Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 13, 2015

Opinion / Editorial

Growing the market for softwood lumber

By Duncan Davies, President & CEO, Interfor 
Interfor / Building Products Digest
May 12, 2015
Category: Opinion / Editorial
Region: Canada

NEARLY A DECADE ago, after years of conflict, the North American softwood lumber industry came together in a collaborative effort to protect and grow the market for our products. We’ve made tremendous progress since then and are on the cusp of some major achievements. Our goal now is to make sure we stay the course and build on the momentum that’s been established. As a member of the industry groups that have guided these efforts, I have had the privilege of working with a number of talented and forward-thinking individuals from both sides of the border on these initiatives. The steps we’ve taken have not been easy. We’ve had to abandon traditional self-interest and old-style rhetoric to focus on the benefits of the “greater good.” 

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Business & Politics

Group forms to block sale of Wildwood forest

Nanaimo Bulletin
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With Wildwood Ecoforest’s fate up in the air, a grassroots group is concerned the non-profit society holding the site in trust will amend its bylaws to help facilitate a sale. The 31-hectare site, located in Cedar, was sold by the late Merv Wilkinson, a sustainable forester, to The Land Conservancy in 2000, with the understanding it would remain in the public domain. But with a multimillion-dollar debt load, the land trust is looking to sell to a private party. Because Wildwood has been declared inalienable, it can’t be sold or transferred, according to conservancy bylaws.

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Catalyst reports improved first quarter operating performance

Catalyst Paper
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond –With a continued sharp focus on operational excellence priorities, Catalyst Paper today announced improved operating performance for the first quarter of 2015. Adjusted earnings before tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $14.0 million compared to $6.8 million in Q4 2014. Excluding specific items, our net loss was $12.6 million compared to a net loss of $10.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. In the first quarter, we incurred $1.4 million on transaction costs to complete the acquisition of the US mills and $5.5 million on integration of the mills. Free cash flow was negative $8.1 million, compared to negative $12.2 million in the previous quarter. We ended Q1 with total liquidity of $101.6 million.

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Northeast Wood Products added third wood pellet plant

Lesprom Network
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Northeast Wood Products announced that the first phase of installation and retrofit of its third factory in the Jasper Industrial Park, located in Jasper, Tennessee, is underway. Once operational in November, the plant will produce up to 125,000 tons of premium wood pellets. The first-phase machinery, purchased late last year is on-site, and the building’s size allows a duplicate production line that will be installed during phase II of the construction.

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WorkSafeBC starts a risk analysis unit, Lakeland Mills inquest hears

Prince George Citizen
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has established a “risk analysis unit” to better predict new trends in workplace hazards following the two fatal northern B.C. sawmill explosions, a coroner’s inquest in Prince George heard Tuesday. Historically, WorkSafeBC has relied on data it has collected from past incidents to decide where its focus should be, Al Johnson, the agency’s vice president of prevention services, said under questioning from coroner counsellor John Orr. Johnson said the approach has been effective in putting an end to a trend after it has begun. But in previous testimony, the inquest heard that WorkSafeBC was unaware the danger of sawdust, particularly from beetle-killed pine, posed as a fuel for an explosion even in a relatively expansive area such as a sawmill.

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B.C. economic growth beats national average

Business in Vancouver
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. fared well against most regions of the country in 2014 provincial economic growth, according to official estimates. In line with our estimates, growth in B.C.’s real gross domestic product (GDP) reached 2.6% last year, up from 2.1% in 2013. Among provinces, B.C. ranked second behind only Alberta, which expanded by 4.4%, and above the national expansion of 2.4%. While last year’s gain was favourable against most other provinces, B.C.’s growth remained moderate – which has been the norm following the recession… B.C.’s resource sectors posted a mixed performance last year. Forestry and logging output declined 8.1%, while the mining and oil and gas sectors expanded by 4.6%.

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Lakeland internal probe into blast inconclusive

Prince George Citizen
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Other than to dispute WorkSafeBC’s conclusion on the source of ignition, no firm conclusions were reached by a firm the sawmill’s owners hired to conduct an investigation into the cause of the Lakeland Mills explosion, a coroner’s inquest heard Tuesday……A WorkSafeBC investigation had concluded the ignition point was a fan on a gear reducer in the sawmill’s basement that heated up to the point where it ignited some surrounding sawdust after coming lose and jamming into a screen.  But Way said a bucket placed in a bracket a few feet away from the gear reducer was found by CASE investigators. If the gear reducer was the ignition point, Way said the force of the subsequent explosion would have dislodged the bucket.

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Forestry funds offered

Vernon Morning Star
May 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A hefty replenishment has been harvested for the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund. Minister Steve Thomson, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, stood up for forest contractors and the communities they live in when he announced a $1 million top up to the fund at the Interior Logging Association’s 57th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Vernon. …“There is a demonstrated need for this fund,” said Don Banasky, president of the Truck Loggers Association. “Since it came online in 2013 there have been a number of claims processed and more are expected.

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The north on pins, needles and two-by-fours

District of Chetwynd continues to welcome forest industry investments, but liquefied natural gas is the future for the northern town
Business in Vancouver
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you went looking for a single place that defines the challenges, “pure grit” and giddy potential facing northern British Columbia, the District of Chetwynd could be a contender. Located 1,000 kilometres from Vancouver and 304 kilometres north of Prince George, the remote resource town of 3,100 in many ways reflects the current reality of northern B.C. Hammered by a decade-long downturn in forestry after the devastation of the pine beetle infestation and a more recent mining slump, Chetwynd, like most of the north, is poised for a big-time payoff when liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants fire up on the northeast coast.

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Slow but steady growth forecast for forestry sector

May 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forget about a supercycle that’s going to boost lumber prices into the stratosphere. The recovery of British Columbia’s forest sector is now expected to be slow but steady growth. That’s the view coming out of PwC’s May 6 Global Forest and Paper Industry Conference in Vancouver. “The general fundamentals are positive, but you’ve got to be patient,” said PwC partner Bruce McIntyre during a break in the daylong conference, which attracted 350 industry leaders from around the world. Everything from changes in household formation in the U.S. – the condo and the urban lifestyle that goes with it are on the rise – to climate change and issues around resource scarcity will affect the global forest sector in the coming year, panellists told the conference. And then for B.C., there’s the spectre of the return of the softwood lumber dispute. 

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Local truck drivers recognized

Williams Lake Tribune
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Approximately 120 truck drivers in Williams Lake assembled at the curling rink on Friday for an annual event to recognize, appreciate and award drivers for their driving skills and their contribution to both their industry and their communities. Tolko Industries, Sigurdson and West Fraser Timber awarded prizes to their top drivers with the highest safety records, and long-time truck drivers Vic Bremner, Dennis Carman, Harold Eckert and Charley Grover were acknowledged for their years in the industry. …keynote presentation by well-known safety consultant Russ Dosenberg. “He does all the major fatality investigations, is a very good speaker and was very well-received,” stated West Fraser operations supervisor Amanda Black.

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Neil McInnes: Making a difference

Business in Vancouver
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

How do you measure success? In most organizations, it’s the financial bottom line. But for the Lil’wat Nation, success is also measured by the benefits brought to the community. Neil McInnes became the First Nation’s director of finance in April 2012. While he was no stranger to the Sea to Sky corridor, having worked previously for Tourism Whistler and Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies Society, he hadn’t worked for an aboriginal government before… Lil’wat Forestry Ventures – one of the largest licensees in the Squamish Forest District, with an annual allowable cut of 65,000 square metres – reported an $803,000 surplus for the year, while Lil’wat Capital Assets generated $553,000 from the sale of timber from a recently purchased woodlot.

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Irving Pulp and Paper Awards Five Contracts in April as part of Pulp Mill Modernization in Saint John as Company Delivers on Forest Sector Investments Across New Brunswick

World News.com
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAINT JOHN, N.B.: Irving Pulp & Paper is pleased to announce five new contracts for Saint John businesses, totaling over $640,000. The contracts are part of the 24-month Phase 2 modernization of the west side pulp mill at Reversing Falls. The pulp mill investment is the largest in Canada since 1993 and is focused on installing a new digester to replace the existing 14 digesters, as well as new wood chip handling and screening. The estimated 609,000 person hours for this project is equivalent to 300 direct construction jobs and 150 indirect construction jobs. Upon completion in Q1 2016, the mill will achieve reduced air and noise emissions as well as improved operating efficiencies. Engineering for Phase 3 – a $250 million investment – is currently underway.

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House Votes to Block Federal Water Rule; These 4 Industries Would Welcome That

US Chamber of Commerce
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Farmers and home builders know that doing business will drastically change for the worse if the new definition of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) goes into effect. For farmers, they fear they “may not be able to weed and feed your lawn, spray for bugs, landscape with treated lumber and wood chips, fill in a low area with soil, or even dig a hole without” a federal permit. …Wood product manufacturers and other makers of building materials
produce dust and dirt that washes into ditches next to their plants.
WOTUS would make these companies need a federal permit to clean out
those ditches:

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Lumber Liquidators’ next big fight is with its insurers

Business Insider
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Lumber Liquidators’ next big fight is with insurers. Some of its insurers are refusing to defend the company in multiple class action lawsuits. In turn, the company has taken nine insurance companies to court. In an April 27 court filing in Wisconsin, first reported by the New York Post, the company claims that the nine companies are breaching 9 contracts to defend the company. Lumber Liquidators is facing over 100 class action lawsuits from customers related to its laminate flooring.

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South Florida lumber companies looking solid

Florida Weekly
May 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Take all the wood to build the frames of all the homes permitted in the past 12 months in Lee, Charlotte, Collier and Palm Beach counties — the places where Florida Weekly is distributed. Take all those two-by-four pieces of lumber, and they would stretch 26,000 miles. That’s two-by-four enough to stretch around the circumference of the world with more than a thousand miles left over to tie a bow on the gift of good news for local lumber suppliers. About 9,200 homes were permitted in the fourcounty region from April 2014 to March 2015. Increased demand for lumber, tied to homebuilding, has grown steadily for the last five years, leaving companies that survived the Great Recession in a strong position.

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Century-Old Lumber Operation Winding Down

Inside Indiana Business
May 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NEW ALBANY, Ind. – StemWood, a New Albany-based veneer and lumber mill in operation since 1905, announced today it is winding down its operations here over the next six to eight months. “The exodus of American furniture manufacturing to Asia and the prolonged recession in new housing have been punishing blows to our business model,” stated David Wunderlin, president and part owner of StemWood. David Brumett, vice president of manufacturing and partner in ownership added, “In an effort to persevere, we fine-tuned our strategy, downsized, and survived 2014. Unfortunately, with plummeting market prices for our lumber, and continuously rising operating costs, there is not a sufficient margin to sustain operations any longer.” 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Utilization of Bamboo as a Pulp and Papermaking Fiber: a New Look

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 
National Bamboo
May 12, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Many bamboo species have been studied over the past 50 years as potential papermaking fiber. More than 1.3 million metric tonnes of bamboo pulp are produced worldwide, mainly in China, India and Southeast Asia, but none to our knowledge in North America. We have developed an integrated plantation – paper mill – marketplace analysis of several candidate species currently being cultivated in eastern North Carolina by National Bamboo LLC, Raleigh, NC. The model includes all plantation establishment, maintenance, harvesting and transportation costs to a pulp and paper mill. Taken together, with a Discount Rate of 8%, these parameters determine the transfer price to a pulp mill

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Good and green for the environment

Message Media
May 13, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Thermowood of Minnesota, based in Palisade, is a business booming because of its environmentally-friendly approach to creating a wide variety of products For the many ways Thermowood of Minnesota uses a single piece of lumber – and how it goes about creating the final product – owner John Bieganek was recently recognized as a Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Award – Environmentally Engaged Entrepreneur. Using new technology – at least new to the United States – from Finland, Thermowood uses a cooking process which takes sustainable forest woods and replicates the look of exotic hardwoods used for interior and exterior applications and musical applications, like guitars.

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Why bourbon’s incredible popularity might actually be a problem

The Washington Post
May 12, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Ever since 2000, lumber has been something of a sore subject in the United States. Growth in Chinese furniture manufacturing has undercut many domestic businesses, turning local hardwood production into more of an export-driven endeavor. And the housing crisis has put a clamp on what was, for decades, a healthy demand for kitchens and flooring made with wood. “It’s been a very difficult industry to be in the last 10 years or so,” said Bill Luppold, who is an economist for the U.S. Forest Service. “We’ve lost so much of our business.” But while the wood industry at large is suffering, there is actually one segment that seems to be doing just fine. In fact, it might be doing a bit too well. White oak barrels, used to age bourbon, are in such great demand that barrel production is actually struggling to keep up.

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NTU’s new $230m residential, sports halls will be eco-friendly

Strait Times
May 12, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

NANYANG Technological University will spend about $230 million to build new green buildings – a sports hall and three residential halls – by the first quarter of next year… Both projects have received the Building Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum, Singapore’s highest award for sustainable building design… It will be the first large-scale project here using engineered wood systems such as cross-lamination and glulamination, in which numerous laminated small pieces of timber form a single large piece. It will also feature a 72m-long wave roof made of timber. The use of the timber – which provides heat insulation five times better than concrete – and other eco-features will reduce the hall’s energy consumption by at least 40 per cent.

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Forestry

Government pollution policy takes chainsaw to local forests

Scoop.co.nz
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

The Government should listen to forest owners and fix their climate change policies, which are driving trees to be cut down rather than planted, meaning New Zealand’s polluting greenhouse gas emissions will increase says the Green Party. The Forest Owners Association today called on the Government to fix the Emissions Trading Scheme to encourage more tree planting that can act as a carbon sink and help reduce our net greenhouse gas emissions. “By making it easy for polluters to buy cheap carbon credits offshore, the Government has kneecapped local forest planting,” said Green Party climate change spokesperson Russel Norman. “The Government’s public consultation on our emissions reduction target for the UN climate conference in Paris start today. This is a perfect opportunity for the Government to fix their forestry mess.

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Was there no alternative to clearcutting Echo Lake?

Letter to the Editor
Campbell River Mirror
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After an absence of about a year, last week I returned to Echo Lake, a local lake about 10 minutes drive southwest of town. Echo Lake is known and listed as a lake that supports cutthroat and rainbow trout, and is a popular destination for anglers, including myself. Its small size, its relative seclusion and its natural beauty are a blessing to campers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Imagine my shock and horror when I returned, expecting to find the familiar Echo Lake I knew, and finding the entire circumference of the lake logged… Was there really no other alternative? Was a clearcut necessary in such close proximity to a fish bearing lake readily used by so many? Perhaps these are some of the questions that should have been asked beforehand.

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Bobtail Lake Fire Reaches 3,500 Hectares

250 News
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – The Little Bobtail Lake fire is now 3,500 hectares in size. Located 2.5 km south of Norman Lake, and 50 km southwest of Prince George, that’s up from 2,700 hectares on Monday. “The fire was less aggressive last night due to still winds and cooler temperatures,” reads a statement from the BC Wildfire Management Branch. “There was slight growth on all flanks but no significant growth occurred.” 120 firefighters, five helicopters, and eight pieces of heavy equipment are on site. A Structural Protection Unit with specialist and crew are also on scene, “putting structure protection in the most advantageous locations.”

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Provincial Government Unveils Forest Renewal Plans

MBC Radio Network
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Making a small effort today will make a huge difference in the future. This morning, Environment Minister Scott Moe unveiled the province’s forest renewal project for the year.  It involves planting 2.2 million seedlings in areas of the province currently not covered by agreements with forestry companies. The trees will be planted in Saskatchewan’s northern forest. Scott Moe says they are an investment in the future. They are part of the millions of new trees planted every year by forest companies and the government to maintain a healthy and thriving forest industry. In addition to the Ministry of Environment’s renewal efforts, the minister says the industry will be planting about seven million trees.

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Opinion: Return to prescribed fires would have benefits

BY ROBERT GRAY, SONJA LEVERKUS AND JOHN BETTS
Vancouver Sun
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia has experienced a significant increase in wildfire activity in the last decade, and if predictions from government fire scientists come true, we can expect to see further increases in burned area and cost in the coming decade. With each catastrophic fire season since 2003 there has been calls to dramatically increase the use of prescribed fire in B.C. as a means of limiting the damage. Properly executed prescribed fires can, for a period of time, provide numerous ecological, social and economic benefits. Prescribed fire was a popular tool used by the province and forest industry to reduce harvesting slash (hazard abatement), improve tree growing opportunities, and improve wildlife habitat. 

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Tsilhqot’in title land access

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
BC Government
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WILLIAMS LAKE – The Province and the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) are developing a government-to-government agreement outlining the short-term and long-term steps to implement the Supreme Court of Canada decision on Aboriginal title. One element of the agreement will be to define the steps required to transition the title land to TNG management, benefit and control.

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Province continues to warn of brush fire risk with dry woods, high winds

Cape Breton Post
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The long weekend always draws lots of people into the woods for camping, but the province is hoping residents remember one ember could ignite a brush fire. After hundreds of homes were evacuated due to a fire in East Lawrencetown last Thursday, a complete ban on open fires remains in HRM as well as restricted burning throughout mainland Nova Scotia. “Last week we had three non-stop days of 30-plus kilometer an hour winds, where any kind of little fire ember … can get into the air and then just spread into the woods really quick,” Kara McCurdy, fire prevention officer for the Department of Natural Resources said Monday. 

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Fire prevention on province’s mind

May 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fight fire with common sense. That’s the message from the forest protection and wildfire management branch of the provincial Natural Resources Department. Wildfire prevention officer Kara McCurdy said that most people are thinking, “OK, the snow is gone, but the ground is still sopping wet,” and fires in the woods can’t get out of control. Think again, McCurdy said. “Last week, we had three straight days of gale-force winds with ideal conditions for drying, so right now, the top surface layers are actually dry. It only takes about a day for all those fine fuels like grass, leaves and twigs to dry right back to what they were previous to the snowfall.

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Insko picked to lead EOU

The longtime timber industry professional starts his new post at the La Grande-based university in July.
Blue Mountain Eagle
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LA GRANDE – Tom Insko, a timber industry exec, has been named Eastern Oregon University’s new president. The EOU alumnus currently is area manager of Boise Cascade’s Inland Region in La Grande. He starts his new job July 1, the same day EOU’s Board of Trustees assumes governance responsibility for the university. Jay Kenton, current interim EOU president, is retiring in June. Cathy Dyck, interim chancellor of the Oregon University System, made the announcement earlier today during a public meeting of the State Board of Higher Education that was streamed live on EOU’s campus.

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Nevada Division of Forestry works to eliminate wildfire risk

Nevada Appeal
May 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As a way to reduce wildfire risks and improve water quality, the Nevada Division of Forestry is thinning the trees in forest areas in Clear Creek. By thinning the trees and reducing the density, it will help reduce the spread of wildfire and make it more manageable for firefighters to contain, and it will help with tree health against things like disease. “The more trees that are in an area, the worse it is because they are competitive,” said Ryan Shane, Community Protection program coordinator for the Nevada Division of Forestry.

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Agencies Prepare Forest to Withstand Wildfire

KTVN
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Multiple groups are coming together to remove hazardous fuels in the Sierra, to improve the overall health of the forest. Officials say tree removal is even more important, during the extended drought, making the forest more resistant to catastrophic fire. “We’re just trying to bring the fuels down to a level where the forest will support a fire, but only on the ground and not so much in the crown,” Ryan Shane, Community Protection Program Coordinator for the Nevada Division of Forestry said. Smaller and less-healthy Jeffrey Pines are cut down so that larger ones can flourish without competing for limited water.

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What you need to know about emerald ash borer

KCCI News
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DES MOINES, Iowa —Local authorities have confirmed the emerald ash borer is now in Polk County. It was a moment the community feared would come, but was inevitable. Emerald ash borer has arrived in 22 of the 99 counties in Iowa. Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said one of the most asked questions is from residents not knowing if they have an Ash tree or not.

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Groups object to Darby Lumber Lands plan

Ravalli Republic
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Two conservation groups say the Bitterroot National Forest’s proposed plan to manage nearly 29,000 acres south of Darby focuses too much on creating opportunities for off-road vehicles and not enough on watershed restoration and wildlife habitat. Friends of the Bitterroot and WildEarth Guardians have filed an objection to the Darby Lumber Lands Watershed Improvement and Travel Management Project. The lands in question were originally owned by the Burlington Northern Railroad. Over time, they were sold from Plum Creek to Darby Lumber and finally the CB Ranch. A long-term effort to consolidate the checkerboard ownership of public and private lands was completed in 2013.

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Fla. Landowners Encouraged To Take Part In Program Deterring Devastating Forest Insect

WFSU.org
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

State agriculture officials are hoping to assist North and Central Florida landowners in preventing timber loss through a program meant to reduce the risk of a devastating forest insect. Through the end of June, the Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program on their website. In the past, Southern Pine Beetle outbreaks have cost the industry millions of dollars in timber loss. “The Southern Pine Beetle devastates forests,” said Erin Gillespie, Florida Department of Agriculture Spokeswoman. “Obviously, we work to control it on state forests, but there are also private landowners who have pine and this assistance program will help them control it.”

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Maryland State Tree Farmer of the Year

Calvert Beacon
May 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Maryland Tree Farm Program and the MD. Dept. Natural Resources-Forest Service would like to announce that John and Karen Colton of Avenue, Maryland as the 2015 Maryland State Tree Farmer of the Year. Mr. and Mrs. Colton owns 125 acres and have been a certified tree farm for 17 years. The farm has been in the Colton family since 1888, and they are the fourth generation Coltons’ to own and care for the land. The Coltons’ manage their forest land for the multiple use concept, timber, hunting, recreation and education. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

U.K. company cultivates controversy in B.C. Interior

Plan to offset carbon emissions by planting trees on farmland has locals worried
Vancouver Sun
May 12, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The plans of a global conglomerate to offset carbon emissions by planting trees on thousands of hectares of British Columbia agricultural land is courting conflict and unintended consequences, critics warn. Last week the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture estimated as many as 8,500 hectares have been bought for the purpose, which has the potential to push land prices out of reach for local ranchers, critics contend, as well as take land out of production at a time when attention is focused on the issue of food security. Bill Miller, chairman of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN), worries that locking up agricultural land in carbon credits could put more pressure on the province to remove hectares from B.C.’s already stressed forest land base.

B.C. farmland rush on for carbon offsets by Tom Fletcher from BC Local News

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Wood Pellet Exports from the US Increases

WoodWorking Network
May 12, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Seattle – Exportation of wood pellets from North America to Europe and Asia reached an all-time high rising 22 percent in 2014 from the previous year, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR). Shipments from the US were up 40% year-over-year, while Canada exported six percent less in 2014 than in 2013. (Note. Due to irregularities with Customs data, NAWFR collects trade data from a number of sources including Canadian and US customs export data, European import data and from quarterly conversations with both pellet exporters and port contacts.)

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Wyden offers bill to boost biomass, forest health

Proposes competitive, cost-sharing grants
KTVZ.com
May 12, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Washington — Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced a bill Tuesday that he said would spur the use of low-carbon biomass energy to heat and power homes and businesses, while reducing the risk of wildfires and creating jobs in rural areas. Wyden said the BioEnergy Act of 2015 would establish a competitive, cost-share grant program at the Department of Energy to improve technologies for drying and compressing woody biomass, which improves fuel quality and allows biomass producers to more easily transport wood products from forested areas to market. The program would also help establish new technologies, from new power plant designs to neighborhood heating systems, for using biomass for heat and power. 

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Drax breaks down business in bid to grow group’s operations

York Press
May 13, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

NORTH Yorkshire power giant Drax has undergone a restructure following growth of the business as it continues its £700 million project to shift away from coal burning. The power station near Selby, which is one of the largest in Europe, will this year start converting its third coal fired unit into a biomass burner as part of plans to become the biggest renewable plant in the world. Following growth in the Drax Group as a result of the biomass project’s operations, group chief executive Dorothy Thompson has split the group into three separate business.

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