Daily News for May 23, 2022

Business & Politics

Resolute Announces Ratification of Collective Agreement at Seven Canadian Pulp and Paper Mills

By Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
May 20, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

MONTREAL,- Resolute Forest Products Inc. ( today announced ratification of a four-year collective agreement by Unifor union members at seven of the company’s pulp and paper mills in Canada, following an agreement-in-principle reached on May 15, 2022.   “We are pleased with the result of the vote, which is a testament to the hard work and collaborative efforts of both the company and the union in recent years to address the challenges we are facing and to ensure the competitiveness of the business,” said Remi G. Lalonde, president and chief executive officer. “Thanks to the support of our employees, we continue to pursue our vision to operate a model manufacturing company, built with the strongest business values, the highest respect for sustainability and the calling to serve our people and communities.”

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Forestry

Province turns its back on science, says BC Wildlife Federation

By Rob Brown
Alaska Highway News
May 20, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jesse Zeman

The government of British Columbia has abandoned science-based wildlife with its decision to curtail hunting in the Peace-Liard region under the guise of reconciliation, says the BC Wildlife Federation in a Friday press release.  Caribou hunting will be banned and moose hunting severely curtailed over roughly 22 per cent of the province under new regulations released this week.  What the government press release omits is that BC has also negotiated a deal that will see 195 forestry, oil and gas projects proceed in the traditional territory of the Blueberry River First Nation. Another 20 industrial projects in Blueberry territory are still up for negotiation….“The government has allowed Treaty 8 territories to be damaged by industrial development, but rather than address that problem, BC has opted to imposed hunting regulations that have no basis in science,” said BC Wildlife Federation Executive Director Jesse Zeman. 

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US forest chief calls for a pause on prescribed fire operations

The Associated Press in National Public Radio
May 20, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Federal officials are warning that expanding drought conditions coupled with hot and dry weather, extreme wind and unstable atmospheric conditions have led to explosive fire behavior in the southwestern U.S., where large fires continued their march across New Mexico on Friday. …U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore cited the extreme conditions Friday in announcing a pause on prescribed fire operations on all national forest lands while his agency conducts a 90-day review of protocols, decision-making tools and practices ahead of planned operations this fall.  ….The U.S. Forest Service has been facing much criticism for the prescribed fire in New Mexico that escaped its containment lines in April and joined with another blaze to form what is now the largest fire burning in the U.S. 

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New Mexico wildfire sparks backlash against controlled burns. That’s bad for the West

By Eric Westervelt
National Public Radio
May 20, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Northern New Mexico’s still raging wildfire—now the largest in that state’s modern history—did not start out as entirely wild.  The wind-fueled blaze partly began as an intentional or prescribed U.S. Forest Service burn near picturesque Hermits Peak outside of Las Vegas, N.M. Such fires are set to thin forests of built-up fuel, restore forest health and prevent much bigger fires.  …There’s already a tremendous amount of backlash,” says James Biggs, who teaches wildfire ecology and fire behavior at New Mexico Highlands University whose campus in Las Vegas, N.M., is near the southern edge of the wildfire.  Biggs says ironically the scale and impact of this blaze underscores precisely why the Western U.S. needs to do more intentional burning after a century-plus policy of suppressing nearly every forest fire, which has resulted in the build up of dangerous and untenable amounts of fuel across forests.

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Scientists discover an ancient forest inside a giant sinkhole in China

By Dustin Jones
National Public Radio
May 20, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Cave explorers stumbled upon a prehistoric forest at the bottom of a giant sinkhole in South China earlier this month. Sinkholes such as these are also known in Chinese as Tiankeng, or “Heavenly pit.”  At 630 feet deep, the sinkhole would hide the Washington Monument and then some. The bottom of the pit holds an ancient forest spanning nearly three football fields in length, with trees towering over 100 feet high. And according to the Chinese government, it is one of 30 enormous sinkholes in the county.  …Karst is a type of topography, ideal for geological wonders like the sinkhole in Leye County, created by groundwater dissolving the limestone rock beneath the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.   …About 13% of China is covered by karst topography, according to NASA, with the Guangxi region being a prime example of its beauty.

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