Tree planting with drones already in Australia

Canadian Forestry News - Wed, 2017-10-18 19:17
Along with taking lives and causing millions of dollars in property damage, the wildfires in California are scorching the land in another way: Millions of trees are being destroyed. Source: CBS News The blazes have charred more than 770,000 acres in the state alone, as fires around the country seemingly grow more destructive by the year. Yet even that eye-opening number is a fraction of the devastation happening globally. The planet loses billions of trees every year due to a range of factors, including fire, illegal logging and clearance for agriculture. “Trees are being lost at the rate of about a football field a second,” said David Skole, professor of forestry at Michigan State University. “If you’re watching the Michigan Wolverines play Michigan State and they go into overtime, every time the clock ticks down, a forest the size of that field disappears.” While governments and environmental groups have committed to re-foresting depleted parts of the world. “We aren’t doing the work fast enough,” added Lauren Fletcher. Mr Fletcher, who spent 20 years as an engineer at NASA and Lockheed Martin thinks he has a solution: drones. His company, BioCarbon Engineering, uses drones and data analysis to do large-scale replanting in areas that would otherwise take years to re-plant by hand. The system works in two steps. First, a surveillance drone surveys an area to collect information about its soil type, climate, existing flora and other attributes to determine which plant species to introduce. “It’s not just trees — a healthy ecosystem has a variety of species that have to be planted,” he said. Then, a planting drone is loaded with biodegradable “pods” that contain seeds and a nutritional mixture to help them germinate. Flying 10 feet above the ground, the drone fires the pods at the ground with enough force to penetrate the soil. This approach isn’t theoretical – it’s being used today. The company completed a planting project in Australia in May and is “pretty much oversubscribed for the next year,” Mr Fletcher said, with projects in Myanmar, the Philippines and the UK. Re-foresting efforts in Canada, Brazil and the Us are on the horizon. “With our system, two people will be operating a small swarm of drones, and they will be able to plant 100,000 trees a day,” he said. “If you get 600 teams working around the world, we will be able to plant a billion trees a year — and that’s a scale that makes a difference.” Not all the seedlings survive, but Fletcher said his method has comparable survival rates to hand-planting seeds, which vary from 20% to 70%, depending on the species. Mainly, it’s cheaper and faster, which allows for many more trees to planted in a given time period. And speed and scale could be a game-changer for temperate areas. “Planting trees has a very limited season, depending on where you are in the world,” Mr Fletcher said. “If you’re in the northern hemisphere, the Canadian Rockies, you’re lucky to get a couple of months.” Drones also have the advantage of access: Unlike humans, they can plant on dangerously steep inclines or at forbidding altitudes. “If you could plant 60 times what you’re doing today at five times cheaper, you can imagine how much restoration work you could do,” Mr Fletcher said. Interestingly, although most of the entities working with forest restoration are governments or nonprofits, the for-profit nature of BioCarbon Engineering could give it an edge as polluters look to offset their activities and as the global community moves to reach targets outlined under the Paris climate accord. “When you start valuing the ecosystem services, as in the sequestration of carbon, you have more environmental finance markets that are springing up, and those do place a value on the ecosystem service,” Mr Skole said. One possible model for BioCarbon, he said, would be to take degraded land, reforest it, measure the amount of carbon it’s sequestering and then sell those credits. Regardless of what method is used to save them, trees’ value is set grow as climate change accelerates and countries take steps to limit the warming. Research shows as much as half of the carbon reduction the world needs to meet international targets could happen through planting trees. That has another benefit, Mr Skole said. “If you look at all the options for climate change mitigation out there, the forestry and agriculture ones are the most cost effective.”
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

CPAWS applauds government commitment to establishing minimum standards for marine protected areas

Canadian Forestry News - Thu, 2017-10-05 19:27
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) applauds the government for recognizing the need for minimum protection standards for Canada’s marine protected areas (MPAs) and for announcing the establishment of a new advisory panel to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard on the development of these standards.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Conservationists call on Canadian governments to act now to protect caribou habitat

Canadian Forestry News - Thu, 2017-10-05 10:06
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is calling on Canada’s governments to act now to protect boreal caribou habitat across the nation to curb the continued decline of this iconic Canadian species.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Congratulations to Yousry El-Kassaby for receiving the 2017 Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award

Canadian Forestry News - Thu, 2017-09-28 12:15
Yousry El-Kassaby has been selected by the Canadian Institute of Forestry as the 2017 recipient of the Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Canadian expert urges NZ to build more high rise wood

Canadian Forestry News - Wed, 2017-09-27 21:11
A visiting Canadian building expert is urging New Zealand to make better use of its natural timber to construct more high-rise buildings using wood. Source: Radio NZ Karla Fraser, a senior project manager at Urban One Builders in Vancouver, is in New Zealand for a conference in Rotorua later this week. She worked on the Tallwood House at Brock Commons in Vancouver, the tallest timber building in the world, which opened in July. It is an 18-storey building housing students at the University of British Columbia. She said a fear of building high-rises with wood had meant the idea had been slow to take off. There had been concerns about moisture levels in the wood, and fire risk. Ms Fraser said a lot of work went into the design and testing of the building and fears had been assuaged. She said it made sense to use wood, particularly in countries with an abundance of timber like Canada and New Zealand. “There is definitely a benefit to be able to grow a product you are using to build.” She said in the case of Tallwood House it was about 5% more expensive to build than a conventional concrete building. Ms Fraser said construction using mainly timber was environmentally friendly. “At Tallwood we had a lot less waste than we have off regular projects we work on.” Ms Fraser, who visits Christchurch on the trip, said high rise buildings built with timber were a safe option. Timber buildings were lighter and flexed more in quakes. “The wood buildings, they make sense. They have a lot more flex to them and the engineering expertise is available and can be done easily and I do believe these are smarter buildings. “It makes perfectly good sense to use your local industry to support your economy and the people living here.” Builders, engineers and architects had to want to embrace the concept if it was to succeed, she said.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

America First is making Canada rich

Canadian Forestry News - Wed, 2017-09-20 21:01
Donald Trump’s policy on trade since becoming president has been all about putting “America First” but in one corner of the commodity world, his actions are having the opposite effect. Source: Bloomberg In a move intended to protect the domestic lumber industry, the US slapped duties of as much as 31% on imports of timber from Canada, which supplies more than a quarter of what American builders use each year. Prices surged, increasing costs for American buyers and boosting profit for Canadian producers. Shares of Canadian softwood lumber producers Canfor and West Fraser Timber Co are outperforming their American peers with gains of more than 40% this year, placing them among the top performers on the BI Global Paper and Wood Products Index. By contrast, shares of U.S. rival Weyerhaeuser Co are up about 10%. Lumber futures jumped 16% in 2017 as US trade limits and western wildfires spark concerns over limited supplies, just as communities in Texas and Florida begin to rebuild after devastating hurricanes in the past month. That means more gains ahead for Canfor and West Fraser, which have more exposure to softwood-lumber prices than their American peers, including Weyerhaeuser and Potlatch Corp according to Christoph Butz, a senior investment manager of timber funds at Pictet Asset Management in Geneva. Shares of Canfor fell 0.3% to C$23.05 in Toronto while West Fraser rose 0.4% to C$69.74. “There is no way lumber prices can nosedive,” said Mr Butz, whose firm is one of the largest shareholders of Vancouver-based Canfor. Disputes between the countries over softwood lumber have caused intermittent friction for years. Canada’s share of the US lumber market averaged 28% under a previous trade agreement, Joshua Zaret, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said in a March report, citing data from the Congressional Research Service. Tensions escalated in April when the Trump administration imposed preliminary countervailing duties of as much as 24% on Canadian imports. Additional duties of as much as 7.7% followed in June. But most of those increases have been passed along to consumers. “This is a strong market,” said Joshua Zaret, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “If it were a weak market, they wouldn’t be able to push through prices, and they’d have to eat the tariffs.” The U.S. tariffs sent lumber prices surging at a time when demand from home builders was already strong, Mr Butz said. While the lion’s share of the Canadian producers’ business is directly linked to lumber, the American companies have more investments in private US timberlands and mills in the nation’s south, where log prices haven’t increased as much, he said. “Prices have gone up, and the USmarket has absorbed the prices,” said Philippe Couillard, the premier of Quebec, Canada’s second-largest lumber-exporting province. In Canada, “not a single worker has been laid off, not a single plant has been closed,” Mr Couillard said. “So the people suffering from this battle are the US consumer and the people wanting to build their homes or renovate their homes.” The trade dispute pushed up material costs for house builders in the US by 20%, Jerry Howard, chief executive officer of the National Association of Home Builders, said last month. On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, lumber futures are up 25% over the past 12 months to US$381.80 per 1000 board feet. Prices have room to keep climbing, said Kevin Mason, managing director of Vancouver-based ERA Forest Products Research. Lumber could reach US$400 over the next month if mills start running low on logs after wildfires in some key forest areas, Mr Mason said. Wildfires in western parts of Canada, along with some in the US, are threatening tree supplies and have prompted limitations on log harvesting, Mr Mason said. An infestation of the mountain pine beetle also has eaten away at timber in the Canadian province of British Columbia, the world’s biggest exporter of softwood lumber. Output threats can become a bit of a double-edged sword for Canada’s producers. On the one hand, they’re likely to keep lumber prices high. But wildfires and pests also could hurt sales and impede the ability of companies to deliver large volumes. That could mean a boost for other global suppliers. “All that lumber needs to come from somewhere,” Mr Butz of Pictet said.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Using the forest sector to help mitigate climate change

Canadian Forestry News - Mon, 2017-09-18 09:24
PDF for download INTERVIEW with keynote speaker Dr. Werner Kurz, Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada), Canada Keynote Plenary Session 1 Thursday, 21 September, 10:30 – 12:00, Rolf Böhme Saal (Konzerthaus Freiburg) “The potential contribution of the forest sector to climate change mitigation”     By Bob Burt IUFRO Science Writer   “Climate change is […]
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Forest Sector Applauds CCFM Forest Bioeconomy Framework

Canadian Forestry News - Fri, 2017-09-15 21:02

Published September 15th, 2017 by The Forest Products Association of Canada – Source The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) fully supports the Forest Bioeconomy Framework launched today by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM). “The Forest Bioeconomy Framework builds on our sector’s world-leading sustainability practices and our focus on finding environmental and economic value for every part of …

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Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Fighting the Hot Summer Flames – An Interview with Fire Fighter and UBC Forestry Graduate Julie Sheppard

Canadian Forestry News - Wed, 2017-09-13 09:34
  Author: Meike Siegner Picture: Julie Sheppard Julie Sheppard, a recent graduate from the Faculty of Forestry (University of British Columbia), currently works as a firefighter in the interior of the Canadian Western Province British Columbia. For the Tree News, Julie told us about her experience fighting the flames in the Canadian woods.  Can you … Continue reading Fighting the Hot Summer Flames – An Interview with Fire Fighter and UBC Forestry Graduate Julie Sheppard
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Canada to Host Major International MPA Conference in 2021

Canadian Forestry News - Fri, 2017-09-08 14:58
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is delighted to announce that Canada will be hosting the 5th International Marine Protected Area Congress (IMPAC 5) in Vancouver, Canada, in 2021.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Congratulations to Sally Aitken for being named as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Canadian Forestry News - Thu, 2017-09-07 15:13
Sally Aitken has been named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Life Science Division. This award recognizes Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Conservationists welcome Canada’s largest marine protected area & call for strong protection of site

Canadian Forestry News - Thu, 2017-08-24 16:45
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) congratulates the Qikitani Inuit Association, Government of Nunavut, and Environment and Climate Change Canada on the recent announcement of the new and larger final boundary for the proposed Tallurutiup Imanga/Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Russia wins in US dispute with Canada

Canadian Forestry News - Wed, 2017-08-23 19:41
Russia has emerged as one of the winners from the trade dispute between Canada and the US over lumber. Source: Bloombergs The US is importing more softwood lumber from overseas after it slapped tariffs on Canadian supplies, making them more expensive. Russian shipments are 42% higher so far in 2017, according to US government data. To be sure, Russia accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total, while European countries such as Germany and Sweden are among the biggest suppliers to the US. But the shift in volumes illustrate how a political spat has quickly altered the flow of international trade. “It seems to be that there’s something illogical that we’re not buying the lumber from our neighbors to the north, that we’re buying it from the Russians,” Jerry Howard, chief executive officer of the National Association of Home Builders, said. “That’s sort of the looking glass that we’ve gone through and that’s what the market is forcing us to do now.” The dispute has increased material costs for house builders in the US by 20%, according to Howard. Lumber futures traded in Chicago have gained 11% this year, among the best performance of all the commodities tracked by Bloomberg. Prices fell 0.6% to US$364 per 1000 board feet at 10:33 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The trade in softwood lumber between the U.S. and Canada has been an intermittent source of friction for years, but tensions escalated in April when the Trump administration set countervailing duties of up to 24% on Canadian imports. Additional duties of as much as 7.7% followed in June. There’s been speculation since then that both sides could resolve their differences before talks this month aimed at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. But so far, it’s remained as speculation. House Building Monthly softwood lumber shipments from Russia totaled 4214 cubic meters in May, the most since January 2008, data from the Us Department of Agriculture show. For the first half of the year, offshore softwood-lumber imports into the US rose 38%, while shipments from Canada declined 1%, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Joshua Zaret. The additional cost of Canadian lumber is not only saddling US consumers with extra costs but threatens to price some of them out of the market, according to Howard. For every US$1,000 price increase of a home, 150,000 people are priced out of the market, he said. “Fewer houses are being built at the moderate price points, and they’re not being built because the cost of lumber puts them out of too much of the consumers’ buying range,” he said.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Structurlam is First Canadian Cross-Laminated Timber Manufacturer to Earn SFI Chain-Of-Custody Certification

Canadian Forestry News - Wed, 2017-08-23 04:00

OTTAWA, ON — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced today that Structurlam is the first Canadian manufacturer of cross-laminated timber (CLT) to be certified to the SFI 2015‑2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard. Structurlam blends the expertise of wood science with the ingenuity of European fabrication to produce mass timber products including CLT, the next-generation of engineered wood products. Structurlam has manufactured CLT for six years and supplied the product to over 350 projects in North America. Extensively tested, the product has vast applications for construction.

Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Conservationists urge government to establish Marine Protected Areas to protect endangered whales

Canadian Forestry News - Wed, 2017-08-09 12:56
According to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), urgent measures need to be taken to protect Canada’s endangered whales. The establishment of marine protected areas that provide much needed protection from vessel noise and ship strike, entanglement with fishing gear, pollution, and oil and gas activities are vital to these and other species’ survival.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

AGM Notice 2017

Canadian Forestry News - Mon, 2017-07-31 09:49
Annual General Meeting Notice 2017
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

UBC Faculty of Forestry seeking world’s best and brightest applicants for $280,000 Future Forests Fellowship

Canadian Forestry News - Tue, 2017-07-25 14:34
The Faculty of Forestry is proud to announce that the Future Forests Fellowship has been renewed for a second 4-year period beginning in September 2018. This prestigious award is the largest in the world for an incoming PhD student, providing $280,000 over 4 years. The Future Forests Fellowship is made possible by a private Canadian […]
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Canada lags the world in land protection, but improved performance possible

Canadian Forestry News - Wed, 2017-07-19 14:13
In its latest annual report on the state of protected areas in Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is calling Canada out for ranking last among G7 countries in the percentage of land and freshwater protected for nature. CPAWS’ 2017 report “From Laggard to Leader? Canada's renewed focus on protecting nature could deliver results,” encourages federal, provincial, and territorial governments to step up their protection efforts in order to conserve Canada’s natural heritage, and deliver on our international commitment.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Let’s Celebrate Parks Day by Reconfirming Our Commitment to Nature

Canadian Forestry News - Fri, 2017-07-14 15:16
Ottawa – Saturday, July 15th is Parks Day across Canada – an annual celebration of the nature and wilderness protected in Canada’s national, provincial, and territorial parks. Parks have been a big part of Canada’s 150 celebrations, with the federal government offering free passes to all national parks in 2017. This has captured Canada’s collective imagination and encouraged Canadians across the country to get outside in their local national park or to travel across the country to the special places they’ve always wanted to see.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News

Canadian Forest Service develops trap to stop spread of emerald ash borer

Canadian Forestry News - Thu, 2017-07-13 12:31

The emerald ash borer has not made its way to Atlantic Canada yet, but researchers at the Canadian Forest Service in Fredericton say they want to be prepared.
Categories: Canadian, Forestry, News