by BC forestry workers. Accessing BCFSC resources, tools and downloadable materials from the BCFSC website can help enhance the skills and knowledge required to perform a job safely as well as foster a positive and proactive workplace safety culture.

  • Resources for All Roles in the Forest Industry: Workers, supervisors, employers and auditors can all find safety-related resources designed to meet specific job requirements.
  • Skill Enhancement and Safety Culture: BCFSC offers training courses, webinars, videos and tools to support safe work best practices for silviculture, harvesting and wood products manufacturing.
  • Research and Regulations: BCFSC has an extensive library of research reports and industry statistics to measure industry progress. Updates and changes OHS Regulations are closely monitored to ensure information is available to industry.

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BCFSC Forest Incident Reporting System aka BCFSC FIRS App

BC Forest Safety Council
May 24, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BCFSC FIRS App is a FREE forms management mobile application designed to reduce the amount of safety-related paperwork and administrative work required in the field. The app can be used with both iOS or Android mobile devices and assists SAFE Certified companies in streamlining and consequently reducing the amount of safety-related paperwork and administrative work required in the field. The online forms portal supports record keeping requirements for small BC forestry employers and contractors in building and maintaining SAFE Company Certification. …The FIRS App also has a desktop dashboard to access information uploaded and saved from mobile devices and offers the option to download records in PDF format. The BCFSC FIRS App is available through the App store for Android and iOS devices. Just go to the App store on your device and search for BCFSC FIRS to download the FREE App.

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Celebrating 20 Years of Training Excellence

BC Forest Safety Council
May 24, 2024
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC), the health and safety association for the forest industry in BC. BCFSC has been working with industry over these past two decades to help create a skilled and safe workforce, where safety is integrated into every activity and operational process. There are now approximately 60 different training courses for forestry workers including faller training, supervisor training, incident investigation, resource road driver training and many other general forest industry courses. Over the last 20 years, 40,000 participants have engaged in training opportunities to BC forestry workers. BCFSC’s training programs have been developed with industry to support our collective efforts in creating awareness and improving the skills and knowledge of forestry workers from tree planters, hand-fallers, operators in mechanized harvesting, forest supervisors, wood products manufacturing workers.  These efforts have contributed significantly to the reduction of injuries and fatalities.

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Business & Politics

No progress on rail strike negotiations, say union, companies

By Geralyn Wichers
The Canadian Cattlemen
May 23, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

No progress has been made in negotiations with Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) railway the union representing workers said yesterday. Earlier this month, rail workers from Canadian National and CPKC voted overwhelmingly to strike as soon as May 22. The federal government asked the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to look at whether the strike would have safety implications. The Teamsters said it met with the company and federal mediators on May 17. The groups parted ways and no more meetings have been scheduled. “Ultimately, no progress has been made on the Union’s demands this week. The Company clearly indicated its preference for arbitration over negotiation, suggesting it hopes for government intervention to stop collective bargaining.” CPKC said it has “done everything it can.” This includes two different offers to the union. It said TCRC refused an offer to resolve the dispute via binding arbitration.

Related coverage in Saltwire: CPKC says possible Canada rail strike unlikely before mid-July

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BC government diversifying economy amid pulpmill, sawmill shutdowns

By Tommy Osborne
CKPG Today
May 23, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – Following a string of pulpmill and sawmill closures in Northern B.C that has impacted communities like Chetwynd, Houston B.C., Prince George, and more, the B.C. Government announced $13 million of funding for manufacturing businesses in north B.C. While the government says forestry will always be heavily supported, Minister Brenda Bailey says diversifying the economy is a big focus. …Prolenc Manufacturing, a metal manufacturing company in Prince George, was one of many funding recipients. …While Prolenc isn’t directly a forestry company, it has strong ties to the forestry industry, estimating 1/3 of its operations provide parts for forestry equipment. …While diversifying the economy is undoubtedly a focus for the provincial government, Minister Bailey pointed out the government continues to heavily invest and fund the forestry industry, saying half of all manufacturing funds are towards the forestry industry.

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Unifor supports the prioritization of workers’ pensions in Northern Pulp agreement

UNIFOR
Cision Newswire
May 23, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Unifor welcomes news that fully funding the workers’ pension plan is part of the agreement reached between the Province of Nova Scotia and Paper Excellence, the parent company of the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou, N.S. “Unifor members of Local 440 at Northern Pulp have endured uncertainty over their future and their retirement funds for years now, and it’s imperative both parties to the agreement offer the basic respect to retirees and former employees by fully funding the pension plan,” said Unifor Atlantic Regional Director Jennifer Murray. “Hearing Premier Houston speak of the workers’ pension funding being personally important to him gives us confidence the pension will be a priority.” The union will watch closely as the company conducts its feasibility study on the relocation of the pulp mill to another location in Nova Scotia.

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Nova Scotia Reaches Settlement with Paper Excellence, Sets New Path Forward

By Premiers Office
The Government of Nova Scotia
May 23, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

Tim Houston

NOVA SCOTIA — The Province’s negotiations through a court-ordered mediation process have resulted in a settlement agreement with Paper Excellence Group, owner of the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County. …“We’ve come to a resolution that is fair to all sides – settling legal and financial issues, protecting pensioners and setting a new path forward,” said Premier Tim Houston. “The company believes there could be a future for them in Nova Scotia.” The agreement approval would see Paper Excellence move forward with an independent feasibility study of the potential for a new kraft pulp mill in Queens County. The company would withdraw its proposal to upgrade the mill in Abercrombie, Pictou County. …A new mill would respond to observations from the 2018 report on forestry practices by Prof. William Lahey. If a new mill project moves ahead, the company will determine the next steps for the Pictou County mill site.

Related coverage:

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Paper Excellence Canada and the province of Nova Scotia reach a settlement

Paper Excellence Canada
May 23, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, US East

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Paper Excellence Canada announced that it has reached a settlement with the Province of Nova Scotia that acknowledges plans to reopen Northern Pulp in Pictou will not proceed and provides for a review process… to determine whether a new, modern mill in Nova Scotia is viable. The agreement also provides for the settlement of outstanding litigation and loans between the two parties and fully addresses the pensions of former mill employees. The settlement agreement is subject to approval by the Supreme Court of BC. Central to the settlement agreement is the creation by the Northern Pulp group and the Province of Nova Scotia of a review process that will explore the feasibility of a new mill in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. …Other highlights include: the Pictou site to be maintained for potential logistics operations; …former employee pensions will be fully funded; …and withdrawal of litigation and settlement of debts.

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Finance & Economics

New Home Sales in April Down on Higher Mortgage Rates

By Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington
NAHB – Eye on Housing
May 23, 2024
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Mortgage rates that averaged above 7% since mid-April per Freddie Mac data acted as a drag on new home sales last month. Sales of newly built, single-family homes in April fell 4.7% to a 634,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate from a downwardly revised reading in March, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The pace of new home sales in April is down 7.7% from a year earlier. …New single-family home inventory in April remained elevated at a level of 480,000, up 12.1% compared to a year ago. This represents a 9.1 months’ supply at the current building pace. A measure near a six months’ supply is considered balanced.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The International Society of Furniture Designers launches corporate partner program with Canadian Wood

By Vicky Jarrett
Furniture Today
May 23, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

The International Society of Furniture Designers has launched its corporate partner program, with Canadian Wood as its first partner. “Our corporate partner program recognizes preferred industry suppliers who support ISFD’s mission to promote great home furnishings design,” said David Blair, executive director of ISFD. “Canadian Wood promotes the use of world class, environmentally friendly forest products from British Columbia, Canada. With specialists located in Vancouver, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and India, it is a great resource for furniture designers and manufacturers seeking information and support for using sustainable wood products from B.C. forests. “We plan to share with our members the benefits of using beautiful, resilient and versatile Western hemlock and Douglas fir.” …Jim Messer, vice president of international marketing at Forestry Innovation Investment, added, “We are looking forward to introducing our sustainably sourced Canadian wood species from British Columbia to the ISFD furniture designers and manufacturers.”

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2027 Code Work Builds on History of Code Change Wins for Wood | SLB May 2024 Newsletter

The Softwood Lumber Board
May 24, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

In this month’s newsletter you’ll find these stories and more:

  • The SLB recently published its 2023 Annual Report, which details the organization’s impact generating more softwood lumber demand by expanding new and emerging markets and protecting existing markets. “Through its direct investments and the efforts of our funded programs the SLB delivered another strong year for demand growth and impact for the softwood lumber industry, generating 1.9 billion board feet in incremental demand in 2023,” said SLB President and CEO Cees de Jager. 
  • The International Code Council’s I-codes form the basis for building safety codes in all 50 U.S. states – Gearing up for the 2027 I-codes development process, which officially opened with committee hearings in April, the AWC’s team reviewed over 1,000 code change proposals and submitted 15 of its own.
  • WoodWorks’ new Return to Form Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study is the first in a series examining the embodied carbon, speed, and cost of mass timber versus other building systems.

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SuperBungalows, a New Cross-Laminated Timber Apartment Building, is a Los Angeles First

By Russell Fortmeyer
Architectural Record
May 23, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – The SuperBungalows, a new apartment building completed this spring in the hip Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, is not a traditional bungalow. The project is an answer to LA’s need for density and housing, with a nod to the pleasures of living in an individual residence with a porch. It replaced an existing single-family house, an increasingly common occurrence in a city where land values make houses unaffordable to all but the rich or lucky familial inheritors. Most notably, the SuperBungalows represents the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) multifamily residential building in Los Angeles, the start of what the developer SuperLA hopes to replicate many times in the city.

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Three mass timber architecture innovations

By Tom Chung, Auburn University Professor
Building Design + Construction
May 22, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

AUBURN, Arkansas — Looking back at the past 10 years in mass timber design—since our firm’s first mass timber building, the John W. Olver Design Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst—it is evident that as a building material mass timber and especially cross laminated timber (CLT) has come a long way. Since the landmark project kicked off a decade ago, more than a thousand mass timber buildings have been planned and hundreds have been realized as built projects. A quick look at WoodWork’s Wood Innovation Network proves this point of exponential acceleration. …As mass timber evolves, our firm is finding an increasing variety of mass timber solutions. Here are three primary examples: 1. The rise of mass timber-steel hybrid structures… 2. Novel connections reduce the need for steel reinforcement for mass timber buildings. 3. Teams are leveraging the two-way span capability of mass timber floor panels.

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Forestry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Todd Loewen

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

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

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Webinar: Urban Tree Trouble — Insights from Stanley Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hailey Blacquiere

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

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Alarming spruce budworm infestations are brewing across the Thunder Bay area

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tara Hudiburg

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

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

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

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

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Pittack Logging named 2024 Minnesota Logger of the Year

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

Rick Horton, Scott Pittack and Joe Pittack

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

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Forest Fires

Forest fire out of control near Cobalt

By Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles
North Bay Nugget
May 24, 2024
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada East

A 164 hectare forest fire, three kilometres southeast of Cobalt, remains out of control, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. “A team of ground crews and aerial fire suppression aircraft from Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services remain on the scene of North Bay 5 at the time of this update. It is currently not under control. Please remain clear of the area to ensure the safety of the public and emergency personnel.” Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services would like to remind the public to use caution when performing any outdoor burning.

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‘Very aggressive’ wildfire hops Northwest Territories-Alberta border near Highway 1

By Ollie Williams
Cabin Radio
May 23, 2024
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, US West

A wildfire that has menaced the highway along the NWT-Alberta border for the past two weeks pushed north as it flared up on Thursday. Fire HTZ001 has predominantly been burning on the Alberta side of the border near Highway 35, causing a string of road closures. On Thursday evening, NWT Fire said the fire had “made an excursion in the NWT” and was about 300 metres from Highway 1 shortly before 6pm. A road closure was in place as of 6pm from Steen River on Highway 35 up to Enterprise on Highway 1.  In recent days, pilot cars have been used to guide traffic through closed stretches of highway when wildfires are burning nearby. NWT Fire said crews had set up sprinklers to protect the 60th Parallel Visitor Information Centre and “other assets near Highway 1,” and those sprinklers were running on Thursday evening. 

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Spruce Creek fire burns nearly 5,000 acres in southwestern Colorado, sparks air quality alert

By Lauren Penington
The Denver Post
May 23, 2024
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

State health officials are warning of bad air quality in southwestern Colorado on Thursday after a wildfire burning in the San Juan National Forest grew to nearly 5,000 acres. The lightning-sparked Spruce Creek fire ignited on May 14 on U.S. Forest Service land about 21 miles north of Mesa Verde, fire officials said. As of Wednesday, the fire was burning on 1,867 acres, according to fire records. The burn area more than doubled overnight, flames jumping to reach 4,962 acres of San Juan National Forest land as lower humidity and warmer temperatures worsened fire conditions. Heavy smoke choked many areas in southwestern Colorado on Thursday morning, especially along Colorado 145c south of Rico to Dolores, according to a Thursday news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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