Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 15, 2015

Business & Politics

Wood dust the ?common thread? at inquest, coroner says

Prince George Citizen
May 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Over four-and-a-half weeks, an often emotionally-charged coroners inquest into the Lakeland Mills explosions heard from 54 witnesses ranging from the widow of one the two men who died, to the workers who survived the blast, to those involved in the subsequent investigation. …Prior to sending the jury away for deliberations on Thursday morning, coroner Lisa Lapointe provided a summary of what the inquest had heard saying concern about fine, dry wood dust from the beetle-killed pine the mill had been processing was a common thread in the testimony.

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Lakeland Mills explosion deaths ruled accidental

Inquest makes 33 recommendations to make workplaces safer
CBC News
May 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A coroner’s inquest has ruled the deaths of two men at the Lakeland Mills explosion in Prince George, B.C, as accidental. Thursday’s ruling includes 33 recommendations aimed at improving workplace safety and improving the investigation of workplace death. In April 2012, Glenn Roche and Allan Little died as a result of injuries suffered when the Lakeland Mills exploded. Another 24 were injured. Rhonda Roche says she regrets not doing more to help her husband improve workplace safety standards prior to his death in 2012. The inquest recommended alerting family members to safety concerns in workplaces.

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Mill explosion needed public airing, inquest hears

Canadian Press
May 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – The deaths of four British Columbia workers in separate mill explosions were so tragic that a WorkSafeBC executive felt that trials were the preferred route to air the facts, an inquest has heard. Dave Anderson, a now-retired WorkSafeBC CEO, told a coroner’s jury that it was his decision to forward the findings to Crown counsel because he felt court hearings would provide the appropriate public forums given the magnitude of the events. The explosion at the Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George, B.C., occurred in April 2012, three months after a similar blast struck Babine Forest Products near Burns Lake.

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Prince George mill explosion inquest calls for review of law on criminal negligence

May 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ottawa should consider making it easier to prosecute cases of criminal negligence in the workplace, jurors recommended late Thursday after a coroner’s inquest into the fatal Lakeland Mills explosion in 2012. That was one of more than 30 recommendations jurors made to unions, companies, first responders, WorkSafeBC and municipal, province and federal governments after deliberating through the day. Jurors were tasked with making recommendations — but not assigning blame — and determining and deciding the cause of death of two workers who died in the blast.

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‘Turmoil… Just less or more turmoil all the time’

Part two of a three-part series
Prince George Citizen
May 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The words Don Zwozdesky uses to describe life now are lost to him like the last three years since Lakeland Mills exploded around him. “Turmoil,” he finally whispers, “Just less or more turmoil all the time.” Zwozdesky was one of 22 who survived the April 2012 sawmill blast that killed Glenn Roche and Alan Little. “I exist. I don’t live,” he says. He’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from that April 2012 day when Zwozdesky watched a burnt Roche emerge from the flaming building. “I knew who he was because of his voice, his sound. His eyeballs weren’t burnt. The rest of him was burnt.”

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Firefighters tackle small blaze at Downie sawmill

Revelstoke Review
May 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

An early morning fire at Downie Timber caused minimal damage, says mill manager Alan Smythe. “It was about $1,500 worth of damage,” he told the Review. “It wasn’t anything to hardly report on.” Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services were called to the blaze at around 6 a.m. this morning. “Upon arrival, fire crews found heavy fire damage in an area of the millwright area, and light smoke on the second floor,” said fire chief Rob Girard in a news release. “The sprinkler system did the majority of the suppression work.”

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No Justice – Say Families of Lakeland Explosion Victims

250 News
May 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- For John Little, father of Allan Little who died as a result of injuries sustained in the Lakeland explosion in April of 2012, the Coroner’s inquest failed to find any accountability for his son’s death. …The Coroner’s jury found the death of Allan Little and Glenn Roche to be accidental, and presented 33 recommendations to prevent such a tragedy from recurring. “If accountability wasn’t determined, then justice wasn’t served” says John Little. He added that “Hopefully with the recommendations that were made, the workers in the future will work in a safer environment than has been in the past and other families won’t have to go through what we went through. It’s probably wishful thining but I don’t think that’s true.”

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Laid-Off Mill Workers Receive Federal Aid

Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Federal funds are on the way to workers laid off from Woodgrain Millwork in Prineville. The Department of Labor announced Thursday $499,801 in aid for displaced mill workers. Last November’s roof collapse at the Prineville mill left nearly 200 workers out of work. The mill was shut down for about a week before the company decided not to reopen most of the mill and announced the layoffs. Woodgrain offered employees no severance pay. Many former workers have since been struggling to find work. The layoffs were a blow to the small Central Oregon community of Prineville, population of about 9,000. Many workers had been employed at the mill for decades, and finding new work in the rural area proved difficult.

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Report: Things are looking up for East Texas timber industry

KTRE.com
May 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

NACOGDOCHES, TX – A current Texas Timber Market Report has good reviews and a good outlook for the East Texas timber industry. Texas A&M Texas Forest Service analysts just released their findings. East Texas News got the breakdown and what it means for tree growers in East Texas and to the overall economy. A giant pile of timber at the Norbord oriented-strand board facility in Nacogdoches grows by the minute. It’s just one of several markets buying up timber products to meet the demand. “Housing has been fairly strong in Texas and as you know with more housing starts, the more demand there is on building products and that helps our wood industry,” said Ed Dougal, a wood utilization and marketing specialist for the Texas Forest Service.

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Calpers Puts Portion of Timber Holdings Up for Sale

Largest U.S. pension fund seeks buyers for about 300,000 acres in southeast U.S.
Wall Street Journal
May 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The nation’s large public pension fund is looking to chop its ownership of U.S. timber. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, is seeking buyers for roughly 300,000 acres of forestry largely in Louisiana amid a broader review of its timber holdings, according to people familiar with the matter. The woodland represents about one-fifth of roughly 1.3 million U.S. acres controlled by the Sacramento-based fund. The move with timberland is the latest retrenchment for Calpers as it re-evaluates the costs and benefits of all holdings across its $305 billion portfolio and wrestles with how much risk to take to achieve targeted returns. The fund faces tens of billions in unfunded pension liabilities.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Making the case for wood construction

Treehugger
May 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Wood is one of the few renewable building materials, and new technologies like Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) are letting architects and engineers do bigger and taller buildings, using massive wood elements built up from plantation wood “grown like Christmas trees.” Engineering giant ARUP is doing really interesting things with wood, described in Timber offices: the time has come… A big worry about wood, that has limited its use until recently, was the fact that it can burn. Timothy Snelson of ARUP explains that the new massive CLT and glulam elements are different; they are hard to get burning, noting that “you don’t start a fire with a log, you start it with bits of kindling.” He says in a video in the Arup post that “we know the rate at which timber burns, this is established from lab tests, So as engineers we can simply calculate the amount of wood that will be lost in the fire and we make the beams bigger by that amount of lost timber.”

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SFI Brings the Forest Sector Together with Habitat for Humanity Canada to Improve Quality of Life for Underserved Communities

from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Canada Newswire press release
May 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Habitat for Humanity Canada are helping to put a roof over the heads of Canadian families in need by strengthening their memorandum of mutual support known as Wood 4 Good, through two separate programs: Waste Not Want Not and Habitat Canada’s Aboriginal Housing Program. Wood 4 Good encourages local home building through SFI’s grassroots network, increases awareness of sourcing wood products certified to the SFI standards, and helps make supply chains more efficient.

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From hot bourbon brands to hot sauce, producers tap into American oak as flavour booster

Associated Press
May 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

OAKVILLE, Calif. — Napa Valley vintner David Duncan’s Silver Oak winery — which produces classic cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley and Alexander Valley — is so wedded to using only American oak (no French wood will suffice) to age its popular cabernet sauvignon, the family-owned winery recently took on 100 per cent ownership of its own cooperage, where wooden staves are bent into barrels according to an ancient trade. And Duncan isn’t the only producer stoked on oak. Figures for the mostly privately held industry are hard to come by, but demand is evident in the 40 to 50 per cent price hikes seen in stave log prices since 2012…

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Forestry

Forest fires near Lodgepole and High Level still out of control

Edmonton Journal
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – A wildfire burning about eight kilometres northwest of Lodgepole was still out of control Thursday morning. About 100 firefighters are battling the 750-hectare blaze near Drayton Valley in west-central Alberta, about 130 km southwest of Edmonton. When the fire was discovered Tuesday, it had destroyed about two hectares. Air tankers, helicopters and heavy machinery are being used in an attempt to bring the fire under control. Richard Horne, a wildfire information officer with the province, said the fire is burning away from town and no evacuation is necessary at this point.

Lodgepole wildfire burning out of control from CBC News

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UPDATE: Wildfire south of Norman Lake now 13,000 hectares in size

Global News
May 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Eighty people are under an evacuation order because of a wildfire south of Norman Lake. This fire is showing unpredictable and aggressive fire behaviour. The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako issued the alert this past weekend for residents of Norman Lake and area. An evacuation alert has been put in place for Little Bobtail Lake and Naltesby Lake (Bobtail Lake). The alert is for the area south of Highway 16 from Sob Lake Road to the eastern boundary of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako south to the end of Naltesby Lake including the areas of Blackwater Road, Bobtail Forest Service Road, Bobtail Connector Forest Service Road, Sob Lake Road, and the Cluculz Lake area.

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VIU Forestry Department To Go Paperless

Nanaimo Business News
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

While it may seem like contrary to its primary function, Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Forestry Department has announced it’s going paperless. An article in the VIU newsletter said that in September first-year students enrolled in VIU’s Forest Resources Technology program will be required to purchase iPads instead of textbooks for use in both indoor and outdoor classroom activities. “We’re going paperless,” says Doug Corrin an instructor in the Forest Resources Technology program, who launched the initiative with colleague Bill Beese. “We’ve put all our course content and textbooks online.”

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Airtankers Arrive to Help Battle Little Bobtail Lake Blaze

250 News
May 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- Four Air Tankers that can drop water, foam or retardant on a fire, have been brought in to assist in battling the Little Bobtail Lake blaze. The fire, three kilometres south of Norman Lake, has grown significantly over the last 24 hours and is now burning an area of approximately 8000 hectares. This fire is showing unpredictable and aggressive fire behaviour. There are 120 firefighters, five helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment responding to the incident today. Operations are running around the clock on this incident. The current objective of firefighting efforts is to protect structures in the area without compromising the safety of Wildfire Management Branch crews.

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Hanley: Let’s celebrate Saskatoon’s billion-dollar forest

The Star Phoenix
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

What’s the best investment ever made by the City of Saskatoon? The hands-down winner has to be trees. Our urban forest, much of it planted at low cost a century ago, is now valued at well more than a billion dollars. Putting a monetary value on trees is an interesting exercise, though it only provides a rough measure of true worth. There are more than 100,000 trees in the city-managed urban forest, and some have been valued at more than $45,000 each. But how do we gauge the impact trees have on our environment, health or quality of life?

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Raging wildfire in northern B.C. spreads, challenges suppression efforts

Canadian Press
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE — Crews battling a rapidly spreading wildfire in northern British Columbia were starting to make some progress when the blaze flared up again early Thursday, fire officials said. The fire is estimated to engulf an estimated 130 square kilometres of land and forest near Norman Lake, about 50 kilometres southwest of Prince George. The provincial government’s Wildfire Management Branch said the blaze, first discovered Saturday, keeps spreading because of dry, warm and windy conditions.

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Tree growers worried about possible budworm outbreak in N.B.

Global News
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

PERRY SETTLEMENT, N.B. – Christmas tree growers in the province are keeping an eye out for a worm that could wipe them out of business. “It could maybe ruin you, put you out of business,” said grower Arnold Perry, who owns a tree stand in Perry Settlement. The spruce budworm has already infested about 4.2 million hectares of forest in Quebec in the last few years. Researchers at the Canadian Forest Service say budworm is starting to spread into this province. “Budworm outbreaks happen about every 35 years and we’re right on time for an outbreak,” said Rob Johns, forest insect ecologist with the Canadian Forest Service in Fredericton.

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U.S. Forest Service Predicts Average, to Below Average Fire Season but the MAFFS are Ready to go if Need be

KKTC,com
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Friday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will get a briefing on this year’s wildfire season, and he’ll hear about the state’s level of preparedness. At Peterson Air Force Base, the C130’s are already loaded up with the MAFFS system, which allows them to make those slurry drops and for a lot of us, that’s a relief… A big tool in wild fire fighting is MAFFS, they’re military planes sent out to help… But they’re hoping they won’t have to use them in Colorado this fire season, the forest service is predicting an average or even below* average threat.

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The really scary thing about wildfires is how they can worsen climate change

Washington Post
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state of California, always bullish on trying to cut back on its greenhouse gas emissions, received a bit of a shock recently. It learned that the expanse of its drought-parched forested lands, when they go up in flames — and experts forecast a very bad fire season this year — may actually be contributing to global warming. A 2006 law mandated that California would bring its emissions back down to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The target, though, assumed that the state’s forests — packed with carbon, stored in its biological form — wouldn’t contribute any net emissions. But a study released last month by researchers from the National Park Service, the University of California, Berkeley, and several other institutions suggests that’s not a safe assumption.

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Yarnell fire survivor to be deposed on firefighter deaths

USA Today
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PHOENIX — The sole surviving member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots is scheduled to undergo a sworn deposition later this month about the events of June 30, 2013, when 19 members of his crew died in the Yarnell Hill Fire. Though Brendan McDonough has previously been interviewed by fire investigators and the media, he has never answered questions about the accident under oath. His testimony is of potential interest in litigation stemming from the catastrophe, particularly in light of recent claims that McDonough overheard a crucial radio transmission between hotshot crew bosses about the positioning of the firefighting team.

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Forest thinning could boost Sierra water yields, researchers say

University of California researchers assert that better forest management could increase water yields from the Sierra Nevada by as much as 10 percent.
The Capital Press
May 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MERCED, Calif. — California researchers say increasing projects to thin trees and clear brush from forest floors could boost water yields from mountain forests. The Sierra Nevada Watershed Ecosystem Enhancement Project at UC-Merced is investigating how tree thinning — which some have advocated to reduce fire risk — may increase the water yield from forested watersheds by as much as 10 percent, according to a project summary.

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Study: Spotted Bear River Project delays hurting economy

KPAX
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HUNGRY HORSE –  Delays in getting the Spotted Bear River Project going near Hungry Horse have been costly, according to economists at the University of Montana. …The project was delayed for about four years because conservation groups tried to stop logging projects in that same area. But, a district judge recently dismissed the lawsuit. UM’s Todd Morgan says their research was the a first of its kind, and complicated by the litigation. “The direct impacts is there’s so many workers involved with harvesting the timber hauling into the mill; the mill converting it into products,” Morgan said.

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Learn about BLM’s plan for area forests

Coos Bay World
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

NORTH BEND — The Coos Bay District of the Bureau of Land Management is offering an opportunity for the public to learn about the Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for western Oregon forests. An open house will be held at the Mill Casino-Hotel in the Salmon Room from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28. The Mill Casino-Hotel is located at 3201 Tremont St. in North Bend. BLM staff will be on hand to provide information about the draft plan and answer questions. This is one of a series of open houses and workshops taking place in western Oregon to encourage public participation in the planning process.

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Still-Burning Logging Slash Piles Pose Idaho Wildfire Threat

Associated Press
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials say logging slash piles lit on fire in the fall, winter or spring could still be burning under the surface due to a lack of snowpack and pose a wildfire risk this summer. The Idaho Department of Lands in a statement Wednesday says the types of piles are those created by bulldozers and excavators during logging operations. The agency says forest owners and logging operators should check piles for heat, and excavate the piles and douse them with water if heat is found.

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Rep. Bishop calls for feds to transfer lands to state

Moab Sun News
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Republican Utah congressman who has championed eastern Utah’s Public Lands Initiative has launched a new effort to cede ownership of federal public lands to the state. Rep. Rob Bishop, along with Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, formed the Federal Lands Action Group to “develop a legislative framework for transferring public lands to local ownership and control,” according to an April 28 press release. “This group will explore legal and historical background in order to determine the best congressional action needed to return these lands back to the rightful owners,” Bishop said in the press release.

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The taxpayer money that fuels federal land transfer demands

A look at how the behind-the-scenes lobby group American Lands Council gets funding.
High Country News
May 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Since 2012, the American Lands Council has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to advocate and lobby for the transfer of federal lands to states. Such a move could dramatically change how these lands are managed, affecting anybody who makes a living in, lives near, recreates in, or simply loves the notion of public lands in the West. But who finances the demands? The Utah-based American Lands Council, or ALC, is mostly funded by memberships, the majority of which are county commissions—that is, taxpayer-funded dues.

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The TPP, the Biomassacre and the End Game for the Great Forests of the Northwest

Counter Punch
May 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Secondly, Wyden followed-up his recent successes at pushing dramatically higher logging levels on Oregon’s O & C National Forests and Eastside Forests bill pushing massive increased logging on nine million acres of Oregon’s Eastside public-owned pine forests — with The BioEnergy Act of 2015 – which purports to create “Healthy Forests by “thinning” out thickets of smaller trees (called “hazardous fuels” with no sense of irony by Wyden and other boosters, including many of the usual foundation-controlled “enviros”) and burning them for “”heat and power” – a fuel source 1.5 times dirtier than burning coal!

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Sawfly wasp outbreak spreading through Colorado’s ponderosa pines

Denver Post
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A stout brown wasp called the sawfly, eating needles off ponderosa pines across 7,430 acres southeast of Denver, is expected to spread — turning more pines into Charlie Brown Christmas trees. Afflicted ponderosas change from puffy green pines to defoliated spines. The outbreak of sawfly wasps is the latest of multiple insect epidemics degrading Colorado forests including mountain pine bark beetles and spruce beetles. State entomologist Dan West said Tuesday that forest crews will monitor ponderosas this summer to track sawflies’ spread northward from a stronghold in Elbert County. “Three years of this insect feeding on ponderosa pine trees can cause the trees to die,” West said. “We really don’t know why this organism is in this tremendous boom now. That’s the big question.

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4Fri Forest Restoration Initiative Aims To Help Economy As Well As Environment (radio)

KJZZ.org
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service has signed a record of decision on the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, also known as 4Fri. It’s the biggest environmental impact statement ever written by the agency. For more on this step and how the initiative is going generally, we turn to Diane Vosick, director of policy and partnerships for the Ecological Restoration Institute at NAU and 4Fri’s co-chair.

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State to sell land in Deschutes County

The Bend Bulletin
May 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of State Lands wants to sell 40 acres of state-owned land in southern Deschutes County to the U.S. Forest Service, according to a notice from the state agency. Located roughly 20 miles east of La Pine and just north of the Lake County border, the parcel is completely surrounded by Forest Service land, according to the notice. The only nearby roads are unpaved Forest Service roads. Staff from the state agency would like an OK from the State Land Board to continue the sale process, possibly at the board’s June 9 meeting, according to the notice.

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Lawsuits blocking tree cuts hurt fight against forest fires, officials say

McClatchy DC.com
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON — Lawsuits from environmental groups are snagging badly needed efforts to log forests in California’s fire-prone Sierra Nevada mountains, lawmakers and witnesses told a House of Representatives subcommittee Thursday. Accompanied by stark photographs of forests ravaged by the 2013 Yosemite-area Rim Fire, Randy Hanvelt, a Tuolumne County, Calif., supervisor, urged action to speed both salvage and green-tree harvests on Forest Service lands as a way to reduce potential fuel for forest fires.

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NEWSROOM: PLAN MY LAND OPERATION ONLINE TOOL NOW AVAILABLE

Texas Forest Service
May 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Want to put in a road on your land? Protect your water resources? Enhance wildlife, harvest trees or clear vegetation? Texas A&M Forest Service’s newest online tool, Plan My Land Operation, is designed to help you protect your property and ensure sustainability as you begin your next land improvement project. Geared toward landowners, contractors and land managers, Plan My Land Operation is key to planning any improvement to your land. This tool helps you plan and layout your project based on your specific terrain, soil and water resources. As a user, you can quickly map a property boundary, identify sensitive areas, place a buffer around critical features, and determine things needed like the proper size culvert.

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Loggers face ‘rorts’ investigation over compensation payouts

The Sydney Morning Herald
May 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Logging contractors who won chunks of a $61 million federal taxpayer bailout of the collapsed Tasmanian native forest industry are under investigation for fraud and rule-bending. The federal government has confirmed its investigation into allegations that some contractors took cash payouts to leave the industry, but stayed on instead. The Department of Agriculture said it was seeking expert legal advice on one serious fraud allegation, and two “non-compliance” notices had been issued, with more likely to follow. The departmental disclosures were tabled in a federal parliamentary response to a Senate investigation into the payouts, initiated by former Greens leader Christine Milne, who described them as rorts.

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iForest: Apple gets into forest conservation in China and the US

The electronics giant is buying forests in the US and working with NGOs in China to improve forestry management in its supply chain and tackle deforestation
The Guardian
May 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Apple is carving out a status for itself as a forest defender. That’s the role the electronics giant has assumed in an effort to increase the sustainable forestry pulp and paper supply that it needs for packaging. On Monday, Apple announced a plan to work with the World Wildlife Fund to improve the management of 1m acres of forests in China. This follows the iPhone maker’s announcement last month to donate money to Conservation Fund to buy and protect 36,000 acres of forests from commercial development other than forestry product production in Maine and North Carolina.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biorefineries: Helping Transform Canada’s Forest Industry

Pulp and paper mills across Canada are transforming themselves into modern biorefineries by producing a wide range of new forest products.
Natural Resources Canada
May 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Canadian pulp and paper mills have been reinventing themselves in recent years in response to increased international competition and reduced global demand for forest products such as newsprint. As a result, many mills have started integrating biomass conversion processes and equipment into their operations to produce a wide range of biobased, non-traditional products. Dubbed “forest biorefineries,” these mills have begun producing biofuels, materials, and a host of biochemicals. Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) and cellulose filaments (CF) are two such materials with vast potential. They can improve existing industrial products such as textiles, enhanced papers, plastics and specialized coatings. These products are derived from wood fibre. Other examples include bioethanol and biomethane.

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King bill establishes biomass emissions as carbon neutral

Biomass Magazine
May 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, has introduced legislation that aims to ensure emissions generated from sustainably harvested biomass would be considered carbon neutral under the U.S. EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. The bill, known as “The Working Forests for Clean Energy Act,” or S. 1284, was introduced May 11 and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. To date, the measure has no cosponsors. “Maine’s natural resources offer promising opportunities to generate clean, renewable electricity,” King said. “But the success of those opportunities depends on the effectiveness of federal policies and, right now, policies from Washington are hurting more than they’re helping.”

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Why Oregon Doesn’t Have More Forests Sold for Carbon Credits

GoLocalPDX
May 15, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A trailblazing tree trend could capture carbon in Oregon’s forests mitigating the effects of global warming—at least if the relatively young concept of the carbon market turns out to be more enticing than the price of timber. This spring, Chevrolet purchased and retired carbon credits from a 980-acre project at Moss Creek near coastal Garbaldi, Ore., through its Carbon Reduction Initiative—one of the first forests in Oregon to do so. Another project, just up the coast in Astoria is still being explored, though seems viable for the city to sell carbon from the Bear Creek watershed rather than harvest timber.

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