Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 26, 2015

Business & Politics

Safety improvements made at new Lakeland Mill

Prince George Citizen
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The inquest into the Lakeland Mills explosion was taken through the measures incorporated into the new sawmill aimed at preventing a similar disaster in the future. Gerhard Mikolajczyk, who was the lead design engineer on the project, said the intent was to reduce all five factors behind a blast – fuel, oxygen, ignition, compression and dispersion – as well as add features to protect employees in the event of a fire or explosion. Much of that work centred on dealing with sawdust, identified by a WorkSafeBC investigation as the fuel that led to the April 23, 2012 blast that left two men dead – Glenn Roche and Al Little – and injured 22 others, many seriously.

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Lakeland Inquest Adjourned After ‘Email Chain’ Brings New Information To Light

250 News
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, BC – In an unexpected development, the Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths of Alan Little and Glenn Roche in the 2012 Lakeland Explosion has been adjourned to a later date, possibly the end of April. Inquest Counsel, John Orr, requested the adjournment, citing time needed to review new material, including information he just received yesterday that raises concerns about WorkSafeBC’s handling of the investigation into the deadly sawmill blast and the conclusions reached in its final report.

Lakeland inquest adjourned as new evidence examined from The Prince George Free Press
Brakes put on Lakeland inquest from The Prince George Citizen

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Inquest Hears About ‘Knowledge Gap’ On Combustible Dust

250 News
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, BC – It has been a recurring statement at the Coroner’s Inquest examining the 2012 deadly explosion at Lakeland Mills – witnesses from sawmill employees to WorkSafeBC inspectors to local fire inspectors – have testified that while they knew dust was a fire hazard, they did not realize it was explosive. Yesterday, testimony focused on this ‘knowledge gap’ and efforts underway to bridge it.  BC’s Fire Commissioner, Gordon Anderson, told the inquest that prior to
the Lakeland blast, he had been aware, in general terms, that wood dust
was explosive, but admitted there was a general lack of knowledge among
Fire Services on how to identify when dust was approaching hazardous
levels.

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Tsilhqot’in move forward on rights and title law

Williams Lake Tribune
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last week the 25-year-old Nemiah Declaration was enacted as law which means the use of resources within the title and larger rights area will only happen with First Nation involvement, said Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William Monday. “In our declaration it says you are more than welcome to come into our territory and caretaker area and if you need to use some of our resources we have permits and licenses to help you go through that,” William told the Tribune during an interview. “It also says that nothing’s going to happen inside the Xeni Gwet’in caretaker area and inside the Tsilhqot’in territory without our involvement.”

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Industrial Update 2015: Tolko continues to improve lakecity operations

Williams Lake Tribune
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Committed, hardworking, dedicated to excellence – these are a few of the words Mike Dextrase, plant manager Soda Creek, uses to describe the Tolko Williams Lake team – a team he believes had a great deal to do with Tolko’s recent success at the annual Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards ceremony. Held on March 14 before a sold out crowd at the Elks Hall, the awards ceremony recognized a number of businesses in the community for their contributions to the social and economic success of Williams Lake.

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Steelworkers Union Renews Call For Inquiry, After Lakeland Inquest Adjourned

250 News
March 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, BC – The United Steelworkers Union has renewed its call for an independent public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the deadly 2012 explosions at both Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills… On Monday, the union’s lawyers withdrew from the Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths of Glenn Roche and Alan Little underway in Prince George and joined calls by family members and some in the larger community calling for an inquiry. In light of yesterday’s adjournment, United Steelworkers Director, Stephen Hunt, says new information at this late date and word from Inquest Counsel that WorkSafeBC refused to consider or review the forensics investigation conducted on behalf of lawyers for Lakeland Mills only provides further support for a public inquiry into both incidents.

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WorkSafeBC turned down access to sawmill investigation, inquest hears

Globe and Mail
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

While preparing investigations into two deadly sawmill blasts that it eventually botched, WorkSafeBC turned down access to a months-long probe by one of the mills’ owners and then did not tell an ongoing inquest about the existence of this extensive hidden evidence, the lead lawyer for the provincial coroners service says. The coroner’s inquest in Prince George, B.C., called to provide answers into two 2012 disasters that killed four people, was adjourned indefinitely Wednesday after inquest counsel John Orr said it would take several weeks to review the new evidence, which includes “dozens and dozens of interviews” with workers and management.

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Inquest decision sparks backlash

Prince George Citizen
March 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coroner Lisa Lapointe’s move to adjourn the inquest into the fatal Lakeland Mills sawmill explosion caused ripples through Victoria on Wednesday. …During Wednesday afternoon’s question period in the legislature, Opposition MLAs continued their call for a public inquiry. “The inquest is supposed to get answers. We now know that the company has its own interests, and they have protected those at the inquest,” said NDP labour critic Shane Simpson. “It’s now becoming painfully clear that WorkSafe has its own interests, and they appear to be protecting those at the the inquest, maybe at the expense of the coroner being able to get answers, and that’s wrong.”

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Stewart testifies at Lakeland inquest

Prince George Citizen
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Steps were missed by many that could have prevented the deadly explosion that leveled the Lakeland MIlls sawmill, Sinclar Group president Greg Stewart said Wednesday morning during testimony at the coroner’s inquest into the incident. Asked by coroner’s counsel John Orr to give his opinion on what went wrong, Stewart said it is a “very complex issue.” “It was a dust explosion that occurred and the question is how did we get to that point,” Stewart said. “And when we take a look, there are a number of factors and it’s quite complex to determine why we got to where we are. “And all along the way, as I keep replaying this over and over, there are steps that individuals, companies and organizations could take that could have stopped the chain of events, and they were missed.”

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Cook leaves Canfor for BID group

Prince George Citizen
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

One major Prince George industrial powerhouse and another local industrial giant have had a personnel transaction. Alistair Cook was senior vice-president of operations for Canfor, a company he has been with for about 23 years. It was announced on Tuesday that Cook would be moving into the CEO position of BID Group of Companies, one of Canfor’s closest partner companies. “Alistair’s extensive experience in the forest products sector places him in an ideal position to lead the BID Group of Companies as an industry leader in providing customer solutions for a rapidly changing, technology driven industry,” said BID’s chairman/managing director Brian Fehr.

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Swanson Group Purchases Olympic Panel Products

For Construction Pros
March 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Swanson Group Manufacturing LLC, a Pacific Northwest forest products company, announced today that it has acquired the assets of Olympic Panel Products LLC. Located in Shelton, Washington, Olympic Panel is the largest overlay plywood manufacturer in North America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Swanson Group plans to relocate the Olympic Panel assets in 2016 to its state-of-the-art facility that will be constructed in Springfield, Oregon. The new facility will continue to produce Olympic-branded products. During the next twelve to eighteen months, Olympic Panel Products will continue to operate in Shelton to ensure a smooth transition for all customers and suppliers.

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Georgia-Pacific taking over sawmill from Roy O. Martin

EUWID
March 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific is taking over the Rocky Creek small-diameter pine sawmill in Mexia, Alabama, from US-American plywood and OSB manufacturer Roy O. Martin Lumber Management. The takeover terms are to remain undisclosed. According to news released by the companies on 16 March, the takeover is expected to be concluded soon. Rocky Creek only handles southern yellow pine logs and was in operation in 2001. It was taken over by Roy O. Martin in 2006. The sawmill has approximately 110 employees and has an annual output of roughly 100m bdft of lumber. The products range from dimension lumber and heavy studs to squares and so-called barn beams.

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Federal agencies to investigate Canadian mill subsidies

WCSH6.com
March 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics

BANGOR, Maine– When the Madison Paper mill had a temporary shut down earlier this year, it cited subsidies given to a paper mill in Nova Scotia by its provincial government as a cause. Now the U.S. government is going to look into those subsidies to see if a tariff should be imposed on Canadian supercalendered (SC) paper like the kind made at the Madison paper mill Madison Paper and Verso, the former owner of the paper mill in Bucksport filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce which will work in conjunction with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to make a decision on the subsidies.

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Forestry

Legislative changes support BC Timber Sales review recommendations

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Amendments to forestry legislation introduced today will enhance the effectiveness of BC Timber Sales and allow the transfer of pulpwood agreements to increase fibre supply to pulp mills. Acting on recommendations from the BC Timber Sales effectiveness review, the amendments will encourage more accurate timber pricing, help BC Timber Sales generate more revenue, and improve overall business practices. Collectively, the changes could increase BC Timber Sales annual net revenue by as much as $4 million.

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‘Total control of watershed’ needed: Ruttan

Alberni Valley Times
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

World Water Day celebrations ended early in Port Alberni on Sunday because of all the water falling from the sky. …A number of speakers took to the Water Band stage to address the small crowd. Mayor Mike Ruttan said the city is struggling to gain rights over its own water access, and the long-term goal is to acquire “total control of the watershed” in the Alberni Valley. That could mean purchasing land currently owned by Island Timberlands in the China Creek Watershed. Controversy has arisen in recent months over logging practices on McLaughlin Ridge, with some local politicians voicing concerns that forest harvesting could adversely impact the city’s access to drinking water.

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Friday flight

Letter to the editor
Terrace Standard
March 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…I look away from the window for a few seconds. When I look back there is a visual gut punch. Below us now is a massive crazy quilt of clear cuts, each patch defined by a logging road seam, extending to the horizon. The mosaic is awesome in the true terrifying sense of the word. I scan the 180 degrees available to me; the nuances are different, but the view is essentially the same. Here, spread out below me, is the sum total of annual allowable cuts and the egregious over cutting, euphemistically called over harvest, justified and excused under the pretext of obliterating bugs.

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Under Secretary Highlights Forest Restoration Effort in Testimony before Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Pace and Scale of Restoration Efforts Increased, Sustainable Timber Harvesting Promoted, Fire Budget Threatens to Sap Maintenance, Recreation Programs
USDA Forest Service
March 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

In testimony earlier today before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resource and Environment Robert Bonnie said the Obama Administration continues to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration and management on public forest lands, but the shift of funds from management, recreation, and conservation programs to fight wildfires threatens to cripple the agency. “The U.S. Forest Service is accelerating restoration and management of the national forests, despite budgetary challenges, though we agree more must be done,” said Bonnie. “The good news is that the agency is making significant progress.”

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Timber industry: Tester should tell truth about lands

Letter by Polly Pfister
The Missoulian
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

How disappointing that U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has become a timber industry propagandist, continually spewing the industry’s lies while ignoring facts and truth. The Washington Post Fact Checker recently gave him four “Pinnochios” (the maximum) for falsely stating on Montana Public Radio that all Montana timber sales are held up by litigation, then lying again, saying half the volume of sales are stopped by litigation. Tester has adopted the timber industry’s longtime strategy of loudly denouncing environmentalists and repeating those same lies again and again.

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Judge approves Big Thorne, the largest old growth timber sale in decades, and the Tongass Forest Plan

Sit News
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ketchikan, Alaska – A controversial old-growth logging project on Alaska’s Tongass National Forest could begin as early as April after Federal Judge Ralph Beistline denied a lawsuit brought by 10 environmental groups. Friday, the U.S. District Court in Alaska ruled the Forest Service complied with the law when it approved the Big Thorne timber sale, allowing logging from approximately 6,200 acres of old growth forest, and when it adopted the Tongass Land Management Plan.

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Logging planned for woods burned by Bailey Butte Fire

The Bend Bulletin
March 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Ochoco National Forest is taking public comment on a draft plan to treat portions of the national forest burned last year by the Bailey Butte Fire. Started by lightning on private property on July 14, the fire spread to 10,272 acres before firefighters contained it on July 27, according to the Ochoco National Forest. The Bailey Butte Fire, part of the Waterman Complex of Fires, burned 7,789 acres on the national forest. The draft plan calls for logging to remove fire-killed trees and trees posing hazards along forest roads, according to the national forest. About 4 million board-feet of timber would be cut from 300 acres and along 19 miles of road. The plan also calls for some reforestation and streamside restoration work.

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Sen. Murkowski: Federal Government Failing to Manage America’s National Forests

Alaska Native News
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Tuesday criticized the Forest Service and Department of Agriculture for failing to actively manage federal forest lands in Alaska and across the West. Murkowski said the Forest Service’s reluctance to issue timber sales has harmed local communities that depend on jobs in the industry and revenue from timber harvests to pay for schools and emergency services.  “The federal government’s failure to manage our nation’s federal forests has resulted in a crisis of epic proportions for local communities,” Murkowski said.

Video of Lisa Murkowski at the Energy and Natural Resources Committee

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Timber exchange may hurt efforts for water pact

Medford Mail Tribune
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The efforts of the Klamath Indian Tribes of Southern Oregon to get back some land are back again where they started: No land. The tribes signed on to the agreement aimed at settling the Klamath Basin’s water problems last year. As part of the agreement, the federal government would pay to purchase the Mazama Forest. It was owned at the time by Fidelity National Financial, the same group that owned the Skyline Forest west of Bend. That land could be a critical piece of the effort to restore the tribes to financial health.

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BLM agrees to revise logging plan after complaints

BLM agrees to revise logging plan after groups complaint it amounts to huge clearcut
Associated Press
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Ore. — Federal forest managers have agreed to take another look at a timber sale outside Springfield after conservation groups complained that it amounts to a huge clearcut. The Register-Guard reports the lawsuit filed by Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands has been put on hold while the U.S. Bureau of Land Management looks at the cumulative effects of nearby logging and the Second Show timber sale. The timber sale is in the so-called O&C lands, a patchwork of public and private timber in one-mile squares.

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Teanaway forest planning moves forward

Daily Record News
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee will meet Thursday to discuss the forest’s draft plan and next steps in the process. The meeting runs from 3-8 p.m. Thursday in the Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum. All advisory committee meetings are open to the public. The draft of the proposed management is available online at dnr.wa.gov/teanaway. Public comments are also available on the same website. The next step is for the Teanaway Community Forest Management Plan to go
through the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process.

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No “Young Growth Management” on the Tongass

Letter to the editor
Sit News
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

… It is not a laughing matter. The Tongass National Forest is about to be put forever into Wilderness status by Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and his elitist Friends of Everything on the Earth but People (FEEP) foundations and committees. Thinking that Alaskans can be duped by Word Games they have invented two terms called Young Growth and Old Growth. Young Growth means to harvest uneconomical immature timber that is growing back from previous Forest Service clear cut sales. The plan does have one attribute. It recognizes that clear cut harvest methods is the preferred scientific way to renew Alaska’s decadent rain forest.

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Young to Forest Service Chief: “What Are You Doing in SE to Make Sure We Have a Steady Yield of Timber?”

Sit News
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, in a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands, Alaskan Congressman Don Young questioned U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell on his agency’s failure to approve new timber sales in Alaska, particularly Southeast Alaska, for the benefit of countless Alaskan communities and the very existence of the timber industry. Congressman Young began his remarks by questioning Chief Tidwell on the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget request, which he says only “furthers the agency’s decline in timber management practices to the detriment of the Alaskan and American people.” He continued by prodding Chief Tidwell on the many failures of the U.S. Forest Service in Southeast Alaska.

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BLM halts logging near Shotgun Creek

The Register-Guard
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MARCOLA — The federal Bureau of Land Management says it will put on hold any timber harvesting and construction of new roads on federal land along Shotgun Creek, about 25 miles northeast of Springfield, while it revises its environmental assessment of the project. A pair of environmental groups that had filed suit to block timber harvests on the land greeted the announcement with applause, saying the proposed harvest would have been “the largest clear-cut on federal lands in Lane County in 20 years,” involving almost 260 acres near the Shotgun Park and Recreation Area. Seneca Sawmill Co. in ­Eugene bought the timber on the land for $4.2 million from the BLM in December, and got the green light to begin logging preparations this winter, the BLM said.

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House accord extends timber pay

The Register-Guard
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Lawmakers in the U.S. House have reached a deal on a two-year extension of so-called federal timber payments to rural counties. The agreement would provide approximately $185 million over two years to 33 Oregon counties, continuing a recent pattern of decline in the aid. The program, known as Secure Rural Schools or SRS, provided $280 million per year to Oregon counties at its 2007 height, while the last two annual payments provided around $100 million per year. The latest deal would cut that previous level by 5 percent in the first year and reduce it by another 5 percent in the second.

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Forest thinning projects gain zoning flexibility

AZ Daily Sun
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On Tuesday night, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved a set of zoning code amendments that include a new temporary use for the processing of forest materials. The impetus for the zoning amendment was to facilitate forest thinning operations, like those conducted by Good Earth Power AZ, that are expected to increase in the future under the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. The temporary use permit would cover activities like mulching, composting and log storage, potentially allowing them to occur in areas closer to where thinning is happening. That would allow logging companies to cut transportation costs and save fuel because recently-cut timber and slash are much heavier and harder to transport than wood products that have had a chance to dry out.

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Opinions Differ on Suitable Timber in Flathead Forest

Timber executives optimistic about logging levels targeted in revised Forest Service management plan
Flathead Beacon
March 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Local timber executives are generally supportive of the initial targets for logging that are proposed in the U.S. Forest Service’s revised management plan for the Flathead National Forest, while environmental groups are criticizing the agency’s increased levels. The agency earlier this month released a proposed revision of the Flathead National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, or forest plan. The current plan has not been formally revised since 1986 and this latest edition will guide management decisions for 15 years after it is officially adopted. The plan is open to public comment through May 5.

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LePage breaks deal by holding land conservation funds hostage

Bangor Daily News
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Other than Maine people, our state’s natural beauty and natural resources probably are our most important economic advantage. We have a long tradition of working together to manage our natural assets in a way that balances the perspectives of business, conservation, recreation, the timber industry and traditional uses such as hunting and fishing in a respectful, nonpartisan manner. Right now, that tradition and our state’s economy unnecessarily are being put at risk.

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Norcross firm approved to use drones on farms, in forestry

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Norcross-based Vision Services Group LLC has gained federal approval to use unmanned aircraft in agriculture and forestry. The Federal Aviation Administration granted a two-year exemption Tuesday allowing Vision Services Group to operate unmanned aircraft — often called drones — to collect aerial data for agronomists, crop consultants and the forestry industry.

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Logging is all in the family

International Great Falls
March 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

It’s mid-morning just south of Littlefork, and Bruce Junker is slashing tamarack with a Barko 295ML, and loading it onto a waiting truck for delivery to Boise’s mill in International Falls, almost 40 miles away. Today’s production is going well. Temperatures are in the single digits above zero with bright sunshine, making this day typical of Northern Minnesota’s winter of 2014-15: good cold temps with little snow, ideal for logging. “The logging conditions don’t get any better than they have been this winter,” Junker says.

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Tasmania’s swift parrot in danger of extinction, calls to list the bird as critically endangered

ABC News, Australia
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Researchers have found Tasmania’s swift parrot population is declining more rapidly than first thought and the species is “on a trajectory to extinction”. The five-year study by a team at the Australian National University found the parrots were heavily preyed upon by sugar gliders and recommended breeding areas be protected from logging. Researcher Dejan Stojanovic said the research found if nothing changed, the bird’s population would decline by as much as 87 per cent. “This research clearly shows that the conservation status of the swift parrot is significantly worse than previously supposed and based on current land management practices, things are not going to get any better,” he said.

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General

Siuslaw National Forest transition from timber to ecology to be focus of April 2 public meeting

Oregon State University
March 23, 2015
Category: Uncategorised

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The Siuslaw National Forest has seen a transition from timber production to restoration ecology and has now hit a “sweet spot” that combines both, says Jim Furnish, former supervisor of the Siuslaw and retired deputy chief with the U.S. Forest Service. Furnish describes his own journey during the tumultuous decades of the Northwest timber wars in a new book, Toward a Natural Forest: The Forest Service in Transition, published this spring by the OSU Press.n the 1990s, the Forest Service took a “radical departure” from its
emphasis on timber to other priorities, Furnish said. “My memoir relates
the journey from despair to hope, building a new forestry paradigm
based on restoring naturalness to a landscape,” he wrote on an OSU Press
blog, “Future of the Forest.”

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