Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 23, 2013

Froggy Foibles

Louisiana sinkhole swallows giant trees

Globe and Mail
August 22, 2013
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

It took just moments for a sinkhole to swallow several giant trees in Louisiana’s Assumption Parish. The parish’s emergency management department caught it on video

 

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Business & Politics

U.S. new home sales fall sharply; house prices rise

Globe and Mail
August 23, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Sales of new single-family homes in America fell sharply in July to their lowest level in nine months, casting a shadow over the country’s housing recovery. …Construction of new homes has accelerated over the last year, and the inventory of new homes for sale increased by 4.3 per cent in July from June.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

First Northern Passive House Conference for Canada

Canadian Wood Council
August 23, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Today the Canadian Wood Council (CWC) announced its sponsorship support for the Canada Passive House Institute (CanPHI) conference, being held in Vancouver on September 27th – 28th, 2013. The CanPHI is a registered non-profit organization that provides Canadians with the knowledge, tools, networks and confidence to design and construct buildings which meet the International Passive House Standard – the world’s highest level of energy efficiency. 

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The battle over eco-certified coffee cups

August 23, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

It has the label and promise of recycled materials or “renewable resources,” but that paper coffee cup may come from virgin forest. In fact, if a handful of environmental groups are to be believed, it may be the product of some of the worst logging practices in North America today. …In May, Greenpeace and ForestEthics filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, with a request to investigate the claim by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) that it’s “an independent non-profit public charitable organization.” …But, for environmentally conscious consumers without a Ph.D. in forestry, it can all be frustrating—a little more tempest than they might like in their eco-certi?ed coffee cup.

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FPL’s Quarterly Newsletter Now Available

Forest Products Lab
August 23, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The Summer 2013 issue of NewsLine, the Forest Products Laboratory’s quarterly newsletter is now online. In this issue you’ll get an update on our work with Major League Baseball, see the latest action on our test floor, and learn about research on termites, non-residential construction, economics, adhesives, and much more!

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East Providence fire at wood-pellet plant investigated by U.S. workplace safety officals

Providence Journal
August 23, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East

Federal workplace safety officials are continuing an investigation into the explosion that caused a four-alarm fire at the Inferno Wood Pellet factory on Ferris Avenue on Tuesday. …John P. Ferreira, president and one of the principal owners of the company, said that it is a credit to the way that the company protects its workers that only one person was injured in Tuesday’s incident. The person suffered first- and second-degree burns. The factory typically has 20 workers and, according to Ferreira, is likely to be shut down for a few weeks.

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Forestry

Honda Canada’s Campaign to Plant 18,000 Trees Across Canada

Honda Canada and its customers help enhance Canadian forests
Canada News Wire
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Honda Canada announced it will plant more than 18,000 trees across Canada, with the help of Trees Ontario. For every Honda ATV and lawn care product sold between April 1, 2013 and July 31, 2013, a tree was purchased on behalf of Honda’s customers. The Trees Ontario’s Forest Recovery Canada (FRC) program will plant trees native to their chosen area nationwide. Tree planting will take place this fall through to spring 2014. 

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Low on firefighting money, Forest Service must cut other programs

Mail Tribune
August 21, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Running out of money to fight wildfires at the peak of the season, the U.S. Forest Service is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap. The nation’s top wildfire-fighting agency was down to $50 million after spending $967 million so far this year, Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers said today in an email. Chambers says the $50 million the Forest Service has left is typically enough to pay for just a few days of fighting fires when the nation is at its top wildfire preparedness level, which went into effect Tuesday.

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Smokejumpers – Out of the Sky and Into the Fire

USDA
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Imagine jumping from a plane into a fire, with enough provisions to last for several days. That’s what highly trained Forest Service smokejumpers do to provide quick initial attack on wildland fires. The attack is a well-choreographed scenario. Aircraft can hold anywhere from eight to 16 jumpers, a ‘spotter’ who stays with the plane, the pilot and provisions to make the jumpers self-sufficient for 72 hours… “Jumping from a plane is fun, don’t get me wrong,” said Forest Service smokejumper Colby Jackson. “But it is the people we interact with that makes this job so great.”

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What People Are Asking: How old is the oldest tree in the world?

Cecil Whig
August 23, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Let me introduce you to Methuselah, a Great Basin bristlecone pine that has been growing in California’s Inyo National Forest for 4,844 years. That’s longer than the Egyptian pyramids have been around! …The widest tree in the world is the Arbol del Tule, a Montezuma cypress in Oaxaca, Mexico. When measured at the standard breast height (around 4 feet, 3 inches), this tree is 38.1 feet in diameter. …For more than 70 years, an organization called American Forests has been keeping the National Register of Big Trees.

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The cost of fighting wildfires soars – and you’re paying

NBC News Investigations
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

As more people build homes in fire-prone areas of the West, the cost of fighting fires has more than tripled – and taxpayers who live far from the front lines are helping to foot the bill. …Up to two-thirds of the cost of fighting wildfires in the U.S. comes out of the federal budget. Together, the U.S. Forest Service and Department of the Interior now spend an average of $3.5 billion a year to fight fires, three times what they spent annually in the 1990s. …While the federal government spends $3 billion a year fighting fires, local and state governments spend $1 billion to $2 billion. Shifting some of the growing federal costs to them would also mean shifting costs to taxpayers who live in the danger zones – and might inspire local governments to slow growth in high-risk areas.

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More evacuations ordered in Columbia Gorge fire

San Francisco Chronicle
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Strengthening winds on a wildfire in the Columbia Gorge on Thursday prompted fire bosses to order more scattered rural homes evacuated in rugged canyon lands on the northern flank of Mount Hood. The Blackburn fire, part of the Government Flat complex burning 10 miles southwest of The Dalles, remained at 15 percent containment after growing to 17 square miles and burning a fourth house on Wednesday... A total of about 275 homes have been given evacuation notices or notices to prepare for evacuation.

More in the Yakima Herald Republic

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Officials outline ‘a system that is broke’

Representatives from five counties back O&C trust bill that would restore lost timber funds through sustainable logging
Mail Tribune
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Economically hard-hit Oregon counties are on the ropes and are about to go down for the count. That was the gist of a news conference Thursday afternoon in Medford in which 11 officials from five Oregon counties gave a sobering assessment of the impact the loss of dollars from federal timberlands has had on their counties. “I’m here today to give you a preview of coming attractions to your area if we can’t fix this problem,” said Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson, who now has one patrol deputy… County officials also weighed in with their support for a bill now before the U.S. House which they believe would restore timber monies to the counties.

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Lower elk numbers cause tag changes

Mail Tribune
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Cascade Mountains bowhunters, who will hit the woods en masse Saturday, will be the first of thousands of Oregon hunters to discover that their “hair tags” of old have now turned into “horn tags.” Tags allowing an any-elk bag limit…are no longer available for bowhunters on national forest lands in the Rogue Unit and elsewhere along the western slopes of the Cascades, where elk numbers are down…While declining habitat on national forest lands is considered the main reason for declining Roosevelt elk numbers, altering hunting seasons and bag limits is one of the few tactics available to ODFW and hunters to reverse those trends… The writing on the wall about western Cascades elk declining in national forests goes back to the 1990s, when cutbacks in logging led to a decline in prime elk habitat.

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Wildfire spending tops $1 billion as over 40 blazes rage across West

Fox News
August 21, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires burning across several states — including California, Oregon, Idaho and Montana — are using up national firefighting resources, pushing spending past $1 billion for the year.
The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise upped the national wildfire preparedness level Tuesday to the highest level for the first time in five years… President Barack Obama was briefed Tuesday on the wildfires by his homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco. The White House said the administration’s focus is on supporting state and local first responders and that Obama’s team is in ongoing contact with federal and local partners.

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Redwoods in middle of 100-year growth spurt

Standard Examiner
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

The last remaining old-growth redwood trees along the California coast and in the Sierra are in the midst of a growth spurt the likes of which have never been seen before, a climate research study recently revealed. The ancient trees produced more wood over the past century than they have during any other time in their lives, a stretch that dates back, in at least one case, 1,000 years before the birth of Christ, according to a study released August 14 by the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative.

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Tree-killing insect emerald ash borer found in Georgia

Athens Banner-Herald
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

For years, foresters and invasive insect experts—including those at the University of Georgia—have been on the lookout for the arrival of an unwelcome guest in Georgia. Now that the emerald ash borer is here, they are hoping the public will help restrict the insect’s spread within the state. The small, iridescent green beetle has killed millions of ash trees across a wide swath of the upper Midwest and Canada since it was first detected in 2002. The emerald ash borer, known scientifically as the Agrilus planipennis, has spread south and west from infested areas over the last decade.  

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Arkansas Forestry Prepared For Low Wildfire Fighting Funds

Fox News
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LITTLE ROCK, AR- Funding is running low to fight wildfires across the nation, but Arkansas Forestry officials say they’ve prepared. As a result, the U.S. Forest Service will have to face major cuts to other areas to fill the gap. This is the sixth time in the last 10 years the federal government has run out of its firefighting budget. Since it’s become a regular occurrence, the Arkansas Forestry Commission prepared for this. “It’s really because they didn’t budget enough,” said Joe Fox, Arkansas Forestry Commission.

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Maine’s Public Lands Pushes to Cut 40% More Timber on the Hush

The Free Press
August 22, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Last week, a handful of public servants in a quiet back room in Farmington faced a question it appeared they were trying to duck. Were they planning to ramp up timber harvests on Maine’s publicly owned lands? If so, where? Why? By how much?… The Mahoosuc Mountains, Cutler’s Bold Coast -29 public lands units in all, comprising a half-million acres, are free and open to the public. Best of all, they are self-supporting. In a state that is perpetually fighting over public dollars, that is no small thing. With rare exceptions, public lands don’t cost a thing. The reason is timber. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Pellet company selling ‘heat’

Morning Sentinel
August 23, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East

A startup company in Orono is trying to convince mid-size businesses and institutions in New England that they can save money by converting from heating oil to wood pellets without buying any fuel or equipment. …Pelletco brings a wood-pellet boiler and a storage building, called a HeatPod, to a client’s business, sets it up outdoors and connects it to the heating system. Pelletco operates and maintains the unit. The client pays only for heat, buying BTUs at a price that’s nearly 20 percent below the cost of oil. 

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General

Forest Service taking back federal funds from 22 states

Washington Post
August 22, 2013
Category: Uncategorised
Region: United States

JUNEAU, Alaska — The U.S. Forest Service plans to take a portion of the timber payments it has promised or paid out to 22 states, citing federal budget cuts. Collection letters from Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell went out to governors around the country Monday, saying money would be taken from funds used for habitat improvement and other national forest-related projects that put people to work under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. Oregon stands to lose the most in the move, with nearly $4 million in reductions. California would lose nearly $2.2 million, Idaho is set to lose $1.7 million, Montana nearly $1.3 million and Alaska, about $930,000.

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Portugal forest fires turn villages ‘into hell’

Vanguard
August 22, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

LISBON – Villagers armed with buckets and branches fought wildfires raging in Portugal alongside exhausted emergency workers on Thursday, as Spanish and French reinforcements arrived to tackle the blazes. Villages surrounding the northern town of Trancoso “were transformed into hell,” emergency services official Jose Oliveira told Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias. More than 800 firefighters tackled fires in central and northern Portugal while two Spanish jets dropped water on affected areas, while two French aircraft were expected to arrive Thursday to assist with the operation.

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The battle over eco-certified coffee cups

August 23, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

It has the label and promise of recycled materials or “renewable resources,” but that paper coffee cup may come from virgin forest. In fact, if a handful of environmental groups are to be believed, it may be the product of some of the worst logging practices in North America today. …In May, Greenpeace and ForestEthics filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, with a request to investigate the claim by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) that it’s “an independent non-profit public charitable organization.” …But, for environmentally conscious consumers without a Ph.D. in forestry, it can all be frustrating—a little more tempest than they might like in their eco-certi?ed coffee cup.

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