Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: July 2014

Froggy Foibles

Beaver ‘still at large’ after falling tree damages SUV

QMI Agency
July 29, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

Police in northeastern Prince Edward Island say a beaver is “still at large” after it gnawed a tree so badly it fell and smashed a Quebec family’s passing SUV on Saturday afternoon. The parents in the front and their one- and two-year-olds in the back weren’t injured when the tree fell and struck their SUV just as it was driving past on Route 16. The Toyota Rav4 had significant damage to the roof, windshield and a cargo box mounted to the roof.

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Business & Politics

Drew Hasselback: Aboriginal court decisions shouldn’t be dealbreakers

Financial Post
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

You’ve heard varying degrees of panic over the Supreme Court of Canada’s rulings in Tsilhqot’in and Grassy Narrows. These are clearly important aboriginal rights decisions, and each will have a profound impact on Canada’s natural resource industry. Yet I’m not sure either case justifies any fear. The cases clarify some technical aspects of aboriginal law. And, well, that’s it. They’re not legal blocades that will halt all development in this country. Litigation is a zero-sum game. If a case makes it all the way to judgment, you have a winner and you have a loser. Now, what is it that the winner gets?

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Union Boss Weighs in on Lakeland Fine

250 News
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – Union boss Frank Everitt has weighed in on the penalty and claims cost levied against Lakeland Mills by WorkSafeBC. The Local 1-424 United Steel Workers president says while no amount of money will ever replace the death of two workers he’s admits it’s a bit of a mystery how they arrived at roughly $724,000. “I understand the $97,500 administrative penalty because it’s the same penalty that was issued in relation to the Babine issue.” But when it comes to the $626,000 claims cost levy, that’s where the confusion comes in.

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Forest sector to receive $1.1M in seed money

The Star Phoenix
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A combined investment of $1.1 million from the federal and provincial governments to the Prince Albert Model Forest Association (PAMF) will be used for skills training, seeking out new export markets and improving technologies in the forest sector. PAMF president Mark Johnston said the global forest sector has gone through a big downturn in the past decade and the companies are just starting to recover. “It’s a really good time to be asking questions about technology because the forest product sector is really coming back to life,” Johnston said.

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Opinion: Court ruling means Tsilhqot’in lands never belonged to Crown

Province will not be able to issue permits to third parties for resource exploitation.
Vancouver Sun
July 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Tsilhqot’in case has caused a tectonic shift in the legal landscape in B.C., and in other parts of Canada where aboriginal title still exists. It is, as Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould put it, a “game-changer” in several important ways. …These lands are not (and never were) Crown lands that could be regulated and divided as though they were public lands. Given that aboriginal title is protected by the Canadian constitution, governments cannot deal with, or interfere with, the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s use of the lands and resources without their consent; i.e. the province will no longer be able to issue permits to third parties for land use or resource exploitation on those lands.

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Western Forest Products’ 2Q revenue increased by 12.9% to $296.2 million

Lesprom
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products Inc. announces results for the 2Q 2014 with adjusted EBITDA of $40.9 million compared to adjusted EBITDA of $32.8 million for the 1Q 2014 and $44.9 million for the 2Q 2013. The Company reported revenue of $296.2 million for the 2Q 2014 compared to $246 million for the 1Q 2014 and $262.3 million for the 2Q 2013. “Despite the challenges that we faced in our second quarter, we delivered another strong performance. Increased shipments and an improved sales mix drove our revenue to its highest level in seven years,” said Don Demens, President and CEO.

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Workers, families ‘really disappointed’ by Prince George sawmill blast fines

by Shaw/Hoekstra – They say $724,163 in penalties issued by WorkSafeBC following Lakeland Mills fire are too little, too late
Vancouver Sun
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Steep fines handed out Tuesday to the owners of a Prince George sawmill that exploded in 2012 have provided little satisfaction to workers and families of the victims. …Ronda Roche, whose husband Glenn was killed in the wood dust-fuelled explosion, said she’s greatly disappointed at the amount of the fine and the time it took to issue the penalties.  “It is very clear that failures in our system continue to disappoint our families,” said Roche. “The reality of ever seeing justice or accountability for the death and injuries of Lakeland employees as well as for employees of Babine Forest Products continues to be unlikely based on the outcomes to this point of time.”

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City-owned forest yields $350K

After five years, the community forest has paid for itself and generated profits
Alberni Valley Times
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A city-owned forestry operation that focuses on sustainable logging has brought in healthy profits after its first five years of existence. The Alberni Valley Community Forest has made $350,000, plus paid back the remainder of the $250,000 loan used to set up the operation. The profits will be put into a legacy fund for a committee to determine investments that benefit the whole Alberni Valley. The committee plans to consult with the public in the coming months, starting with a booth at the Alberni District Fall Fair in September.

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Catalyst Paper Q2 results impacted by planned maintenance

Canada Newswire press release
July 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

RICHMOND, BC, recorded adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the second quarter of $7.1 million compared to $25.7 million in the previous quarter. Strong operating performance was overshadowed by a planned maintenance outage at the Crofton pulp mill, higher power costs due to a hydroelectricity rate increase, a stronger Canadian dollar and lower transaction prices for pulp and all paper grades.

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Northern Pulp won’t be shut down despite emissions, stench

No ‘imminent threat’ to human health, says Environment Minister Randy Delorey
CBC News
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister says there’s no question the Northern Pulp mill in Abercrombie Point is malfunctioning, but he has no intention of forcing it to shut down despite public complaints about the emissions coming from the mill. “To date the conclusions that they’ve made are that there isn’t an imminent threat to human health,” Randy Delorey said Wednesday. David MacKenzie, a spokesman for Northern Pulp, said the smell and particulate are caused by emissions that are getting through an old precipitator, which is a filtration device. 

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Ledwidge Lumber receives loan guarantee of $1.5 million

Nova Scotia Business Inc. says the loan guarantee will help the family-owned sawmill in Enfield establish a private-sector line of credit.
Daily Business Buzz
July 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s Crown-owned business development agency is providing a $1.5-million loan guarantee to a lumber company in Enfield. Nova Scotia Business Inc. says the loan guarantee for Ledwidge Lumber will help the family-owned sawmill establish a private-sector line of credit. Ledwidge Lumber produces lumber for housing construction and specialty products, with the capability of producing up to 100 million board feet of lumber products annually.

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Tembec reports financial results for its third quarter ended June 28, 2014

Canada Newswire press release
July 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Consolidated sales for the three-month period ended June 28, 2014, were $404 million, as compared to $399 million in the same quarter a year ago. The Company generated net earnings of $30 million or $0.30 per share in the June 2014 quarter compared to a net loss of $7 million or $0.07 per share in the June 2013 quarter. The June 2014 results include a gain of $14 million related to the sale of land.

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Twin Rivers Paper Co. to bump up pension benefits

New Brunswick reaches deal with paper company over employee pensions
CBC News
July 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The provincial government has reached an agreement with the Twin Rivers Paper Co. which will result in the company completing its agreement to invest in the pension plan of hundreds of its workers and retirees. Twin Rivers will make payments of between $12.5 million and $52.9 million over the next four to 15 years into a shared-risk pension plan. This will allow hourly workers to collect 64.6 per cent of their salary instead of the current 56 per cent upon retirement. Salaried workers will see 69 per cent of their salary collected at retirement, up from 65 per cent.

New Brunswick legislature approves change to Fraser Paper pension plan from The Canadian Press
Legislature approves Edmundston mill pension changes from the CBC News

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Paul Sobey lashes out at Northern Pulp Mill over smell

Haze has a sulphur-like smell which drifts across Pictou, says Sobey
CBC News
July 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia business leader Paul Sobey says he’s fed up with the Northern Pulp Mill and the effects of the mill’s smell and particulate matter on the town of Pictou. “If you had travelled there yesterday or today, you couldn’t even see the town of Pictou through the haze of emissions coming from the mill,” said Sobey, the former CEO of Empire Co. Ltd. He said the haze from the mill in Abercrombie Point has a sulphur-like smell and drifts across the town, getting in people’s clothes, homes and cars. 

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US timberland prices gain, despite lumber slowdown

Agrimoney
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Timberland in the US accelerated its price growth, despite some lumber market concerns centred on China and the domestic market, which prompted one of the top forestry groups to warn on profits. US timberland prices were 7.2% higher in the April-to-June quarter than a year before, nudging 0.2 points higher than the rate of annual appreciation recorded for the January-to-March period, the National Council for Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (Ncreif) said. Factoring in income of 2.6%, the total return from forestry land over the year was 9.9%, the highest figure in nearly six years, although still behind the 17.2% achieved from farmland.

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Plum Creek plant resumes production

Woodbased Panels
July 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Production has resumed at Plum Creek’s MDF plant in Columbia Falls, Montana, which was hit by fire on June 10. Although production was down for about three weeks, the company continued to supply customers from existing inventory.  The fire, which is thought to have been caused by a mechanical failure, caused around US$8-10m of damage. Plum Creek has announced it will donate US$15,000 to the fire services that attended the fire.

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Millinocket receives small payment toward Great Northern Paper tax debt

BDN Maine
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MILLINOCKET, Maine — It’s more than a week past deadline and not nearly enough to cover the tab, but the auctioneer trying to settle Great Northern Paper Co.’s $1.18 million net tax debt has made a $76,650 payment, town officials said Wednesday. Town Manager Peggy Daigle announced receipt of the payment in a brief email on Wednesday. Town Council Chairman Richard Angotti Jr. was similarly terse in his reaction to the payment, which was received Friday. “It’s another payment,” Angotti said Wednesday. 

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Jobs will flow as timber brings life to rail terminal

Western Advocate
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Australia’s leading forestry and logistics service providers are working together on a three-year deal for the export of approximately 175,000 tonnes of timber per annum from the Bathurst region. PF Olsen Australia, the nation’s leading independent provider of forest management services, has engaged Asciano Limited subsidiaries Pacific National and C3 to handle and haul the containerised timber from Bathurst to Port Botany in NSW. The logs will then be shipped to China, where demand for Australian timber continues to grow.

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Gunns plantations: Farmers told to rule a line under tree lease losses and ‘move on’

ABC News, Australia
July 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Farmers are being told they should stop waiting for tree lease payments of millions of dollars after the collapse of Gunns. The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association’s Jan Davis said many farmers and landholders with plantations on their land should now work out where they stand, as they were unlikely to be paid. “The biggest challenge for individual landowners is sitting down in the cold, hard, light of day, and working out where they are at themselves, making the decision to rule a line under it, and move on whatever moving on might look like for them individually,” she said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Nominations open for Wood Works! BC Awards

UBCM
July 30, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year marks the 10th year Wood WORKS! BC will recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of communities that have built projects using wood. The Community Recognition Awards are presented annually to communities that have specified the use of wood in a local project. Nominated projects may be cultural, recreational or administrative buildings of any size. One project from each area association will be selected. The winning local governments will be recognized at the area association luncheons during UBCM’s 2014 Convention in Whistler.

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Bamboo housing touted by UBC

Vancouver 24hrs
July 29, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

University of B.C. researchers are working nationally and internationally on a better construction material — bamboo to promote sustainable development and hopefully meet future building needs. Due to rapid urban expansion and heavy pollution around the globe, the need for sustainability is gradually becoming significant, said Gregory Smith, a professor in UBC’s Deartment of Wood Science. While concrete manufacturing emits large amounts of carbon dioxide, he said, utilizing bamboo as a construction material can be a substitution
to reduce the carbon footprint — along with promoting the use of
renewable materials, so as to help fight climate change.

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Forestry

Peter Foster: Greenpeace stands for delay, delay, delay

Told to file a defence in Resolute case, Greenpeace instead files appeal
Financial Post
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Greenpeace Canada continues to squirm to avoid coming up with a defence against Resolute Forest Products’ $7-million lawsuit alleging “intentional interference with economic relations;” that is, trying to destroy Resolute’s business by pressuring its customers Last Friday, lawyers for Greenpeace sought leave to appeal the decision of the Divisional Court of Ontario (which had rejected an earlier appeal and told Greenpeace to file a defence, plus pay costs). The case has significant ramifications for whether radical NGOs will be allowed to continue to spread misinformation, trample over corporate reputations, and destroy business and jobs.

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Whiteswan fire largest in area

Cranbrook Daily Townsman
July 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A large forest fire is raging near Whiteswan Lake, southeast of Canal Flats. The 150-hectare Whitetail Brook fire was sparked by lightning during last week’s storm, but wasn’t detected until Sunday afternoon, July 27. It quickly grew in size, and is now being fought by 40 firefighters from the Southeast Fire Centre, as well as three water tenders, three bulldozers, one excavator, three medium helicopters with buckets, and one light helicopter for administrative use.

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‘Protect us’ from wild fire say Maple Ridge residents

Maple Ridge News
July 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the forests that surround Maple Ridge, you only have to dig a few metres to find a charred layer, evidence of a time when wildfires were more frequent is not difficult to find. In 1929, a spark from a locomotive caused an extensive, disastrous blaze that destroyed almost 60,000 hectares of forest and ended logging in the Alouette River valley. Back then, Maple Ridge was sparsely populated. Now, with suburbs built into the edge of the forests, the consequences of wildfire would be costly and traumatic. 

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Grassy Narrows First Nation ‘not victims,’ says advocate

Community dealing with health effects after mercury was dumped into river 40 years ago
CBC News
July 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The people of Grassy Narrows First Nation have been coping with and resisting the violence of ongoing dispossession in their homeland for the last 100 years or more. …Then for eight years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a paper mill in Dryden, Ont., dumped 20,000 pounds of mercury into the English-Wabigoon River, the lifeblood of local Anishinaabe people. …Grassy Narrows First Nation has organized and maintained the longest-running logging blockade in Canadian history. They have fought the dismissal of their treaties rights in court. They have done endless media interviews, workshops and educational campaigns designed to educate Canadians about these injustices.

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Ontario First Nations prepared to lay down their lives to protect lands: chiefs

Canadian Press
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – Aboriginal people in Ontario are prepared to lay down their lives to protect their traditional lands from any unwanted development, a group of First Nations chiefs said Tuesday. Five aboriginal chiefs served notice on the Ontario and federal governments, developers and the public that they’ll assert their treaty rights over their traditional territory and ancestral lands. That includes the rights to natural resources — such as fish, trees, mines and water— deriving benefit from those resources and the conditions under which other groups may access or use them, which must be consistent with their traditional laws, said Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy.

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Trees save 850 lives per year, says National Forest Service

Daily Digest News
July 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Researchers have attempted to estimate the direct impact of trees on air pollution and human health. What they found was that trees improved overall air quality in th United States by only one percent. However, that one percent improvement prevents 850 premature deaths, 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms and saves $7 billion in health care spending.

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Oregon Wildfires & Forest Fires

The Oregonian
July 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The latest updates on fires in Oregon.

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Foresters Battle Spread of Asian Long-Horned Beetle

Woodworking Network
July 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – Clear-cutting is being viewed as an effective way to contain the spread of the pesky and deadly Asian long-horned beetle. The beetles, along with the emerald ash borer, have wreaked environmental and economic devastation on North American hardwood trees. Government and industry leaders across parts of the United States and Canada have had to resort to cutting down large swaths of trees in an effort to prevent the spread of insects like the Asian long-horned beetle.

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Firefighters keep Yosemite blaze far from sequoias

Associated Press
July 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — A wildfire in Yosemite National Park made a new run that firefighters quickly stopped, and containment lines have kept it from threatening some treasured trees that are among the largest and oldest living things on earth. The blaze made a run of about a half-mile in the Crane Creek area Wednesday, park officials said in a statement, but it was brought under control. The fire remained about 10 miles from Merced Grove, one of three Yosemite stands of giant sequoias, towering trees that grow only on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and can live longer than 3,000 years.

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Daines signaled that loyalty lies in DC with letter to Boehner opposing collaborative bills

Letter by Jim Posewitz
The Missoulian
July 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Congressman Steve Daines just flashed us a signal on who he will represent. A recent (July 19) news article reported that he joined 28 other Republicans asking House Speaker Boehner to oppose U.S. Forest proposals being developed at the local level. Montana citizens have worked for years developing two such proposals: the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act and Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. What Daines and his fellow Republicans want is legislation designed in Washington for all national forests and then dictated to the local people (H.R. 1526). The net effect would be trashing the time and effort invested in two genuinely collaborative efforts.

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Letter: Elliott Forest symptomatic of state government

Statesman Journal
July 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The July 27 article, “Elliott Forest loses money,” caught my interest. While at the Division of State Lands in the mid-1990s, I got interested in why the management of Elliott cost the division so much. After all, the program was managed by the state forest department and most actual work was contracted out (leaving only management); little or no money went to the Common School Fund. My investigation revealed that money from Elliott was spent by the Oregon State Forestry Department on parking lots, roads, equipment, small buildings, etc., for the department and charged to Elliott as management expense.

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Delaware forest fire crew returns Monday from west coast

20 Delaware Forest Service firefighters help battle Washington state’s historic wildfire
The News Journal
July 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters have been turning the corner on controlling Washington state’s largest-ever wildfire – the 250,000-acre Carlton Complex east of Seattle – aided by 20 firefighters from the Delaware Forest Service. The crew, which is scheduled to return home Monday, includes veterans and newcomers from public agencies, volunteer fire companies and others from the Mid-Atlantic region who have completed training in wildland firefighting, according to John Petersen, a spokesman for the Delaware Forest Service.

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Should A Controversial Oregon Timber Harvest Become Regional Model?

Oregon Public Broadcasting
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. — The idea behind logging on the Buck Rising timber sale is to take out trees the same way nature does. Bureau of Land Management forester Abe Wheeler touts this method of selective logging as a way of making revenue while being no more obtrusive than a natural fire cycle. “We’re trying to take a mechanical disturbance — which is harvesting practices or logging — and we’re trying to make that look closely as possible to a natural disturbance like a wildfire or a windstorm,” Wheeler said during a recent tour meant to demonstrate the positive side of this newer approach to tree-cutting.

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Loggers manage better than feds

Calaveras Enterprise
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Recent letters published in the Enterprise have criticized clear-cutting forestry practices. I have no doubt in the writers’ sincerity, but I wonder if their hatred of clear-cutting has blinded them to the distressed state of forest health in the vastly more extensive lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. I am not a forest or wildlife expert but have lived in California’s wooded areas most of my long life – and no, I am not being rewarded by any timber product company for my views. Sierra Pacific Industries – or SPI – owns the properties that are the subjects of the complaints and the company follows all California’s very strict forestry regulations.

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Mount Hood timber sale proceeds after Clackamas County rejects conservation group offer

The Oregonian
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A 186-acre timber sale in the Mount Hood area is back on track for later this year. The Clackamas County commissioners rejected an offer from a nonprofit conservation group to buy the majority of the land. County staff plans to wait until mid-September or early October to invite bidders to cut the trees, when prices are expected to rise. County Forester Dan Green said the cut should generate three years’ worth of revenue, which goes toward county parks and forest operations. The trees are around 90 years old, which significantly exceeds the 55-year cutting rotation that the county follows. Partly, that is because the Mt. Hood Villages community pushes back against logging.

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Oregon Will Tap Catastrophic Insurance Policy To Cover Firefighting Costs

OPB
July 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For the second year in a row, the Oregon Department of Forestry says it will draw on a catastrophic loss insurance policy to help cover the costs of fighting wildfires. ODF is responsible for protecting 16 million acres, roughly half the forestland in the state. It fights fires on Bureau of Land Management land, privately owned timber, and state and county forests. State Forester Doug Decker says ODF’s firefighters put out most fires when they’re less than 10 acres. 

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A ‘tree change’ for TFS’ Indian sandalwood plantations

ABC News, Australia
July 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tropical Forestry Services (TFS) is planting over 1,400 hectares of Indian sandalwood in the Northern Territory this year. The trees are being planted on Midway Station in the Douglas Daly (515 ha) and also on TFS properties near Katherine (900 ha). The plantings this year look distinctly different to any other carried out by TFS, which has been planting sandalwood in Australia’s tropical north since 1999.  This year, each sandalwood tree, along with host trees, is planted within a cardboard, biodegradable tree-guard, which is held in place by two bamboo sticks.

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Tasmanian logger escapes conviction for punching forestry protester

ABC News, Australia
July 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A magistrate has decided not to record a conviction against a Tasmanian forestry worker who punched a man in the street after recognising him as a protester. Jamie McMahon, 28, told the Magistrates Court in Hobart he punched Ali Alishah in the face in a New Norfolk street in March last year after he recognised him as one of the Butlers Gorge forest protesters. McMahon, a third-generation forestry worker, said frustration got the better of him because he had lost wages because of the actions of protesters.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate Change Means More Massive Wildfires Ahead, Gov. Inslee Says

KUOW
July 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Fighting this summer’s wildfires in eastern Washington has cost the state more than $50 million, and Governor Jay Inslee said the state can expect even more expensive fires in years ahead. The ongoing fires are the “tip of the iceberg,” Inslee said, because warmer climate likely means more fires. “The western United States is facing firestorms in the future which are going to dwarf what we’ve had in the past because the climate is changing, and that’s just a fact,” Inslee said.

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