Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 2, 2012

Business & Politics

Why SinoForest’s web is so hard to untangle The Globe and Mail

by Tim Kildaze
Globe and Mail
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Sino-Forest Corp.’s committee of independent directors released its final report overnight, and rather than offer definitive conclusions from its seven month investigation, the document included little in the way of answers.  In part, the committee was in a bind because it signed an agreement with bondholders to release its final report no later than Jan. 31, regardless of what was still pending. The directors made this deadline with just a few hours to spare. But even if it had more time, the committee implied there was a good chance it wouldn’t be able to offer up any more information. Much of what remains unanswered must come from third-party suppliers and brokers, and the committee can’t force the people behind these companies to cough up information.

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Ottawa may extend programs to foster innovation in forestry industry: minister

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – Ottawa may extend programs designed to help the forest products industry innovate and adjust to challenges that have eliminated thousands of jobs, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Wednesday.  “There may be continuation of some programs that currently exist,” the Toronto MP told reporters during Paper Week in Montreal.  The Conservative government has spent more than $1.5 billion on the industry over the last five years, mainly by encouraging renewable energy projects that have created more than 200 megawatts of electricity.  Oliver said additional support could be provided, but declined to identify programs or say if any money will be included in the coming budget, expected in March.

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Sino-Forest: a prolonged moan from the investigators

Macleans
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Recommended to those following the Sino-Forest story: the final report from the independent committee empanelled by the company’s board of directors to investigate the company’s claimed assets and its relationships with suppliers. I have to say the report confirms what I thought in June: the issue with Sino-Forest is not necessarily fraud, but with the practical impossibility of confirming almost anything about its secretive business model. The committee did confirm that Sino-Forest’s cash holdings had been reported accurately, and was able to follow some selected title claims to timber more or less back to the actual trees. But with some extra emphasis on the “less”.

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Questions remain as panel winds up Sino-Forest probe

Reuters
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

 A final report into fraud allegations at Sino-Forest Corp left many questions unanswered, with scant new detail on the value of its timber holdings or its opaque ties with suppliers. The report by an internal committee, released late on Tuesday, is unlikely to pacify investors, who have been clamoring for answers since June, when short-seller Carson Block and his Muddy Waters firm likened the Canadian-listed Sino-Forest to a “ponzi scheme” and accused it of inflating the size of its Chinese forestry assets.

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Watsa embroiled in takeover dispute

Financial Post
January 31, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Prem Watsa, a savvy yet private investor thrust into the limelight for his faith in embattled Canadian tech darling Research In Motion Ltd. this month, could take centre stage in an arguably more controversial corporate shakeup next week.  Mr. Watsa is expected to appear before Quebec regulators Tuesday to answer questions about the takeover of tiny pulp-and-paper company Fibrek Inc. by Abitibi Bowater Inc., one of Canada’s oldest firms in the sector and which now operates under the name Resolute Forest Products.  His firm, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., is in a unique position in the saga. It is a major shareholder in both forest-products firms and has backed the takeover by Abitibi/Resolute, which is being fought tooth and nail by Fibrek’s management and board.

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Harper Government Secures Jobs Through Forest Sector Innovation and Renewal

MarketWatch press release
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL, QUEBEC — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today addressed representatives of Canada’s forest industry at a luncheon speech at PaperWeek 2012 in Montreal. The Minister highlighted the importance of partnerships, innovation and market expansion to the future of Canada’s forest industry in helping to sustain jobs in rural communities across the country. “Our Government’s top priority remains the economy,” said Minister Oliver. “We continue to invest in communities and initiatives that will make Canadian forest products even more attractive in the global marketplace. With the economic recovery still fragile, we continue to take action to protect and create important forest sector jobs across Canada.”

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Sino-Forest – Still no Closure

Wall Street Journal
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Yet another long-awaited Sino-Forest Corp. report is out. If anyone was looking for closure, they might be disappointed. As the WSJ reports Wednesday, with the release of its third and final report, the independent committee tasked with investigating fraud allegations at the Chinese timber company has failed to answer any of the key questions surrounding its accounting first raised by short-seller Muddy Waters last year. (Read the full report by the independent committee here.) The company announced its first interim report in August, and a second one in November. In a statement, Sino-Forest said that following the release of the second report, the independent committee believed its work was “substantially complete” but there were still some outstanding issues to be answered.

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Probe fails to solve Sino-Forest mystery

Globe and Mail
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

After eight months and more than $35-million, the mystery of Sino-Forest Corp. is no closer to being solved. An independent committee investigating fraud allegations at the TSX-listed company has failed to provide definitive answers regarding the timber firm’s assets and relationships with key business partners. In a report released early Wednesday the committee conceded that after spending millions of dollars over several months it could not unravel the complex web of Sino-Forest’s dealings with its timber suppliers, nor could it get to the bottom of the company’s relationships with the brokers who sell its trees to customers in mainland China.

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Sino-Forest report leaves unanswered questions

CBC News
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Sino-Forest Corp. has released the final report from an independent committee investigating allegations of fraud against the Chinese timberland company — but still several key questions were left unanswered. The report disputed the allegations of fraud, but also did not fully address issues raised about the value of its forestry assets or questions about certain relationships between the company and its suppliers. Sino-Forest says it has hired consultants to determine the value of its assets, but did not give a timeline for when that would be completed.

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CanWel Completes Northwest Wood Preservers Acquisition

by CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd.
Marketwire press release
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. (“CanWel” or the “Company”) (TSX:CWX)(TSX:CWX.DB) is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of NorthWest Wood Preservers’ (the “Vendor”) assets including the Vendor’s lumber pressure treating plant and related equipment and property (the “Plant”).  The Plant is located in Prince George, British Columbia and has been a supplier to CanWel. As a result of this acquisition, CanWel’s assets now include four operating treating plants and 18 distribution centres strategically located across Canada. The purchase price for the Plant has been satisfied fully in cash from the Company’s existing credit facilities.

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Williams Lake lacks trades people, says mill plant manager

Wiliams Lake Tribune
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is a lack of trades people and an inability to train people in Williams Lake, says Tolko Industries Ltd. plant manager Ryan Oliver.  Reporting to members at the Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce luncheon Jan. 26, Oliver said if industry wants to start an apprenticeship locally with employees, they have to be sent as far away as Cranbrook.  It doesn’t seem right, he said, adding there are a few different trades that are in jeopardy right now.

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Burns Lake’s Comfor Management Services Ltd. board remuneration discussion tabled

Burns Lake Lakes District News
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Nov. 1. 2011 request by Comfor Management Services Ltd. (CMSL) director Wesley Sam to review the board’s stipends has been tabled by the board. The topic has been bumped from several agenda’s due to board member absences, and again, during the board meeting last week the topic was put off for discussion at a later date. Quentin Beach, CMSL president said that as Sam was absent from the meeting, any discussion about the topic should wait.

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Alberta issues notice about fire-resistant products

CBC News
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province wants municipalities to immediately impose tougher standards for fire-resistant sheets that already have been installed on hundreds of new houses in Alberta. CBC News has learned Alberta Municipal Affairs is issuing a notice today to every safety-code inspector in the province. The notice recommends they increase regulation of oriented strand board, or OSB, coated with a fire-resistant paint, to ensure it meets fire-safety standards. …“What we’re saying is, it appears right now from the information we have, that OSB sheathing with a fire-resistant coating on it, at this point, what is on the market, may not meet that standard,” Alberta Municipal Affairs spokesman Parker Hogan told CBC News in an exclusive interview.

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Rapid response team arrives in Burns Lake

Burns Lake Lakes District News
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Following several meetings in Burns Lake last Friday, Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said they have high hopes for the economic future of Burns Lake.  Bell is leading the charge with a rapid response team which is also comprised of local area First Nations and community stakeholders, to deal with the economic aftermath of the explosion and fire at Babine Forest Products on Jan. 20, 2012. He said the province will be looking at all available options for a possible increase to the local area’s timber supply.

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Worksafe BC report points to high dust concentrations in Burns Lake’s Babine Forest Products sawmill basement

Burns Lake Lakes District News
February 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With no official answers on the cause of the Jan. 20, 2012 sawmill explosion and fire at Babine Forest Products expected for months, a number of theories about what could have caused such a large explosion and intense fire have surfaced.  Among them, the possibilities of a gas explosion or a combustible dust explosion.  A Dec. 28, 2011 WorkSafe BC report notes that pine wood dust levels in the sawmill’s basement were in excess of the acceptable exposure level for employee’s health sand safety. The report also said the current ventilation systems and water misters were not adequately protecting some workers.

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No word on sales process at St. Marys

The Sault Star
January 31, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The sale of bankrupt St. Marys Paper Corp., underway for two weeks, has quietly entered the second phase of a quick-moving process. Letters of intent from prospective bidders, according to sales protocol, were to have been filed with the court-appointed receiver, Ernst & Young, late Monday afternoon and upon review applicants advancing into the next phase of the process were to have been notified Tuesday. Ernst & Young failed to return telephone calls to The Sault Star on Tuesday regarding the number of bidders still involved, and whether the survivors favoured continuing mill operations or liquidation.

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Gunns withdraws legal challenge

ABC News, Australia
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian timber company Gunns has abandoned an attempt to have a case surrounding the permits for its $2.2 billion pulp mill thrown out of court. The Tasmanian Conservation Trust launched a legal challenge last October based on an argument that the permits for the Tamar Valley mill had lapsed. The permits required Gunns to have started substantial work on the project. The trust is arguing that is not the case. Last November, Gunns tried to put a permanent stay on proceedings but has withdrawn the application. The case is now likely to go to trial in April.

END

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Which is greener, paper or plastic? You might be surprised

Globe and Mail
February 1, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

The shoppers at Toronto’s Blue Banana Market can choose from the wares of more than a dozen merchants, but when they make a purchase, it will be handed over to them in a paper bag.  “When we first started, we made a conscious effort to use 100-per-cent recycled paper bags,” said owner Michael Horwitz, who rents space to merchants in his gift and card shop in Kensington Market. “We wanted to help the environment in that way. We weren’t interested in using grocery store-style plastic bags.” Yet over the past few years, various studies have indicated that the carbon footprint of the biodegradable paper bag is no smaller than that of its now criticized cousin, the plastic carrier bag. The question has left many retailers in a quandary: Should they offer one or the other, or both?

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Eco Building Products Now Available Coast to Coast

Via PR Newswire
New York Times
January 31, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

VISTA, Calif. – Eco Building Products, Inc. announced today that the Company has started delivery of Eco Red Shield™protected lumber to build the dream home of Gregory Artura and Patricia D’Alessio inLitchfield County, Connecticut. Having made the choice to utilize Eco Red Shield Lumber over one year ago the Atura’s did not seem so concerned about breaking ground during the winter months. ECOB is now delivering protected lumber on the east coast with the first homeowner to build with Eco’s Red Shield Protection from mold, wood-rot, termites and fire. Recently several homes have burned in the Connecticut area; people no longer need to build with unprotected lumber now that Eco Red Shield lumber products are available in this market.  

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Prefab Podhouse provides for a winter escape or backyard office

Gizmag
January 31, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Swiss design firm ROB GmbH (Robust Outdoor Brands), which created the portable kitchen unit Cuebe, has come up with a simple low-impact housing solution. Named the PODhouse, these prefabricated modules create a great sustainable micro home for the garden, a backyard office or even a secret holiday hideaway. …The PODhouse idea was originally conceived to improve the popular holiday adventure experience of camping during the winter months in the Swiss Alps. The Pods have been thus made using FSC certified wood and are made to withstand the elements whilst also minimizing any impact on the surrounding environment.

Click any image in the story for a great slide show!

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Forestry

Groundhogs happy to snooze winter away

The Chronicle Journal
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

If you have a notion today to stare across some snow-covered, wide open space for a chance to spot a groundhog pondering his shadow, think again. Sure, today is Groundhog Day. But experts who know a thing or two about the furry critters say you’ll be squinting from snowblindness long before you see one. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a report of a groundhog coming out of its den (in winter),” Lakehead University wildlife technologist Don Barnes said Wednesday. “They’re sleeping right now, because there’s nothing to eat — that’s why they (hibernate),” chuckled Barnes, who has been studying animal behaviour and forestry issues at LU for nearly four decades.

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4 Castle logging protesters arrested

Environmentalists and locals had set up a protest camp in January to block loggers
CBC News
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Four people have been arrested at a logging protest near the Crowsnest Pass in the southwest corner of Alberta.  When RCMP arrived, about 50 people — including protesters, police, media and officials from the Alberta government’s Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) — were at the site. A protest camp was first set up last month to block access to logging roads in the area. Last week, people were served notice that they were considered trespassers.  RCMP said most of the protesters voluntarily left on their own today. Four others were arrested and taken to a local RCMP detachment and released. No charges were laid.

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RCMP make four arrests during Castle logging protest

Calgary Herald
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Four adults protesting the Castle logging project in southwest Alberta were arrested Wednesday morning for allegedly ignoring a court order to vacate the site.  About 50 people, including protesters, members of the media, and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development representatives, were on scene when two RCMP officers arrived shortly after 8 a.m., said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Patrick Webb.  Three of the protesters refused to leave the logging site and were arrested without incident. A fourth was apprehended several minutes later. “It was as co-operative an arrest as it could be,” Webb said. The four individuals are expected to appear in a Calgary courtroom on Feb. 24.

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Trees ready to go but workers missing at planting time

The Kamloops Daily News
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s silviculture industry is trying to stop what a leader described as the sucking sound of workers going to Alberta. Members of the Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association met Wednesday in Kamloops to discuss issues and trends in the sector, which includes tree planting, brushing and spacing. Association executive director John Betts told members that with 40 million more trees expected to be put in the ground this year, the industry is facing a shortage of workers for the first time. The industry is suffering from a declining number of young workers, its core population, due to demographics and competition from Alberta’s oil and gas sector, what Betts called “that huge sucking sound.

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Opponents at loggerheads in Castle

Wilderness protest continues despite arrests
Fast Forward Weekly
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

RCMP officers arrested three men protesting logging in the Castle-Crown wilderness area on February 1 for trespassing on land licensed to Spray Lake Sawmills. The three men had been served with injunctions two days prior.  Jim Palmer, Mike Judd and Reynold Reimer were taken into custody in what is described as a good-natured arrest at a public protest site in the wilderness area west of Pincher Creek.  Peter Sherrington of Stop Castle Logging says RCMP arrived with coffee and doughnuts, and were met by approximately 35 protestors from the area and as far away as Calgary and Lethbridge.  “It was a quintessential Canadian moment; Tim Hortons muffins and coffee served by the RCMP at eight in the morning,” says Sherrington.

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Ottawa’s love-hate relationship with trees

A new exhibit explores our arboreal exploits throughout the city’s past, writes Tom Spears
Ottawa Citizen
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new Bytown Museum exhibit traces our curious relationship with trees in the city: We plant too many, cut some down, choose new species as fashions change, and cut others down for infill.  Then we plant all over again.  Joanna Dean is a history professor at Carleton University who wanted her research on trees to reach beyond “a small group of like-minded academics.”  That led her to the Bytown Museum, beside the Rideau Canal’s north end – oddly, right beside an area where she has studied the trees. Her research led her to the early attempts (in the 1930s) to reforest and stabilize the slope behind Parliament Hill, along Lovers’ Walk.

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Forest Service, BLM crews work NH prescribed burns

Black Hills Pioneer
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

NORTHERN HILLS — Where there’s smoke there’s fire. But three fires in the Northern Hills the past couple weeks were started on purpose, so residents should not be alarmed. Crews from the Bureau of Land Management and Black Hills National Forest have conducted prescribed burns near Sturgis and at the “Big Hill” area southwest of Spearfish. Crews are planning a third burn Wednesday or Thursday of this week near Brownsville, according to Forest Service officials.

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Forest Service, environmental group settle timber sale dispute

Longview Daily News
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest and a conservation group have settled a dispute over a 2,800-acre timber sale southeast of Mount St. Helens. On Wednesday, the Gifford Pinchot Task Force, a local conservation group, and the Forest Service announced an agreement to settle an appeal from a Federal District Court ruling in a lawsuit brought by the Task Force. In 2010, the group challenged the Wildcat Thin Timber Sale in the Muddy River and Pine Creek drainages. The area was clear-cut in the 1960s and 1970s, then replanted. The Forest Service planned the thinning sale because the area has become overgrown, and trees are dying or stunted from too much competition.

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New rule could protect forest watersheds

Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Department of Agriculture announced a new plan Thursday that could protect watersheds and wildlife on almost 200 million acres of national forest nationwide. …Under the new rule, any land-use decisions on national forests will have to include components that restore and maintain grasslands and forests. Plans for land use will also include provisions protecting wildlife habitat, water quality and watersheds. The proposed rule maintains the public hearing process through which forest land-use plans are vetted before approval.

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Colorado State Forest Service: Larimer County Saw Greatest Bark Beetle Impacts in 2011

Colorado State University News press release
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FORT COLLINS – The Colorado State Forest Service and U.S. Forest Service this week released the results of an annual aerial insect and disease survey in Colorado, which indicate that the most significant forest health concern continues to be the spread of the mountain pine beetle. For the second consecutive year, the northern Front Range experienced the highest mortality rates affecting ponderosa, lodgepole and five-needle pine trees. In Larimer County alone, 587,000 acres showed some level of active infestation last year.  More than 3.3 million acres have been impacted by mountain pine beetles in Colorado since the first signs of the outbreak in 1996.

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Yellow-cedar are dying in Alaska: Scientists now know why

USDA Forest Service Press Release
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. – Yellow-cedar, a culturally and economically valuable tree in southeastern Alaska and adjacent parts of British Columbia, has been dying off across large expanses of these areas for the past 100 years. But no one could say why—until now.  “The cause of tree death, called yellow-cedar decline, is now known to be a form of root freezing that occurs during cold weather in late winter and early spring, but only when snow is not present on the ground,” explains Pacific Northwest Research Station scientist Paul Hennon, co-lead of a synthesis paper recently published in the February issue of the journal BioScience. “When present, snow protects the fine, shallow roots from extreme soil temperatures. The shallow rooting of yellow-cedar, early spring growth, and its unique vulnerability to freezing injury also contribute to this problem.”  Yellow-cedar decline affects about 60 to 70 percent of trees in forests covering 600,000 acres in Alaska and British Columbia.

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Environmental groups propose plan to replace federal forest payments to Oregon counties

by Eric Mortenson
The Oregonian
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A coalition of environmental groups, hoping to head off congressional action they believe would increase unsustainable logging, propose a three-prong approach for replacing federal forest payments to hard-hit Oregon counties.  The groups called Wednesday for “shared responsibility” in solving the severe budget problems facing 18 rural Oregon counties that are among those that lost federal payments last year. They said the state, federal government and the counties themselves could each provide a third of the estimated $110 million needed annually to sustain services:  The state would increase the harvest tax assessed to private forest owners to $9.21 per 1,000 board feet from $3.21, and disperse revenue to the counties.

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Group questions Poliquin’s use of forestry tax break

Kennebec Journal
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA — Maine’s Majority, a frequent critic of Gov. Paul LePage, is raising questions about Treasurer Bruce Poliquin’s use of the Maine Tree Growth Tax program to lower his property taxes. In a news release sent out today, the group alleges that it “is unclear whether Poliquin’s use of the land actually upholds the requirements of the law.”  The group presents documents that show Poliquin enrolled 10 acres of a 12.3-acre waterfront peninsula in the program in 2004. The assessed value of the land portion of the property at his Georgetown home was $1.8 million before he qualified for the tax break, according to documents posted by the group.

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Forestry commission warns of fire conditions, aggressive penalties

WMBF News
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

HORRY COUNTY, SC – Warm temperatures in South Carolina this winter, combined with dry weather and low humidity are making it easier for brush fires to spread. Those conditions worry the state’s Forestry Commission, which responded to fires in Horry, Florence and Darlington Counties Tuesday. One of those fires burned approximately 22 acres off Highway 430 and Nichols Highway in northwestern Horry County. Forestry Commission spokesman Scott Hawkins said that fire started as a backyard debris burn, and it spread out of control. Foresters contained the fire and ticketed the person responsible.

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State forest ranger admits setting Oklahoma fires

Chicago Tribune
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

OKLAHOMA CITY – A state forest ranger has admitted to setting dozens of fires that burned thousands of acres in a protected wildlife management area in 2010 and 2011, an Oklahoma prosecutor said on Wednesday. Mike Malenski, 39, a veteran forest ranger who oversaw a wildlife management area in northeast Oklahoma, faces 56 counts of arson. Malenski, arrested and charged last May, began setting fires in February 2010, said B.J. Baker, a Cherokee County prosecutor. Some of the fires consumed up to 1,300 acres, while others were much smaller, according to court documents.

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Forest industry and conservationists debate cockatoo claims

Australia
Donnybrook Mail
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

FOREST Industries Federation WA (FIFWA) executive director Bob Pearce has hit out over claims of diminishing food sources in Warrup and Helms by the WA Forest Alliance (WAFA).
“The claim by WAFA that Warrup, near Bridgetown, is the last refuge for endangered black cockatoos is self evidently false,” Mr Pearce said. “(Recently) the same group was claiming Helms block near Nannup is the last refuge for these birds. “That was when they thought that harvesting was about to begin in Helms. “Now that harvesting has begun in Warrup Block instead, they have had to change their story.”

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Pine forest ablaze

Wairarapa Times-Age
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An early morning fire that raged through a pine forest in coastal Wairarapa yesterday prompted a massive response from firefighters.  About 7 hectares of trees were destroyed by the blaze while a further 130ha were threatened but saved.  The fire was thought to have been caused by a tree-top falling onto powerlines.  Gale force north-west winds hindered firefighters by grounding helicopters with monsoon buckets for the major part of the fire fighting.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Forest conservation policies: what works and what doesn’t

Eco-Business
February 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Policymakers looking to reduce deforestation in their countries have the right tools to do so today, but without a solid foundation in good governance and consistent policies, they will not be successful, said a prominent policy expert. As the International Year of the Forests wrapped up at the end of 2011, the worldwide community continued to struggle to halt deforestation and the related loss of biodiversity. Despite billions of dollars in foreign aid to tackle the problem and tightening regulations, deforestation still pervades many developing tropical countries, which are home to some of the world’s most valuable remaining forests.

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General

Forests? Depends on who’s counting

By Les Leyne
Victoria Times Colonist
February 2, 2012
Category: Uncategorised
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s foresters are an argumentative lot, and for the past few years, one particular disagreement has repeatedly seized their attention. It’s the question of how much forest land falls into the official category known as NSR – not satisfactorily restocked. The Ministry of Forests has its number. But experts outside government believe the ministry’s estimate is far too low. Leading that side of the argument is retired forester Anthony Britneff, who spent several decades in the ministry. He’s written several briefs justifying his estimate and casting doubt on the government’s numbers. They’ve gotten some play in the field because he’s asserting the NSR problem is bigger than it’s ever been, and getting worse.

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Laid-off mill workers still trying to collect severance

Nanaimo Daily News
February 1, 2012
Category: Uncategorised

Labour arbitrator David McPhillips is expected to make a ruling within days on whether Western Forest Products should be mandated to pay severance packages to hundreds of laid-off workers at two Nanaimo mills. Darrel Wong, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, which represents workers at the two mills, said McPhillips indicated before Christmas that he should be prepared to make his ruling “around the end of January” but had not committed to any firm date. However, Wong told union members who have been anxiously awaiting the decision for years that it should be soon.

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