Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 11, 2015

Business & Politics

Low Chinese demand forces Tolko to cut production by half at Quest Wood lumber mill

IHB The Timber Network
September 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries Ltd. decided to reduce the operating footprint of their Quest Wood lumber mill, due to continued market challenges in China,. The mill, located in Quesnel B.C., employs 224 people and currently produces 200 million board feet of product annually. Larry Broadfoot, General Manager, Lumber, Plywood Sales & Marketing said the reduction is necessary in current market conditions: “Lumber market prices and volume demand for our products, particularly in China, have declined to a point where it is now necessary to reduce the operating footprint of the mill in order to remain competitive and produce a more appropriate volume and quality for the market.”

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B.C., chiefs pledge to work on reconciliation

by Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in Nanaimo Daily News
September 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. cabinet ministers and 500 aboriginal leaders emerged from two days of meetings in Vancouver Thursday with a pledge to work on divisive resource development issues and hold a province-wide forum on aboriginal children in government care. Premier Christy Clark also announced the establishment of a $2 million fund for scholarships for aboriginal students pursuing post-graduate degrees, and a new set of awards for aboriginal youth athletic achievement.

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Canfor Corp. closes Canal Flats sawmill in the east Kootenays

Vancouver Sun
September 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Corp.’s Canal Flats sawmill in the east Kootenays has become the latest casualty in the British Columbia forest industry’s struggle to balance its production against timber supplies that are shrinking since the mountain pine beetle infestation. Canfor, on Wednesday announced it will permanently cease operations at the mill Nov. 9 due to “a lack of economically available fibre supply” and poor markets, CEO Don Kayne said in a news release. The company said 65 hourly-paid and nine staff employees will be affected.

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Plywood & Flooring Dropped from Hardwood Checkoff Proposal

Woodworking Network
September 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – Plywood, flooring and green mills would be removed and fees would be scaled back under a simplified proposal for the Hardwood Checkoff program – an ad promotion program for hardwood lumber manufacturers similar to the ‘Got Milk’ program run by milk producers. The proposed changes to the “Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research, and Information Order” would result in program funding being cut from an estimated $10 million down to around $3 million to $4 million. Hardwood Checkoff sponsor The Blue Ribbon Committee submitted a letter to the USDA dated Sept. 7 calling for the changes. The public comment period closed Sept. 9, with more than 1,300 woodworkers weighing in on the USDA’s June 9 re-proposal of the Hardwood Checkoff.

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Williams sawmill revives a struggling industry (w/ video)

12news.com
September 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Wood chips rained down like confetti as a ribbon cutting celebrated a new sawmill at the Newpac Fibre mill just east of Williams. The addition comes a year after the mill opened and provided a new economic opportunity for growth in the area. An estimated $2 million has been put back into the community through worker wages and contracts with local vendors harvesting the wood and hauling the product to a final destination. Twenty-two people are employed at the mill, an opportunity for work in skilled labor as opposed to tourism-related opportunities that saturate the city of Williams. “We need diversity, we need jobs for other people,” said John Moore, mayor of Williams. “I think bringing the sawmill here, and looking at the future sawmills and timber harvest, will bring us that diversity and make us grow.”

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Brazilian Sawlog Prices at Lowest Level in 10 Years

Woodworking Network
September 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Seattle – Sawlog prices in Brazil fell to their lowest level since 2005 in the 2Q/15, after having been in a falling mode for about four years. Current prices for pine logs, in US dollar terms, are almost 40% below their all-time high in 2011, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Over the past 20 years, sawlog prices have fluctuated quite substantially with a period of slowly declining prices from 1995 to 2003, followed by a dramatic increase from 2003 to 2008 when prices increased almost fourfold.

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German Pellets achieves growth despite price pressure

EUWID
September 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

German Pellets showed growth in sales volumes in all market segments in the first half. The company therefore succeeded not only in compensating for the continuing pressure on prices in the market but also in achieving further growth. As emerges from the half-year report which was published on 31 August, the company’s total turnover was up by roughly 11% to €293.6m. The figure for turnover quoted by German Pellets represents total turnover of €314.0m generated in the reporting period less expenses of €20.4m incurred through changes in stock of finished and unfinished products.

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EU softwood lumber exports to Japan finally stabilize

IHB The Timber Network
September 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

After an almost catastrophic 2014, when EU exports of softwood lumber to its traditional partner Japan, collapsed by -37 % to only EUR 526 million, it seems that this trend is reversing. According to the latest Eurostat figures, in the first five months of 2015, the value of EU softwood lumber exports to Japan was up by +1%, up to EUR 222,1 million, as compared to the corresponding period of 2014. While the Finnish sawmills managed to keep increase their exports (+5%), an important decline was registered in Swedish and Romanian lumber deliveries to Japan, which dipped by -5% and -9% respectively.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Massive glulam beams support new UBC development

Journal of Commerce
September 11, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

When the $126 million University of British Columbia (UBC) Orchard Commons complex is complete in mid-2016, the structure will showcase not just sustainability but will combine old and new methods of pre-fabrication. The complex consists of a north and south residential tower, both accommodating a total of 1,038 students. The UBC Vantage College will have 23 classrooms for international students in a four-storey podium at the bottom of the south tower, with common areas connecting the two towers that include resident support services, a 450-seat dining hall, activity area, day care and multi-use rooms.

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Oregon lumber mill becomes first in U.S. certified to produce new wood building material

The Oregonian
September 10, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A lumber mill in Riddle is the first certified to produce a new type of wood building material praised as environmentally sustainable — and one that might be a boon for rural Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday $350,000 dedicated to boost the effort to make Oregon a hub for cross-laminated timber, or CLT. That money includes a forgivable loan and a $150,000 grant. The state is also sponsoring a competition that will provide $200,000 in funds and services to a company building with CLT for regulatory testing and documentation. Applications are open for the competition on Oct. 1 at the Oregon BEST website.

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Wales hikes cost of building permits

The Buffalo News
September 11, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

It will cost more to obtain a building permit in Wales, after the Town Board Tuesday voted to raise the fees $20 to cover costs associated with a new state law. Building Inspector Walter Raichel said the state building code requires new buildings and additions with truss-type, pre-engineered wood or timber construction to display a fixed sign or symbol indicating the construction type. “This has to do with the fire departments,” Raichel said, “to let them know how it’s been constructed.”.. Truss foundations may collapse suddenly and without warning when they’ve been weakened by fire. “In recent years truss constructions have been the cause of many preventable deaths of firefighters,” the law states. 

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How does timber handle fire compared to steel and concrete?

International Timber
September 11, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

While you may have heard horror stories of disastrous timber buildings billowing-up in flames, there have been heated discussions on how mass timber handles fire in comparison to steel and concrete. In this guide, we put the record straight on timber and explore how it differs to other materials in intense heat. A recent article by Architects Journal spread new fears over timber-frame buildings after two consecutive fires in Canterbury and Wigan, earlier in July this year. John White, CEO of the Timber Trades Federation, commented on a Government Report that showed in 2009, roughly 800 fires were in timber frame buildings and 47,000 in other forms of construction.  “There is no greater likelihood of a fire in a timber frame building than in a building built with other mainstream materials,” White said.

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Portuguese Trevipapel to enter tissue production

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
September 10, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The new 38,000 tpy tissue machine is said to come online in the fourth quarter next year at Trevipapel’s subsidiary Paper Prime. Portugese tissue products group Trevipapel is entering the production of tissue paper. Paper Prime, a company of the Trevipapel group, will install a new Toscotec-supplied tissue machine at a greenfield mill in Vila Velha de Rodao, in the east of the country. According to Toscotec, the TM will have a net trim width of 2,750 mm and operate at 2,000 m/min. Toscotec puts the annual production capacity of the machine at 38,000 tpy.

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Forestry

Enderby eyes logging plans

Vernon Morning Star
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Timber harvesting in Enderby’s watershed could be moving ahead. Tolko Industries presented plans for logging in the Brash Creek area to Enderby council Tuesday. “They have new plans for the watershed and we wanted to hear what they are doing,” said Mayor Greg McCune. “They explained the whole process and how the government regulates them.” McCune admits that any industrial activities need to be scrutinized in community watersheds. “They showed that with how they operate, there will be no worries,” he said, adding that final approval for harvesting has not come from the provincial government. Initial block and road planning has been completed by Tolko as has a community watershed assessment.

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Government takes action to ground illegal drones

Oliver Chronicle
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the provincial government takes action to crack down on illegal drones, police are still looking for the operator of one in Oliver. Sergeant Blaine Gervais of the Oliver RCMP said no new leads have come forward pertaining to a drone that grounded recent aircraft operations during the Testalinden Creek fire… “Our message is simple. If your drone is in the sky above an active wildfire, you are grounding firefighting aircraft, putting lives at risk and may cause the fire to spread,” said Mike Morris, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

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Bears activity picking up

Sunshine Coast Reporter
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Well, bear activity is picking up now, and fast. There are several family units (sows with cubs) and individual bears actively foraging for foods in or nearby several neighbourhoods throughout the Sunshine Coast. Now is definitely the time to keep garbage and birdfeeders inside and pick your fruit and nut trees. If you are unable to harvest your trees, then contact the Sunshine Coast Fruit Tree Project (via One Straw Society) to have volunteers come and pick the fruit for you. Install electric fencing around your chickens, livestock feed and crops – it is a proven and effective bear deterrent.

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Dutch elm disease to kill 6K trees in Winnipeg this year, most in 10 years

CBC News
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dutch elm disease will claim more than 6,000 trees in Winnipeg this year, up significantly from the number of trees that were lost to the disease last year. “We’re all concerned,” said City of Winnipeg forester Martha Barwinsky. “That’s a lot of trees. We haven’t seen the 6,000 mark for about 10 or 12 years.” Earlier this year, the city cut more than $1 million in funding for Dutch elm disease control. That funding cut prevent crews from getting out as quickly to remove infected trees, which prevents the spread of the disease. “Winnipeg has been known to have some of the most virulent strains of Dutch elm disease known,” Barwinsky explained.

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Column: Innovative research done in Alberta could help rehabilitate beetle-killed stands in B.C.

Williams Lake Tribune
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta is trying different ways to capture value from stands impacted by mountain pine beetle in particular small stem lodgepole stands with over 50 percent mortality. These stands have been avoided by forest companies because of their low commercial value but it left untreated they could have significant impact on the health and production of future commercial forests. Derric Sidders from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC) describes a project where they are using a full tree selective systematic harvesting pattern on parallel machine corridors. The machine corridors are five metres wide centered at 20 metre intervals and are serviced with a 30 wide landing. 

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Chemical herbicide spraying bad for boreal, petition argues

CBC News
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

More than a thousand people from northern Ontario signed a petition this summer to stop the spraying of glyphosate herbicides, according to environmental groups in Thunder Bay, Ont. Glyphosate herbicide is used by the forest industry to reduce the growth of plants that compete with trees grown for logging and is deemed safe by Health Canada. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, deemed the chemical “probably carcinogenic to humans” earlier this year. “The bottom line is these are public forests, local people don’t want the spraying and we do have alternatives,” said Julee Boan, the Boreal Program Manager for Ontario Nature. 

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Search for missing helicopter near Foleyet

Timmins Times
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An air search is underway west of Timmins for a helicopter that has not been seen since it took off from the Horwood Lake area Tuesday night. Two people, a pilot and a passenger, were on board the aircraft, owned by Apex Helicopters Inc. of Wingham, Ontario. The identities of the two people have not been released. The helicopter company was under contract to a timber company in the Foleyet area. At least two RCAF aircraft are involved in the search including a C130- Hercules and a CH146 Griffon helicopter from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton. Ontario Provincial Police are also involved, conducting a ground search in the densely wooded area so common in this part of Northern Ontario.

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Professor trying to out-build beavers at UNB woodlot

CBC News
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A system installed in the UNB woodlot to maintain water levels is expected to ease tensions between humans and beavers. The area has a long history of beaver-built structures impacting human-built ones with the flood waters that result from the construction of beaver dams. “This area has been a problem area for quite some time, for the last six years I’ve been here,” said UNB Director of Forest Land Jason Golding. “We’ve finally taken measures to do something here.” The system, dubbed the “Beaver Leveling System” works to allow Golding control over water levels in a given area rather than the beavers. 

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NWTF and SFI Sign Agreement for Forest Health

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

EDGEFIELD, S.C. – The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced today an exciting new partnership for future forests. The two organizations have established a memorandum of mutual support that promotes forest management for the benefit of the nation’s forests and wildlife. “Every year, millions of people enjoy recreational opportunities in forests managed to meet SFI standards,” said NWTF Chief Conservation Officer Becky Humphries. “If we hope to achieve the conservation goals of the NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, partnerships like this one with SFI are critical.”

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UW ecologist: ‘Dry forest’ fires not increasing

Wyoming Business Report
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LARAMIE – New research is showing that fires in some types of forest aren’t increasing in a statistically significant way, but the researcher still says development in or near such typically beautiful forests should be avoided. Dr. William Baker is a professor emeritus from the University of Wyoming’s program in ecology. On Wednesday, the scientific journal Plos One published his findings that crunched data for severe fires between 1984 and 2012 across 63 million acres of dry forests, or about 20 percent of total conifer forest area in the western U.S. He compared that data to pre-1900 data from multiple sources to get a picture of how often fires are sweeping through an area.

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Letter: How failed timber policies destroy wildlife and their habitat

Letter by Tim Christopher
NR Today
September 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Our nation’s forest management policies are literally destroying the forests we believed they were to protect. The discussion here in Oregon and the West isn’t if or when we will have a forest fire, but how many catastrophic fires will Oregonians have to suffer through this fire season. The “locking-up” of the forests in Oregon started in the late 80s and early 90s with the stated intention of saving the Northern Spotted Owl from extinction. What ensued was the decimation of much of rural Oregon’s economy. But perhaps the most infamous side effect was that forest fires in Oregon and other western states have become larger and more intense, destroying the very forests that were supposed to be protected. The inability to soundly manage our forests resulted in unnaturally overcrowded forests and an increase of debris on the forest floor, increasing the size and intensity of wild fires.

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Forester: 100,000 trees might die due to policy change

Landowners will have to foot bill
KRCR News
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

REDDING, Calif. – Forester Jeff Webster said he’s out of money, out of time, and desperate. “There’s a reason I’m taking this risk to talk to the media,” said Webster. “This isn’t something I enjoy doing, but I’m not getting anywhere.” After the Eiler Fire swept through Burney, Webster was recruited to replant the area, ordering trees to be planted. He followed the same process he has been for the last 15 years, apply for the grant then pre-order the seedlings. “I’ve always been successful getting funding,” said Webster. “And so I went ahead and ordered trees.” … Webster put 100,000 saplings into a nursery and waited for the grant funding to come, but it never did. He realized it was because Cal Fire had changed their approval process this year. Cal Fire grant funding approval now requiring the trees up for planting to pass a carbon emissions test.

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Zinke sees even more reasons for Forest Bill after fire season

KAJ18.com
September 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – Congressman Ryan Zinke says this summer’s explosive fire season shows the forest management reforms in his “Forest Bill” are needed to counter the catastrophe of wildfires. As a fire season that burned millions of Northwest acres comes to a close, Congressman Ryan Zinke is convinced forest management reforms are critical to head off epic wildfires. He remains praiseworthy of the Forest Service and its firefighters. “The amount of experience and expertise they bring to the table, I think the Forest Service has done a magnificent job of training and cultivating real, true professionals,” Zinke said.

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As big wildfires become routine, communities face cascading consequences

Idaho Statesman
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PRIEST RIVER — For two weeks in August, western Bonner County residents frantically prepared to evacuate their homes and cleared away brush so that firefighters would have room to work if the Tower Fire did come to their doorsteps. The 24,000-acre Tower Fire was burning on the Washington border just six miles from Priest Lake, a popular recreation and second-home center with subdivisions that reach deep into the forest. The east side of the Priest Lake State Forest, among Idaho’s most productive state-owned timberland, escaped the fires when a cold front developed and prevented a repeat of the 1967 Sundance Fire that consumed thousands of acres.

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State seeks comment on northern spotted owl, snowy plover listings

Peninsula Daily News
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA — State wildlife managers are seeking public comment on whether to keep northern spotted owls and snowy plovers on the state endangered species list. Draft status reviews recommend keeping both species listed as endangered. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife periodically reviews the status of protected species in the state.  The public can comment on a list of recommendations through Dec. 8. Draft reviews of the northern spotted owl and snowy plover are available on the agency’s website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-northernspottedowls and http://tinyurl.com/PDN-snowyplover. The northern spotted owl, in mature and old coniferous forest, was listed as endangered in 1988.

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Residents object to Forest Service plan to spray herbicide

Plumas County News
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

First it was the Storrie and Rich fires, and now it’s the Moonlight. Plumas County property owners are objecting to the U.S. Forest Service plan to use herbicides to eradicate noxious weeds in burn areas. “People don’t want herbicides in the watershed,” said Supervisor Lori Simpson who addressed the item during the board’s Sept. 1 meeting. She said she talked to District Ranger Mike Donald and he assured her that the Forest Service would be implementing a variety of treatments on 500 acres per year, with the herbicide application limited to 250 acres each year. “Generally, chemical treatment would be considered if other treatments have been deemed ineffective or infeasible,” read the official notification asking for public comment.

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A new drought tipping point for conifer mortality

Environmental Research Web
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thomas Kolb examines the link between the standardized precipitation–evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and annual tree ring growth in semi-arid forests. Predicting future changes of forest vegetation in response to warming over the next century is important for understanding future ecosystem and economic services and for planning approaches to mitigate negative impacts of climate change. A first step in such prediction is identifying meteorological drivers of tree mortality in current forests. 

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‘Smart Forest’ on Gorham campus to provide enhanced educational, research and recreational opportunities

University of Southern Maine
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The University of Southern Maine is developing a remotely monitored and publicly accessible research forest on the USM Gorham campus to be used as a resource for students, faculty and the community, as well as various local nonprofit organizations, and state and federal agencies. USM’s project is based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Smart Forest initiative, which seeks to provide real-time access to environmental sensor data online. 

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NC under statewide quarantine for tree-killing emerald ash borer

Greensboro News & Record
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

North Carolina is the 15th state to enact a statewide quarantine because of a tree-killing beetle. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler signed an emergency order Thursday expanding the quarantine for emerald ash borer to include the entire state, the state agriculture department said in a news release. He expanded the quarantine after evidence of the “highly destructive pest” turned up in “central, eastern and western parts of the state, including areas near the borders with Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina,” Troxler said. The quarantine means ash trees — everything from green lumber to composted chips — can’t be moved into non-quarantined areas.

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Forest fashion, food and music wows Congress delegates: a photostory

World Agroforestry Center
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Demonstrating that forests are more than then the sum of their trees, indigenous forest-dwellers showcased high-end fashion, food and orchestral prowess to the delight and edification of World Forestry Congress delegates. A story told in pictures… The World Forestry Congress, as its name suggests, is a big event: around 4000 delegates participating in hundreds of main and side events at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa. The talk is serious and often technical, with researchers, indigenous people and government officials from all over the planet discussing the state of the forests and how to reduce their loss.

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Myanmar third-worst for deforestation rate, says UN

Myanmar Times
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Since 2010, Myanmar has lost more than 546,000 hectares of forest on average each year, according to a report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. The chunk of forest lost annually is about the size of fellow ASEAN country Brunei, and over the past five years adds up to the size of Equatorial Guinea. Almost 2 percent of the country’s forest cover, based on 2010 levels, has been lost each year, or 8.5pc over the five years. Myanmar had the third-highest annual rate of forest reduction, just behind deforestation-plagued Brazil and Indonesia, according to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015, released on September 7.

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Forest Stewardship Council tells groups worried about South West karri logging to get involved

ABC News Australia
September 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has responded to fears about logging in WA’s South West by telling concerned groups that they ought to contribute to the certification process. It comes after the Western Australian Forest Alliance (WAFA), Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Wilderness Society accused FSC auditor Soil Association Woodmark of endorsing logging which threatens endangered species. In the joint statement, Wilderness Society national forest manager Warrick Jordan accused the FSC of being “associated with clearfelling operations that are destroying vital habitat”.

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Forest Fires

Challenging Wildfire Season Not Over Yet

Oregon Public Broadcasting
September 9, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Another round of warm weather this week is prompting Northwest fire managers to warn that this summer’s challenging fire season isn’t over yet. This comes as federal and state officials debate how to pay for the increasing costs of battling the blazes. How bad has the fire season been in Oregon and Washington? Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Protection Deputy Division Doug Grafe said on a single day in late August, there were more than 1,500 miles of uncontained fire lines in the two states. Grafe called that level of activity genuinely scary for a veteran fire manager like himself. He told the state Forestry Board Wednesday that the cost of reining in those fires is also cause for concern.

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Firefighters battle to protect treasured California Sequoias

Napa Valley Register
September 10, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

FRESNO — Firefighters in Central California on Thursday say the state’s largest wildfire threatens to sweep through an ancient grove of Giant Sequoia trees considered to be a national treasure. Firefighters are clearing lines with bulldozers around the Grant Grove and putting up sprinklers, said Andy Isolano, a spokesman for the Clovis Fire Department. Although Isolano said the trees can endure fire, some are stressed in the four-year drought and they’re not taking any chances because the fast-moving flames are about 5 miles from the grove. It is named for the towering General Grant tree that stands 268 feet tall. There are dozens of Sequoia groves in the Sierra Nevada, and some trees are 3,000 years old.

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Indonesia’s Forest Fires Choke Malaysia, Singapore: ‘Burning Land….Just for Fun’

Forbes
September 10, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Planes can’t land, schools are closed, states of emergency imposed and the Indonesian President Joko Widodo makes a surprise visit to still-smoking South Sumatra. This is the new normal for Southeast Asian summers — choking haze from Indonesian forest fires. Unlike past years, the pall hardly makes a headline in the Hong Kong press. For Singaporeans, Malaysian and Indonesians the inconvenience and ill health are something they have to live with. This year is no exception. The Singapore government has a special website. The forest fires are set partly to clear land for palm oil plantations. Innovative efforts are going into tracking down the culprits, who in the past were able to get away with burning forest land for plantations because of the difficulty of figuring exactly what was going on in locations that are far from Jakarta.

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DPR Proposes Forest Fires as National Disaster

Tempo Indonesia
September 10, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Jakarta – House of Representatives deputy speaker Agus Hermanto said forest fires should be categorized as national disaster. “It should be elevated to national disaster so that there will be special treatment and budget,” he said on Thursday, September 10. Agus said the government is quite slow in mitigating forest fires and proposed to elevate the status of forest fires to national disaster. “It must be solved fast. I think the handling of this problem is not optimal,” said Agus.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Forest waste-to-RNG technology to be demonstrated in California

Biomass Magazine
September 10, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A new technology for converting forestry waste into renewable natural gas will be demonstrated for the first time ever Sept. 14 in Auburn, California. The process, developed by Canadian firm G4 Insights, converts scraps and small trees from forest thinning projects into a renewable natural gas called biomethane. In its first public demonstration, G4 will exhibit the demonstration plant used to produce the gas, and fuel an unmodified Placer County truck with gas produced on site. Renewable natural gas produced from forestry waste could serve a helpful role in alternative energy production, especially in heavily forested areas.

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