Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 2, 2014

Business & Politics

Sino-Forest high-profile fraud hearing to begin

The Globe and Mail
August 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Ontario Securities Commission will lay out its fraud case against collapsed forestry giant Sino-Forest Corp. and some of the company’s former key executives on Tuesday, as a hearing begins on the largest corporate fraud allegations to hit Bay Street since the Bre-X gold scandal. The high-profile proceedings are a key test for the province’s financial markets regulator, as it takes on a murky and massively complex case that involves millions of documents and a tangled web of entities in China, where Sino-Forest claimed to control $3-billion worth of timber assets.

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What happens to old Weyerhaeuser headquarters?

KIRO TV
August 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell says he wasn’t taken by surprise by Weyerhaeuser’s announcement that its headquarters is moving to Seattle in 2016… Now he’s focused on finding a new buyer for the 430-acre campus, and the unique headquarters building nestled into the woods. “There’s been a lot of discussion talking about an institution of higher education, a college there, be it a branch campus or maybe a technical college,” the mayor told us. But the King County assessor values the headquarters building alone at $40 million, not counting the remainder of the campus. It might be too expensive to fit into tight education budgets.                                                                                                                                                              

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Forestry

Small beetle with a big lesson for investors

E Financial News
September 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

The mountain pine beetle is about a third of an inch long and probably not endowed with advanced powers of financial analysis, but it has something important to teach investors about how environmental risk is changing. In the past decade, the beetle has killed millions of trees from New Mexico to northern Canada. For investors in North American timber, the obvious response to an outbreak in one place would be to diversify into assets unaffected in other areas – but the beetle has spread so fast that such a strategy was doomed to failure.

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Future foresters awarded scholarships

Powell River Peak
August 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two Powell River forestry students are the recipients of scholarships. Rachel Ewan and Allan Knapp won Powell River Community Forest Scholarships worth $2,500 to help them in forestry studies this fall. Ewan will be entering Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) two-year Forest Technology Program in Nanaimo. Knapp is going to the University of British Columbia for the final year of his Forest Resource Management Degree. The scholarships aim to help students further their education in the field of forestry.

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To Darshan Sihota, CEO of Island Timberlands, and Steve Thomson, BC Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations:

Powell River Daily News
August 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We, the undersigned organizations, are greatly concerned about the rapid logging by Island Timberlands of McLaughlin Ridge near Port Alberni. We urge both the BC government and Island Timberlands to ensure that this critical area and the remaining old growth forests on Vancouver Island in similar situations are not logged. A few hundred hectares of extremely endangered old-growth forests still stand – for now – on McLaughlin Ridge. This includes major stands of ancient Douglas-fir trees, the overwhelming majority of which have been logged on BC’s coast. 

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LETTER: Saanich confused about its trees

Saanich News
August 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: Tree tally leads to new rules (News, July 9) – Saanich’s tree removal restrictions act against human life while not achieving the ends that environmentalist politicians want. For example, why is Western red cedar protected but Himalayan cedar not? (Using the list in your August 22, 2014 issue. Western red “cedar”, a member of the Cypress/Juniper family, is common here whereas Himalayan “cedar”, in the Larch branch of the Pine family, is not. (Himalayan cedar is a large tree that looks like Western hemlock from a distance, it’s closely related to Lebanon cedar.) 

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Don Cayo: Communication suffers when no one listens

Public policy debate over B.C. resource development is mired in conflict and ideology
Vancouver Sun
August 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

How can consensus ever be found when people on opposite sides of an issue often won’t listen to each other, can’t agree on the facts, don’t believe what the other guys say, and/or approach every conversation with the sole goal of scoring points? These questions could be aptly asked in the context of quite a few public policy debates in Canada today, but none more so than resource development in B.C. The Canada West Foundation has been giving a lot of thought to these questions lately, not to mention doing some specific research. They are finding not so much a hard-and-fast answer as an approach that should promise better results. It would, after all, be hard to do much worse.

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Old-growth forests get eloquent voice

The Chronicle Herald
August 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jamie Simpson’s second book takes readers on a series of excursions to 17 old-growth forests that remain in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The sites have varying, well-profiled Acadian forest attributes that Simpson neatly fits into a wider picture of ecologically healthy forest functions. Sufficient directions are given for readers to visit these places… The contrasts between old-growth forests and degraded forest sites and soils that remain after hundreds of years of excessive plundering by single-purpose companies are well documented. The stark realities of current clearcutting practices on forest landscapes are described in Chapter 5.

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First Nations chiefs appeal forestry plan ruling

Judge denied request for injunction to block plan to give industry access to more Crown wood
CBC News
August 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick’s First Nations chiefs have filed a leave to appeal a judge’s decision to deny their request to temporarily block the provincial government’s new forestry plan. “We do not agree with [Court of Queen’s Bench] Justice [Judy] Clendening’s claim that ‘the Rubicon has not been crossed,'” Chief Brenda Perely, the Assembly’s Maliseet co-chair, stated in a release. “The government has clearly signalled its intention to cross that line and put the health of the forest at risk,” said Chief George Ginnish, the Assembly’s Mi’kmaq co-chair.

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Estimates: State management of federal lands could cost Montana $500M

Billings Gazette
September 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Determining the cost to the state of Montana to take over management of roughly 25 million acres of federal land within its borders is no easy task, but a back-of-the-envelope calculation puts such a deal at close to half a billion dollars. “There’s a whole new sector of land management that would be needed to manage public lands,” said John Grassy, information officer for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. “We’re being asked to project how we would staff and program an additional 25 million acres. It’s something we’ve never done before.”

State legislator calls land transfer unrealistic, supports local input from The Billings Gazette
Proposal to transfer federal lands to state ownership divisive, and debated from the Helena Independent Record

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USFS plans to move Region 1 headquarters, 230 employees from downtown to Fort Missoula

The Missoulian
August 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A land swap between the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Army has placed the Forest Service’s Region 1 headquarters on track to vacate the historic – and costly – federal building in downtown Missoula. The move will save the Forest Service an estimated $1.9 million in annual lease payments and keep it within the city limits. But it will also place the federal building alongside the Missoula Mercantile as a large, vacant downtown property.

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New findings on beetle flight may help control deadly walnut tree disease

UC Davis
August 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

New research from entomologists affiliated with the University of California, Davis, shows how environmental conditions influence the seasonal flight behavior of the walnut twig beetle, which spreads a deadly fungal disease in black walnut and other walnut trees. The research may lead to better control of the disease, now found throughout much of the United States. Yigen Chen and Steve Seybold continually trapped the tiny insect, about a third of the size of a grain of rice, over three years along Putah Creek in Davis, California.

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State must ensure future logging doesn’t trigger landslides

HeraldNet
September 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As Oso families struggle to rebuild their lives and Washington state rebuilds Highway 530 with federal disaster funds, it is time to ask why the state has done so little to ensure that logging does not exacerbate risks to citizens who live and travel near dangerous landslides.  In a July 22 report, a distinguished panel of independent scientists called Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER), funded in part by the National Science Foundation, concluded that the Oso landslide was caused by enormous amounts of groundwater that infiltrated the landslide from forestlands above and to the side of it in addition to direct rainfall.

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Expense of Montana takeover of federal lands difficult to define

Billings Gazette
September 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS — Determining the cost to the state of Montana to take over management of roughly 25 million acres of federal land within its borders is no easy task, but a back of the envelope calculation puts such a deal at close to half a billion dollars. “There’s a whole new sector of land management that would be needed to manage public lands,” said John Grassy, information officer for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. “We’re being asked to project how we would staff and program an additional 25 million acres. It’s something we’ve never done before.”

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Giant air tankers add to Medford’s fire response

Drivers passing the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport recently may have noticed some really big planes.
Grants Pass Daily Courier
August 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Drivers passing the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport recently may have noticed some really big planes. Two DC-10s, the largest firefighting air tankers flying in the nation, have been using an upgraded air tanker capability there to fight fires in the region. Medford is the only place in Oregon that can reload the DC-10s, with a portable base for what the agencies call “Very Large Air Tankers.” That, combined with the main base already in place, gives Medford more initial attack capability than ever before. 

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Wyden wants timber bill, Medicare reform by end of year

Statesman Journal
August 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has an ambitious list of goals to accomplish before the end of session. The Portland Democrat wants to change how the country fights wildfires, increase logging in Oregon, and revise Medicare’s fee for service system. With multiple outlets predicting a Republican-controlled Senate in 2015, the pressure is on for the newly minted chairman of the Senate Finance Committee… Oregon’s timber counties have struggled to pay their bills for two decades since federal protections curtailed logging on federal forest lands.

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New Mexico’s forests are warming and transforming

New Mexico in Depth
August 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

EMORY PASS, GILA NATIONAL FOREST – The sun illuminates patches of green on brown and black hillsides around Highway 152 near Emory Pass in the Gila National Forest. Gambel oak and other shrubs whose roots survived a lightning-sparked wildfire in 2013 sprout on many slopes once dominated by ponderosa pines. Black, mangled masses of wood and dead barley plants loom over the new growth, which also includes aspens, grass and wildflowers. The barley grew last fall from seeds the U.S. Forest Service dropped to minimize erosion after the Silver Fire.

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Wis. forest advocates hope to emulate unusual alliance

Gannett Wisconsin Media
September 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

APPLETON, Wis. — Six years ago, activists with Greenpeace chained themselves to Kimberly-Clark office buildings and disrupted the global tissue manufacturer’s operations in Canadian forests — but the two groups have since become unlikely allies. Forest advocates in Wisconsin hope to borrow the strategy of bringing together environmental groups and pro-business factions to resolve a long-boiling crisis over timber management in the state’s Northwoods.

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Asian longhorned beetle a worry: Del. trees next target?

Delaware State News
August 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Military strategists teach it. Coaches preach it. Jimmy Kroon promotes it. The best defense can be a good offense. Mr. Kroon, an environmental scientist with the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Dover office, even is known to dress like the enemy — a voracious 1.5-inch long, six-legged insect — to bring attention to an invasion he hopes never will arrive in Delaware. The Asian longhorned beetle already has caused the destruction of more than 130,000 trees in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio and Illinois. 

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Traveling women loggers show off timber sport skills

Daily Record Show
August 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Axe Women Loggers of Maine and their axe-tossing, wood-chopping, log-rolling display of timber sports drew one of the biggest crowds at the first day of Kittitas County Fair. The team’s members split time traveling around the country to fairs, sportsman shows, music festivals and exhibitions with timber sports competitions, organizer Alissa Harper said. “Pretty much every weekend throughout the year, you can find a competition,” she said.

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Fuel-reduction burns in catchments less of a hazard than previously thought, research finds

Sydney Morning Herald
August 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Fuel-reduction burning in catchment areas has less impact on water quantity and quality than previously thought and should be given a greater priority to limit the effect of major bushfires, new research says. Professor Mark Adams, from the University of Sydney, said fire authorities had tended to consider water catchments largely off limits out of concern to “not doing the wrong thing with hazard reduction”. The worry was that vegetation regrowth after burns would lift water consumption and reduce run-off into reservoirs, while additional erosion after landscape disturbance would increase turbidity.

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Pine on the Decline: The Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic

The Green Pages
August 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Though they are only one-eighth to one-third inch long—the length of a grain of rice—mountain pine beetles have made a devastating impact on our nation’s forests. A multiple-year outbreak of the small but mighty insects (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and other bark dwelling beetles has compromised thousands of acres of trees, and there’s no sign of them stopping any time soon. Bark beetles have populated North American forests from Canada to Mexico for thousands of years, but within the last two decades, different species of beetles, including the destructive mountain pine variety, have killed pine and spruce trees throughout the Rocky Mountains and elsewhere. 

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State Government commissions second review of Forestry Tasmania in two years

ABC News, Australia
September 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government has commissioned yet another review of Forestry Tasmania two years after a previous review recommended the state-owned company be split in two. The review was buried deep in the budget papers handed down last week and did not include a cost figure. Treasurer Peter Gutwein says it will be carried out by three government departments. “It’s headed up by Treasury, DPAC and State Growth,” he said. “The review will draw on any private company expertise that it might need.”

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Crown land earmarked for logging to be managed by Parks and Wildlife

ABC News, Australia
September 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Land earmarked for future logging by the State Government is to be managed by Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife using public funds. The parks service was given $3.5 million a year in the state budget to manage reserves and Crown land. Part of that land is the 400,000 hectares that will eventually be open to logging once the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement is officially repealed. This land was assigned to the parks service under the forest peace deal and it will remain so despite the deal being scrapped.

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Brazil dismantles large deforestation gang active in Amazon rain forest

Associated Press
August 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SAO PAULO – The “largest deforestation gang” active in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest has been dismantled, authorities said Thursday. The federal prosecutor’s office in the jungle state of Para said eight suspected members were taken into custody on Wednesday and could be charged with invading public lands, environmental crimes, forgery, criminal association and money laundering. They face more than 50 years in jail, although Brazilian law stipulates that no one can serve more than 30 years. Another six members of the gang are at large.

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An affordable price tag for saving Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest

Science Mag
August 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Saving biodiversity is a noble goal, but how much will it cost? And where should the money be spent? These are difficult questions for policymakers. An innovative analysis, published in this week’s issue of Science, lays out a plan for Brazil’s diverse and endangered Atlantic Forest. “The most important message is that restoration can be targeted in a way that minimizes costs and has a greater likelihood of delivering lasting environmental benefits,” says Toby Gardner, an ecologist at the Stockholm Environment Institute, who was not involved in the new research… With a great variety of environmental conditions, life has evolved into incredible diversity. But farming, ranching, and urban development have destroyed much of the forest.

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Tasmanian Government’s forestry policy goes against Treasury advice, environmentalists say

ABC News
September 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Green groups claim the Tasmanian Government has ignored its own advice on the future of the state’s forest industry. Premier Will Hodgman says he is maintaining his focus on the forestry industry, despite the state budget labelling the sector trade-exposed and unlikely to expand. Budget papers show business investment in the forestry and forest products industry is also unfavourable, due in part to the high Australian dollar.

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Tasmania repeals the forestry peace deal between conservationists and loggers, opening up 400,000 hectares

ABC News, Australia
September 2, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania’s Parliament has passed the State Government’s signature bill to repeal the forestry peace deal. The bill passed a vote in the Lower House, after being passed with amendments by the independent-dominated Upper House last week. After four years of negotiations and countless hours of debate in Parliament to form the peace deal under the former Labor-Green government, it is now a thing of the past. The deal added an extra half a million hectares of native forest to the state’s existing reserves of 1 million hectares.

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FSC to carry out field tests in Australia, Romania and Vietnam

Pulp and Paper News
September 2, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

FSC will soon carry out field tests for the most recent drafts of the two revised Controlled Wood standards. This is to ensure they can be implemented by organizations efficiently and audited by certification bodies effectively, before they are finalized. The standards to be tested are the second drafts of FSC-STD-30-010 V3-0 Forest management requirements for Controlled Wood certification and FSC-STD-40-005 V3-0 Requirements for sourcing Controlled Wood.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Water Supplies

Climate Central
September 1, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

… As the globe warms, these landscape transformations are occurring at higher altitudes. Temperature gradients over the sierra are shifting uphill, and they appear to be dragging lush, diverse, thirsty forests with them — up into lands where temperatures had previously been too cold for them to survive. These landscape changes in the warming Sierra Nevada could have major repercussions for California’s economy. The thirstiness of the dense forests that flourish in the mountain’s middle reaches, an expanding sweet spot where water is more ample than in the lower ranges, and where temperatures are more amenable to plant life than in the higher stretches, makes them bona fide water hogs.

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