Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 14, 2015

Business & Politics

Greenpeace says it wants to work with local mayors

Timmins Press
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TIMMINS – Greenpeace officials say they are hopeful they will still be able to forge a collaborative relationship with Northeastern Ontario communities, despite the mayors of those communities agreeing to work together to push back against the environmentalist group. The region’s mayors met with the leaders of First Nation and Northwestern Quebec communities in Timmins on Tuesday where they agreed to coordinate their efforts and spending to counter Greenpeace’s messaging and lobbying efforts regarding logging in the boreal forest. “I think there is a willingness for a more collaborative process,” said Richard Brooks, a spokesman for Greenpeace Canada. 

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces the 2015 National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants

United States Department of Agriculture
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the 2015 USDA Forest Service’s National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge grant recipients. USDA is providing $795,447 in funding to support projects that will help enhance urban forest stewardship, support new employment opportunities and help build resilience in the face of a changing climate. The grant recipients are committing an additional $1,243,829 to their projects. Close to 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas and depends on the essential health, economic and social benefits provided by urban trees and forests. “All Americans benefit from the many services well-managed urban forests provide,” said Vilsack. “The grants announced today will make great strides in innovative research and community projects that will help keep our urban forests vital and valuable.”

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Some Hardwood Sawmills Struggle to Stay in the Black

Woodworking Network
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Hardwood lumber sales remained relatively slow, as a combination of lackluster overseas demand and the easy availability of lumber kept many buyers on the sidelines. Many mills tell us that the high prices they paid for timber a few months ago make it very difficult to saw today at a profit. With a few exceptions, however, most mills continued to operate at least 40 hours. Domestic lumber consumption was fair and steady, but many end-users have adequate supplies and are still limiting incoming lumber. Distribution yard sales were good, especially in the West and South where home building was stronger. The latest hardwood lumber export data indicate that, through June, shipments were down 9.4% from last year. Last year was a record, however, and this year is still on course to be the second-best ever.

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A new tack on the Elliott

Board should seek buyer who accepts conditions
The Register-Guard
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

When the Oregon State Land Board meets today in Salem, it should approve a plan to seek a buyer for the Elliott State Forest, which once produced millions of dollars annually for public schools but in recent years has run deep into the red. Now, the board has settled on a new strategy — a plan to find a different breed of buyer for the Elliott, one who is willing to pay a fair market price while agreeing to conserve older trees, protect threatened species, produce logs for local mills and provide public access.  If that sounds like a daunting challenge, it’s for good reason. It’s likely to prove difficult to find a private timber company willing to buy the Elliott with so many conditions attached.

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State Land Board approves selling Elliott State Forest to special buyer

Fox Business News
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SALEM, Ore. – The State Land Board has approved selling the Elliott State Forest to a buyer who will agree to restrictive conditions: pay a fair market price, conserve older trees, protect threatened fish and wildlife, produce logs for local mills, and leave it open to the public. The board made up of the governor, the secretary of state and the state treasurer unanimously endorsed a resolution Thursday in Salem to go forward with the sale. The forest in the Coast Range north of Coos Bay has been running $1 million a year in the red because timber sales have been overturned for failing to protect fish and wildlife habitat.

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Forest group hires products head to push Oregon timber for construction projects

Biz Journals
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A state forest institute has hired a longtime Portland public relations and marketing professional to help increase demand for the use of Oregon and Washington wood products in commercial building projects. The Oregon Forest Resources Institute recently added Timm Locke to its ranks to boost that demand not only in the Northwest and domestically, but internationally as well. As director of forest products, Locke will head up OFRI’s new statewide Forest Products Promotion and Education Program, funded by a nearly $250,000 Wood Innovation Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program aims to create and strengthen demand for traditional and innovative Pacific Northwest wood products among professionals who design, specify and construct commercial buildings.

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Freres Lumber Co. responds to article

by Kyle Freres of Aumsville, vice president of Freres Lumber Co.
Statesman Journal
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Last September, for what we believe is the first time in our company’s 93-year history, one of our employees was killed in an accident at one of our facilities. Bryan Dodge was a local hero. He was a husband to his wife, Amy, father to four children and friend to many. With the guidance of Crisis Chaplaincy Services, we met with those affected to provide what support we could. Ultimately, no support can replace a husband, father or friend. An Aug. 6 article in the Statesman Journal questioned our family’s business practices and safety record. The article inappropriately reopened a wound and did nothing but add confusion and erroneous information. It warrants a response.

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Georgia-Pacific Invests $20 Million in Memphis Mill

Memphis Daily News
August 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Two years after Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific acquired Memphis-based Buckeye Technologies in a $1.4 billion deal, the combined company, GP Cellulose, has invested $20 million in capital construction and maintenance projects at its Memphis facilities. The Memphis operation, which is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary, is one of the world’s largest cotton cellulose mills. It engineers cotton pulp that is used to make a variety of material from high-end stationary to pharmaceutical coatings. The pulp also is processed to thicken paints and some foods. GP Cellulose employs 200 people, including research and development personnel, at the Memphis Cellulose Mill and the Cellulose Technology and Innovation Center, which is located at 1001 Tillman St. in the Binghampton neighborhood.

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Finnish pulp and paperboard production continues to grow

Pulp and Paper News
August 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

roduction of pulp and packaging paperboard grew in the first half of the year in Finland, according to figures from Finnish Forest Industries. The volume of printing and writing paper production remained almost unchanged from the previous year’s level, but softwood sawn timber production contracted. Upcoming industrial policy decisions will have a significant impact on the competitiveness of Finland’s forest-based sector. “A comprehensive societal agreement is needed alongside very moderate pay rises in the next few years if we want Finnish competitiveness to recover. This would enable us to narrow the gap that has developed between Finland and our key competitor countries.

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NZ export log prices fall in August on weak Chinese demand

Scoop.co.nz
August 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand export log prices fell this month as weaker demand from China pushed up inventories in the country’s largest market to more than double their normal level. The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs dropped to $84 a tonne in August from $86 a tonne in July, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and sawmillers. The AgriHQ Log Price Indicator, which measures average log prices weighted by grade, slipped to 88.70 from 89.17. The prices for New Zealand export logs has weakened as inventories on Chinese ports rose to about 4.7 million tonnes from 3.8 million tonnes last month, and more than double the normal level of about 2 million tonnes.

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ForestrySA workers transfer to OneFortyOne Plantations amid south-east forest management change

ABC News Australia
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Nearly all ForestrySA workers have accepted a move to company OneFortyOne Plantations as the State Government privatises the management of its south-east plantation forests. The company will take control of the forests in October. OneFortyOne’s chief executive officer, Linda Sewell, said offers were made to 59 staff and the outcome was beyond expectations. “As of the deadline at five o’clock on Wednesday, we received 56 acceptances and I consider that to be 100 per cent because the three who didn’t come across, two are retiring and one only had a short-term contract expiring in a few months, so everyone who was seeing that they had a long-term career in forestry in the south-east decided to come across,” she said.

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Yuan depreciation raises fears for pulp, timber

Financial Times
August 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The renminbi devaluation has taken a toll on global equity markets over the last 72 hours, but could it beat pulp prices too? Analysts at Citigroup think so. Producers of bleached hardwood kraft (BHK) pulp, which is used to make paper, have been cheered in recent months after a mill stoppage in China squeezed global supply, pushing prices higher. But those celebrations could be cut short after China, which accounts for 30 per cent of global pulp demand according to Citi, cheapened its currency by the most in two decades.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Why a Wooden Office Tower May Symbolize the Future of Multi-Story Construction

Curbed
August 12, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

“Office building goes up in Minneapolis” isn’t exactly a headline built to blow up Twitter. But the seven-story, 210,000-square-foot T3 commercial structure that broke ground at the end of July in the city’s North Loop neighborhood isn’t just any office. A new home for the Hines development firm, T3 (Timber, Technology and Transit) will be the first tall-timber building of its type in the United States, a new spin on architecture utilizing a material that’s been a bedrock of construction for millennia. According to architect Michael Green, when it’s finished in late 2016, T3 will challenge assumptions many hold about wooden structures, and represent a massive technological leap beyond the old-school timber warehouses that surround it.

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Forestry

McBride Community Forest General Manager removed from position

The Valley Sentinel
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A notice posted inside the McBride Community Forest (MCFC), signed off by its Board, stated that Marc von der Gonna is no longer with the MCFC. The notice states, “The McBride Community Forest is planning to undergo a full review and audit of its financial, managerial and operational activities. We will provide more information shortly.” It continues, “The Board’s top priority is to continue to ensure wood is available to local mills and we will do our upmost to fulfil this need. Your patience during this temporary transition is appreciated.” Another notice displayed on the office door reads: “Any communication on recent developments within the McBride Community Forest Corp. please be advised all concerns are to be presented in writing, in a sealed envelope which will be given to the Directors for review and handling. Please Respect our Staff! Thank you!”

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ELF forms blockade to save bear sanctuary – Mount Elphinstone

Sunshine Coast Reporter
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Members of Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) have formed a blockade to stop road building on Mount Elphinstone that would allow for harvesting of what the group calls a black bear sanctuary in timber sale area A87126. ELF founding member Ross Muirhead said he was alerted to the road building on Aug. 9 while he was taking part in a forest walk with members of the public. “We knew they were going to go in sometime this month, but we didn’t know when,” Muirhead said, adding the group “stumbled across” a contractor working to reactivate the Dakota Creek forest service road that Sunday. A blockade was set up immediately and the contractor left for the day, Muirhead said.

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Letter – Are we smart enough to see?

RJ Frankow, Port Alberni
Alberni Valley News
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Will we biblically, for a mess of potage, sell our inherited legacy? Do we still swallow slogans “Forests forever” and “It’s growing faster than we’re cutting it?” Do we know when to cut back and is too late to quit? Will the logging lobbies guarantee adequate inventory for our surviving wood industry? Should stumpage fee ensure that woodworkers like public service, pensions see? This was once passed at a convention of the NDP that later removed clause of appurtenancy that tied manufacturing to forestry and opened the door to exporting raw log tree. Are woodworkers lower class, never destined to get government’s indexed pension parity? Can we continue to be hewers of wood and drawers of water to the same degree? When they export the last tree, will global warming exact a costly penalty? END OF STORY

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Nova Scotia’s 2015 Woodland Owners of the Year

Atlantic Farm Focus
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Three Nova Scotia families are being recognized for their management of woodlands. The Woodland Owners of the Year are: • Martha Brown, eastern region and overall provincial winner • Norman, Gary and Brian Melanson, western region • Mike Oulton and family, central region “This award recognizes their commitment to innovative and skilled woodlot management that has garnered the respect of their peers,” said Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines. “Healthy and diverse forests depend on the type of effort these woodlot owners demonstrate.”

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Editorial board: Logging legislation misguided and troubling

Casper Star Tribune
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

One million acres.  That’s how much of our national forest system would be thinned or clear cut each year under the guidelines of a new bill in the Senate. It’s quite an increase from the current annual number, which is 200,000 acres. The legislation is sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, who says it is aimed at increasing wildlife habitat and watershed health and reducing insect infestation and wildfire severity. Those sound like goals that conservation groups would support. Instead, however, they’re decrying the bill as an unfunded mandate — and they’re right. The Obama administration, including Thomas Tidwell, chief of the Forest Service, is also against the legislation as it’s written.

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1,252 acres of forest on Etolin Island to be milled

Juneau Empire
August 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Tongass National Forest’s Navy Timber Sale Record of Decision has made 1,252 acres of commercial forest on Etolin Island, approximately 22 miles south of Wrangell, available for harvest. This timber should make 13.1 million board feet of sawlog and utility timber. “The Navy Timber Sale will produce a supply of timber for the timber industry with minimal effects to the environment. It addresses the key issues by providing a supply of timber, maintaining old-growth forest habitat, and not entering any 2001 inventoried roadless areas,” said Tongass Forest Supervisor M. Earl Stewart. “I find that the Selected Alternative provides the best mix of beneficial resources for the public within a framework of existing laws, regulations, policies, public needs and desires and the capabilities of the land.”

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Women firefighters in Missoula paved the way for others in the U.S. Forest Service

The Missoulian
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

One day, Zona Lindemann told a couple of men she had spent the season fighting fires. “They didn’t believe me. I had to get my card out and show it to them,” Lindemann said. That was a few decades ago, and women weren’t just an anomaly fighting fire, they were unheard of.  On Thursday, Lindemann, Dolly Browder and Marcia Hogan reunited as part of the first crew of female firefighters for the U.S. Forest Service, according to the Lolo National Forest. Libby Langston, who brought the women together as part of the Lolo National Forest’s booth at the Western Montana Fair, said the three women were the catalyst to change, and they worked as firefighters even before cities in the U.S. hired women for those jobs. 

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Fund Forest Service so it can do its job right

The Montana Standard
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Does it seem to you that Western wildlands are burning at a far greater rate than they used to? Does it seem there are more large fires consuming tens and hundreds of thousands of acres? Does it seem that more residences and other structures are being threatened and destroyed by wildfires than ever before? There’s a good reason it seems that way. All of that is happening, and more. This week’s proliferation of lightning-caused fires in drought-parched Montana forests is a case in point. In the process, the U.S. Forest Service budget is being burned up, too. …Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the huge increase in wildfires is not primarily attributable to reduced timber harvests.

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Bills seek to turn U.S. land over to 11 states; group raises questions

Los Angeles Times
August 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

So far this year, 36 bills have been introduced in 11 western states aimed at wresting control of public lands from the federal government and turning management over to state legislatures, according to recent tally by a conservation group. But a report released Tuesday said states are not prepared to administer public lands within their boundaries, adding that the bills are largely supported by a handful of state lawmakers with anti-government ideologies and do not have widespread public support. The report, “Going to Extremes: The Anti-Government Extremism Behind the Growing Movement to Seize America’s Public Lands,” was issued by the Center for Western Priorities, which identifies itself as a nonpartisan land conservation policy organization. The group characterized the recent spate of bills as “advocating a wholesale grab” of federal lands.

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Inaugural US Forest Service International Seminar on Forest Landscape Restoration Held in Oregon

This blog post was co-authored with Aaron Reuben (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Kathleen Buckingham (World Resources Institute). 
United States Department of Agriculture
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Four billion acres of degraded and deforested land world-wide—an area the size of South America—are in need of restoration. Restoration addresses our most pressing global challenges—from protecting biodiversity to providing food, energy and water, to offering security and economic opportunity for millions of people. In the United States, a multitude of partners from all sectors, from the local to national level, initiated restoration on millions of acres of degraded land, but the United States cannot do it alone. Degradation is a global issue that requires a global response. This summer, landscape restoration professionals from 16 countries, representing government ministries, non-governmental organizations and private companies, gathered in Oregon to learn from the United States’ experience.

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Uttarakhand Government Wants To Cut Down Lakhs Of Chir Pine Trees To Save Forests From Fire!

India Times
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

If the Uttarakhand government has its way, lakhs of chir pines will be cut down in the name of curbing forest fires that have become rampant of late. Foresters in the hill state say have found that the chir, a variety of pine widespread in the lower Himalayas, is responsible for much of the jungle inferno. They are also quick to add that the chir is no good for bio-diversity. In fact, the Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute (FRI) has now been asked to conduct a study of the ecological impact of these trees as the state forest department has readied a proposal to be sent to the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change, seeking removal these trees “wherever they are in large numbers”. 

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Protecting Forests for Orangutans – Bringing Together a Historic Team of Forest Guardians in Borneo

National Geographic
August 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Kaja Island is one of the five islands in Central Kalimantan that are currently used to “train” rescued orangutans before releasing them into the wild. …Understanding the challenges that orangutans are facing, the Conservancy’s Indonesia Terrestrial Program sets an ambitious goal of protecting and improving management across 10 million hectares of forests — the orangutan’s forest — by 2020. We will do this by working with forest guardians — communities, companies, non-governmental organizations and all levels…What is new now is our initiative to engage private companies, especially forestry and palm oil, to sustain large landscapes of healthy and productive forests — orangutan-safe forests. 

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Forest Fires

Wildfire near Port Renfrew gets bigger; smoke clogs valley

Times Colonist
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters are struggling to get control of a wildfire that has grown to at least 150 hectares east of Port Renfrew near Lizard Lake. “We know it’s bigger than that, but the valley is clogged with very thick and heavy smoke in the area so we can’t see the edges of it at all,” said fire information officer Donna MacPherson. Thirty-nine firefighters, four officers, seven helicopters and other heavy equipment were fighting the blaze Thursday. Wafting smoke blanketed the region, forcing the closing of the Pacific Circle Highway between Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan and prompting the Environment Ministry and Island Health to issue a smoke advisory for the area.

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B.C. fires: Wildfire raging near Rock Creek forces 208 evacuations

Fire estimated at 750 hectares, local highways closed due to heavy smoke
CBC News
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

An aggressive, out-of-control wildfire raging in B.C.’s southern Interior forced evacuations of 208 homes in the Rock Creek area on Thursday. ‘It was like balls of fire floating in the air and falling into the forest.’ – Denis Lessard, camper in area The fire was estimated to be 750 hectares in size, but the thick, billowing black smoke made it hard to confirm, said B.C. fire information officer Fanny Bernard. Thirty-six firefighters were at the scene of the fire, which started around 1:30 p.m. PT. Evacuations were put into effect by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary for Rock Creek and surrounding areas, and an evacuation order is also in place for the Kettle River Recreation Area.

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Letter – Enough is enough!

Bob Cole, Port Alberni
Alberni Valley News
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is great that the Alberni Valley News is still passing on news about the Dog Mountain fire to those not at or involved with Sproat Lake. The glib and total blabber from the Coastal Fire Center that this is how they deal with fires throughout the province, “allowing the fuel to burn within the perimeter”, means let the entire Dog Mountain peninsula smoulder and burn until it runs out of combustible materials or Mother Nature puts it out. Only thanks to Mother Nature do we have anything left there. Dog Mountain was a jewel in the middle of one of, if not, the best lake in the province. It is surrounded by highly taxed residences and recreational properties. Those taxes run into the millions each year. 

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Smoke from Lizard Lake fire choking Lake Cowichan

Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A massive human-caused wildfire between Mesachie Lake and Port Renfrew has the Cowichan Valley once again covered in a smoky haze, with the Cowichan Lake area particularly hard-hit. The fire near Lizard Lake was first spotted early Wednesday morning, and despite the efforts of firefighters, grew quickly throughout the day and into Thursday. Even the BC Wildfire Service was unsure of how large it was as of Thursday morning. “We’re calling it 150 hectares in size, but we’re guessing it’s considerably larger,” Coastal Fire Centre fire information officer Donna MacPherson said.

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Community forest hit hard by fire Old Sechelt Mine Fire

Sunshine Coast Reporter
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sunshine Coast Community Forest will take a financial blow as a result of the recent forest fire activity near Sechelt, although the exact cost won’t be known for some time. “We don’t have real numbers on that, just sort of a sense of warning that it’s going to impact the third and fourth quarters of this year,” said Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne at the Aug. 5 regular council meeting. “It’s really undetermined,” Milne said. “There was some of our licence area that was part of the fire zone, and so that will have an impact. I personally can’t tell you how that works out in terms of our obligations to salvage and replant, but I think there will be some costs coming out of the fire simply because we’re the licence holder.”

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Podium, Fred Birnbaum: Proper management of federal lands would yield many benefits

Idaho Statesman
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

It is fire season in the West, but thankfully you would not know that by gazing out your window in much of Idaho this summer. Sure, we read about major fires in California, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, but thus far 2015 has not shaped up too badly in Idaho. We are lucky as more than 5.6 million acres have burned in the U.S. through July 29, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The total for all of 2014 was about 3.6 million acres. …When you raise this issue with some members of the environmental community, they blame global warming and the lack of appropriate funding. We rarely hear anyone mention the correlation between the decline of active land management, including logging, and the resulting fires.

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State says firefighting resources stretched thin

AP in The Longview Daily News
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash. — Five large wildfires and numerous smaller fires are stretching firefighting resources thin across the state, the Washington Department of Natural Resources said Thursday. In addition, wildfires raging in other states have also pulled Washington firefighters and air resources to those states, the agency said. That’s a problem as the number of human-caused fires continues to rise through a record-breaking summer of drought and high temperatures. Most of eastern Washington was under a red flag fire warning on Thursday.

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Firefighters chase new starts across western Montana; valleys fill with smoke

Helena Independent Record
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

While the Thompson fire in Glacier National Park kept the crown for biggest blaze in western Montana on Thursday, dozens of smaller fires along the Montana-Idaho border were to blame for Missoula’s smoky skies. Air quality remained between good and moderate throughout Missoula County, despite the haze. But with the Soda fire in Idaho burning about 200,000 acres west of Boise and the Lawyer Complex fires burning another 2,000, lots of smoke was filling the valleys of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness just west of Hamilton.

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After mild start, wildfires rage across Oregon and state mobilizes additional help

The Oregonian
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Conflagration Act early Thursday, allowing state officials to bring in special firefighting teams to protect homes and other structures threatened by the Cornet fire burning in Baker County. The fire, caused by lightning Monday 16 miles south of Baker City, is burning through brush, grass and timber and has grown to 12,600 acres, fire officials said. The blaze is threatening about 175 structures. It’s burning through steep terrain is expected to grow rapidly Thursday afternoon. …The Conflagration Act allows the Oregon fire marshal to bring in extra firefighters, especially structural fire departments and equipment, from around the state to fight the wildfire. The fire marshal was scheduled to take command of the operation at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

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ODOT Reopens Long Stretch Of I-84 As Eastern Oregon Fires Grow

Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A section of Interstate 84 in eastern Oregon closed for several hours Thursday due to nearby wildfires, according to a release from the Oregon Department of Transportation. At one point, the highway was closed for more than 160 miles between Ontario and Pendleton. Three fires in Eastern Oregon continued to grow in size Thursday, and have forced immediate evacuations in some areas. The fires grew due to high winds, low humidity and hot temperatures. The Soda Fire spans the Oregon-Idaho border and has grown to 218,000 acres. At least 24,000 of those acres are in Oregon. The blaze is burning in critical sage grouse habitat and threatens homes in Owyhee County, Idaho. On Wednesday, fire officials reported that the fire traveled more than 1.5 miles in just eight minutes. 

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After ‘The Burn,’ 72 million seedlings rise again

Hillsboro Tribune
August 12, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

More than 80 years after the first in a series of wildfires that devastated Tillamook State Forest land, local residents will have an opportunity to learn about how the largely man-made forest bounced back and what the future of the woods looks like. The Tillamook Forest Center will host a three-day celebration this weekend, Aug. 14 to 16, commemorating the history of the forest before, during and after the fires that charred 355,000 acres. From 1933 to 1951, forest fires that occurred every six years — “the six-year jinx” — ripped through the forestland covering Washington and Tillamook counties, dissolving hundreds of thousands of acres of picturesque landscapes, habitat for thousands of critters and the livelihood of small-time foresters during the Great Depression.

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30 Percent of California’s Forest Firefighters Are Prisoners

About 4,000 inmates battle blazes in the Golden State’s woodlands.
Mother Jones
August 14, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Here’s a kind of crazy stat: Between thirty and forty percent of California’s forest firefighters are state prison inmates. The state has become a tinder box of sorts from a four-year drought, and roughly 4,000 low-level felons are on the front lines of the state’s active fires. Here’s what’s going on:  Why are prisoners fighting fires? For years, California’s prison system has operated a number of “conservation camps,” in which low-level felons in the state prison system volunteer to do manual labor outside, like clearing brush to prevent forest fires or fighting the fires themselves. A handful of other states have similar programs, but, with roughly 4,000 participants,

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3000 acre fire burning in Washington; increases smoke in Boundary

Boundary Sentinel
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A 1214-hectare (3000 acre) fire south of Grand Forks is burning northeast of Republic, Washington. The Stickpin fire (named for the Stickpin trail) was reported on Tuesday and 3:30 p.m. and is believed to be caused by lightning. According to the Collville National Forest Service’s Incident Information System, the fire is burning heavy dead wood and downed lodgepole pine. Firefighters are not able to directly engage the fire because it is in a remote area that does not allow them a safe escape route.

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70% of forest fires in Bulgaria caused by human carelessness: expert

Focus Information Agency
August 13, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Sofia. “70% of all forest fires in Bulgaria are due to non-observation of the rules for agricultural territories cleaning,” Engineer Krasimir Kamenov, deputy executive director of the Executive Forestry Agency, said speaking for Radio FOCUS. “12,000 decares of forest terrains have burnt since the start of the year. 211 wildfires have been registered until now,” Mr Kamenov explained. “70% of all forest fires in Bulgaria are due to non-observation of the rules for agricultural territories cleaning – during tractor processing or burning pastures,” the expert remarked. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Tree loophole casts shadow over EU carbon action

Reuters
August 13, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

BRUSSELS/LONDON,- European environment law provides more financial incentives to fell a tree than to plant one, campaigners say. They warn that EU claims it leads the fight against climate change are based on false data and the United States must not follow suit. For many nations, wood burning, or biomass, provided a fast, affordable way to meet a European Union goal to get a fifth of all energy from renewable sources by 2020. Spurred by subsidies, EU nations will meet almost 60 percent of that target from biomass, according to European Commission data. But as forests, which absorb carbon dioxide, are replanted more slowly than they are burned, not all biomass is sustainable and an assumption that it is carbon neutral can be wildly inaccurate.

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