Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 21, 2015

Business & Politics

Looming Expiration of Softwood Tariff Worries Beleaguered Timber Industry

September 21, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A witch’s brew of misfortune has cast a spell on Montana’s timber industry, staggering the beleaguered market as mills pare back hours and lay off employees with little relief in sight. The multifaceted problem is complex, compounded by the looming expiration of the softwood lumber agreement – the Canadian tariff that former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus put in place in 2006, ending a vitriolic lumber trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada – is set to expire Oct. 12…And with the U.S.-Canada trade agreement set to end next month, the market will likely be flooded with more Canadian lumber. Chuck Roady, director at F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber in Columbia Falls, said competing with cheaper Canadian lumber is a lopsided endeavor because the U.S. and Canada have two different systems for harvesting logs.

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National Forest Week puts focus on Canada’s growing forest sector

Forest Products Association of Canada
Canada Newswire press release
September 21, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA, – As the voice of Canada’s forest industry, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is proud to celebrate National Forest Week in Canada, September 20-26, 2015 and remind Canadians about the economic importance of the forest sector. National Forest Week is a weeklong celebration of our forests and the vital role they play in the cities and towns across our nation. “With 10 per cent of the world’s forests, Canada’s forests are an incredible resource;” says David Lindsay, the President and CEO of FPAC. “The forest sector is a vital economic driver in Canada, directly employing more than 230,000 workers in high-quality jobs, many in rural Canada and Aboriginal communities. Canadians can be proud that our forest management practices are internationally recognized as among the most rigorous in the world, ensuring the future of this incredible resource.”

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Resources firms endorse call for aboriginal veto rights to projects

Globe and Mail
September 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Two of Canada’s biggest resources companies have endorsed a call for governments and industry to clearly assert the right of aboriginal communities to veto major projects that negatively affect their traditional territories. Suncor Energy Inc. and Tembec Inc. are members of the Boreal Leadership Council that is releasing a report Monday calling for the adoption of the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” when industry is working with indigenous populations.

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Use of medical marijuana at work poses challenges for employers: experts

Canadian Press in Sunshine Coast Reporter
September 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

As medical marijuana gains traction as a treatment option for a host of conditions including chronic pain and other conditions, Canadian employers could find themselves grappling with a sticky issue. …But although employers have a duty to accommodate workers’ medical conditions, experts say that duty must be balanced with the need to keep the workplace safe. …A recent decision issued by the BC Human Rights Tribunal illustrates some of the limits that apply to the employer’s responsibility to accommodate workers’ needs. The Tribunal ruled in July that B.C.-based Selkin Logging did not violate John French’s human rights by refusing to allow the logging contractor to use marijuana while on the job. The company, which has a “zero tolerance” policy on marijuana use, had argued that it did not discriminate against French based on his use of cannabis to handle the symptoms of cancer, but rather was concerned about safety.

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Sawmill accident kills young father in Creston as WorkSafeBC investigates

Canadian Press in Prince George Citizen
September 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

CRESTON, B.C. – A 28-year-old southeastern B.C., man has been identified as the victim of an industrial accident near Creston. The BC Coroners Service says Dustin Gerlinsky died Tuesday afternoon while working at the J.H. Huscroft sawmill in Erickson, just east of Creston. RCMP say Gerlinsky was working on a sorting deck when he was pinned between the deck and a large piece of equipment. The father of two young children was rushed to hospital but could not be revived. A police investigation has concluded and the case has been turned over to WorkSafeBC. Friends of Gerlinsky’s family launched a GoFundMe online campaign shortly after the accident and have raised $34,540 to help with funeral expenses. END OF STORY

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Teal-Jones continues to meet environmental certification standards

Canada Newswire press release
September 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, – The Teal-Jones Group, a B.C. based forest products company, has once again received endorsement from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) for its excellence in sustainability practices. A non-profit organization responsible for ensuring national forest certification standards are met or exceeded, the PEFC eco-label is only given after third-party auditor assessment is completed. This year, Teal-Jones utilized the professional, independent services of Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) for the inspection process.

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Alberta government probe finds timber deal violated provincial law

Edmonton Journal
September 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A northern Alberta timber project is on hold after an independent investigation found the deal between three Métis Settlements and a London-based energy group violated a provincial law. The KPMG investigation found that the East Prairie, Paddle Prairie and Peavine Métis Settlements violated the Métis Settlements Act by entering into a joint venture agreement with Active Energy Group without due diligence, according to a letter sent to the settlements Monday by Aboriginal Relations Minister Kathleen Ganley and obtained by the Journal. The investigation found the settlements’ councils “provided insufficient evidence” that proper planning, risk assessments and consultations were done before the joint venture agreement was signed.

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Timber glut worries state loggers

Ripples from housing bust still keeping trees standing
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
September 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

MONTICELLO — Mike Pennington eased his pickup to the edge of a muddy road to let a log truck pass. Thick stands of pine trees crowded the road on both sides. “There’s more trees standing now than ever before,” said Pennington, a timber industry veteran and owner of LD Long Inc., a logging company. “There is a glut of pine. There’s a sea of pine.” Hardwood growth, while not at record levels, also is high, industry experts say. Oversupply drives down prices in any market, but in the timber business it also increases risks to producers’ inventory — overly dense forests full of stressed trees are more susceptible to insect infestations, disease, storms and wildfires.

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Hardwood Industry Optimism Rising from the Ashes

Woodworking Network
September 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Hardwood industry optimism is higher than it has been in a long time, with prices leveling out, supplies tightening back up, and buyers in most sectors and regions placing more orders. Year-to-date U.S. hardwood lumber exports were down 10% through July—and July was the slowest export month in more than a year and a half—but sales picked up rather strongly after mid-August, especially to China. A combination of low inventories, low production, and fears of higher lumber prices and additional yuan devaluation should drive healthy export volume gains through year-end. What happens after that depends largely on Chinese tolerance for higher prices and the extent to which U.S. mills increase production.

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Addressing Challenges in Montana’s Timber Industry

Letter by Dave Hadden, director Heawaters Montana
Flathead Beacon
September 21, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The news out of Deerlodge isn’t very good. Fifty mill workers have lost their jobs – maybe permanently – due to the economic recession in China that has tanked demand, and the weak Canadian dollar that has led to a flood of cheap timber crossing our border from the north. The economic stress across the Montana timber-producing sector of the economy right now is severe. Sun Mountain Lumber Company owner Sherm Anderson made the announcement on Sept. 12. Mr. Anderson stated the facts straight. And he did not blame other Montanans or “obstructionist” for the economic plight of his mill. The key take-away from this news: Lumber is an international commodity, and the fate of Montana’s lumber mills lies with global forces.

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Plum Creek Completes Sale of Southern Timberlands

Business Wire
September 21, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Plum Creek Timber today announced it has completed the sale of approximately 98,000 acres of timberlands in west-central Florida to Hancock Timber Resource Group for approximately $120 million. “We are pleased to conclude this transaction with Hancock Timber which will continue to operate these lands as working forests,” said Rick Holley, chief executive officer… While these lands have been well-managed, the significant hardwood component of the property didn’t fit well with our broader Southern timberland portfolio.”

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Lumber self-sufficiency rate climbs above 30% first time in 27 years

The Japan Times
September 21, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Japan’s lumber self-sufficiency rate is believed to have recovered above 30 percent for the first time in 27 years in 2014, according to industry officials. The recovery reflects increasing demand for domestic lumber amid the yen’s weakness, which has lifted prices for imports. Biomass power generation that uses wood waste for fuel has also grown, they said. The lumber self-sufficiency rate, or the proportion of domestic product to total lumber supply in the country, fell to a record low 18.15 percent in 2000 from 94.51 percent in 1955 due to falling prices, rising costs for domestic production and increased imports. The rate has been on a moderate upward trend in recent years.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Blue Rodeo, Tragically Hip to use guitars made from Maple Leaf Forever tree wood

Inside Toronto
September 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

When Blue Rodeo guitarist Colin Cripps heard about the 2013 wind storm that took down the Maple Leaf Forever silver maple tree in east Toronto, his first thought was unsurprising. The tree that may have inspired Alexander Muir to write the Maple Leaf Forever — Canada’s de facto national anthem before O Canada took its place — should do more than inspire music. It should make it. “My first thought was what can be done to repurpose this extraordinary wood from this significant historic tree,” said Cripps. “Of course, being a guitar player, I thought we should build a guitar.”

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Orlando MetroWest condo complex faces millions in code-violation fines

Orlando Sentinel
September 21, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Orlando’s biggest challenge with building-safety violations isn’t in a blighted area. It’s a manicured MetroWest condo community where landscapers weed and security guards check guests. The English-themed Hamptons community of 743 condominiums faces $4 million in code-enforcement fines for violations — the largest tab in the city, according to Orlando officials… The Hamptons, he added, are representative of condominiums and apartments built during the pre-recession period throughout Orlando, and Central Florida in general. “I genuinely believe that every similar aged wood-frame apartment building or condominium conversion in Central Florida, clad with thin-coat stucco and single-pane aluminum windows, is probably as bad or worse than the Hamptons,” Prichard said. Florida property owners in particular get a false sense of security about their buildings… But when you look closely, or examine the wood framing behind the pretty exterior, you see major problems.”

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National awards showcase timber’s strength and flexibility

New Zealand Herald
September 20, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Waiheke Island Community Library exemplifies the intersection of construction, architecture, fine art and natural elements in timber construction. The library won overall winner and Commercial Architectural Excellence category in the New Zealand Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards announced last week. The awards included eight categories from residential and commercial architectural excellence, innovation and novel applications of wood. The library “is a lyrical response to the idea of a timber library building, and a robust yet visually appealing statement,” said judges of the competition.

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Forestry

Logging protesters win temporary victory on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

‘This is some of the last old growth forest in the world,’ says protester
CBC News
September 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Protesters fighting plans to log an old-growth forest on the Sunshine Coast are celebrating a temporary victory after construction of a logging road was halted temporarily. The protesters, who have set up camp near Roberts Creek, say the area is an important bear habitat that will be destroyed if the trees come down. Hans Penner has been taking turns blocking access to a service road in the Dakota Creek area of Mount Elphinstone, where the government has plans to auction off 53 hectares of old-growth timber, including ancient balsam, hemlock and yellow cedar. “This is some of the last old growth forest in the world,” Penner said. “So really, the natural history, the cultural history is actually irreplaceable. It doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

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BC to increase wolf cull, says it’s the best plan to save endangered caribou

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
September 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – British Columbia is aiming to increase the number of wolves it kills this winter in the second year of a plan to save endangered caribou, prompting criticism from celebrities and renewed debate over the controversial strategy. The wolf cull is the best shot to protect threatened caribou from extinction, say caribou experts and government officials, who admit it will take years to determine if the science behind killing wolves works. “It’s like trying to dial a radio station in with boxing gloves on,” said Tom Ethier, an assistant deputy minister at B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, which oversees the cull. “We’re really trying to figure out: does this work?”

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CVRD, Cumberland, Timberwest fulfill Hazard Abatement Order

Comox Valley Echo
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The engineering report required in the Hazard Abatement Order regarding the bank sloughing that took place on Perseverance Creek and believed to have caused the high turbidity levels in the Comox Lake and the lengthy boil water advisory last December was presented to Island Health one day ahead of the Sept. 16 deadline. The Comox Valley Regional District, the Village of Cumberland and Timberwest Forest Company were all involved in paying for the report as directed by Island Health medical officer Charmaine Enns on Aug. 7. Enns received the report on Tuesday afternoon. “They have all fulfilled the requirements of producing the report in the order,” said Enns. “Now we all have to go through it, think about it and determine what can be done short term and long term.”

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B.C. protects more old-growth forests in Whistler area

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The government of British Columbia is protecting more old-growth forests and enhancing biodiversity by establishing another 27 old growth management areas. British Columbia’s newest old growth management areas all lie within the Whistler Landscape Unit of the Sea to Sky Natural Resource District and cover 7,061 hectares. This represents about 18% of the 39,039 hectares of Crown forested land base within that landscape unit. The establishment of old growth management areas helps protect the biological diversity of old-growth forests by ensuring that stands from different ecosystem types are protected and land use objectives are met.

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BC Timber Sales hosting Mount Macpherson logging open house

Revelstoke Times Review
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Timber Sales and the City of Revelstoke are hosting an open house to allow people to review and provide feedback on logging plans for Mt. Macpherson. BCTS plans on harvesting a cutblock on Macpherson in 2016 that would impact several mountain biking and Nordic ski trails. Last month, BCTS presented detailed harvesting plans, including proposed cutblock layout to the Revelstoke Cycling Association. The plan would include a buffer that would protect the TNT trail. On October 7, the public will have the chance to provide feedback on the plans. Feedback will be considered before logging begins next year, but don’t expect substantial changes or a halt to operations. “We will listen to what’s said at the meeting,” said Colin Johnston of BCTS. “That’s all I can commit to. I’m not going to say we’re going to re-draw the plans because somebody doesn’t like them.”

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NOVA SCOTIA NATURALLY: Slow decline of stately elms

Chronicle Herald
September 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…They were elm trees, the monarch of old city streets. Their sheer size and weeping fountain or umbrella shape, along with their usual natural occurrence along river flood plains in and around towns and cities in northeastern North America, made them a popular choice for emergent North American urban landscapes. …A shipment of live elm (destined for veneer) from Europe had provided a means of transportation for a few fungi and beetle species, which were uncompromisingly killing elm trees. This combination is known as the Dutch elm disease because it was first identified by a Dutch phytopathologist. First, the beetle damages the bark of the tree, exposing it to wood-hungry fungi. Second, the beetle, which carries the deadly exotic elm-killing fungi, unknowingly drops off fungus spores. 

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Urban tree protection plan in the works for the City of Ottawa

CBC News
September 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

he City of Ottawa will start crafting a strategy this fall to protect urban trees and ensure a healthy canopy in the future. “There are all kinds of stresses on our urban trees and forests,” said David Chernushenko, city councillor for Capital Ward and chair of the city’s environment committee. “There’s always reasons to cut them down, take them away, not replant major trees, but it takes real work to do the opposite.” While many cities have long-term visions and overarching plans for their urban forests, Ottawa currently has only a medley of policies, regulations and programs related to trees. “It’s 100 per cent necessary and we’re very excited that we’re going down this route,” said Velta Tomsons, who leads a campaign for the organization Ecology Ottawa that is seeking to plant one million trees in Ottawa by 2017.

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U.S. Endowment Celebrates Nine Years

US Endowment
September 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Greenville, SC —This date in history marks the anniversary of two events that forever changed America: the kickoff of Monday Night Football in 1970 and the chartering of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) in 2006. Although more Americans may be familiar with Monday Night Football, the Endowment’s impact shouldn’t be underestimated. “The Endowment is the largest public charity in the nation dedicated to conservation and sustainable development of working forests,” said Endowment President Carlton Owen. “In its brief history the Endowment has awarded more than $50 million, leveraging an equal amount in direct partner investment, for a total impact of $186 million to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change to improve the health of our nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities.”

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Oregon announces details of Elliott State Forest sale

Herald and News
September 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon has taken the next step in its plan to sell a public forest near Coos Bay. The World reports that anyone interested in buying the Elliott State Forest will have to meet key requirements. Buyers will have to pay market value for the entire 84,000-acre forest. They also have to promise to allow public recreation on at least half of the land. And they have to formally express interest in purchasing the property by Dec. 15. The Department of State Lands expects to pick a buyer by late next year, and to sell the forest in 2017. The state says it wants to sell the forest because it costs too much to manage. END OF STORY

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Forest management: Logging has numerous benefits

Letter by Mark Agather
The Missoulian
September 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The smoke that has diminished our air has finally cleared as nature has finished its natural course of clear-cutting and selective-cutting our forests. However, the pollution to our air and our water has produced unhealthy conditions for citizens of Northwest Montana while costing us over $42 million. Unfortunately, many from the far left refuse to recognize there are much better ways to manage our forests by emulating nature’s own processes to minimize the adverse effects produced by wildfires. In years before eco-extremists, we also had dry summers with lightning which started numerous fires. However, we had trained fire crews in the form of loggers and logging companies who helped the Forest Service control and put out the fires quickly before becoming too large to effectively manage.

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3,000 trees to be cut down to save meadow on Marys Peak

Statesman Journal
September 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS — In a state where lush forestlands are a source of pride, having too many trees is not often viewed as a problem. Yet high on Marys Peak, the tallest mountain in the Coast Range, trees have become almost the enemy, viewed by preservationists and the U.S. Forest Service as an invading force worthy of death by axe. The sin these trees have committed is a slow but steady encroachment into the ecologically rich and visually stunning meadows that spread across the mountain’s summit, a popular recreation area east of Corvallis. For the past six decades — and probably longer — groves of noble fir have been crowding into the meadow’s ecosystem, resulting in a growing loss of unique habitat and scenic vistas that could become irreversible if left to its own devices.

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California wildfire 4th-worst in state history based on structures burned

Volunteer firefighter loses his own home while battling another blaze
Associated Press in the CBC News
September 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California fire officials said a wildfire north of San Francisco destroyed another 162 homes, raising the number of homes destroyed to 1,050 and making it the fourth worst wildfire in the state’s history. The tally announced on Sunday brought the total number of homes destroyed in two wildfires burning in Northern California to nearly 1,600, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. Those fires killed five people, and on Sunday authorities announced that a body was found in the ashes of a wildfire in Monterey County that destroyed or damaged 10 homes. A firefighter lost his home while battling the blaze, said Eric Walters, a spokesman for the Cachagua Fire Protection District.

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The Forest Service May Change The Way It Combat Wildfires

Capital Wired
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In 2015 nearly 9 million forest acres burned in the United States and because of the climate change and drought, wildfires could get even worse. Jerry Franklin, a professor of Ecosystem Analysis at the College of Forest Resources, University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, gave suggestions as to how the forest fire management could lower the impact that the wildfires would have in the future. “We need to change our policies to recognize the use of more prescribed and natural fire to deal with the conditions we’re seeing in our forests today as well as to greatly accelerate restoration of more resilient conditions in accessible forests that have been dramatically altered over the past century,” said Franklin.

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Don’t be hasty on changing Northwest Forest Plan

The U.S. Forest Service should not be too hasty to abandon a regionwide approach in the Northwest Forest Plan.
The Seattle Times
September 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

TWENTY years ago, the intergovernmental Northwest Forest Plan defused the timber wars, quieting the heated chatter of owls versus jobs. The breakthrough flowed from a regional approach to managing 24 million acres of public federal lands in Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Today, as the plan faces revision, its forward-thinking design is at risk. The U.S. Forest Service has signaled that it may jettison the plan’s regionwide strategy covering all the forests and return to the pre-1994 model of overseeing individual forests along arbitrary boundaries. That would be a mistake. In the era of record wildfires and climate change, a strong regional framework is the only viable, ecologically sound path forward.

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Controlled burns planned for Mount Washington Wilderness

Willamette National Forest may start burning in fall 2016
The Bend Bulletin
September 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Plans for prescribed fires in the Mount Washington Wilderness are still in the works for the Willamette National Forest, with burning possibly happening next fall. Meanwhile, the Deschutes National Forest has put on hold plans for such controlled burns in wilderness closer to Bend. The goal would be to restore thick woods to a state where wildfires could burn themselves out, said Matt Peterson, assistant recreation staff officer for the Willamette National Forest in Springfield. Currently fire crews pounce on any new wildfires in the woods near Scott Mountain, not wanting them to spread out of the wilderness.

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Colorado State Forest Service says off-color pine needles normal, not disease

Summit Daily
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thousands of evergreen trees in the High Country are beginning to display dying orange and brown needles, but foresters say most trees are simply going through a natural shedding process and are not infested by bark beetles or tree disease. Colorado evergreens shed their older, interior needles as part of an annual growth cycle. Needles on the lower portion of the crowns or closest to the trunk are most commonly shed, but trees stressed due to drought or root damage may shed more needles to keep the tree in balance with its root system. Soon-to-be shed needles typically turn yellow first, then a reddish-orange or brown color before dropping off.

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Another 250 homes destroyed in N. California wildfire

The Oregonian
September 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — A Sierra Nevada fire claimed an additional 250 homes, bringing the total to 503, California fire officials said Saturday after making new assessments. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Mike Mohler said the increased count comes as firefighters make progress and damage inspection teams have access to affected areas. Cal Fire had reported 252 homes destroyed as of Friday night by the fire burning in Amador and Calaveras counties. Two deaths have been reported. The fire is 65 percent contained.

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Study proves value of thinning projects as California goes up in flames

Payson Roundup
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thinning treatments can save forested communities, even when the treatment leaves behind dense areas for wildlife, according to a comprehensive study of the effects of the two biggest wildfires in Arizona history. The study looked at the impact of the thinning treatments that saved Alpine and Nutrioso from the Wallow Fire. The thinned buffer zones transformed a seemingly unstoppable crown fire into a manageable ground fire, concluded researchers from the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service, who published their work in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

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Forestry Task Force reinstated by Pennsylvania Senate

Pennsylvania Business Daily
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Safeguarding forests and families, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously adopted Sen. Scott Hutchinson’s SR 55 on Thursday, reinstating the Forestry Task Force under the administration of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee. “The task force will…investigate and look to improve the current state of Pennsylvania’s forests and provide long-term forest management strategies,” Hutchinson said. “The task force will consider topics such as invasive species, local government interaction, reinvigorating the timber harvesting industry and developing a state forest management plan.

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Con Artists Target Black Walnut Trees

RFDTV
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

NASHVILLE, Tenn  – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is warning residents about con artists targeting black walnut trees. The office has received reports of log buyers falsely telling woodlot owners that Thousand Cankers Disease has been detected in Michigan and then pressuring owners to sell the trees. Consumers should know Thousand Cankers Disease has not been detected in Michigan. Michigan’s forests are home to approximately 8.5 million black walnut trees with an economic value of more the $86 million and ecological value as a food source for birds, mammals and other wildlife. There are also more than 80 walnut growers in Michigan with approximately 4,000 trees in nut production.

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Clearcutting, fees, on tap in Indiana forests

Environmentalists say state officials are rushing a controversial statewide forest planning document through the public process.
The Courier Journal
September 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Indiana plans to increase clear-cut logging on its state forests and improve recreational facilities including at Clark State Forest near Henryville over the next five years, while looking to increase user fees, according to a proposed strategic plan that’s the subject of three public meetings this week. Environmentalists are objecting to the substance of the proposal and are calling on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to more widely seek out public input by opening a formal 60-day comment period. “You own these forests, not the timber industry,” Jeff Stant, executive director of the Indiana Forest Alliance, wrote in a Sept. 14 letter to supporters.

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Grieving parents promote the importance of workplace safety

ABC News, Australia
September 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Nothing brings home the importance of workplace safety more than a preventable death on a work site. In New Zealand in 2013, 10 people were killed in forestry accidents. Robert’s parents, Wiremu and Marcella Edmonds are now dedicated to promoting the importance of workplace safety, recently giving talks to forestry workers in the south west of Western Australia. I believe that all accidents are preventable and our sons death was no different…if it was avoided we wouldn’t have a story to tell, simple as that… “The world changed pretty much… so a tree was felled on top of him [Robert] by the foreman of the crew,” she said. “There were many things that happened that day that shouldn’t have.

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Indonesia arrests seven company executives for illegal forest fires

A senior executive of plantation company Bumi Mekar Hijau is one of those held for suspected environmental crimes, as part of a wider drive to combat the pollution haze crisis, reports The Straits Times
The Guardian
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Indonesian police arrested seven corporate executives on Wednesday in connection with illegal forest fires across Sumatra and Kalimantan, as part of a wide-ranging effort to stop the haze crisis. Suspects included a senior executive from Bumi Mekar Hijau, a unit of Singapore-based Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is also Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper producer. The national impetus includes deploying more police to help with firefighting and handling probes against culprits, and increasing cloud-seeding sorties to douse the blazes, especially those burning on dry peatlands. These carbon-rich peatlands produce the thick haze that has blanketed many parts of Indonesia, as well as neighbours Malaysia and Singapore in recent weeks, bringing the air quality down to unhealthy and sometimes hazardous levels.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Waste wood diverted from landfill to fuel new £160m biomass power plant

ClickGreen.org.uk
September 21, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Welsh renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd, and Temporis Capital LLP, a London-based renewable energy investment firm, announce the sale of the Port Clarence Energy project to Glennmont Partners. The sale is part of a £160m investment programme that will lead to the building of a 40 MW waste wood fired power station at Able Clarence Port, on the banks of the River Tees in Stockton-on-Tees, creating up to 500 jobs. The project began two years ago and was jointly developed by Eco2 Ltd and Temporis Capital on behalf of Port Clarence Energy Limited. It will provide 40MW of renewable energy to the UK energy market through the combustion of waste wood, and will consume circa. 250,000 tonnes of waste wood per year.

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General

Historic cottonwood tree gets new shot at life in Billings

The Missoulian
September 20, 2015
Category: Uncategorised
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS – A 105-foot cottonwood tree that was cut out of a Billings backyard last week might have some life left in it. When news of the tree’s demise reached Marty Flanagan, he knew he wanted a piece. For decades, Flanagan has courted Montana’s largest and oldest trees for their cuttings. “They’re my favorite tree,” he said of the cottonwood variety, “and they’re cloned fairly easily because you can rip the cuttings.” A former rancher who lives in Dean, Flanagan has worked seriously with trees since the 1980s. His goal is to build repositories for the best tree genetics so that they can be cloned and replanted locally. Because a lot of newer nursery trees have been cross-pollinated many times over, they tend to decrease in longevity. As some of Montana’s oldest trees near the ends of their lives, Flanagan hopes to keep those genetics alive with the help of partner nurseries.

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