Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 16, 2015

Business & Politics

Neither side eager to renew Canada-U.S. softwood lumber agreement

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
September 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) expires on October 12, nine years after it was last renewed. When it does, Canadian lumber producers will have an advantage in the American market because the duties they now pay will be gone and they will be getting $0.25 on the dollar more for their lumber, thanks to the weak Canadian dollar. That’s just the sort of advantage that irritates American producers, who have a history of lobbying for – and getting – countervailing duties against Canadian lumber. With American and Canadian governments more focused on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement – which could have serious consequences for the coastal forest industry, according to one industry analyst – there appears to be little urgency on either side of the border to renew the SLA, according to a new Canada West Foundation report.

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Northern B.C. economy hitting severe global market headwinds

Business in Vancouver
September 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

While most Vancouverites will barely notice the current global market slump, the northern half of the province is facing headwinds apparent in nearly every community. Northern B.C.’s continued reliance on export-driven industries means it’s feeling the ramifications of global market volatility more so than diverse centres such as Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the Central Okanagan. Three years ago we were booming – mines, mills, energy, natural gas, rail and transportation projects. Today, the story is different… The downturn in China’s housing industry has hit lumber exports. Forestry is still dealing with the ramifications of the mountain pine beetle infestation, and just when a stronger U.S. dollar was primed to generate some exchange-rate benefits for our foresters, lumber prices dropped and an export tariff to the U.S. kicked in and affected second-quarter results for our mills.

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LP Declines to Submit Chambord Project for Minister’s Review at this Time

Market Watch
September 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NASHVILLE — Louisiana-Pacific Corporation today announced that it will not submit a project to the Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks’ Project Office to reacquire the wood license associated with its Chambord, Quebec, oriented strand board (OSB) mill. After an in-depth analysis of the mill’s historical and projected costs, LP determined that market demand does not warrant operating the Chambord mill at this time, and it is not appropriate to reacquire the wood license without a plan for operating the mill. “Based on these analyses, we do not believe that in the current OSB market, the mill can be operated competitively,” LP Executive Vice President, OSB, Brad Southern said.

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What’s Wrong With Weyerhaeuser?

Seeking Alpha
September 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The real estate investment trust, or REIT, sell-off this year has been a wake-up call for income investors. Although the underlying businesses of many REITs remain solid, they have still seen significant share price declines. That’s the impact that investor sentiment can have on a sector once it’s turned negative. But what’s going on with Weyerhaeuser Co., a timber REIT that’s down more than twice as much as the average REIT at the same point when the businesses of its home building customers appear to be slowly solidifying?

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Plum Creek Starts Timber Venture for Institutional Investors

Bloomberg News
September 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Plum Creek Timber Co. agreed to form a joint venture with several institutional investors, allowing them to invest in timberlands it currently manages. The initial committed investors include the Washington State Investment Board, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, and the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Seattle-based Plum Creek said Tuesday in a statement. The joint venture, Twin Creeks Timber LLC, will have the objective of growing the portfolio’s valuation to about $1 billion through acquisitions from third parties. Plum Creek will manage the holdings and will also sell timberlands valued at about $420 million to Twin Creeks.

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Japan: European lumber imports down 19.2% in 1H 2015

Lesprom
September 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Import of European lumber to Japan during January and June this year was 1,144,000 cubic metres, 19.2% less than the same period of last year due to slower demand. This is the lowest first half import in last 5 years, ITTO reportes. Structural laminated lumber market was inactive so that import of lamina from major sources decreased. However, since last spring, import from Austria, Estonia and Czech increased after whitewood KD stud supply declined and the inventory dropped in Japan.

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When Greenpeace hires journalists, it’s a double-edged sword

The Conversation.com
September 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Last week, Greenpeace announced it was hiring a team of journalists to make investigative reporting a pillar of its advocacy work. The thinking goes that by bringing timely, insightful coverage into the public domain, the organization can boost its chances of pressuring corporations and governments into taking action on some of today’s most pressing environmental issues… However, the entrance of NGOs into journalism presents complications. Advocacy groups produce information not just to inform and enlighten but also to boost donations and promote their brands. Sometimes, these latter aims lead organizations to sensationalize their coverage, which can, in turn, distort public perceptions about the nature of social problems.

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NBSK and BEK price gap narrows further in September

List prices for NBSK and BEK pulp have approached each other to within $30 in Western Europe.
EUWID Pulp and Paper
September 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Market indicators in the middle of September reveal that the general trend in the European pulp market is set to prevail for the time being. Market players expect that hardwood pulp prices will increase further in the course of the month, while softwood pulp prices will yield slightly. Paper mills describe availability of NBSK pulp as fine, while the hardwood pulp market is said to be tight. Still, there are isolated signs that the situation on the supply side for hardwood pulp could ease. A few European companies latterly noted slightly better availability of BEK pulp. Requests for additional volumes are more likely to get a positive response than a few weeks ago, they say.

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Softwood Lumber Prices Continue to Slide Globally

by By Hakan Ekstrom, Wood Resources International LLC
Woodworking Network
September 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Seattle – Softwood lumber prices (in US $) have fallen throughout a majority of the main markets in the world during the 2Q/15 because of weaker demand, ample supply throughout the distribution chain and a strengthening US dollar. The biggest declines have occurred in the US, Canada and the Nordic countries, while the drop in import prices to China and Japan has been more modest. …Lumber production in the US was slightly higher in the 2Q/15 than in the previous quarter. There is much uncertainty going into the fall with both the US housing construction and lumber demand in China losing some steam. The weaker lumber demand pushed prices in both the US and Canada lower during the summer months.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Seattle-based Plum Creek pledges $1 million to OSU’s planned forest science complex

September 16, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West, International

The project aims to create economic growth and jobs while supporting develop­ment of environmentally friendly wood construction, according to OSU officials… The new 85,000-square-foot classroom and research center will replace Peavy Hall on the Corvallis campus and will be used for professional forestry, wood science, renewable materials, and interdisciplinary natural resource education programs. The center will be used to develop and test new wood-building products that could be manufactured in Oregon. The Advanced Wood Building Products Laboratory will include a high-bay lab, computer-controlled and robotic manufacturing systems, and what OSU says is a unique, strong floor for full-scale product testing… College of Forestry Dean Thomas Maness said the expansion will give students “a real-life glimpse into the future of forestry and the wood products industry” while creating a trained workforce for the industry.

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WaterNest 100: Ecological floating habitat

Includes Photo Gallary
Poloplus10.com
September 16, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

After years of research the architect Giancarlo Zema, already famous for his water creations, has designed in exclusive for the British firm EcoFloLife, an eco-friendly floating housing unit the WaterNest 100. It is an enveloping of 100 sqm residential unit, 12 m in diameter and 4 m high, made entirely of recycled glued laminated timber and a recycled aluminium hull. Balconies are conveniently located on the sides and thanks to the large windows, permit enjoyment of fascinating views over the water. Bathroom and kitchen skylights are located on the wooden roof, as well as 60sqm of amorphous photovoltaic panels capable of generating 4 kWp which are used for the internal needs of the residential unit. 

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Winners announced for NZ Wood Resene Timber Design Awards

New Zealand Scoop
September 16, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A record number of entries were received for the 40th NZ Wood Resene Timber Design Awards says Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association (WPMA) Promotions Manager Debbie Fergie. Winners were announced at a gala function on September 15th. Entrants competed within eight categories covering residential and commercial architectural excellence, innovation and novel applications of wood. “Timber is a renewable resource providing whole-of-life credibility,” she explains. “There are now so many exciting ways it’s being used – it’s visually inspiring and can be incredibly strong and flexible at the same time. “Timber buildings are rapidly constructed and seismically stable and, at approx. 50 percent of the total mass of concrete and steel for equivalent strength, provide especially compelling arguments for building on unstable or friable soils.”

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Forestry

Oil, gas operators under scrutiny by the Forest Practices Board

Alaska Highway News
September 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The fire protection activities of oil and gas operators near Fort St. John are under scrutiny by the Forest Practices Board. Oil and gas companies in the Lower Beatton area are being audited during the week of Sept. 21 for compliance with the Wildfire Act, the board announced Monday. The audit will investigate whether or not the operators have completed fire hazard assessments, treated any identified forest fuel hazards, and if they have sufficient fire suppression tools and water delivery systems on active sites, according to a Forest Practices Board press release. The findings will be compiled in a report, and any companies found to be lacking appropriate fire protection activities will be given a chance to respond.

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Bears are gearing up for the winter months; Be bear smart

Campbell River Mirror
September 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This time of year, bears throughout the province are out and about searching and competing for available food sources while gearing up for the winter months. It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure bears don’t have to be destroyed for public safety. What can YOU do in urban areas? Use bear-proof waste containers or keep garbage secured in the house, garage or shed until pickup day and return the containers to the secure site once they are emptied. Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily and remove any unused fruit trees. Use bird feeders only in winter. Keep the ground free of seeds and nuts. Clean the barbecue grill after each use, and store it in a secure area. Bring pet food dishes inside and store the pet food inside.

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Wreckage cleared from copter crash site

Timmins Press
September 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TIMMINS – All the wreckage has been removed from the site where a helicopter went down with two men on board last week. Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are moving what’s left of the Robinson R44 helicopter to a facility in Winnipeg where it will be examined by experts to determine the cause of the crash. “They’ll examine the wreckage to find any kind of lead for anything mechanical that may have happened,” explained Roxanne Berard, spokeswoman for the safety board. “From there, they’ll decide how to investigate further. We are also in the process of conducting interviews, and we have also gotten hold of the weather report, so that will be part of the investigation as well.”

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Idaho speeds clear cut salvage logging after wildfires

Idaho Statesman
September 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, IDAHO — So much Idaho endowment timber land has burned this wildfire season that state officials have altered the salvage sale process to allow faster approval for clear cuts of 100 acres or more. The Idaho Land Board voted 5-0 Tuesday to speed salvage logging on an estimated 60 million to 80 million board feet of timber that burned this year. The change allows Idaho Department of Lands workers to approve the salvage sales with clear cuts of 100 acres or more without first getting permission from the Land Board. David Groeschl, state forester for the Idaho Department of Lands, told Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and the four other Land Board members that the 100-acre limit works for regular timber sales with live trees.

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Assembly considers getting rid of Roadless Rule

KFSK Radio
September 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

While the Petersburg Borough Assembly has agreed on most recent issues, one topic brought some varying opinions at their last meeting. Assembly members were considering whether to support getting rid of the Roadless Rule on the Tongass. At 17 million acres, the Tongass is the country’s largest national forest. It covers most of Southeast Alaska. The Roadless Rule keeps roads from being developed on the Tongass. The borough resolution would ask Governor Walker to ask the federal court to reverse the Roadless Rule. “This is such a hot topic with so many people that it’s uncomfortable to even speak out about it,” said Cindi Lagoudakis, one of two assembly members who voted against the resolution.

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Whitebark conference includes Crater Lake visit

Herald and News
September 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A field trip to view the seriously declining whitebark pine populations at Crater Lake National Park will be one of the highlights of the 2015 Whitebark Pine Foundation meeting that begins Thursday and continues through Saturday. The conference, which has not previously been held in the Pacific Northwest, will be headquartered at Southern Oregon University in Ashland with field trips to the Dorena Genetic Resource Center and, on Saturday, Crater Lake. Jen Beck, Crater Lake National Park’s botanist and one of the gathering’s organizers, said about 70 people have registered with about half planning on attending the field trips.

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Proposed forestry rules would fix ‘mishmash’

Radio New Zealand News
September 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A forest owners’ spokesman says council rules for forestry are a mishmash, which vary from district to district without good cause and are often more stringent for forests than farms on the same country. Forest Owners Association environmental committee chair Peter Weir said a proposed National Environmental Standard (NES) aimed to straighten out the mess. Mr Weir said the NES would create one core set of rules nationwide under which councils would able to set consent conditions for harvest and earthworks in areas of high erosion risk. He says regulations on stream crossings illustrated the inconsistency.

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World Heritage Area logging: Boatbuilders needs access to Tasmania’s protected forests due to lack of speciality timber, Government says

ABC News Australia
September 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New analysis strengthens the argument that selective logging of speciality timber in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area is necessary to meet the demand from craft industries, including boat builders, the State Government says. Forestry Tasmania has now advised the Government that areas previously set aside for specialty species logging would deliver only 40 per cent of the volumes of blackwood, celery top pine, myrtle and sassafras expected. Resources Minister Paul Harriss said he would present the new analysis to the World Heritage committee delegation during its visit in November in a bid to reverse opposition to logging inside forests added to Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area in 2013.

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Norway to complete $1 billion payment to Brazil for protecting Amazon

Reuters
September 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Norway will make a final $100-million payment to Brazil this year to complete a $1-billion project that rewards a slowdown in forest loss in the Amazon basin, Norway’s Environment Ministry said on Tuesday. Brazil had more than achieved a goal of reducing the rate of deforestation by 75 percent, the condition for the payments under an agreement for 2008-15 meant to protect the forest and slow climate change, it said. The remaining cash would be paid before a U.N. summit on climate change in Paris in December, the ministry said. Since 2008, Norway has paid about $900 million to Brazil’s Amazon Fund.

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These maps show which countries have the most trees

The Washington Post
September 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A new study from Nature lists estimates of trees in countries around the world, in effect mapping the globe in terms of “tree wealth.” The numbers are based on a “biome-level model” that is more accurate at larger scales but less so at finer resolutions, according to the researchers. Here, only countries and territories that have more than 1,000 square kilometers in area have data mapped….When looking only at the total number of trees
per country, it’s no surprise that the countries that have the most land
mass often have the highest totals. Russia leads with 642 billion
trees.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biofuel facility construction underway in Surrey, B.C.

Journal of Commerce
September 15, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

North America’s largest bio-solid facility using dry anaerobic digestion and feeding the city’s own natural-gas-powered vehicle supply is under construction in Surrey. The 154,171-square-foot facility is located on a 6.6 acre site adjacent to the Surrey transfer station in Port Kells. The facility, a P3 project between the City of Surrey and developer Orgaworld, will be able to ingest about 115,000 tonnes of organic waste each year, which is almost double the entire city’s annual green-waste output of 62,000 tonnes. It will turn food scraps and yard waste into as many as 160,000 gigajoules of natural gas and up to 40 tonnes of compost annually. …The facility uses a traditional steel truss to get the spans required by the large footprint. All steel within the facility is either hot dipped galvanized or stainless. The facility will be constructed using a combination of cast-in-place and tilt-up methods. Components will be cast in beds around the site and tilted up with cranes, said Lauzon.

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NZ Climate Change Documentary To Screen in Auckland Schools

September 16, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Award-winning New Zealand climate change documentary Thin Ice: The Inside Story of Climate Science will be screened in seven Auckland schools this month. The Thin Ice Documentary Roadshow follows a sold-out Auckland premiere at Academy Cinemas earlier this month. …The film seeks to enlighten these school pupils to engage in being passionate about assisting with solving global climate change, to have the difficult scientific messages communicated in a way that can be understood and to highlight the scale and urgency of the problem. …It follows a personal journey of discovery by Dr Lamb for more than three years as he meets and interviews 40 scientists working at the front line of climate change research in the Arctic, Antarctic, Southern Ocean, New Zealand, Europe and the United States.

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NZ Climate Change Documentary To Screen in Auckland Schools

September 16, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Award-winning New Zealand climate change documentary Thin Ice: The Inside Story of Climate Science will be screened in seven Auckland schools this month. The Thin Ice Documentary Roadshow follows a sold-out Auckland premiere at Academy Cinemas earlier this month. …The film seeks to enlighten these school pupils to engage in being passionate about assisting with solving global climate change, to have the difficult scientific messages communicated in a way that can be understood and to highlight the scale and urgency of the problem. …It follows a personal journey of discovery by Dr Lamb for more than three years as he meets and interviews 40 scientists working at the front line of climate change research in the Arctic, Antarctic, Southern Ocean, New Zealand, Europe and the United States.

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Forest Fires

Province Provides $500,000 in Grants for Wildfire Prevention

Kamloops BC Now
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province of British Columbia is providing funds to help communities take action and reduce the risks of wildfire. Fifty grants of $10,000, for a total of $500,000, will be made available to local governments and First Nations through the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative (SWPI). “Homeowners who live in interface areas can help protect their properties from wildfires by using FireSmart principles. This new grant program will help communities and First Nations raise awareness of this important work and become recognized as FireSmart Communities,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

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B.C. balances budget despite $380M bill for forest fires

Finance Minister Mike de Jong says income and property transfer tax revenue higher than forecast
CBC News
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s bill for fighting forest fires this summer is expected to hit $380 million by the time the season is over, but the province has still been able to balance its budget, Finance Minister Mike de Jong has revealed. The province had originally budgeted $63 million to fight forest fires for the season, based on the ten-year-average, but the bill is expected to be $317 million higher than expected because of the exceptionally dry summer this year.

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Burned forests costly to Montana

The Missoulian
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

I am struck at the disconnect in reporting on the “cost of the fires” to Montana and the feds – let alone other states. The only reports are of what it costs to fight and/or contain them until nature can help. Meanwhile, the lost value of trees are never (seemingly) factored into any equation. And certainly there seems to be a dearth of reporting on that aspect. Consider: if 50,000 acres of prime timber go up in smoke, the only cost ever reported by the media is what it took to suppress, contain and then extinguish the blaze. A fraction of the true cost. National forests were established to provide a sustained harvest of products for housing and other human consumptive needs. Not grizzlies. Not bull trout. Not tourism. Not “dicky birds.”

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State’s firefighting costs are up to $67 million

The Spokesman-Review
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Firefighting costs on state-protected lands in Idaho are up to $67 million for this year’s fire season, the state Land Board heard this morning, up from $59.7 million just two weeks ago. “We have had a lot of fire on the landscape here this year,” state forester David Groeschl told the board. The huge Clearwater Complex in north-central Idaho accounted for about $27 million of that cost. “That’s been our largest, most expensive fire to date,” Groeschl said. Under questioning from Gov. Butch Otter, Groeschl said that complex destroyed 48 homes and 70 outbuildings. Groeschl said about $16.7 million of those firefighting costs are reimbursable from other agencies, putting the net cost to the state at $50.3 million. T

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General Grant tree, world’s second-largest, is safe from California wildfires

US Park Service firefighters tasked with keeping ancient tree, the only living thing Congress has named a national shrine, safe from nearby Rough fire
The Guardian
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

While 3,741 firefighters continue to ensure the safety of California residents by keeping in check the Rough fire – one of California’s 12 currently burning wildfires – firefighters for the US Park Service have been tasked with keeping something else safe: the world’s second-largest tree. The General Grant tree, as it’s known to its many admirers, is the only living thing Congress has named as a national shrine, according to the National Parks website. It is a memorial to American men and women who have given their lives while serving. It is named for Ulysses S Grant, the union army general and president of the United States.

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Congressman Walden Holds Fire Meeting In Canyon City

Oregon Public Broadcasting
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

More than 50 people turned out Monday in Canyon City to discuss the Canyon Creek wildfire and forest policy. The meeting was convened by Republican Congressman Greg Walden.  Canyon City residents who lost homes or property in the fire still face uncertainties. Will the government provide aid for replanting and restoration? How much salvage logging can take place? Can rehabilitation be completed before winter rains begin? Those questions don’t have answers yet, as agencies work on restoration plans and funding. Walden said he wants to pass new forest management legislation in Congress. 

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Idaho taxpayers face high bill for firefighting

Idaho Statesman
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Idaho taxpayers face a $50 million bill for firefighting so far this year. So far wildfires have burned 726,000 acres across ownerships and 69,000 acres burned within the 6.2 million acres where the state in responsible for fire protection. The overall cost for firefighting within this area was $67 million but the state expects to get gets reimbursed $17 million for fire on the federal lands within the area. Wildfire burned 27,000 acres of Idaho endowment lands and 119,000 acres of private land. Wild fire burned 340,000 acres of national forest lands and 226,000 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

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Computer models failing to accurately predict path of flames

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Wildfires that have raged in California this summer haven’t just overwhelmed firefighters — they’ve also stumped computer models designed to predict the intensity of flames and where they’ll burn. “These fires are actually exceeding what our models will even predict,” said Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. While rapidly spreading wildfires exacerbated by four years of drought may have made wildfires harder to forecast, others suggest modeling methods haven’t kept up to speed with technology.

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State’s wildfire season second-biggest so far this decade

Associated Press in The Missoulian
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HELENA  — Montana’s fire season began quietly but has quickly grown to the second-largest so far this decade after lightning storms last month ignited a rash of blazes that spread rapidly amid bone-dry conditions. This season is not over yet, with at least 35 large and small fires still burning in Montana, though a cold front moving through the region is expected to bring a half-inch of rain or more to some parts of western and central Montana by Thursday. “I can’t say with any confidence that it’s a season-ending event, but I think it’s a season-slowing event,” said Megan Vendenheuvel of the National Weather Service in Great Falls.

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Malaysia to begin cloud-seeding as schools shut due to haze

Idaho Statesman
September 14, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Heavy haze forced Malaysian authorities to shut schools Tuesday in three states and two key cities as aircraft prepared to begin cloud-seeding operations to induce rain to help clear the air. Indonesia intensified efforts to extinguish the forest fires that cause the haze, which blanketed parts of the archipelago and neighboring countries. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered agencies to use all means, deploying more troops, to overcome the haze.

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Indonesia acts against three firms over forest fires

The action is being taken as the republic scrambles to fight the forest fires which occurs during the land-clearing process for the opening of new plantations in Sumatra and Borneo.
Free Malaysia Today
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

JAKARTA: The Indonesian government has taken legal action against companies involved in causing forest fires in the country that triggered haze enveloping Singapore and Malaysia, police said here today. The action comes as Indonesia scrambles to fight the forest fires which often occurs during the land-clearing process for the opening of new plantations in Sumatra and Borneo, reports China’s Xinhua news agency. Indonesian police had declared three big companies were involved in forest fire cases in South Sumatra province, said Brig-General Yazid Fanani, director at the criminal investigation department.

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Ecuador forest fires envelope Quito in smoke

BBC News
September 16, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Quito was enveloped in smoke as forest fires raged around the Ecuadorean capital on Tuesday. President Rafael Correa said he had contacted the Venezuelan authorities for help extinguishing 17 major fires across the country and that they had promised to send helicopters. He said he would also ask Brazil, Colombia and Peru for support. Ten people have been arrested on suspicion of setting fires in the vicinity of the capital. The government has asked people to denounce firebugs and has offered a $50,000 (£32,500) reward for information leading to their capture. One of the biggest fires is burning in the hills of Auqui, north-east of Quito.

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Indonesia fights fires as haze cloaks region before Singapore Formula One Race

Asia One
September 15, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

JAKARTA – Indonesia Tuesday deployed an extra 1,600 military personnel to fight forest and farm fires that have cast a thick haze over the region, closing schools in Malaysia and shrouding Singapore in smog just as it prepares to host the glitzy Formula One race. President Joko Widodo ordered the military ramp-up on Sumatra after authorities declared a state of emergency in the island’s hard-hit Riau province Monday. The personnel were dispatched to Riau and South Sumatra provinces to help local authorities fight fires, joining over 1,000 soldiers sent to the area last week, Indonesia’s disaster agency said.

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General

Seattle-based Plum Creek pledges $1 million to OSU’s planned forest science complex

September 16, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

The project aims to create economic growth and jobs while supporting develop­ment of environmentally friendly wood construction, according to OSU officials… The new 85,000-square-foot classroom and research center will replace Peavy Hall on the Corvallis campus and will be used for professional forestry, wood science, renewable materials, and interdisciplinary natural resource education programs. The center will be used to develop and test new wood-building products that could be manufactured in Oregon. The Advanced Wood Building Products Laboratory will include a high-bay lab, computer-controlled and robotic manufacturing systems, and what OSU says is a unique, strong floor for full-scale product testing… College of Forestry Dean Thomas Maness said the expansion will give students “a real-life glimpse into the future of forestry and the wood products industry” while creating a trained workforce for the industry.

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Nature’s Call for Biomass Standards

September 16, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

A recent op-ed in the journal Nature starts out stating that “[t]he bioeconomy is rising up the political agenda.” While the piece discusses international policy issues, the U.S. political agenda is also increasingly bioeconomy-focused… “There is no consensus on what ‘sustainable’ means. Biomass assessment is a patchwork of voluntary standards and regulations. With many schemes comes a lack of comparability. Confusion leads to mistrust and protectionism, international disputes and barriers, slow investment and slower growth.”

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