Daily News for September 27, 2021

Today’s Takeaway

Forest related options positioned to mitigate climate change

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 27, 2021
Category: Today's Takeaway

Forestry related options are well positioned to mitigate climate change with tree planting, the use of wood products, and carbon markets. In other Business news: US housing starts inch up but single-family building continues to slow; Japan surpasses China as Canada’s second largest lumber export market; and the US Trade Court again knocks down duties on Chinese plywood.

In Forestry news: an Indigenous Protected Area is declared by Northwest BC First Nation; Teal Jones pauses operations to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation; Ottawa’s offer to resolve BC’s old-growth conflict is called insufficient; while the Steelworkers condemn protest tactics at Fairy Creek; and Bill Dumont speaks to the facts and the fairy tales.

Finally, after a devastating wildfire season, calls for change in BC, Oregon and Europe

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Trade Court Again Knocks Down Duties On Chinese Plywood

By Alyssa Aquino
Law360.com
September 24, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

The U.S. Court of International Trade remanded for a fourth time duties on Chinese hardwood plywood, again faulting the U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday for how it calculated tariffs for Chinese importers that weren’t separately investigated. Commerce had issued a 57.36% tariff on dozens of companies that it hadn’t separately investigated during a 2016 probe into Chinese hardwood plywood imports. The department had arrived at that figure by averaging the dumping margins of the mandatory respondents. [to access the full story a Law 360 subscription is required].

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Finance & Economics

BC Lumber Exports – Japan Is Now Bigger Than China

By David Elstone, RPF, Managing Director of the Spar Tree Group
View from the Stump
September 24, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, International

China rose to prominence as BC’s (and Canada’s) second largest market for lumber following the collapse of the North American forest industry in 2008-2010. China’s entrance as a new major market was a phenomenal growth story for BC lumber exporters… especially as a relief valve for low-grade SPF lumber during times of weak US market prices. The combination of reduced BC lumber production as well as decreasing use of mountain pine beetle killed pine along with the rise in availability of alternative sources of lumber for the Chinese market has contributed to a decline in BC lumber exports to China. Also, record US market margins during the 2020/2021 rally likely saw Canadian exporters redirecting volume to the US market. The result is monthly export volumes to China have declined to levels lower than to Japan.

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US August Housing Starts Inch Up, But Single-Family Building Continues to Slow

By John Greene
Forests2Market Blog
September 27, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Total US housing starts inched up in August, though the pace of single-family building contracted for the second month in a row. CNBC noted that, “… builders continued to struggle with shortages of materials and labor, suggesting the housing market could remain a drag on economic growth in the third quarter.” …Some analysts speculate the slowdown might be a reflection of construction companies needing to “pump the brakes” a bit to match the pace of building activity to the availability of supplies and labor. “We believe the slowdown is still more driven by supply constraints as builders have fewer homes to sell,” wrote BTIG. Looking at the single-family metric, single-family starts bounced back quickly before cresting in December. Since then, however, starts have been on a bumpy downward trend. The pickup in permitting, meanwhile, is a positive sign.

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Sales of US new single-family homes rose 1.5% in August

The US Census Bureau
September 24, 2021
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential sales statistics for August 2021. Sales of new single‐family houses in August 2021 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 740,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.5 percent (±15.1 percent)* above the revised July rate of 729,000, but is 24.3 percent (±19.1 percent) below the August 2020 estimate of 977,000. The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2021 was $390,900. The average sales price was $443,200. The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 378,000. This represents a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Mass Timber Digest Details Latest Innovations in Low-Carbon Research and Design

Softwood Lumber Board
September 26, 2021
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

In response to increasing demand for information on low-carbon building solutions, Think Wood has debuted the first volume of a biannual publication, the Mass Timber Digest, a 30-page journal on innovations in mass timber research and design. The downloadable PDF features new and emerging mass timber research with support and permission from industry leaders Sidewalk Labs, Perkins&Will, DLR Group, Michael Green Architecture, Gray Organschi Architects, Generate Technologies, and SERA Architects. Featured articles include “Designing a Mass Timber Hotel,” “Using Buildings for Carbon Storage,” “Testing Prefab Prototypes,” “Comparing Structural Building Systems,” and “Boosting Density While Curbing Climate Impacts.” …The piece also headlined Google’s Sidewalk Labs’ weekly newsletter in late July, further signaling industry support and interest in mass timber.

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Mass timber is the future of construction in British Columbia

By Karla Fraser, director of construction, The Cape Group
Daily Hive
September 24, 2021
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mass timber construction is being embraced by architects and developers across British Columbia, with hundreds of wood buildings completed and more planned. The province is also enthusiastic about the material and recently announced that they will provide $4.2 million to assist the industry in adopting mass timber building systems.  BC is set to become a leader in the production and use of the material, even establishing an advisory council to provide advice and guidance for the industry. Cape Group adopted mass timber construction in 2018, seeing great potential for a variety of building types, including rental and market homes, as well as for commercial builds.   As the development and building industry strives to meet upcoming climate codes, and moves to progress to the most efficient and cost effective construction methods, factory- based mass timber building is the natural progression for building homes in Vancouver, and beyond.

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Forestry

BC lumber company pauses operations to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

BC Local News
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The largest privately owned forest products company on BC’s west coast, Teal Jones, is halting operations on Sep. 30 in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. “We’re encouraging our employees to take the time to honour this solemn day of remembrance,” says Jack Gardner, great-grandson of Teal Jones founder Jack Jones and spokesperson for the family-owned company. Teal Jones has developed productive, working relationships with 106 First Nations in BC, each one reflecting the distinct interests of the individual nation or Indigenous group. Through a combination of royalties, joint ventures, partnerships, employment opportunities and other agreements, Teal Jones works alongside these nations to nurture long term relationships. …Teal Jones has come a long way from its origins as a one-man cedar roofing operation in 1946, employing over 1,000 people across BC. …At Teal Jones, not a single raw log is shipped overseas and 100 per cent of every log is used. 

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Kaslo set to begin wildfire risk reduction project in Village-owned forest

By John Boivin
Valley Voice in the Toronto Star
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“Look at that stand,” says John Cathro, pointing to a group of knocked-over trees just off a forest trail near the Kaslo airstrip. The 30 or so trees caught up in the tangled, complicated tree-fall will take an expert logger to remove safely. “You can’t just take a chainsaw course and start working on this,” the forestry consultant says. “It’s a mess.” There are more fallen stands like that one in and around Kaslo these days, created by sudden, violent wind events that seem to be occurring more often. Those extreme weather events prompted Cathro, a forestry consultant working for the Village of Kaslo, to rework a proposed wildfire reduction project on the south side of the Village’s airstrip. 

 

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Western Forestry Contractors’ Association Establishes Fund to Support Lytton Wildfire Fighters

By John Betts
Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

During this summer’s Lytton wildfire disaster, 28 wildfire fighters, including a BCWS unit crew and a contract crew fought the fire and assisted with the evacuation of the town. Some of the firefighters were residents of Lytton. They continued fighting as their homes burned. Others, temporarily posted, worked knowing their possessions were going up in smoke at their residences. The crews have deservedly been commended for their actions. In recognition of their bravery and resolve and as a show of support and solidarity from the larger forestry, firefighting community and the public, the WFCA has set up a fund for donations to support these workers in recovering some of their costs suffered in the Lytton wildfire. In order to contribute please click the read more.

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Fairy Creek –The Facts and the Fairy Tales

By Bill Dumont, RPF LM (Ret.)
Rotary Club of Cowichan Valley
September 22, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On September 2, 2021, Bill Dumont, former Chief Forester at Western Forest Products, offered a presentation on his perspective of “The Facts and the Fairy Tales” with regard to Fairy Creek to the Rotary Club of South Cowichan (Mill Bay). On their Facebook page, the club said, “Bill’s knowledge, expertise and passion branches out extensively. He provided us with statistical history as well as some of the less reported stark realities pertaining to the current climate and conflicts taking place. Thank you Bill!”

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Ottawa’s offer to help end battle over old-growth logging insufficient, B.C. says

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
September 26, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Premier John Horgan patted down his suit pockets, theatrically searching for a misplaced $50-million cheque. The performance was in response to a question about Ottawa’s offer to help resolve the ongoing conflict over old-growth logging. …ilkinson, the federal Minister of Environment, floated the idea in August. Friday, he said his government is ready to write that cheque, as a bulwark against further loss of biodiversity in Canada. …“And in BC, that includes those old-growth forests that are at threat from the logging industry.” The B.C. government also has promised to protect old growth. …With that apparent common ground, Mr. Horgan’s chief complaint could be a simple bargaining tactic. The $50-million fund “would be a very small amount of money relative to the consequences to the forest industry, to communities and to workers,” Mr. Horgan [said] Thursday. …He suggested Ottawa could “add a zero” as a starting point.

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Done waiting on B.C., Gitanyow declare new protected area: ‘this is all our land’

By Matt Simmons
The Narwhal
September 26, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On a late August afternoon, Gitanyow hereditary chiefs gathered at the Lax An Zok fish camp on the banks of the Meziadin River in northwest B.C. to sign a unilateral declaration. Provincial representatives were notably absent in the attentive crowd of 200 who gathered to witness Simogyet (Chief) Malii Glen Williams, Simogyet Wii Litswx Gregory Rush Sr. and others declare the immediate protection of 54,000 hectares of land and water in Gitanyow territory, which includes large portions of the Kitwanga and Nass River watersheds and significant sections of the upper Kispiox River, a tributary of the Skeena River. …The Gitanyow have been working with the province to protect the Meziadin watershed for more than four years. …“The Indigenous Protected Area is not a park,” the declaration states. …This is clearly not an anti-development situation. This isn’t Fairy Creek.”

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B.C. needs to invest $250 million per year to make our forests more resilient to fire

By Tim Burkhart, Scott Ellis & Kathy McRae
Vancouver Sun
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As autumn rains extinguish the last of this summer’s fires, the final accounting for a brutal B.C. wildfire season is becoming clear. Nearly one million hectares of forest has been burnt and more than $500 million spent trying to contain the damage.  That doesn’t begin to include the human cost, as British Columbians — our friends and neighbours — were forced from their homes, tourism curtailed and agriculture disrupted. Add to that, human exposure to airborne pollutants was up to 40 times worse than maximum recommended levels, a pall that enveloped parts of the province in the worst air quality in the world.  How we manage our forests in the next five to 15 years will determine whether we can secure a future with healthy forests, healthy wildlife and safe communities.  If the effects of wildfires on fish, wildlife, habitat, the economy, provincial budget and our health aren’t enough of a concern, here comes salvage logging to harvest burned timber before it is “worthless.”

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Old-growth logging in endangered Alberta caribou habitat ‘flies in the face of common sense,’ critics say

By Taylor Lambert
The Narwhal
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Plans to log old-growth forests in west central Alberta, destroying habitat for some of Canada’s most threatened caribou herds, have sparked an outcry in the province.   West Fraser Mills, a multinational wood products firm, intends to clear-cut 3,500 hectares of caribou habitat in the Berland area between Hinton and Grande Cache. The plan faces strong opposition from conservation groups such as the Alberta Wilderness Association, while the Mountain Métis Nation Association has said it will file an injunction to prevent the logging.  …Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry did not respond to questions about the logging proposal and caribou protection.  “It flies in the face of any common sense or reason,” Shane Ramstead, a local trapper and former conservation officer, told The Narwhal.  “You can’t say you’re going to do caribou protection and restoration of herds and habitats, and then go cut core habitat in the same ecosystem.”

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Cougar study aims to research impact of wildfires and human encroachment in southern B.C.

By Akshay Kulkarni
CBC News
September 25, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A research initiative in southern B.C. aims to chart the impact of wildfires and human activity on one of the province’s most elusive predators — the cougar.  The Southern B.C. Cougar Project, led by students and faculty at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus, has been running since January 2020.  So far, it has equipped 27 cougars with GPS collars across three study areas in the West Okanagan, Boundary and Kootenay regions. It aims to have 40 collared cats by the time the project ends.  Project lead Siobhan Darlington said she and her team look at how logging and wildfires affect cougar habitats, eating habits and movement patterns.  …Darlington says there are an estimated 7,000 cougars across the province, but no accurate counts exist. She said getting a more definitive number of cougars prowling the Okanagan was one of the motivations for the study.

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Company performs a century of engineering feats

By Susie Quinn
BC Local News
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadian Maritime Engineering is one of the longest-serving businesses in the forestry industry in the Alberni Valley.  Canadian Maritime Engineering, or CME, got its start as Alberni Engineering Works, founded shortly after the First World War on Bird Street, across from the train station, where it still stands today. Fred Bacon started the company with a blacksmith and helper, and quickly made boatbuilding his specialty along with general engineering, according to historian Jan Peterson in her book Twin Cities: Alberni—Port Alberni. …  “For decades, forest industry has been a large part of our business here,” said Steve Dunagan, CME’s manager in charge of business development at the Port Alberni branch. “They’ve been our longest term customers because we build marine vessels specifically for the forest industry, in the way of sidewinders, pod dozers and small harbour tugs (tugboats).

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Vancouver Island forestry workers union condemn ‘extremist’ protest tactics at Fairy Creek

By Cole Schisler
Summerland Review
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, a union representing forestry workers on Vancouver Island, are condemning what they call “extremist” tactics used by protesters at Fairy Creek.  In a news release, USW accused the protesters of driving metal spikes into trees to interfere with loggers, tampering with helicopter pads and encroaching on hand fallers as they cut down trees. USW Local 1-937 president Brian Butler condemned the protesters for their tactics.  …Butler said no USW members have been injured by the protest tactics, but they are on “high alert” for potential safety hazards. He expressed concern that if the tactics continue, it could result in serious injury or death of forestry workers or protesters. …Black Press Media has reached out to the Flying Rainforest Squad, but did not immediately receive a response.

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Matachewan youth wins national forestry award

By Dariya Baiguzhiyeva
Timmins Today
September 26, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Tristan Flood

When Tristan Flood is out on the land, he feels at home.  Flood, 22, is in his final year studying the forest management program at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.   He recently won the Skills Awards for Indigenous Youth presented by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM).  During this past summer, he worked as a woodlands summer student with EACOM Timber Corporation in Timmins.  A Matachewan First Nation member, Flood said he is very excited to be recognized for his accomplishments.  “I put in good work this summer. I’ve done a lot of stuff over the past couple of years in school,” he said explaining he had a good overall performance in school last year and he learned “quite a bit” despite the pandemic and some challenges studying online.

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New research shows glyphosate could be harmful to freshwater ecosystems

CBC News
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Some residents in Colchester County, N.S., are worried about the effects of the herbicide glyphosate being sprayed on land near waterways, and new research out of McGill University suggests there is cause for concern.  Glyphosate is used in the forestry industry to kill deciduous trees, allowing the softwoods sought by harvesters to grow unhampered.  …An area near Stewiacke, N.S., has been targeted for spraying this year, much to the ire of community members and environmental activists.  …Two new studies out of McGill University in Montreal found glyphosate puts freshwater ecosystems at risk even when its application meets approved guidelines. “We did this big outdoor experiment where we had 100 experimental ponds filled with natural lake water with natural bacteria, natural algae and natural water fleas,” Marie-Pier Hébert, who co-authored the studies, told CBC’s Information Morning on Thursday.

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Forestry experts call for smart, inclusive solutions to fires

By Emma Jerome
KOIN 6 News
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore.  — Oregon wildfires are getting more extreme. Experts at Oregon State University said all Oregonians have a stake in forest management — and we will have to learn to live with wildfires. Like tsunamis and earthquakes, wildfires are inevitable, experts said. What needs to change, researchers said, is the framework of how we see fires — less as preventable, more as manageable. It’s time to focus on solutions together, they said. James Johnston is a research associate in the College of Forestry at OSU. As a society, he said, we’ve made the decision to exclude fire from forests that are designed to burn. Forestry experts said that decision has allowed fuel to accumulate, exacerbating future wildfires. “We’ve made the decision to have forest fires, and we can’t take that decision back,” he said. “Now, our challenge is to learn to live with fires.”

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Keep logging out of Silver Falls State Park

By Nadene LeCheminant
Statesman Journal
September 24, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ever since the fires raged in Santiam Canyon last September, I dreaded seeing the place. The first time I drove through, I felt utter despair at the loss, not only of homes but of old-growth forests and wildlife habitats and lush riverways.  Many of us will never again, in our lifetimes, see this beloved place as we once knew it. Our consolation was that the fires did little damage in Silver Falls State Park.  And so I felt devastated to hear that Silver Falls is now under threat. Park officials have quietly begun post-fire logging in backcountry areas of the park. Alarmingly, the majority of trees slated for the cut are not unsafe, hazard trees.   …Profits from the logging operation are slated to go toward “forest health programs.” The best forest health program for Silver Falls would be to allow this intact forest to recover from its scars naturally.

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FOREST INK: Wildfire prevention in an American town

By Jim Hilton, professional agrologist & forester
Williams Lake Tribune
September 26, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Thanks to a tip from a friend I was made aware of an article by Nathanael Johnson in Grist about a town in Oregon that went through some important changes impacting the town and surrounding area regarding its susceptibility to wildfires.   Ashland, a city in southern Oregon (population 21,000 in 2019) is best known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In the early 1950s the town had nine saw mills producing lumber but that was starting to change in the ’60s and ’70s.  …The plan would return key sections of the forest to something more like the landscape that existed under Native American management. A picture of the city shows lots of trees surrounding the houses so the initial work consisted of sending in crews with chainsaws to clear brush and cut down trees where they grew thick enough to burn hot — followed by regular maintenance burns.

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After devastating European fire season, experts call for new approach to protecting forests

CBC News
September 26, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…The summer of 2021 will be remembered as one of the worst European wildfire seasons on record, with more than 350,000 hectares — and counting — burnt across Italy, Greece and Spain, nearly three times the average over the past decade.   …Driving this increase is a demographic shift that has been underway in Europe for more than a generation.  “We do not respond to the root of the problem,” said Castellnou. “Our society is becoming an urban society.”  “The young generation is leaving the countryside,” said Goldammer.  …As a result, he said, land once intensively farmed and occupied is being abandoned and reclaimed by new, rapid-growth forests that fuel larger fires, Goldammer said. In Greece, forest cover has actually increased, despite successive devastating fire seasons. …Worse, century-old land management techniques, like controlled burns of brush when clearing fields for farming, have become incredibly dangerous as heat waves dry out the countryside.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Carbon storage, credit markets and forests – what do we have and what do we need?

By Kathryn Fernholz
Dovetail Partners
September 24, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

This report focused on forest carbon offsets: associated markets, their status, recent developments, and what is on the horizon, from a US perspective. The IPCC has identified five forest carbon pools, with an additional two pools to account for forest-derived products. The IPCC has also identified forestry related options for mitigating climate change that range from tree planting to forest management and the use of wood products, including as high carbon storage/low embodied carbon substitutes for concrete and steel in construction, soil carbon-enhancing biochar, and as replacements for fossil fuel and energy use. These options provide the basis for forest carbon offset protocols and eligible projects. …For the potential of forest carbon offsets in the US to be realized, there is a need to apply the history of large-scale tree planting to the scope of the climate change challenge, focus on changing energy systems as job number one, and define and advocate for the full range of solutions that trees and wood offer to all.

USDA: Trees Are Climate Change, Carbon Storage Heroes

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House Ag Forestry and Carbon Markets

By Maura Bennett
Aginfo Network
September 27, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

It is most important that agriculture be the point of the spear in dealing with climate change. No entity on earth is more dependent on the climate than agriculture. Our food production, the water we drink, the shelter from forestry, textiles for clothing. That was the statement by Chairman David Scott opening a recent House Agriculture Committee hearing on Voluntary Carbon Markets in Agriculture and Forestry. Forest carbon markets help landowners earn revenue by sequestering carbon in their forests. However private forest operators and farmers still need more information and confidence in the carbon market programs. Brian Luoma, CEO of The Westervelt Lumber Company; “There’s a tremendous amount of carb to be stored and sequestered in the forest while it’s working and then moved into the built environment where it gets stored for a long time.”

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Carbon offsets are growing fast, but climate benefits remain murky

By Stephanie Hanes
Christian Science Monitor
September 24, 2021
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Over the past couple of years, hundreds of corporations from Amazon to Visa have announced plans to move toward “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions.  Look more closely, though, and the promises also reflect something else: the growing prominence of a controversial environmental accounting tool generally known as “carbon offsets,” or “carbon credits.”  Supporters say these offsets are an important tool in the fight against global warming and also an increasingly important funding source for climate-friendly initiatives. Think of them as contracts that can be bought and sold, allowing projects that remove greenhouse gases to counteract emissions made somewhere else. …But critics argue the offsets don’t reflect progress at all and instead are a new form of greenwashing. They warn that offsets may actually slow the greenhouse gas reductions scientists say are necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change and are a distraction from the hard changes needed to decarbonize the economy. 

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Health & Safety

Logging truck wedged beneath downtown Kamloops rail overpass

CFJC Today Kamloops
September 24, 2021
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, BC — A logging truck driver is having a very bad day in downtown Kamloops. At about 1:00 p.m., a truck loaded with logs became wedged under the rail overpass at First Avenue and Lansdowne Street. It’s not believed there are any injuries, but there is a major traffic tie-up in the area.

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Forest Fires

Coulson Aviation brings major muscle to fighting California’s devastating wildfires

By Carla Wilson
Victoria Times Colonist
September 26, 2021
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Island-based Coulson Aviation’s night-flying, high-tech helicopter fleet is being showcased on the CBS news program 60 Minutes tonight.  Its quick response force comes from partnering technology with custom operating procedures and the ability to drop many thousands of gallons of water and retardant in specific locations.  “It’s proven out everything we thought it could do, it can do and more,” said Wayne Coulson, chief executive of the Coulson Group of Companies.”  The company’s two C-47 Chinook helicopters in California have been equipped with computerized tanks capable of carrying 3,000 gallons each.  The fleet works during the day, too, but what’s uncommon is its ability to drop huge amounts of water or retardant in precise locations during the night when other aircraft are normally grounded.  “We are the only commercial operator in the world that runs at night,” said Coulson.

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The Dixie fire threatened to pass 1 million acres, then was stopped in its tracks. Here’s how

By Hayley Smith
Los Angeles Times
September 26, 2021
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

When the Dixie fire sparked in Plumas County on a warm afternoon in July, few could have known that it would morph into the monster it soon became. A downed tree, a blown power line fuse and a small ring of fire were all it took to create the second-largest wildfire in California history.  In the days and weeks after the fire began, it produced one ominous sign after another — generating its own lightning, burning clear across the Sierra and, most horrifically, reducing the town of Greenville to ashes.  Soon it was threatening to surpass the size of the August Complex of 2020, the largest wildfire in California history, which burned more than 1 million acres.  But after nearly two months of nonstop expansion, something shifted. Seemingly overnight, the weather grew more favorable, the fiery terrain leveled out, and crews were able to turn a corner on the massive blaze.

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Progress made on California fire that displaced thousands

The Associated Press in the Washington Post
September 26, 2021
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

REDDING, California — Firefighters were gaining the upper hand Sunday on a forest fire that displaced thousands of people and destroyed more than 100 buildings near Shasta Lake in Northern California. Lighter winds and cooler temperatures slowed the Fawn Fire as it moves toward the shores of California’s largest man-made lake and away from populated areas north of the city of Redding, allowing crews to increase containment to 35%, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. The fire at one point threatened 9,000 buildings, but the number dropped to 2,340 on Sunday. Light rain was in the forecast for Monday. Fire officials said crews will begin taking advantage of the calmer weather to conduct back burns near the lake to expand the control lines.

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