Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 27, 2012

Business & Politics

Tembec reports Q1 loss, but sees recovery coming

By Robert Gibbens
Montreal Gazette
January 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Tembec Inc. has overcome technical problems at its Quebec mills and expects pulp prices to recover from their swoon and spur a turnaround in the company’s bottom line, CEO James Lopez said Thursday.  But he would not comment on persistent rumours that Tembec may merge with U.S. specialty pulp producer Buckeye Technologies Inc. or be broken up and sold in pieces. Lopez recently sold Tembec’s Western lumber assets to Canfor, but its stock price languishes at around $3.25.  “Everything’s on the table and we know we could be a takeover target,” he said before Tembec’s annual shareholders’ meeting. “Our mills are part of our portfolio until they’re not … if we have a deal everyone will know at the same time.”

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Norbord posts loss, sees housing market improving

Reuters
January 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canadian wood panels maker Norbord Inc. posted a fourth-quarter loss, hurt in part by low oriented strand boards (OSB) prices, but said the North American housing market was improving.  Norbord, which produces OSBs that are commonly used to sheath roofs, walls and floors, has been grappling with high raw material costs and a weak U.S. housing market.  However, the company sees a brighter North American housing market in 2012. “Early indicators suggest some upside in both demand and price in North America as we move into the first quarter of 2012,” Chief Executive Barrie Shineton said in a statement.

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Sino-Forest keeps OSC in dark about committee’s probe

By Andy Hoffman
Globe and Mail
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Sino-Forest Corp., the embattled timber company facing fraud allegations, has failed to respond to requests by the Ontario Securities Commission for information about its assets and relationships with key business partners in China, according to a senior OSC investigator.  Wayne Vanderlaan, of the OSC’s enforcement branch, said in a sworn affidavit that Sino-Forest has not replied to requests for information, made in a Dec. 7, 2011, letter, regarding claims that the company’s “cash balances, timber assets, book values and revenues” were “verified” by an independent committee of directors.  Mr. Vanderlaan said the OSC letter asked the independent committee “a number of questions” about Sino-Forest’s statement that the committee’s review verified these assets, but the OSC has not received specific responses.

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Tembec far from concerned that investments boosting takeover interest

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – After years deep financial challenges, Tembec’s chief executive says he isn’t concerned that capital investments in green energy and a more profitable product mix may be winning notice from would-be suitors.  “Naturally as we become more and more focused as a company…it raises the possibility (of a takeover),” James Lopez said Thursday during a news conference.  The Montreal-based company has trimmed its operations by no longer producing coated paper, running only one newsprint mill and selling one third of its lumber business.

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Norbord posts lower fourth-quarter as US housing market troubles persist

Canadian Press
January 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

TORONTO – Norbord Inc. posted a loss in the fourth quarter as the wood panel maker continued to be affected by troubles in the U.S. housing market.  The Toronto-based company, which reports results in U.S. dollars, lost $9 million, or 21 cents per share, which was steady with the loss booked a year earlier.

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Burns Lake was facing disaster even before the explosion

by Justine Hunter
Globe and Mail
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After an explosion destroyed the Babine Forest Products sawmill in Burns Lake last week, families in the community lit two candles for missing and injured workers. Then they lit a third candle for the mill itself.  Since the mill opened in 1975 as a joint venture with the local first nations, the village has relied on the mill as its prime source of jobs. Amid the grief and anger over the loss of life and the horrific injuries, there is deep anxiety for the future. …But as he drives along Highway 16 toward the village, Mr. Bell can’t ignore what the people of Burns Lake know all too well: The forest around them is dead or dying. This is the epicentre of the pine beetle epidemic. Any company willing to spend $30-million or more to build a new mill will want assurances that the timber will keep coming for decades. And unless the government is prepared to change the rules, such a commitment seems unlikely.

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Mercer International Inc. Announces NAFTA Claim

by Mercer International
Global Newswire press release
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NEW YORK — Mercer International Inc. MERC today served a Notice of Intent to Submit a Claim to Arbitration on the Government of Canada for breaches by it of its obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Under NAFTA, Mercer’s investments in Canada are to be treated on a basis that is no less favorable than the most favorable treatment afforded to Canadian investors. Mercer’s NAFTA claim (the “Claim”) relates to its investments in its Castlegar pulp mill .  Mercer’s Claim arises from the treatment of the Mill’s energy generation assets and operations by the Province of British Columbia, primarily through the actions of British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, a Provincially owned and controlled enterprise, and the British Columbia Utilities Commission, a Provincial Government regulatory agency. Mercer’s Claim is against Canada, rather than the Province of British Columbia as, under NAFTA, Canada is responsible for the actions of its Provinces.

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Battle continues over log exports and job creation

Campbell River Mirror
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Here’s a puzzler.  Last week, Premier Christy Clark was promising coastal truck loggers she won’t kill jobs by banning raw log exports.  Next week, Jobs Minister Pat Bell will be in Campbell River almost certainly discussing the possibility of building a new sawmill that would need many of those logs currently being shipped to Asia.  The premier set the stage for a raw-boned coastal resource policy dust up when she buttered up members of the coastal Truck Loggers Association in an effort to differentiate herself, the jobs protector, from NDP leader Adrian Dix, the jobs killer.  “Yes, we would all like to get more value out of B.C. wood. But we are not going to get there by supporting Adrian Dix’s latest position on log exports. We are not going to get there by banning them,” Clark told truck logger conventioneers. “Why does Adrian Dix seem so intent on throwing people out of work?”

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Yarrow mill fire caused phone, cable and online disruptions

Chilliwack Progress
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Telephone, cable and Internet service were disrupted in parts of Chilliwack Thursday, after a fire at a Yarrow lumber yard damaged overhead fibre optic lines.  Fire officials say the blaze, which broke out around 3 p.m., was contained to a Quonset structure used to store lumber at the site in the 4400-block of No. 3 Road.  There were no workers on-site at the mill when the fire broke out, and RCMP and Chilliwack Fire officials are investigating.  The intense heat of the fire damaged overhead lines at the east end of the structure, but it was also prevented by fire crews from spreading to the other manufacturing buildings.

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Getting out while the getting’s good

Atlantic Farm Focus
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

[East Mountain, NS] – About 70 forestry workers will be out of the jobs this spring when Hodgson’s Chipping Ltd. closes.  Vaughn Hodgson, general manager of the Pictou Road-based (Nova Scotia) company, said the decision wasn’t an easy one to make.  “It was a decision made based on where the forestry industry is going,” he said Saturday, (Jan. 21) just days after telling the employees about the plans.  “With the new regulations on the industry, I don’t see the pulp mills being able to survive.”

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Terrace Bay Pulp gets CCAA protection

CBC News
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Terrace Bay Pulp is now under the protection of the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act — a federal law that allows financially troubled corporations to restructure and avoid bankruptcy.  The news comes as no surprise, given the company is already looking for a buyer, said Herb Daniher, a spokesperson for the Steelworkers union. It represents the more than 300 mill workers who are currently laid off.  “But certainly the positive thing is that … the mill can be viable under the right circumstances,” Daniher said. “You get somebody there that … has deep enough pockets that can weather the cyclical nature of the industry.”  The mill unions received news of the filing under CCAA Thursday morning.

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CelluForce plant opening “a significant milestone”

By Lynn Moore
Montreal Gazette
January 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

WINDSOR, Que – One of the great hopes for innovation in Canada’s battered forestry sector was officially inaugurated Thursday just outside of this Eastern Townships town.  The $36-million CelluForce facility is the world’s first nanocrystalline cellulose demonstration plant. The nanomaterial, extracted from dried wood fibers, is seen as a product that could add value not only to wood fibers but also to a host of items, ranging from lipsticks to textiles to products used in the aviation and construction industries.  “This is a significant milestone in Canadian innovation history,” Pierre Lapointe, CEO of FPInnovations, a non-profit research institute, told several hundred people at the plant’s opening.

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Redman welcomes Deanmill workers’ return

ABC News, Australia
January 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Minister for Forestry, Terry Redman, says the return of workers to Manjimup’s Deanmill is encouraging for the town.  Dozens of timber workers lost their jobs when Gunns Limited closed the mill early last year.  Auswest Timbers, which bought the mill in December, switched its saws back on last week, employing 31 new workers, with plans to employ 20 more in March.

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China invests to meet booming paper demand

Labels & Labeling
January 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

China’s enormous hunger for paper, including packaging and label papers, is driving the country to raise domestic production.  Paper was invented in China during the Han Dynasty in 105 AD and in 740 AD the first newspaper was printed there. Through trade and war the skill made its way through the Middle East and into Europe where Johann Guttenberg invented the printing press in 1453. Now the material is everywhere. …The nation’s domestic consumption of paper has risen 121 percent since 2000 and national demand probably surpassed 100 million tons in 2010. With the economy growing at 10 percent per year, it has been hard for the domestic Chinese forestry industry to keep up with demand, and pulp imports increased by over 43 percent between 2008-2009. By 2015 the country’s timber consumption is expected to reach 340 million square meters, over twice China’s annual production.

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Georgia-Pacific completes sale of two mills in Italy

Pulp and Paper News
January 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Georgia-Pacific has announced that it has completed the sale of the legal entity in Italy to Cartiera Lucchese (Lucart Group). A definitive agreement for the sale was announced last November and this closing concludes the sale process.  The sale includes the mills located at Castelnuovo and Avigliano, the Italian brands Tutto and Tenderly, related assets and administrative support functions and offices. The agreement also includes a 12-month license for the distribution of differentiated Lotus Professional products owned by Georgia-Pacific EMEA Away-from-Home as well as an exclusive distribution agreement for Georgia-Pacific’s Demak’Up products in Italy for one year.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Nelson wood policy full of problems

Letter to Nelson Star
January 26, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wood strategy course set by council earlier this month is one fraught with many downside risks to Nelson taxpayers, notwithstanding the proponents attempt to clothe it in a green robe. More surprising is that the motion found favour amongst the rest of council. This motion is regressive, anti-competitive, and will foist unneeded regulatory and bureaucratic costs to a city that can ill-afford them. It also has the potential to favour businesses that cater to Councillor Batycki’s proprietary notion of what, and who is sustainable. In fact, I find it laughable, when she says and I quote, “those that are truly sustainable.”

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SFI Teams up with McGraw Hill to Launch Continuing Education Unit for Architects and Builders

SFI Good For Forests blog
January 27, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Architects and builders can learn more about the benefits of using certified wood in green building thanks to a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) sponsored by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. It also demonstrates how government agencies support an inclusive approach to certification and how even LEED Pilot Credit 43 offers an opportunity for SFI-certified wood.  The unit – Certified Wood Branches Out: Forest Certification’s Evolving Role in Green Building Rating Systems – is featured in the January-February 2012  issue of GreenSource Magazine, which is published by McGraw Hill and goes to 45,000 green design and construction professionals.

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Forestry

Toilet paper ecolabels confuse Canadians

CBC News
January 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A Marketplace investigation reveals that while a majority of Canadians surveyed believe that a sustainable forestry logo on toilet paper means that no clear cutting takes place — this is not the case.  …However, SFI, as do other certification programs, allows for companies to engage in clearcutting, a controversial practice in which all the trees in one area are cut down. But SFI does set some conditions. The clearcut must be of a certain size and there must be a plan to grow the forest back.  “It’s not about trying to sell more tissue with the SFI label on. It’s just to communicate to the consumer that we have good forestry management,” Irving Tissue president Robert Irving said. …Jamie Simpson, a member of the New Brunswick Association of Registered Professional Foresters, and critic of SFI, said the logo doesn’t mean very much.  “Not very much at all. This is typical of many of the certified SFI companies, typical of their practices that I’ve seen in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, this whole tree clear-cut harvesting,” he said.

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Bragg Creek trail users voice logging project feedback

Project would impact 19 out of 21 trails in the area
CBC News
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is a battle brewing between outdoor enthusiasts and a Cochrane-based logging company.  Spray Lake Sawmills is planning to cut down seven kilometres of trees just west of Bragg Creek.  This would affect 19 of 21 trails in the area that are used for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing.  An open house was held Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Bragg Creek Community Centre.

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Province seeks pine-beetle reforestation partners

BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations press release
January 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Private investors are being offered a chance to create forestry jobs, fight global warming and reduce their carbon footprint under an innovative silviculture partnership sponsored by the B.C. government, Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.  The ministry has issued a request for proposals from parties interested in replanting Crown land damaged by wildfires, pine beetle and other factors not related to commercial timber harvesting.  The request for proposals is available at: www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca  Interested parties have until Thursday, March 8, 2012 to submit their proposals.

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Professional foresters told to exercise caution when accessing government on-line data

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. professional foresters are being sent a special notice warning them to ensure they are accurately accessing a critical provincial forestry database or risk running afoul of provincial regulations.  The special notice follows a Vancouver Sun story last month revealing how a logging company cut inside an old-growth management area based on the mistaken advice of an Interior forester.  Although the province refused to take disciplinary action in the case, the Association of BC Forest Professionals has an ongoing investigation into the forester’s action.  Association spokeswoman Amanda Brittain said Thursday the special notice is being sent this month to 5,500 members, who, under the Foresters Act, are responsible for advising logging companies on proper harvesting practices.

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Concerns expressed over clear-cutting proposal

By Tamara Gignac
Calgary Herald
January 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hundreds of people packed a Bragg Creek community centre Thursday night to share their concerns about a proposal to clear cut more than 700 hectares of trees in the popular recreation area.  According to a forest management agreement between the province and Spray Lake Sawmills, the Cochrane-based company has the rights to harvest timber in the region provided it follows guidelines set by Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. …”I can’t say I have all the answers, but there are other models. If you look at Banff or Jasper, there was wildfire mitigation without significant clear cutting,” said longtime area resident Peter Tucker.  “For us, the biggest issue is there hasn’t been any significant dialogue.”

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Big turnout for Bragg Creek meeting

CTV News
January 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The two sides in a debate over a controversial logging plan in Bragg Creek met at a public meeting in the community on Thursday night.  On one side, the province says that logging is necessary for the area to protect it from forest fires but on the other, residents say it will destroy a beloved trail system.  Hundreds of people turned out to speak their mind at the Bragg Creek Centre on Thursday night, and the turnout made opponents to the idea very happy. “It gladdens my heart to see this many people who are interested.”  Rick Arthur, who has 38 years of experience with wildfires, says the province’s plan is to log a series of firebreaks and despite the recreational area, the province says it’s a key part of keeping the community safe. “I’m very very concerned about Bragg Creek from the threat of Wildfire.”

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Officials vow to protect vulnerable species in St. Bruno

by Michelle Lalonde,
Montreal Gazette
January 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Officials with Quebec’s environment ministry said Thursday they are well aware of the presence of several threatened or vulnerable plant species in the Forêt des hirondelles in St. Bruno, and will ensure they are protected even as a developer turns that forest into a residential neighbourhood.  Residents and conservation groups have been fighting Senator Paul J. Massicotte’s project to build 30 luxury homes in the forest, which is adjacent to Mont St. Bruno provincial park. They were horrified to see heavy machinery move in earlier this week, as an engineering firm began analyzing the soil and terrain in preparation for the project.

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Obama administration releases new national forest management rules

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
January 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A proposed planning rule for managing national forests puts new emphasis on watershed health and recreation, but also strives to keep loggers in the woods, U.S. Forest Service officials said Thursday.  The national rule will guide local forest supervisors when they make their more specific forest management plans. Those plans govern where trees can be cut, the kinds of wildlife to watch out for, activities allowed in campgrounds and the backcountry, and how people can challenge forest decisions.  “The rule needs to take into consideration those multiple uses, be resilient to climate change over time, focus on restoration of forest health, reduce the threat of catastrophic fires and supply timber products to local mills,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said during a conference call Thursday.  The meeting unveiled the final environmental impact statement on the proposed plan. After it’s published in the Federal Register on Feb. 3, a final version of the rule will be selected by Vilsack within 30 days.

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New forest guidelines revealed; effects on some industries still unclear

By David Benda
The Record Searchlight
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Federal officials on Thursday unveiled new rules to manage the nation’s 193 million acres of National Forest they say will deliver stronger protections for lands, water and wildlife.  The forest planning rules will seek to do that through best available science and collaboration, especially with stakeholders at the local level, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said during a conference call with reporters.  “It relies on sound science,” he said.  The new rules also will help produce jobs in the forest industry by supplying timber to local mills, Vilsack said. …Sierra Pacific Industries spokesman Mark Pawlicki said the Anderson company in the days ahead will have to digest the guidelines to determine what they will mean to the timber firm.  “We will have people going through it,” Pawlicki said. “Down the road a little bit we will know more about it.”

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Forest Service set to adopt planning rule governing operations on national forests and grasslands

by Eric Mortenson
The Oregonian
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The federal government is about 30 days away from adopting a planning rule that describes how to manage 193 million acres of forests and grasslands.  The planning rule, which would govern U.S. Forest Service operations on the Mount Hood National Forest and more than 125 others throughout Oregon and the nation, was proposed in December 2009 and has been through the public wringer: 63 hearings and more than 325,000 comments.  ,,,Initial reaction has been muted.  Tom Partin, president of the American Forest Resources Council in Portland, said his organization is reviewing the plan.  …”It appears the Obama administration has provided a welcome vision for America’s wildlands, wildlife, and water,” spokesman Rob Klavins said in a prepared statement. However, the plan lacks clarity and enforcability, he said.

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Obama administration unveils new plan for national forests (with video)

Los Angeles Times
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

New guidelines to manage some 193 million acres of national forest lands will focus on protecting watersheds and wildlife and will require a tougher scientific standard in balancing the competing demands of industry and conservation groups, the Obama administration announced on Thursday.  The guidelines, known as a forest planning rule, were unveiled during a telephone news conference by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. The planning rule will replace the old framework, which has been the center of legal battles for years. …Vilsack and Tidwell said they hope the new rule will face less litigation.  “I think it’s a solid rule and done in a collaborative, open and transparent way,” Vilsack said. More than 300,000 comments on the draft proposal were received and evaluated, he said.

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New U.S. Forest Rules May Ease Lumber, Environmental Conflicts

Bloomberg
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Jan. 26 — New rules for managing the nation’s national forests will require the best available science to balance recreation and conservation interests with those of loggers and miners, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.  The plan, unveiled today, recognize that the 193 million acres in the U.S. forest system are used for a variety of purposes, Vilsack said in a statement in an e-mailed statement. The proposal will be published in the Federal Register on Feb. 3 and may take affect later this year.

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Reports say Logging Industry on the rise, East Texas experts say otherwise

KETKnbc.com
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

CHEROKEE COUNTY – Year round, timber companies are looking to meet demand, and with the recent study that says the industry is growing rapidly, the signs should be all over East Texas.  And while some say the recent fires have left plenty of salvageable wood, for East Texas logging companies what’s needed, experts say, is a strong housing market.  Matt Morris with Morris Timber Holdings Incorporated tells KETK, “East Texas it’s steady, the housing market is a big factor in our business, with the housing market down and not as much lumber is being moved and sold so, I’d say it’s steady here in East Texas.”

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Forest policy affects acequias

Acequia association head wary of impact on traditional communities
Santa Fe New Mexican
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Northern New Mexico’s Acequia del Llano de San Juan Nepomuceno is the kind of place where sweeping federal policy changes get up close and personal.  It’s the kind of place Paula Garcia, executive director of the New Mexico Acequia Association and president of the Mora Land Grant, will be thinking about as she reads the new federal forest management rules unveiled Thursday by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  The rules are intended to govern the management of 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands, establishing a new blueprint to guide everything from logging to recreation and renewable energy development.

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Environmental groups plan to sue over state forest logging

Tillamook Headlight Herald
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A coalition of environmental groups issued a 60-day notice of intent to sue the state of Oregon to prevent the planned increase in logging in several state forests, including Tillamook State Forest. The groups allege that increasing logging in the forest violates the U.S. Endangered Species Act’s protection of the marbled murrelet, a small seabird. The lawsuit could have a huge impact on Tillamook County, which received 20 percent of its general operation funds from state forest timber harvests in the 2010-2011 budget year.  The lawsuit comes at a bad time for Tillamook County – the end of Secure Rural Schools program, which had helped make up for revenue lost as logging decreased in the county’s federal forests.

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Lawmakers remain confident of timber counties fix

by Jeff Barnard
Associated Press
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Members of Oregon’s congressional delegation recognize they face an uphill battle on legislation to forge short- and long-term solutions to the fiscal problems facing timber counties, but they said Thursday they remain confident they can pull it off once again. …Oregon members of Congress are pushing a two-pronged solution. In the Senate, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., wants to temporarily extend federal safety net payments to timber counties while a long-term solution is worked out. In the House, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., is working on legislation to ease environmental rules to allow more logging on national forests. Though each could pass the chamber it starts in, each faces tough prospects in the other.

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ForestEthics Launches Petition & Website — www.WeWillNotBeSilenced.ca —

by ForestEthics
Canadian News Wire press release
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, Canada

VANCOUVER – After a month of escalating rhetoric from the Harper government and oil industry front groups and confirmation today from internal government documents that the government explicitly identified environmental and aboriginal groups as “adversaries” in its strategy to increase tar sands exports, ForestEthics has launched a petition calling on Canadians to tell the Prime Minister that they won’t be bullied into silence on issues that effect their communities, coast, province or environment.   “Canadian civil society is under threat from the intimidation tactics coming out of the Prime Minister’s office, and Canadians are insulted by insinuations from the Minister of Natural Resources that they are merely ‘bodies’ being ‘stacked’ by foreign interests” said Nikki Skuce of ForestEthics. “We are no one’s puppets and as Canadians will not take threats to democracy lying down.”

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No ash borers found during bark-peeling workshops

Bangor Daily News
January 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Forest Service insect experts say bark-peeling workshops aimed at finding evidence of tree-killing bugs found no evidence of the insects.  Using a method reminiscent of an old-fashioned husking bee, entomologists held two bark-peeling workshops that concluded this week. They looked for evidence of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect threatening Maine’s forests.  The results were just what entomologists were hoping for: no sign of the borers.

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Money coming for tree planting

West Jackson Street among target sites
Battle Creek Enquirer
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Calhoun County is getting money to help replenish the local tree population decimated by the invasive emerald ash borer.  The $80,000 grant is all but finalized, Suzanne Ebright of the Calhoun Conservation District said Thursday. The sites targeted for replanting include a stretch along West Jackson Street in Battle Creek that the city cleared earlier this month.  Along with Battle Creek, public spots around the city of Marshall and the villages of Athens, Homer and Tekonsha will see new trees over the next two years, Ebright said.

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Lawmakers propose restoring Ark. forestry jobs

Associated Press
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Lawmakers on Thursday recommended restoring 20 firefighters to the financially troubled Arkansas Forestry Commission, but declined to back a tax increase as a way to pay for the new jobs.  The recommendation from a panel formed to look at the agency’s budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 doesn’t include a proposal to pay for the positions. The commission laid off 34 workers earlier this month to close a $4 million shortfall.  The proposal, which goes before the Joint Budget Committee next week, doesn’t recommend an increase in a tax that private forestland owners pay as a way to fund the jobs. State Forester John Shannon told lawmakers Thursday that raising the fire protection tax from 15 cents an acre to 20 cents could raise $675,000 a year and pay for 21 additional positions at the agency.

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Big trees, like the old-growth forests they inhabit, are declining globally

Mongabay.com
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Already on the decline worldwide, big trees face a dire future due to habitat fragmentation, selective harvesting by loggers, exotic invaders, and the effects of climate change, warns an article published this week in New Scientist magazine.  Reviewing research from forests around the world, William F. Laurance, an ecologist at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, provides evidence of decline among the world’s “biggest and most magnificent” trees and details the range of threats they face. He says their demise will have substantial impacts on biodiversity and forest ecology, while worsening climate change.

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Thousands battle forest fire in southwestern China

Associated Press
January 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Thousands of fire fighters are battling a blaze in the forest near the
famed southwestern Chinese tourist town of Lijiang.  State media say
investigators were looking into the cause of the fire. While all visible
flames had been extinguished by Friday morning, high winds continued to
pose a threat of re-igniting sparks and hot spots.  The Xinhua News
Agency said the blaze broke out Thursday morning and burned about 111
acres (45 hectares) around Lijiang’s famous Yulong Snow Mountain. About
3,000 people were fighting the blaze, including paramilitary troops and
volunteers.  Lijiang, in Yunnan province, is famous for its high
mountain scenery and the unique culture of the Naxi people.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Forest Owners to EPA: Seek Practical Approaches to Biomass Carbon Accounting

National Alliance of Forest Owners Blog
January 27, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – Today the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) urged the EPA’s Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel, convened to review the carbon benefits of using wood and other biomass for energy, to seek science- based approaches to accounting for biomass carbon emissions that are consistent with real-world forest practices in the U.S.  NAFO’s recommendations respond to the Panel’s draft recommendations on EPA’s Accounting Framework for Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources.  “Our best advice to the science panel is to be practical and stay on course,” said Dave Tenny, President and CEO of NAFO

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