Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 5, 2014

Froggy Foibles

World War One: The air cadets who learnt to fly in trees

BBC News
August 4, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles

When members of the Royal Flying Corps were spotted high in the trees of Reading, it must have raised questions about how exactly the recruits, sitting in fuselages wedged between the branches, were helping the war effort. But the cadets were actually being taught important flying skills… The tree exercises were just one of a number of unusual techniques used to prepare recruits for the battlefield. Aviation historian Andrew Bird explained: “It was to give the officers a scale of height, with reference to things on the ground.

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Business & Politics

Canfor Purchases Mills from Balfour / Beadles Lumber

Noodles Gateway to Facts
August 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canfor Corporation is pleased to announce the purchase of the operating assets of Balfour Lumber Company and Beadles Lumber Company. The transaction includes two sawmills located in Thomasville and Moultrie, Georgia in an area with a high quality and sustainable fibre supply. The Balfour and Beadles mills produce quality southern yellow pine lumber and the operations have a combined capacity of 210 million board feet after reflecting planned near term capital. The purchase is structured with 55% being acquired in January 2015 and the balance after a two year period.

Canadian company buying Beadles, Balfour lumber companies from The Moultrie Observer

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B.C. sawmills still failing wood-dust inspections: WorkSafeBC FOI

By Gordon Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
August 2, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC continued to issue stop work orders and fines this spring for sawmills that failed wood-dust inspections more than two years after a pair of deadly mill explosions. But mills are starting to push back against WorkSafeBC’s conclusions with at least one mill appealing the results. In a fourth round of inspections between April and June, 18 per cent of 82 mills received citations for dust accumulations, ventilation problems, inadequate dust control programs or the use of high-pressure air to move dust. …Companies issued stop-work orders in this recent inspection blitz include Apollo Forest Products in Fort St. James, Dunkley Lumber near Prince George, Teal Cedar in Surrey, West Fraser in Quesnel, and Western Forest Products in Ladysmith.

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Western Forest Products reaches agreement with United Steelworkers Union

Lesprom Network
August 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products Inc. announces that a new five-year labour contract with the United Steelworkers union has been ratified by a majority of union members. Approximately 1,500 Western employees are covered under this new collective agreement that expires on June 15, 2019. The previous agreement had expired on June 15, 2014, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. “We are pleased with the strong support expressed by our employees in ratifying this agreement,” said Don Demens, President and CEO.

USW forestry workers get 13% wage increase over five years from The Alberni Valley Times

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WorkSafeBC pinpoints wood-dust concerns at pellet plants

Sixty per cent of plants fail inspections, four stop-work orders issued
Vancouver Sun
August 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s wood pellet sector says it is taking action to clean up plants after a majority of their operators failed WorkSafeBC dust inspections. Seven of 10 pellet manufacturers were cited in WorkSafeBC inspections between April and June for accumulations of wood dust at risk of fire or explosion, inadequate dust-control programs and the unsafe use of high-pressure air to clean up dust, according to inspection reports obtained by The Vancouver Sun through a freedom of information request. The safety agency has been conducing periodic inspection blitzes after explosions at two sawmills in 2012 killed four workers and injured dozens of others. WorkSafeBC’s focus has mainly been on sawmills — which are showing some improvement in handling dust — but the chief safety agency has also been checking other wood plants.

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Miramichi Lumber Commences Legal Action Against Province of New Brunswick

Company Received Less than Half its Permanent Saw Log Allocation
Canada NewsWire
August 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Miramichi Lumber regrets to announce that it has commenced an action against the Province of New Brunswick for damages suffered as a result of the Province’s failure to honour its agreement allocating saw logs to the Company from crown forests. The Statement of Claim was served on the Province July 10, 2014. Miramichi Lumber was not successful in its attempt to resolve the dispute, and avoid legal action, through discussions with the Minister of Natural Resources and senior officials in the Department of Natural Resources.

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EDITORIAL: Nova Scotia should charge polluting Northern Pulp mill

The Chronicle Herald
August 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The stink that citizens of Pictou County are justifiably raising this week over pollution from the Northern Pulp mill in Abercrombie Point is almost as striking as the smell and smog that now hangs over neighbouring communities like Pictou. Company spokesman David MacKenzie conceded this week that emissions have gone up in recent months as the mill’s precipitator, installed when it opened in 1967, deteriorates. Northern Pulp had said it would install a new precipitator in May, but has told local media that it is trying to speed up delivery so the new equipment can be installed in February or March. …It doesn’t help that Northern Pulp and the province, which owns the mill’s controversial pulp-waste lagoon in Boat Harbour, have a long history of failing to remediate the lagoon and its effluent treatment plant.

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Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) Posts Quarterly Results

WKRB13
August 5, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Louisiana-Pacific  announced its earnings results on Tuesday. The company reported $0.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.02 by $0.01, American Banking News reports. The company had revenue of $519.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $497.91 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.41 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.5% on a year-over-year basis.

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Weyerhaeuser earnings beat analysts’ forecast

Register Guard
August 2, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Weyerhaeuser’s second-quarter earnings from continuing operations rose 28 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago, the company reported Friday. Excluding discontinued operations and special items, Weyerhaeuser earned $234 million, or 40 cents a share, in the second quarter, exceeding analyst predictions of 35 cents per share. This is up from $183 million, or 33 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Net sales from continuing operations rose only 5 percent in the second quarter to $1.96 billion from $1.87 billion a year ago, falling short of analysts’ estimate of $2.27 million.

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Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. Announces Quarterly Dividend of $0.44 Per Share

Market Watch
August 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Plum Creek Timber Company today announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.44 per share. The dividend is payable on August 29, 2014, to shareholders of record as of August 15, 2014. Plum Creek’s dividend is expected to be characterized as long-term capital gain income primarily because the income generated by the sale of Plum Creek’s timber is considered long-term capital gain. Plum Creek is among the largest and most geographically diverse private landowners in the nation with approximately 6.7 million acres of timberlands in forest ecosystems across the northern and southeastern United States. 

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Montana wood products industry slowly improving, UM study shows

The Missoulian
August 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The state’s wood products industry is on the mend, paying higher wages to workers and more for logs to keep up with a slow increase in demand, a new University of Montana study has found. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research released its findings Friday for the first half of 2014, showing a 20 percent increase in workers’ wages over the same period last year. “What stood out, the wages were up a good bit from the same period last year,” said Todd Morgan, director of forest industry research with BBER. 

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Interfor closes its Beaver-Forks sawmill-planer mill operations; consolidates production in Port Angeles

Peninsula Daily News
August 2, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Interfor has pulled the plug on its West End operations, planning to close two facilities and consolidate production in Port Angeles, the timber company announced Thursday. The closure affects 52 workers at the Beaver sawmill and another 35 at the Forks planer mill, officials said. “To the greatest extent possible, we will be offering them positions at Port Angeles or at other operations in our company,” said Karen Brandt, director of public affairs for Interfor Corp. in Vancouver, B.C. …In announcing the curtailment of the West End operation June 24, Steve Kroll, Interfor general manager for Washington operations, said the Beaver mill has been particularly hard hit by difficult market conditions and a “challenging fiber supply that is further aggravated by the impacts from log exports.”

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Economist says future looks good for Southern forest industry

Rome News-Tribune
August 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

At least one economist and a local timber products manufacturer see a bright future for the Southern forest industry. Lynn Michaelis, president of Strategic Economic Analysis, told participants at the Georgia Forestry Association conference last month that the next 10 years could be the decade of forestry in Georgia. Hal Storey, vice president at S.I. Storey Lumber in Armuchee, also sees a positive outlook for the industry — with one caveat. Storey said the softwood lumber agreement with Canada is due to expire in October 2015, and there’s been little movement to negotiate a new one. The trade agreement addresses the U.S. contention that the Canadian industry is unfairly subsidized by provincial governments.

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International Director leaving Southern Forest Products Association

Lesprom Network
August 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Following a distinguished 16-year career with Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) as a marketing specialist in various capacities, Richard Kleiner is leaving the staff. Most recently, Richard has served the industry as SFPA’s senior director of international markets. The international program will be under the direction of the Southern Pine Council, as SFPA said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. …He assumed duties for international markets in 2010, directing promotions aimed at increasing the specification and application of SP products in markets around the globe. 

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Worker Killed at Weyerhaeuser Plant

Goldsboro Daily News
August 5, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

According to WITN, a worker was killed in a workplace accident in Pitt County yesterday. Christy Wallace with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened at the Weyerhaeuser plant on Hanrahan Road. Wallace says a forklift overturned, killing the worker inside the facility. A Weyerhaeuser spokeswoman says the 54-year-old man had worked for them for the past 7-1/2 years. Nancy Thompson says the company “has lost a valuable member of our Weyerhaeuser team and we extend our thoughts and prayers to his family.” Thompson says 184 people work at the lumber mill south of Ayden, which has been shut down indefinitely.

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Forestry sector can create 1,000 jobs across northern England

The project, which will create jobs in forestry management, will provide a case for how the forestry can achieve their full potential
The Journal
August 5, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New jobs will be created in the forestry industry after a £23m scheme to maximise the sector’s growth in the North East was launched. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Elizabeth Truss welcomed the project yesterday at an event at the Egger plant, in Hexham, Northumberland. Around 1,000 new jobs in forestry management and timber processing will be created through the scheme, which has been commissioned to provide a case for how the sector can achieve its full potential.

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Forestry

B.C.’s forest fire bills piling up

The Williams Lake Tribune
August 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is spending $3.5 million a day to fight forest fires around the province, with the total for the year past $106 million and headed higher. The government is bracing for bills that could reach $250 million by the end of the summer, depending on weather and the number of fires that threaten homes. B.C. has brought in firefighters from Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick, and issued several evacuation orders by the mid-point of the summer season. 

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Fire threat still looms

Prince George Citizen
August 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The skies above Prince George might not be smoky, but that doesn’t mean the threat posed by forest fires are over. On Wednesday, the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch responded to 21 new fires starting within the Prince George Fire Region, which encompasses the northeast third of B.C. Lightning has sparked all but one of those fires. Thirteen of those are within a 150-kilometre radius of Prince George. Steve Thomson, the provincial forests minister, asked citizens in a press release to respect the open fire ban in the Prince George area.

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Peachland fire contained as residents praise swift forestry response

Kelowna Daily Courier
August 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nervous Peachlanders expressed relief and gratitude Sunday when quick action by forestry crews stopped a small fire from threatening any homes. A bucketing helicopter, an air tanker, and a dozen ground crews were able to contain the fire, which at times produced heavy black smoke, in a steep canyon south of Pincushion Mountain. “We looked up the hill, saw all the smoke, and thought, ‘Holy Christmas, here we go again’,” Beach Avenue resident Dot Moberg said, referring to a 2012 fire that forced the evacuation of many of the town’s 5,200 residents. 

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Western wildfires go global and go ‘pyro’

Montreal Gazette
August 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Smoke from Canada’s wildfires, which have burned vast tracks of forest in B.C. and the Northwest Territories, has been spotted as far away as Portugal. And its travel is fuelled in part by incredible clouds created by the fires that act like chimneys funnelling smoke and ash as high as 10 to 15 kilometres into the atmosphere. “The smoke is often injected all the way up into the stratosphere,” says Scott Bachmeier, a meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who tracks the pyrocumulonimbus clouds, or pyroCbs, created by intense boreal wildfires. Once in the stratosphere, the smoke layers “can easily circle the globe,” says Bachmeier.

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Northern Pulp mill protesters rally in Pictou County

CBC News
August 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

More than 100 people have lined the street in front of the Pictou County Wellness Centre Sunday demanding a cleanup of the Northern Pulp mill. The haze from the mill in Abercrombie Point has a sulphur-like smell and drifts across the town. Some locals report the smog gets into their clothes, homes, cars and lungs. The group is demanding people listen to their concerns about the pollution. The opponents carried signs demanding clear air and asking the government to take their health concerns seriously.

‘The Last Straw’ from The NG News

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Weather, caution curtails Quebec forest fires

Montreal Gazette
August 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Calls for caution from the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) seem to have been heard by travellers across Quebec this year. According to recently released figures, the month of July was one of the quietest in recent years in terms of number and extent of forest fires. Only 60 forest fires were reported last month, against an average of 106 for the same month in the past decade. Only 20.4 hectares of forest have been destroyed, against the usual average of 8,280 hectares.

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Work to protect forest goes on, despite no spray program

The Western Star
August 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There may not be any aerial control program for pests this year, but that doesn’t mean there is no work going on to ensure the health of the province’s forests. According to the Department of Natural Resources, this summer is just the third time in the last 37 years that there have been no aerial operations to control outbreaks of voracious pests such as the hemlock looper, spruce budworm or balsam fir sawfly. “The only time we ever do a control program is when there’s a need to do so,” said Dan Lavigne, supervisor of forest insect and disease control with the Department of Natural Resources in Corner Brook.

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Monday wildfire roundup: 5 Mile Fire grows to 2,000 acres

The Oregonian
August 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

Fire crews in the Northwest are battling new flames after a heavy dose of lightening and dry weather over the weekend. Three new large fires, two in Oregon and one in Washington, have caught the attention of fire crews. The 5 Mile Fire grew by 500 acres on Monday, scorching a total of 2,000 acres since the fire started on Sunday. Located in Wallowa County about 21 miles east of Joseph, the fire has compromised the Idaho Power transmission line and threatened structures in the town of Imnaha. There are no mandatory evacuations at this point.

Oregon Wildfires and Forest fires – latest from The Oregonian

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What’s really going on in the forest

By Joe Morgan – Letter to the Editor
Independent Record
August 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There’s a little bit of confusion when it comes to information being passed around by environmentalists that are linking the pine bark beetle to global warming. The truth as to why the trees in the forests are being killed off by the pine bark beetles is that environmentalists are to blame, not the phony money scam called global warming. Because of environmentalists, the loggers have been kept from logging. The trees started to die off from the pine bark beetle. Now the situation is out of control. All thanks to environmentalists… My point here is logging refreshes the forests. It is common sense. Environmentalists are killing the forests. That is the truth.

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Arizona forest thinning receives aid

AZ Central
August 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Contributions by Boeing, other corporations and even a garden club may someday help forest managers strategically thin Arizona’s forests to slow catastrophic wildfires by removing small-diameter trees while preserving the proper mix of old and new trees and grassy clearings. The healthier, thinned forests already have slowed the San Juan Fire this summer and parts of the much larger Wallow Fire in 2011, with the success encouraging Boeing to donate four computer tablets, antennas and software. Boeing had donated two tablets and other equipment previously.

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Study Says Poor Planning Contributes To Wildfire Costs

Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires in the West are getting bigger, hotter – and more costly. A new report from a national science advocacy group says climate change is one major reason wildfires are getting worse. And short-sighted development policies are a big reason they’re costing more. …“A lot of the firefighting money is coming from federal sources like the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service,” she said, “whereas a lot of decisions around development are being made at the local level through local zoning regulations, for example, where the folks who make those decisions are not paying for the firefighting cost.”

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California wildfires expand, scorch 90 square miles, threaten care hospital

OregonLive.com
August 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BURNEY, Calif. — A pair of wildfires burning without restraint about eight miles apart in northeast California became the focus of state and federal firefighters Sunday as authorities reported that one of the blazes had destroyed eight homes and prompted the precautionary evacuation of a small long-term care hospital. The two fires that started within a day of each other in Lassen National Forest had expanded into private property and scorched 90 square miles as of Sunday morning, up from 39 square miles a day earlier.

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Replant after wildfire or let nature take over?

Washington Post
August 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nearly a year since a historic wildfire charred a huge swath of California’s High Sierra, debate rages over what to do with millions of dead trees left in its wake: truck them to lumber mills or let nature to take its course? One side argues that the blackened dead trees and new growth beneath them already sprouting to life create vital habitat for dwindling birds such as spotted owls and black-backed woodpeckers. Others say time is running out on a golden opportunity to salvage timber to pay for replanting and restoring the forest. …Loggers have already begun removing a small portion of dead trees along roads so motorists aren’t hurt by falling timber. A much more aggressive logging project is under consideration, targeting nearly 50 square miles of forest land. Environmentalists said they are alarmed by the prospect of logging.

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North Idaho logging project will resume

Idaho Statesman
August 2, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A northern Idaho logging project in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest is back on following a court ruling. …Mark Craig of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest said logging will resume Monday on the Moon Shine Timber Sale and within a week on the Ruby Timber Sale. “Right now it looks like a very strong look for us going forward that they didn’t hold us up,” Craig said of the ruling. “We really see it as a positive side of the whole outcome.” Work stopped last month after the appeals court issued a temporary injunction. …The U.S. Forest Service says the project will produce about 40 million board feet of timber while restoring fish habitat.

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State’s first gypsy moth of season found near Port Townsend

Peninsula Daily News
August 2, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A yearly statewide hunt for the gypsy moth … has discovered 2014’s first just south of Port Townsend. “It’s the first one this season in the state so far,” said Jim Marra, pest program manager for the state Department of Agriculture, on Friday. …A single moth is not cause for alarm, Marra said, though it will trigger the placement of dozens of more traps in the immediate area to see if any more are found. …One caterpillar can eat 11 square feet of vegetation in its life time, according to the state Department of Agriculture. …Moth eggs are usually spread by people moving from moth-invested states, Marra explained. The moths often lay their egg masses, collections of 100 to 200 individual eggs, on items such as outdoor furniture and bird houses, Marra said. 

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Following ‘Rim Fire,’ what should be done with the trees left behind?

PBS Newswire
August 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A year after a California wildfire known as the “Rim Fire” burnt through over 250,000 acres of Sierra Nevada forests, environmentalists and loggers are debating what to do with the blackened woodland it left behind. The timber industry believes that chopping down and selling the trees that remain will not only restore Sierra Nevada forestland, but also create jobs. Some loggers including Steve Brink of the California Forestry Association, say that without tree removal, the forests won’t be opened to the public again for as long as a century, the Associated Press reports… Environmentalists are opposed to logging burnt forests because deteriorating trees create a unique ecological opportunity. Environmental groups argue that standing dead and dying trees — also called “snags” — provide habitats for dozens of species and are three times as rare as living trees.

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Plans For Massive Amusement Park Overlap With Endangered Florida Forest

Before It’s News
August 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The recent sale of a section of pine rocklands forest, a critically endangered ecosystem in South Florida, by the University of Miami to a developer planning to build a Walmart, Chick-fil-A, LA Fitness and 900 apartments has caused quite a stir, but it isn’t the only threat to the forest. A major development, complete with an amusement park, restaurants, a hotel and conference center, has been in the works for nearly a decade, the Miami Herald reported this week. Voters approved the project, led by 20th Century Fox, in a 2006 referendum specifying that development would only occur “on Metrozoo property on land that is not environmentally sensitive and is outside the animal attractions.” 

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NZ forestry industry must drive workplace culture change

Scoop Independent News
August 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

NZ forestry industry must drive workplace culture change for safety reforms to be effective. Between 2008 and 2013, there were 967 serious incidents and 28 fatalities in the New Zealand forestry industry, with 10 of those fatalities taking place in 2013 alone. The safety rate for the forestry sector is also far worse than in any other sector in NZ – with the overall injury rate nearly six times worse than it is any other industry. As the forestry sector moves forward with further growth and expansion global consultants DuPont Sustainable Solutions are warning that something must be done to counter the alarming safety track record. …“At the end of the day it’s these people who are at the coal-face. If we can’t drive change in safety awareness and behavior through to the people on the ground, then this reform will ultimately fail.”

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Forest thinning in conservation areas should be subsidised, NSW report recommends

Sydney Morning Herald
August 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Taxpayers are being asked to subsidise logging in four ecologically sensitive state conservation areas in northern NSW, according to the recommendations of a draft report of the Natural Resources Commission. The report, which remains open for public comment until August 10, recommends logging of white cypress pines be permitted in four regions within the Brigalow-Nandewar conservation area north of Coonabarabran. …Keith Muir, the director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, said: “They are logging the forest and they want the taxpayer to fund it. It’s crazy.”

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Logging can ‘greatly increase’ fire severity for 50 years, researchers say

ABC News Australia
August 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and Melbourne University examined hundreds of thousands of trees burnt in the 2009 bushfires in Victoria, which claimed the lives of 173 people on a day of extreme temperatures and high winds. They found that the increased fire risk began about seven years after an area had been logged and lasted for another 50 years. Professor David Lindenmayer, from the ANU, said the results showed the fires around Kinglake and Marysville were about 25 per cent more severe due to the clear-felling of forest in the area.

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Massive Swedish forest fire is declared a national emergency (& video)

Euronews
August 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A record breaking forest fire – one of the biggest in modern times – has broken out in central Sweden. The blaze which covers between 5,000 and 10,000 hectares has been declared a national emergency. It has been burning for five days Helicopters are being used to pluck people trapped by the flames to safety. The 4,500 residents in the town of Norberg may have to be evacuated. Emergency services say hard winds have been hampering efforts to control the blaze. The fire was described as “out of control” by firefighters.

Sweden forest fire rages out of control, kills 1 from The Associated Press

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Porcupine caribou herd could disappear in 100 years: study

Study says climate change will cause more forest fires and burn up lichen-rich boreal forests
CBC News
August 4, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

A new study suggests communities in northern Alaska and Yukon could be left without caribou in the future. Scientists believe climate change could increase the number of forest fires in the area, which would end up destroying lichen-rich boreal forest, where herds, such as the porcupine caribou, forage in the winter. The study, which was co-authored by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the U.S. Geological Survey, says there could be 21 per cent fewer caribou in their Northern habitat in the near future… The study looks closely at the effects of predicted increasing temperatures and how that may influence the flammability of the forest in Northeastern Alaska and Northwestern Canada. 

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Why an 1879 Voyage Is a Time Machine for Climate Change

Wall Street Journal
August 1, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

To understand [what the polar ice cap looked like a century ago], you’d have to take a time machine back into history, build a research station and trap it for years in the dangerously drifting icepack. As it happens, a group of U.S.Navy explorers did just that in the early 1880s—by sailing a small ship deep into the Arctic ice pack and keeping exacting records of what they found. …Every hour of the day for two years, De Long and his crew braved the freezing cold and took measurements of air and sea temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, ice thickness and drift, as determined by the ship’s daily position. …They wound up in the National Archives in Washington, where they’ve been preserved for 135 years. …At the heart of the Jeannette’s last voyage lies a deep irony: De Long set off in search of the nonexistent Open Polar Sea. Now climatologists warn that one day soon, such a sea may indeed come into being.

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Climate ‘key driver’ in European forest disturbances

BBC News
August 4, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Europe’s forests have experienced increased disturbances throughout the 20th Century from wind, bark beetles and wildfires, a study has shown. A team of European-based scientists identified climatic changes as a “key driver behind this increase”. However, they added, how the expected continuation of climate change would affect Europe’s forests in the future remained unresolved… The researchers wrote: “Natural disturbances, that is, large pulses of tree mortality from agents such as wildfire, insect outbreaks or strong winds, are integral drivers of forest dynamics and contribute to the diversity and adaptive capacity of ecosystems.”

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