Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 25, 2015

Froggy Foibles

Tree Frog and Python Are Unlikely Best Buds

Social News Daily
August 25, 2015
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Normally, snakes see a frog and think “dinner”, but this twosome stick to each other — literally. Indonesian photographer Fahmi Bhs, 39, spotted the pair on one of his trips to a zoo in Jakarta. The sight stopped him in his tracks, and his breathing. “I was worried the python may swallow this beautiful frog,” he said. This little frog, his lush green skin glistening in the sunlight, holds on to the cool, sinewy length of his slithery friend, thanks to the sticky suctions at the end of his toes. “But then a keeper told me that this particular snake doesn’t eat frogs at all and it did seem almost undisturbed by its presence,” Bhscontinued, “The python occasionally sniffed around the frog but then it just let the creature do whatever he needed to do.”

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Business & Politics

Editorial: Hydro power plan in need of an update

Business in Vancouver
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Site C continues to roll toward reality, but BC Hydro’s business numbers continue to support what opponents of a third dam on the Peace River want: a delay or outright cancellation of the $9 billion project. In its most recent annual report, the Crown power corporation lists several highlights, including revenue of $5.7 billion compared with $5.4 billion in fiscal 2014 and net income of $581 million, an increase of $32 million over 2014. But Hydro’s predicted 40% increase in electricity demand in the province over the next 20 years, a key justification for Site C, needs recalculating, especially in the wake of Paper Excellence’s recent shutdown of paper production at Howe Sound Pulp and Paper. Newsprint mills are major domestic industrial customers for Hydro, and the global pulp and paper industry’s rapidly changing business fundamentals foreshadow more hard times ahead. 

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B.C. commodity sector pummeled by global market meltdown

August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Companies in British Columbia’s already struggling commodity sector were dealt another blow Monday in the sell off of stocks that sent global stock markets plunging. The S&P/TSX composite index fell more than 700 points shortly after markets opened, but by mid-morning it had recovered some of those losses and was down by 240 points at 13,233 towards the end of trading… And on the day, B.C.-based commodity producers, already experiencing slowing sales of their output, saw share prices follow. Yu said sliding demand in China’s slowing manufacturing sector has been the biggest factor in the drop in commodity prices that have hit B.C.’s commodity companies… B.C.’s big forest companies fared better, but in recent months they have been shifting to take advantage of a strengthening U.S. housing market as sales to China have slowed.

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Trigger for Dow’s Nosedive also Driving Down Minn. Construction Costs

KSTP News
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

It was a dizzying nosedive that saw 401(k)s fizzle across the country… As soon as the opening bell rang, the Dow dropped more than 1,000 points in ten minutes. After seesawing the rest of the day, it finished down 588 points. That’s the steepest slide in four years. Anyone who had the courage to peek at their portfolio knows the huge sell-off had an impact. But experts said Monday’s plunge is really just a symptom of a much larger economic disease—and Minnesota is not immune. “The big trigger was China,” Dave Vang, an economist with the University of St. Thomas, said… With China buying fewer building materials, including lumber, steel, and other industrial inputs, the costs of construction are dropping from China to Chanhassen.

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Federal judge reviews NewPage, Verso merger

Business Sun Journal
August 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND — Since merging with NewPage, Verso Paper Corp. has announcedlayoffs of 610 people, including 300 at its Jay mill. Meanwhile, the mill in Rumford that Verso sold to Catalyst Paper laid off 50 workers. Attorneys representing those laid-off or soon-to-be-laid-off workers made their case before a federal judge Monday afternoon that the closures are the result of Verso wielding too much influence in the North American market for coated paper and seeking to earn higher prices for their coated paper after cutting the supply. The court battle playing out in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is the extension of a fight over the closure of Verso’s mill in Bucksport, which was challenged in federal court in Maine.

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Forestry manslaughter trial a ‘marker’ for WorkSafe, says defence lawyer

New Zealand Stuff
August 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The man accused of New Zealand’s first forestry-related manslaughter is being used by WorkSafe New Zealand to “lay down a marker” and the case is not based only on evidence, a court has heard. In the High Court at Palmerston North on Tuesday, defence lawyer Jonathan Temm made the statement during the openings of Paul Robert Burr’s trial. Lincoln Kidd, 20, died when a tree on a forestry block between Levin and Foxton, felled by Burr, crushed him in December 2013. Burr was using a Volvo harvesting machine at the time.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The Record: Playing with fire

NorthJersey.com
August 25, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

JANUARY’S FIRE at the AvalonBay apartment complex in Edgewater reverberated across New Jersey. As hundreds of people were displaced from their homes, politicians quickly promised to change building codes in hopes of preventing such massive fires from occurring again. …The quick consensus among fire officials in the immediate aftermath of the fire was that the blaze spread rapidly because of lightweight, wood-frame construction and truss-style roofs. Aware that such construction was permitted by the state’s Uniform Construction Code, officials said the code had to be changed. Assemblyman Scott Rumana, R-Wayne, said he wanted a two-year freeze on all multiunit residential construction using light frames so the issue could be fully explored.

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Dominant upbeat on export sales

The Singapore Star
August 24, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

JOHOR BARU: Dominant Enterprise Bhd, a Johor-based manufacturer of flat laminated wood products and moulded wood components, is expecting to see a growth in export sales to 20% of group revenue within the next two years. Chief executive officer cum deputy managing director Danny Owee said that the company targeted export sales to grow from 15.5% of group revenue this year to 20% in the next two years. “Dominant’s sales to furniture makers made up 45% of the company’s revenue in the financial year ended March 31 (FY15). “We have sufficient production capacity to support our customers’ push to enter into new markets, given their overall competitiveness in the global arena,” he said after the company’s EGM here yesterday.

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Valmet to supply quality control system for Stora Enso’s Varkaus mill

Pulp and Paper News
August 25, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The mill will be able to fully exploit the rebuilt machine’s performance potential
Valmet will supply pulp mill and board machine quality management solutions for Stora Enso’s Varkaus Mill in Finland. The orders are an addition to the extensive rebuild of the Varkaus mill’s PM 3 fine paper machine supplied by Valmet to produce lightweight containerboard grades announced on May 13, 2014. The order was included in Valmet’s second quarter 2015 orders received. The value of the order is not disclosed. Typically, the order value of automation system deliveries ranges from below EUR 1 million to EUR 3 million.

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Forestry

Forest products industry hiring 60,000 new employees in the next 5 years

My Prince George Now
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Today the Globe and Mail pegged the Forest Products Industry as one of the promising sectors in the country for young Canadians looking for a prosperous career. The Forest Products Association says they need to find 60,000 new employees across Canada in the next five years to keep pace with industry growth which has been spurred onward by a lower Canadian Dollar. Vice President of PR Susan Murray says the sector is undergoing a transformation “And getting into new areas, very interesting biological areas where forest products are found in things like clothing and car parts. So we need people who are very educated, technical, engineers or whatever to help us innovate.”

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Mount Macpherson logging details unveiled

Revelstoke Times Review
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Timber Sales plans on leaving a buffer around the TNT biking trail when it logs at Mount Macpherson next year. The logging plans were revealed by the Revelstoke Cycling Association in an e-mail to its members that was also posted to the RCA website. The e-mail, signed by RCA president Keith McNab, included an image from BC Timber Sales outlining the area that will be logged. It shows that a section of trees around the TNT and Ridgewalk trails will be left standing to protect the trails. “Hopefully the buffer that will be left is large enough that when blowdown occurs the trails will not be significantly impacted,” wrote McNab.

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Contractors: Register for WSCA 2015 Annual Summer Business Summit

Western Silviculture Contractors Association
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The WSCA will hold its 2015 Annual Summer Business Summit on Wednesday, September 2nd in Richmond, BC. The agenda will look at planting for 2016, BCTS’s proposed contractor rating system, and revising the standing offer for contract fire fighting to mention some of the topics. 

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Drought-stressed trees in Alberta could see more mountain pine beetles

Calgary Herald
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As Alberta conducts annual aerial surveys of its forests, the province’s forest expert says she expects they’ll start to see the signs of drought — including more mountain pine beetles. This year’s surveys, which started on Aug. 15 and run until Sept. 15, come after extremely dry weather hit the province throughout the summer. “Drought has a variety of effects on the forests and obviously on the insect population,” said Erica Samis, manager of forest health and adaptation with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “When a tree is drought stressed, it can’t withstand attacks.

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Ontario bear sanctuary gives cubs a second chance to go wild

CBC News
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Three orphaned bear cubs from Sudbury are settling into their new home. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry brought the cubs to a bear sanctuary east of Parry Sound on Friday. The ministry’s Sudbury district manager said when bear cubs are orphaned, the ministry tries to get them to animal sanctuaries. “If these cubs … are candidates for rehab — and they can become wild bears and aren’t going to become a problem in the future — then if we’re able to get them to a rehab facility, that’s the right thing to do,” Trevor Griffin said. He added that, as long as the cubs aren’t accustomed to eating human food, they will usually do well, once released back in the wild.

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BWCA land swap sparks major environmental review

Suffield Times
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After many years of debate, failed laws, 5 public conferences and hundreds of letters, the federal authorities has determined to undertake a complete environmental evaluate on the best way to swap about 50 sq. miles of state-owned land contained in the Boundary Waters Canoe Space with U.S. Forest Service land outdoors. Earlier this yr, the U.S. Forest Service agreed to purchase about two-thirds of the state-owned land contained in the wilderness space, about 56,000 acres, and has utilized for federal funding to pay for it. The remaining 30,000 acres can be exchanged for federal forest land outdoors the BWCA, a prospect that has polarized opinions between conservationists and pro-development pursuits.

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Deschutes National Forest responds to logging foes

KTVZ Central Oregon News Leader
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BEND, Ore. – On Monday morning, activists with Cascadia Forest Defenders hung a banner across Cascade Lakes Highway in protest of the Forest Service’s plans of plans they claim will clear-cut and log old growth on public land. The banner reads “Blue Marks = Proposed Cuts! Forests Need Old Growth.” Some of the trees slated for cutting are visible directly from the road and are marked by blue paint on about four miles along Cascade lakes Highway. …Bend-Fort Rock District Manager Kevin Larkin responded to the group’s message. “I certainly will hope that groups that have objections or have concerns about our projects will come to the table and will discuss those with us prior to the completion and implementation of projects,” Larkin said.

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Rehab plan in works for burned Oregon forest

Statesman Journal
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The damage caused by the Canyon Creek Complex wildfire south of John Day isn’t just limited to 39 destroyed houses. Flames have also torched tens of thousands of acres of trees and vegetation throughout the Canyon Creek watershed, leaving the barren landscape vulnerable to future soil erosion and flooding. Officials at the Malheur National Forest are already at work developing a rehabilitation plan to protect the environment while also allowing some opportunities for logging burned up trees to boost the local economy. The plan, known as a Burned Area Energy Rehabilitation treatment, or BAER, outlines site-specific projects to watershed health, such as planting new trees and repairing infrastructure including bridges and culverts.

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Conservation Deal to Preserve Prized Land North of Whitefish

Whitefish Lake Conservation Project seeks to protect more than 15,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat on key watershed
Flathead Beacon
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tangent to the conservation puzzle of Northwest Montana, a colossal piece began falling into place this week when The Trust for Public Land and Plum Creek announced a partnership to conserve 15,334 acres of the timber giant’s forested property north of Whitefish Lake. The Whitefish Lake Conservation Project marks the culmination of years of work by land managers and environmental groups who recognized the development pressure that could bear down on the prized landscape about a mile-and-a-half north of Whitefish Lake, which is flanked by the Stillwater State Forest, laced with creeks and tributaries and provides some of the most critical habitat to grizzly bear, lynx, bull trout, cutthroat trout, elk, wolves, and white-tail deer in the state.

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DNR release elk into Black River State Forest

WEAU
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

JACKSON COUNTY, Wis. — Elk are now free to roam Jackson County after being released. According to a release sent out from the governor’s desk, 23 elk were let out of their pen and into the Black River State Forest. The elk were trapped in Kentucky last winter and kept in a secure facility until now. Gov. Scott Walker says it’s a move that’s good for wildlife and tourism. “We have reached another milestone in our efforts to reintroduce elk to Wisconsin,” said Walker. “The release of these elk marks a successful first year of a multi-year effort to establish a new elk herd in Jackson County and the Clam Lake area. 

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Chimps keep numbers high as forest losses mount

Science News
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Chimpanzees have weathered human-caused forest loss surprisingly well, a new study finds. More than three times as many chimps inhabit patches of jungle in western Uganda than previously suspected. Genetic analyses of 865 chimp poop samples gathered over 15 months enabled the identification of 182 of the apes. Between 246 and 357 chimps from at least nine communities inhabit the study area, investigators report August 24 in BMC Ecology. A previous estimate that only about 70 chimps lived in this unprotected region, which retains spots of intact forest, was based on the number of chimp nests spotted by researchers.

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Solomons Forest Assoc supports logging crackdown

Radio New Zealand
August 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Solomon Islands Forest Association says it supports moves to clean up the logging industry and to penalise companies that have allegedly evaded duty. It says a clean up is long overdue. This comes after the former Forests Minister, Bodo Dettke, last week claimed logging companies owed the government tens of millions of dollars in unpaid dues on their log exports. Meanwhile the Association says the government must publish the names of the alleged offending companies. It also says these companies must be blacklisted if they fail to pay, and have their licences cancelled.

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Earth is on track to lose an India-sized chunk of its tropical forests by 2050

Sidney Morning Herald
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tropical forests face a lot of threats, particularly from the logging and agriculture industries. Their continued disappearance from the face of the Earth is therefore no great news — but new research suggests that they may be disappearing even faster than we thought. And that could have big implications for the global effort against climate change. A new report from the Centre for Global Development, released on Monday, warns of what will happen if world leaders don’t take stronger steps to cut down on deforestation — that is, if we follow a “business-as-usual” trajectory. By 2050, they estimate, an area of forest equal to the size of India will be lost. 

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Old destructive forest clearer and paper maker a piece of modern art

ABC News Australia
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

“By today’s standards, it would be seen as a thing of evil destruction.” But for Steve and Sue Brain, two cattle farmers from Mumbannar in western Victoria, the steel riveted ball that used to tear down trees and make paper, is a piece of agricultural history they admire every day. “We look out our bedroom window [in the] morning and you look at it and it’s a bit like looking at Uluru really, in it changes through the day depending on the light and the moisture,” said Mr Brain. The half-inch-thick, three-meter-wide, steel ball weighs more than five tonnes and was originally from Broadford paper mill. Mr Brain said the mill would originally put rigging off old ships inside of the ball with caustic soda and boiling water to make paper pulp.

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Rise in global eucalyptus oil sees oil mallee distillery in Western Australia restarted

ABC News Australia
August 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Increasing global demand for eucalyptus oil and a corresponding oil price increase has seen a distillery in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region brought back to life. Drive past the outskirts of Kalannie in the Central Wheatbelt and a chimney appears in the middle of a paddock and what looks like smoke rises into the air. It looks incredibly out of place next to the wheat and canola crops around it, but, according to local famer Ian Stanley, it could be the making of a new crop for the region. Oil mallee trees have been planted in the Kalannie district and across Western Australia since the late 1990s, but the numbers on turning the trees into eucalyptus oil have not added up.

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Forest Fires

No plans to extend bomber’s contract

Alberni Valley Times
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

With days left for a 30-day contract to use the Mars water bombers on forest fires the province has announced no intentions of extending the agreement. The arrangement between Coulson Flying Tankers and B.C.’s Ministry of Forests expires on Tuesday. Over the last month the Hawaii mars bomber was deployed from it’s Sproat Lake base several times, but more firefighting action past Aug. 25 now seems unlikely. “It has not been decided as to whether there will be a further extension to the contract,” said the province’s chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek in an email to the Times. “Any decision to extend the contract will be based on the projected level of fire activity and operational need.”

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Careless driving, smoking penalties on way

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in Vernon Morning Star
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The B.C. legislature is being recalled Sept. 28 for a fall session that will likely deal with increasing penalties for distracted driving and careless smoking. …After dry conditions sparked an early start to the B.C. forest fire season, Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced a review of penalties for violating campfire bans and tossing lit cigarettes. Thomson appointed Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, a former RCMP superintendent, to lead a similar review of those penalties. Morris said he was considering the vehicle impoundment option for careless tossing of cigarette butts, and prohibiting people from camping in provincial parks if they violate campfire restrictions.

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Smoky skies prompt special weather statement for southern, central Alberta

Global News
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Much of central and southern Alberta, including Lethbridge, Calgary, and Red Deer and Edmonton, was put under a special weather statement Monday because of drifting forest fire smoke from Washington State. Alberta Health Services issued an air quality advisory for the Calgary Zone, which will stay in effect until further notice. The air quality statement for the City of Edmonton had ended as of 3:10 p.m. The Environment Canada warning said the wildfire smoke from the Pacific northwest was expected to move into Alberta early Monday morning. Smoke advisories were issued over the weekend in B.C.

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No, B.C. is not burning

By Tom Fletcher
Kamloops This Week
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…With the early start to this year’s fire season, the media attention and effects of an unusual spring drought, you might think that B.C. is on pace to match that terrible summer. You would be wrong. As of last week, area burned and money spent by the B.C. Wildfire Service had only just exceeded the totals for mid-August during last summer’s fire season, which were high, but not remarkable. The number of individual fires is higher this year, but that’s mostly a result of lightning storm patterns. Spending has topped $200 million, as it did last year at this time before finishing just below $300 million. The 2003 total was above $400 million and the 2009 season was slightly below that. Forests Minister Steve Thomson cautions there are still many weeks to go and hot, dry conditions are expected for much of that.

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Fire chiefs call for crackdown on cigarette tossers as hazard rises

Times Colonist
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Any B.C. legislation that toughens penalties for people who throw lit cigarettes from vehicles should address more education along with more punishment, says the president of the B.C. Fire Chiefs Association. Chief Tim Pley of Port Alberni said Monday that the “unprecedented” fire season in the province warrants government action, but “the goal should be compliance.” He feels awareness of the need to change behaviour, not just higher fines, should be part of the solution. His comments come in light of yet another human-caused brush fire, stopped close to two homes off Otter Point Road in Sooke on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of at least eight homes.

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Australian firefighters ‘happy to help’ in Northwest

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The mountainous conditions in the Pacific Northwest will be nothing new to the dozens of firefighters from Australia and New Zealand who have arrived to help battle the many blazes burning unchecked in the region. “We’re used to tall timber and steep territory,” said Warren Heslip, a 47-year-old firefighter from Southland, New Zealand. Heslip was among the 71 firefighters from the southern region picking up equipment Monday at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, before heading out to help a ground campaign led by firefighters from across the West and augmented by U.S. soldiers.

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Record wildfire in Washington gets international, local help

Associated Press in Yahoo News
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash. — As Washington state’s wildfires burned into the record books Monday, calls for help were answered from far and near. Fire managers from New Zealand and Australia arrived to contribute to a ground campaign led by firefighters from across the West and augmented by U.S. soldiers. The flames that claimed the lives of three firefighters, injured four others and burned 200 homes also inspired an outpouring of volunteers who have been invited for the first time in state history to help battle the blazes. This summer’s fire response across the West has been overwhelmed by destructive blazes tearing through the tinder-dry region.

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Montana helicopters sidelined from fighting federal fires

Idaho Statesman
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, MONT. — In a fire season plagued by equipment shortages across the West, five Montana helicopters used for initial attacks on state and private land are being sidelined from responding to blazes that ignite in federal forests. State pilots have watched helplessly as wildfires spread on federal lands while waiting for approved aircraft to respond. On other occasions, state helicopters flying above wildfires were told not to take action, Gov. Steve Bullock wrote in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “At a time where a cohesive response to wildland fire is more critical than ever, I continue to be frustrated by this unwarranted and artificial limitation on interagency use of our aircraft,” Bullock wrote.

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North-central Washington wildfire now largest in state history; international help arrives (WITH NEW PHOTOS)

Peninsula Daily News
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

TWISP, Okanogan County — As Washington state’s wildfires burned into the record books Monday, calls for help were answered from far and near. Fire managers from New Zealand and Australia arrived to contribute to a ground campaign led by firefighters from across the West and augmented by U.S. soldiers. The flames that claimed the lives of three firefighters, injured four others and burned 200 homes also inspired an outpouring of volunteers who have been invited for the first time in state history to help battle the blazes. This summer’s fire response across the West has been overwhelmed by destructive blazes tearing through the tinder-dry region.

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Crews work to keep Sheep fire from reaching Essex

The Missoulian
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A tense waiting game continues near Essex as the 581-acre Sheep fire – which burned to within a mile of town over the weekend – keeps residents on notice for a possible evacuation. Monday’s weather included winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour in the area, which led to increased growth following a weekend of moderate activity. Warmer weather is expected as the week continues. Fire crews used a BNSF Railway train to cross the Middle Fork of the Flathead River and reach a more accessible area on the northern edge of the fire, which remains uncontained. The crews planned to build fuel breaks and fire lines to keep the blaze from moving closer to Essex, U.S. Highway 2 or an adjacent rail line.

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Lightning-sparked Alder Lake Fire continues to grow — now 150 acres

Q13 Fox
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

ELBE, Wash. — The Alder Lake Fire burning west of Elbe has grown to 150 acres as it continues moving east. Steep rugged terrain is making the firefight difficult, and Forest Service officials say the fire could spread to state DNR land. About 60 people are working this wildfire sparked by lightning on August 11. According to the Forest Service, there were no evacuation orders as of Monday, August 24. Officials said Forest Roads 74 and 7409 are now closed to the public for the safety of the firefighters.

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Forest Service defends Canyon Creek response

Blue Mountain Eagle
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Malheur National Forest has detailed, step by step, what they did to try and suppress the Canyon Creek Complex before homes were destroyed. Fire officials knew trouble was coming when a series of lightning storms rolled over the Malheur National Forest earlier this month. Yet despite an initial attack that included both air and ground support, crews simply couldn’t corral the two fires that would eventually form the hellish Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day. Dastardly winds and bone dry fuels quickly overwhelmed resources battling the blaze, to the point where one firefighter succumbed to heat exhaustion. Over the next three days, the complex would swell to tens of thousands of acres and consume 39 homes in its path.

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Battle for Baikal: Raging Siberian wildfires threaten world’s biggest freshwater lake

RT News
August 24, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

The world’s oldest and deepest lake could face severe damage from wildfires which are burning out of control along its shores. Lake Baikal, home to 20 percent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, is facing a potential ecological catastrophe with 36 fires burning in the region. It is one of the jewels of Russia, both in terms of its importance ecologically and for tourism. However, as plumes of smoke billow out in southern Siberia, thousands of hectares of forest are being destroyed around Lake Baikal. The situation is so bad that a leading Russian politician says the forest fires are the greatest danger threatening the wellbeing of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Govt mulls over harsher sanctions for perpetrators of forest fires

Jakarta Post
August 25, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

The Environment and Forestry Ministry is considering levying harsher administrative punishments to increase the deterrent effect on companies that cause forest fires. “Administrative sanctions, such as revoking and freezing concession permits, are the possible alternatives that we are now considering. It is hard [to implement new policy because of legal and practical challenges], but we have to be able to stop [the forest fires from starting],” Minister Siti Nurbaya said Monday at the ministry’s office. The ministry said there was no strong legal basis to revoke or freeze permits and the consequences of revoking a permit brought practical challenges so the policy should be made carefully. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biofuels Are a Bad Way to Fight Climate Change

Huffington Post
August 24, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

On the surface, biofuels sound like a great idea. Using waste biomass to generate power sounds like a win-win-win proposition: you generate power without incurring an environmental cost, and as a bonus the power is expected to be carbon neutral. In British Columbia 20 per cent of our total energy use is derived from waste biomass, but the province has a huge forest industry that generates a tremendous amount of waste material to burn. Worldwide, there is not enough waste biomass to supply power plants with a steady source of fuel. In the rest of the world this has led power producers to rely not only on waste biomass but on virgin materials.

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New Study: Biofuel Use Saved 589.3 Million Tons of Carbon Emissions Over the Past Decade

Associated Press in Albuquerque Journal
August 24, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON–Over its 10-year lifespan, the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) requirement to substitute biofuels for fossil fuels has displaced nearly 1.9 billion barrels of foreign oil and reduced U.S. transportation-related carbon emissions by 589.33 million metric tons, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) finds in an analysis released today. Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated: “The Renewable Fuel Standard was signed into law ten years ago this month by President George W. Bush. The law’s purpose was to end America’s addiction to oil, reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The RFS program has demonstrably achieved those goals. 

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