Softwood lumber dispute is bad for consumers and producers

The big losers from the tariff are, without a doubt, American consumers

Softwood lumber dispute is bad for consumers and producersBy Olivier Rancourt and Gabriel Giguere The Canadian softwood lumber dispute with the United States, which has been dragging on for some 40 years now, is long overdue for a resolution. Despite setbacks before WTO and NAFTA tribunals, accusations of subsidized production from American decision-makers and producers continue. The accusations have notably led to the…

Forestry grad harvests his passion for the outdoors into a career

Fergus McSween is applying his new knowledge of forests, plants and animals to help protect them

Forestry grad harvests his passion for the outdoors into a careerFergus McSween loves the outdoors. Growing up in Calgary, he spent much of his youth outside the city, roaming Alberta’s forests as a Scout, on school outdoor education trips, or camping with friends and family. “Nature is so peaceful and tranquil. It’s a place where I can be myself, turn my brain off and just…

How bugs and worms could help restore land after industrial use

‘A whole world under our feet’: soil dwellers offer a fuller picture of how reclamation efforts are working

How bugs and worms could help restore land after industrial useThe tiny creatures teeming in the dirt under our feet don’t seem important, but University of Alberta research is starting to unearth ways some of them could help measure land reclamation efforts. Invertebrates such as worms, mites, centipedes and beetles affect the soil, but they aren’t included in current criteria that help mining, forestry, oil…

Forestry field school gets a makeover for a growing industry

Vital learning experience – a rite of passage for the past 50 years – reimagined for safety and sustainability

Forestry field school gets a makeover for a growing industryBy the time Ben Strelkov started high school, the self-described “city kid” assumed that once he was in the workforce, he’d be confined to an office, doing basically the same thing every workday. His summer job following Grade 10 shattered the illusion. “I spent the whole time in northern Alberta – building trails, helping communities…

Scientists looking to develop new types of trees

Want to develop trees that grow faster, resist insects and disease, and are resilient in a changing climate

Scientists looking to develop new types of treesAs one of Alberta’s leading sectors, forestry relies on healthy trees but, faced with challenges including climate change and environmental sustainability, there's a need for constant improvement. Creating ways to develop fast-growing, well-adapted trees in the province is a task that researcher Barb Thomas and her team of scientists in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences…

New research chair will look into the future of forests

The work of the $4-million endowed position will help inform forest companies as they sustainably manage land for timber and biodiversity

New research chair will look into the future of forestsRobert Froese can tell you the exact moment he knew forestry would be his lifelong career. He was an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia, standing in the forest with his classmates. “My professor went crashing into the woods … and he came back with a big Douglas-fir branch,” said Froese. “It was rainy…

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovation

Uses range from reclaiming wastewater to capturing carbon and decontaminating soil

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovationIt looks like the throwaway scrapings from a barbecue grill, but biochar is fanning the flames of discovery as University of Alberta researchers explore the product’s environmental benefits. The blackened byproduct – created from waste like cow manure, wheat and canola straw, and sawdust produced in Alberta – has many uses that help the environment…

How changing boreal forests could affect caribou

Researchers examine what logging, climate change and other factors mean for caribou populations

How changing boreal forests could affect caribouNew research by University of Alberta biologists paints a clearer picture of how food webs are shifting in response to changing habitats in Canada’s boreal forests, and what it means for dwindling caribou populations. “We know that habitat, prey and predators such as wolves are all pieces of the caribou conservation puzzle, and here we…

Study hopes to find ways to contain spread of mountain pine beetles

Mountain pine beetles can be an important contributor to forest health, but ...

Study hopes to find ways to contain spread of mountain pine beetlesIn a new study aimed at assisting efforts to contain the destructive spread of mountain pine beetles, University of Alberta biologists examined their flight techniques and used genetic information to track how they are spreading through the province. “One of the reasons these beetles have become such a problem is because of the difficulty in…

Energy sector key to reviving post-pandemic Canadian economy

2021 perfect opportunity for the feds to demonstrate its commitment to a sector critical to the Canadian prosperity

Energy sector key to reviving post-pandemic Canadian economyIf only the federal government would put its full force behind the energy sector, as it does other critical sectors in the economy. In early October, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he wouldn’t back down from the latest American round of attacks on Canada’s softwood lumber industry. Then, the federal government announced it would pursue…