Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

Business & Politics

Our forest sector has always been based on international trade – Minister Oliver

Net Newsledger
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – Joe Oliver the federal Minister of Natural Resources spoke at PaperWeek Canada 2012 in Montreal on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Here is the text of the Minister’s remarks: I don’t need to remind people in this room of the difficulties in the forestry sector in the last few years. The industry has been thrown huge challenges and obstacles — reduced demand for paper, a Canadian dollar that went from US$0.62 only a decade ago to near parity as we speak, and a housing market in the U.S. that is not yet showing any significant signs of rebounding.  We should never underestimate the sector’s resilience, the excellence of our forest products and its continued importance for Canada’s economy.

Read More

USW Local 1-424 Hails Extension Of Softwood Deal

Opinion 250 News
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Prince George, B.C. – The President of the United Steelworkers Local 1-424 says the recent Canada-US decision to extend the contentious Softwood Lumber Agreement until 2015 offers stability as the industry continues to pull through one of its worst recessions in history. The agreement to extend the multi-billion dollar deal came at the end of January and must be tabled within the House of Commons within 21 sitting days to be passed, Parliament resumed on Wednesday. While the NDP’s International Trade critic has called the extension a ‘missed opportunity’ to re-visit some of the bones of contention, Local 1-424 President, Frank Everitt, says, “It’s good from the point of view that with the continuation, the parties don’t have to be focused on more litigation around that subject matter.”

Read More

BC asked to rectify municipal tax law that milks heavy industry

Globe and Mail
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For two years, the B.C. government has made sympathetic noises about the rate of taxation that municipalities levy on industry. The expressions of concern have flowed in response to a challenge, led mostly by the forest sector, to the notion that local government can milk heavy industry in order to keep tax rates low for residential ratepayers. The province has launched reviews, appointed steering committees and advisory committees that in turn named advisers to develop recommendations, and last month established a panel of tax experts … Anything but make a decision.

Read More

Miramichi mill to re-open

CBC News
February 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A mill in Miramichi will re-open later this fall and reach full operation by the spring of 2013, officials confirmed on Friday. The provincial and federal governments will spend more than $17 million to help with the startup. The mill is expected to make about $60 million a year and bring more than 100 jobs to the northern community, officials said during a news conference.

Read More

Hubbard: You call this focusing on jobs?

Denver Post
February 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

At the outset of this year’s General Assembly, Republicans promised a “focus” on jobs and the economy. A fiery floor debate over a nonsensical resolution last week and a committee hearing on a bill dubbed the Colorado Timber Act leave you to wonder if they’re easily distracted or whether there was any focus to begin with. …I’m hoping for better this week, but some early reporting on the Colorado Timber Act, which is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday … doesn’t leave me confident. In unveiling a package of bills to show the House majority’s commitment to jobs prior to the session, McNulty said the act was born during a series of statewide roundtables with small businesses. The Intermountain Resources sawmill in Montrose, he said, is forced to ship 97 percent of its product out of state “because many communities in Colorado prohibit the use of Colorado-grown timber.”

Read More

Wood Products Plant Joins Oregon SHARP

Occupational Health and Safety
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Roseburg Forest Products Engineered Wood Products plant in Riddle, Ore., is the newest member of Oregon OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Dillard, Ore.-based Roseburg Forest Products is a privately held, family owned business, but not a small one: It has more than 3,000 employees working in several plants to manufacture lumber, softwood plywood, composite and hardwood panels, and other products distributed throughout North America.  With more than 750,000 square feet of manufacturing space, the EWP plant is one of the largest plants of that type in North America, Oregon OSHA said in its Jan. 31 announcement.

Read More

Industrial umpire backs timber stand downs

(author unknown)
February 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Australia’s industrial umpire has found two Tasmanian sawmillers have the right to stand down workers while there is a halt in woodchip exports. More than 30 workers have been stood down at two McKay Timber sawmills and at Barber’s mill in Launceston. The mills are blaming the temporary closure of Tasmania’s last remaining native woodchip exporter, Artec. It is unclear when Artec will re-open its Bell Bay operation. Without Artec, the sawmillers have nowhere to send or stockpile their waste products in the short-term.

Read More

NZ log exports may face a squeeze

Stuff.co.nz
February 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand’s forestry exports may be set for tougher ride over the next 12 months following two bumper years, as falling demand from China puts the sector under pressure. According to a report from Wood Resources International, a US-based forest industry consulting firm, the value of softwood logs and timber imported into China fell 14 per cent in the December quarter compared with the previous three months. That comes as China’s forestry imports peaked at a record high last year, topping out at US$8 billion ($9.6 billion), making it the biggest buyer of logs and lumber in the world.

Read More

Claims CSIRO is compromised by forestry group ties

ABC News, Australia
February 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The CSIRO has been forced to defend itself against claims of inappropriate links with the logging industry. The CSIRO is a member of the industry’s lobby group, the Australian Forest Products Association. It’s been taking the government to task over its climate change policies as well as lobbying for more resources for CSIRO researchers. Environment groups say the CSIRO’s credibility as an independent research organisation is damaged by its membership of the Forest Products Association.
[This is a radio story – the link will open steaming online radio]

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Lauding the beauty and versatility of wood

Escanaba Daily Press
February 3, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

ESCANABA – I confess to having a long and lasting love affair… with wood. So masculine, strong, striking and natural, the look of wood turns me and many other people on. Growing up in the thriving forests of Upper Michigan, real, good wood was all around me. From the wilds of the forest, to the mills, the lumber yards and the shops, the harvest trees became flooring, furniture, cupboards, handles, paneling, and picture frames.

Read More

Forestry

Fired environmentalist sees conspiracy

Opinion
Winnipeg Free Press
February 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A B.C. environmentalist claims in a sworn affidavit the Harper government labelled him and his organization, ForestEthics, an “enemy of the government of Canada” and an “enemy of the people of Canada” and threatened to pull the charitable status of its funder, the Tides Canada Foundation, because of ForestEthics’ opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project exporting tarsands oil to China. …The environmental movement now has a new worry. The Harper government has announced a major overhaul of its charitable-status rules. Today, charities are only allowed to spend 10 per cent of their budgets on non-partisan political activities or advocacy. Now, the social justice and environmental community fears even that could be eliminated. Frank believes this fear is why he was fired.

Read More

Minister responds to questions on forest health

Prince George Citizen
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Forest Minister Steve Thomson said he is confident in the estimates used by the province to determine not satisfactorily restocked (NSR) forest land. The ministry has identified 730,000 hectares of forest which is understocked due to mountain pine beetle damage, fire and other causes, he said. Veteran forester Anthony Britneff has challenged that number, saying the real NSR area could be closer to 9.1 million hectares. The Forest Practices Board, B.C.’s independent forest watchdog agency, launched a special investigation in September, 2011 to clear up the debate about NSR forest land in B.C. “I look forward to reading and receiving that report when the Forest Practices Board completes it. I think it’ll be useful for us,” Thomson said. “I think the important policy is to ensure we have a common understanding of the definition [of NSR].”

Read More

Firebreak off to a slow start

Alberta Daily Herald Tribune
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Local media were invited to the Dunes to have a first-hand look at the County of Grande Prairie’s firebreak, located south of the city, Thursday. The firebreak stretches from Aspen Ridge to Evergreen Park. If all goes well, the on-going project will see a total of 875 hectares of wood logged by 2014. A firebreak is a gap between combustible vegetation that acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of wildfires. The initial plan was to log 300 hectares of trees this winter. That plan was held back due to the warm winter changing the logging conditions. “My estimate this year we will log about 100 hectares, which means we will carry the program over to next winter and probably the winter after that,” said Jerry Bauer, project co-ordinator.

Read More

Veteran BC logger’s death a grim reminder of industry’s continuing dangers

Vancouver Sun
February 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ben Loring found the abandoned snowshoes first. The body of his father, Arthur (Art) Loring, 56, was deeper in the snow, under the tree that had fallen on him, taking his life. Loring, an experienced logger, respected family man, and fierce defender of the land and traditions of his Gitxsan people, died Monday while falling hemlock and fir 60 km southeast of Terrace. His death marked an occupational first for 2012, and served as a grim reminder that work is far from over for those lobbying to improve safety standards and practices in what continues to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the province.

Read More

Liberal MLA vows to block logging in bid to save grizzlies

Laurie Blakeman slams Tories for issuing permit
Calgary Herald
February 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman says she is willing to stand in front of logging trucks and be arrested to save the grizzlies in the Castle Crown Special Management Area. “I am willing to do it for the grizzlies,” she told reporters at the legislature. “I want to be able to see a grizzly bear in the wild in my lifetime and more than that I would like to see my niece get that opportunity. Blakeman slammed the Conservative government Thursday for not doing anything to protect the giant of the Canadian forests despite the fact there are fewer than 700 grizzly bears remaining in the province. She said the logging operation in the Castle area wipes out grizzly habitat and endangers hibernating bears and their cubs. She said the operation must be shut down.

Read More

Tree planters needed in forests

BC Minister of Jobs and Tourism pumps $550-thousand into helping attract and retain skilled workers in silviculture sector
CFJC TV Kamloops
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC’s Silviculture industry is getting a boost from the BC Government. Pat Bell – Minister of Jobs and Tourism confirms the province will pump $550-thousand over the next three years into helping attract and retain skilled workers in the forests cultivation sector. The funding is aimed at meeting the challeneges of a changing labour market.

Read More

Province to see increased reforestation and jobs, minister tells conference

Kamloops Daily News
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province’s investment in a human resource strategy for B.C.’s silviculture industry is evidence that more trees will be replanted over the next five years, said Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell. The B.C. Liberal government will invest $550,000 over three years to enable the industry to attract and retain workers. Bell made the announcement during at the Western Silviculture Contractors’ Association conference in Kamloops Thursday. “One of the biggest challenges for the silviculture industry is recruiting and retaining quality employees,” Bell told reporters. “There’s no question the industry will ramp up and we need quality individuals.”

Read More

Pine beetle kill less than projected, says chief forester

Kamloops Daily News
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s chief forester painted a mountain pine beetle picture both good and bad Thursday for silviculturalists gathered in Kamloops.  The good news is the historic infestation that destroyed Interior pine stands through the middle of the last decade wasn’t as destructive as first feared.  “In 2006, we were projecting a mountain pine beetle kill of 80 per cent of pine by 2013,” Jim Snetsinger told a convention of the Western Silviculture Contractors’ Association. “Our 2011 models . . . now tell us mountain pine beetle will kill about 61 per cent of susceptible pine by 2021.”

Read More

Northern forests may be losing their ability to trap carbon

The northern forests of western Canada are likely absorbing less carbon dioxide because of climate change, and the decline may be making a bad situation worse, researchers from Quebec and China have concluded.
Physorg
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If the situation remains as it is, the forests may actually put more carbon dioxide back into the air than they absorb, the researchers said. While researchers have seen this happen in tropical rainforests, the new result suggests that this problem could be much more widespread.  The scientists at the University of Quebec’s Montreal campus and from several Chinese institutions, reporting in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have been able to put numbers to the fears that the ability of northern forests to absorb carbon — to act as carbon sinks — was decreasing.

Read More

Editorial: Forest strategy is a modest step but on right path

Record-Searchlight
February 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A healthy increase in logging to provide rural jobs? Or a trivial increase that doesn’t come close to replacing what forest communities lost? Depending on your perspective, a new Forest Service strategy, released Thursday, to speed the pace of “restoration and job creation” in the national forests — and in the process to increase the board-feet of timber cut from the public woods — is both. It moves in the right direction, but it’s hard to have these debates without being reminded of how far that sector of our region’s economy has fallen.

Read More

US Forest Service plans to boost timber production, forest health work

The Missoulian
February 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The U.S. Forest Service wants to speed up work on national forests, for both timber production and forest health. “Collaboration is most effective in getting forests managed in a proper way,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said during a conference call on Thursday. “We want to move beyond the conflicts in the past that slowed progress down. We’re going to look to encourage environmentalists, folks in the forest industry, people who live in forest communities and other stakeholders to work for healthy forests.” Vilsack pledged the Forest Service would boost its lumber production from 2.4 billion board feet in 2011 to 3 billion board feet by 2014. That would come through a 20 percent increase in forest acres treated over the next three years.

Read More

Communities, Fish and Wildlife battling over caribou critical habitat

KXLY Spokane
February 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — A battle is raging between preserving wildlife and a way life. US Fish and Wildlife wants to designate nearly 400,000 acres in Idaho and Washington as critical habitat for the Woodland Caribou. Many are concerned it will have a crippling effect on the local economy. Second generation logger Tom Foust says the key to his survival is logging. It’s a way of life, venturing into the forest, spending hours on end harvesting timber, supporting families and a community. “Everyone one of those guys over there have a family here. Their kids have grown up and gone through the school system. It’s small America. It’s rural,” Foust said.

Read More

Forest industries of Amador, Calaveras getting $16 million boost

Stockton Record
February 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN ANDREAS – Economically depressed Amador and Calaveras counties are about to receive millions of dollars in forest-restoration funding from the federal government. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Thursday a 10-year commitment of up to $16 million to revive the health of forest-related industries on national forest lands in the two counties. The Cornerstone Project in the headwaters of the Mokelumne, Calaveras, Stanislaus and Cosumnes rivers will receive $730,000 this year. Funding means that federal officials have recognized that the region is at the forefront of a nationwide movement to restore forests, said Calaveras County Supervisor Steve Wilensky.

Read More

Chainsaw use alleged to have sparked bushfire

ABC News, Australia
February 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A 35-year-old man from Nangwarry in the south-east of South Australia has been reported by police over a bushfire in Victoria. It is alleged the man was cutting firewood with a chainsaw when the fire started, south of Edenhope, on Wednesday. It burned out of control until the next day, spreading through about 600 hectares of forest. The man has been reported for recklessly causing a bushfire and engaging in high-risk activities during a fire danger season.
END

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

REDD: When carbon credits work in the Amazon

For Brazil nut farmers in the Amazon, carbon credits could offer new income. Part II
Global Post
February 1, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru — Sitting on the porch of his ramshackle wooden hut, shaded from the Amazonian sun by the thick rainforest canopy, Brazil nut collector Eleuterio Martin admits he has never heard of global warming. Yet Martin, 73, is now set to play his part in a groundbreaking new project that could become one of the most effective ways to curb rising global greenhouse gas emissions. He is one of hundreds of local people here in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, near the Bolivian border, who have teamed up with Bosques Amazonicos, a Lima-based company that plans to market carbon credits generated by protecting the rainforest on the land where they have government concessions to harvest Brazil nuts.

Read More

CENRO-Gensan underscores importance of forest restoration in climate change issue

Philippine Information Agency
February 3, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – City Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Valiente Lastimoso recently underscored the importance of reforestation as a significant strategy to address climate change. Lastimoso disclosed the different strategies available to mitigate carbon emission through forestry activities and one of these is to increase the amount of forested land by planting more trees especially to depleted areas in the city. “Forest restoration could reverse the impact of forest clearing over the past three centuries and the same time expand wildlife habitat, provide recreational opportunities, and uplift socio-economic conditions of the upland, lowland, urban, and coastal inhabitants of the city,” he explained.

Read More

Kwimba District for Cheaper Sustainable Energy

All Africa
February 3, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

KWIMBA district council is experiencing acute shortage of wood fuel. The estimated sustainable supply of wood fuel by end of 2010 was 51,823 m3 while consumption of biomass fuels in 2010 was estimated to be 410,692 m3 consequently making use of wood fuel in Kwimba district non-renewable and with pronounced environmental degradation. Bariki Kaale who is the Chairperson of the Tanzania Specialist Organisation on Community Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation (TASONABI) says that in 2011 Kwimba district in collaboration with TASONABI and other stakeholders have initiated a programme for construction and use of improved biomass stoves. 

Read More