Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 28, 2015

Business & Politics

Mill celebrates 50-year milestone

News Kamloops
September 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Domtar management and employees gathered at a family picnic in Riverside Park Saturday, celebrating a significant milestone for the company and the city. Domtar’s Kamloops pulp and paper mill began operation in 1965, helping to drive a new era of growth for the city. Weyerhaeuser operated and gradually expanded the mill, starting in the 1970s, before selling it to Domtar in 2007. Domtar mill manager Carol Lapointe said the anniversary is a chance to reflect on the first 50 years and think about the next 50. Domtar was founded in 1848, he noted, so it’s a company with deep roots in the industry.

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$10M for fire prevention

Castanet Kelowna
September 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark has announced millions of dollars in funding for projects ranging from crime and forest-fire prevention to jump-starting rural economies. …Clark said the province would contribute up to $10 million to a fund that helps communities prevent wildfires, bringing that total investment to $78 million since 2004. The lesson from the recent devastating wildfire season was one the province would “regret forgetting,” she said. Clark said the National Research Council in the U.S. estimated that for every degree the temperature rises, about four times as much land will burn in North America’s west.

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Premier promises funds for smaller B.C. communities in UBCM speech

By Jeff Lee
Vancouver Sun
September 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Clark used her speech to the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver to deliver the goodies, including a new $75 million, three-year “rural dividend” fund to help communities under 25,000 diversify their traditional resource-based economies. …She said the government had accepted the recommendations of its Rural Advisory Council, which said small communities need help to retool economies once dependent on forestry. …Clark said this year’s tough wildfire season has caused the province to add $10 million to its Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative to help municipalities reduce the fuel load in adjacent forests. The top-up brings to $78 million the province has invested in reducing interface wildfires since 2004, the year after the devastating Okanagan Mountain fire that destroyed or damaged 238 homes around Kelowna.

Clark spends on rural communities, fire preventionTom Fletcher in Victoria News

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Drought in China forces temporary closure of paper pulp mill in Rizhao – a reason for forestry to diversify Australia’s blue gum and pine exports

ABC News, Australia
September 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Australia’s largest forestry investment company says drought in China that forced the temporary closure of one of the world’s biggest paper processors, in Rizhao, earlier this year is reason for Australia to diversify forestry export markets. The closure of the paper pulp mill, caused shipments of Tasmanian woodchips to be diverted on their way to China and also raised questions on how it would affect the global market price for woodchips. The CEO of New Forests, Australia’s largest forestry investor, David Brand said increasing pressure on China’s climate is a good reason to diversify Australia’s forestry export markets.

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Norway: Timber cut for sale on 13,900 forest properties in 2014

Lesprom
September 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In 2014, timber was cut for sale on 13,900 forest properties in Norway. On average, 640 cubic metres of roundwood were cut for sale per property. During the last 10-year period, 36% of the forest properties sold timber, as Statistics Norway said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The activity level varied considerably between the counties. Forest owners in the county of Hedmark were the most active, with more than one in five forest properties carrying out commercial roundwood removals. In the western part of Norway, 5% of the forest properties had commercial removals and in the northern part of the country the figure was even lower.

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Maiden voyage for new log ship

Gisborne Herald
September 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

THE brand new bulk carrier Fiora Topic slipped its moorings and sailed from Gisborne yesterday afternoon, completing its maiden voyage to New Zealand. The logger arrived on Tuesday and took on board more than 34,000 tonnes of cargo during its inaugural stay. The logs are bound for China. Fiora Topic has a deadweight of 34,356 tonnes, is 180 metres long, 30 metres wide and is registered in the Marshall Islands. …“A feature is the ship’s new deck cargo lashing system,” said ship’s agent Kevin Pitcher. “This is the first time worldwide anywhere that this system has been used.” Mr Pitcher said there are no hog wires or centre lashings required because the new system involves chains secured on the deck instead.

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Company Shares of Mercer International Drops by -11.1%

News Watch International
September 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Mercer International has lost 11.1% during the past week and dropped 13.75% in the last 4 weeks. The shares are however, marginally negative as compared to the S&P 500 for the past week with a loss of 9.87%. Mercer has underperformed the index by 11.18% in the last 4 weeks. Investors should watch out for further signals and trade with caution.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood Construction Reaches New Heights in Quebec

EarthTechling
September 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wood construction is about to hit a new milestone as the tallest wooden building ever built in North America is set to begin construction in Quebec City. The tallest wooden building in North America is currently the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in downtown Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. But it’s not going to hold that distinction for very much longer, because construction is about to begin on an ambitious wooden residential structure in Quebec City. The Origine condominium complex is planned for Quebec city’s eco-conscious Pointe-aux-Lièvres district and will consist of 41 meters of solid wood construction – 12 stories – supported by a concrete podium. 

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Developers’ Eco-Friendly Solution for More-Efficient Construction

Multi-housing News
September 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Portland, Ore.—Nearly 170 million tons of building-related construction and demolition (C&D) debris was generated in the United States in 2003, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since then, builders and developers continue to seek ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency. A younger generation of architects and engineers are experimenting with and embracing wood as a sustainable construction material. As a result, we are seeing more unique and innovative projects with higher building standards… “One of the greatest advantages to using prefabricated wall panels is simultaneous construction,” said Alex Knecht of Pacific Wall Systems. “While your grading and foundation crews are working, so are we.” The Ella will be a five-story LEED Gold certified project with wood framing, a concrete podium and a sub-grade parking garage. 

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Home-grown-and-hewn lumber saves city money

Rockdale Citizen
September 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

COVINGTON — Governments save money in tight budgetary times by performing as much construction work inhouse as possible. The city of Covington has taken it a step further by using construction materials produced inhouse that can save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars on various projects. In a unanimous vote at Monday’s meeting, the Covington City Council gave the green light to Planning and Zoning Director Randy Vinson to gather the materials to construct a bandshell and amphitheater in the southwest corner of Legion Field for a projected opening in the fall of 2016. The wood to construct the bandshell and a 40-foot stage will be cut from pine trees grown on city property and hewn by city workers.

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Consumers Want Tighter EU Rules To Tackle Illegal Timber

Green Building Press
September 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In a poll carried out by WWF, 76 per cent of UK consumers want better laws that ensure the legality of wood products on the market in the UK and across Europe, a new survey finds. Major timber-related businesses from the UK and other EU countries, from producers to retailers, have also signed a new statement to the European Commission calling for the EU to tighten the current rules on illegal timber use. The EU Timber Regulation, or EUTR, is designed to keep illegally sourced timber out of the marketplace, and is under review by the European Commission in Brussels.

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Finland: Architect designed a flood-proof CLT structure

IHB The Timber Network
September 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Finnish architect Marco Casagrande has designed a completely new type of urban modular structure in Taiwan, Taipei city. The structure is represented by cubes made of massive wood. Each cube consists of six or three meter-long beams. Cubes can be connected to each other either vertically or horizontally. Casagrande plans were initiated at the request of the Taipei City Government’s urban development department to design a flood-resistant urban structure. The cubes will be made of CLT – cross laminated timber, says the Finnish newpaper Yle.fi.

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Forestry

Why Canada’s Forests Matter

by Dan Kraus, Weston Conservation Scientist, Senior Director of Conservation Program Development, Nature Conservancy of Canada
Huffington Post
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Canada is a nation defined by many things: multiculturalism, hockey, universal health care, politeness, eh? We’re also a nation defined by our landscapes. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King once referred to Canada as a country with “too much geography.” Yet it is that vast geography that defines Canada and Canadians, and no other habitat within that geography defines our country more than forests. Canada is a forest nation. Yes, we have spectacular mountains, prairie grasslands, arctic barrens and oceans, but the one habitat that runs throughout every province and territory, and where most Canadians live, is forest.

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NDP unveils $105M plan to revive forestry sector

Party leader Tom Mulcair says funds will create 2,500 jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions
CBC News
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Tom Mulcair says the NDP will pump $105 million over three years into programs aimed at making Canada’s forestry sector more competitive. The NDP leader made the announcement Friday during a campaign stop at a forestry college in the small town of Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier near Quebec City. “We will make a series of crucial investments over three years to protect and create forestry jobs right across this great country of ours and secure a long-term future for our communities,” Mulcair said. …The $105 million would go toward modernizing manufacturing and promoting Canadian forestry products overseas, Mulcair said.

Candidates say NDP’s forestry plan will grow jobs in the North from The NDP Press release in Northern Life

Debate behind them, leaders back to the trail – Canadian Press in Blackpress News

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Rising challenge of managing urban forests prompts new UBC degree

By Derrick Penner,
Vancouver Sun
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

To University of B.C. forestry professor Stephen Sheppard, the freak windstorm that hit Metro Vancouver in August, downing thousands of trees and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people, is a stark reminder of the increasing challenges facing managers of urban green spaces. With that in mind, UBC’s faculty of forestry is launching a new undergraduate degree in urban forestry aimed at teaching skills in maintaining healthy and resilient city forests capable of adapting to climate change. It will be a first for Western Canada, Sheppard said, but will fit into an international field that is growing in places such as Asia and Scandinavia. “The problems get more acute because you get more people moving to cities,” Sheppard said, and people still have high expectations for access to nature and recreation.

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Logger honoured for leadership

Prince George Citizen
September 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A locally-based logging company has won an award for excellence in aboriginal business leadership. LTN Contracting Ltd., a partnership between the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and Roga Contracting Ltd., was presented with the award, sponsored by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) this week in Vancouver. LTN general manager and director Troy Young said it was an honour to receive the award. “You’ve seen what’s happened to the forest economy and to see a First Nations company to go through that battering and come out the other side and be successful, I think it’s a testament to the perseverance and endurance we’ve had to have to make it through,” Young said.

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Comment: We must protect remaining old-growth forest

By Philip Dearden, Department of Geography, University of Victoria 
Victoria Times Colonist
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thanks to Rick Jeffery, CEO of the Coast Forest Products Association, for his reminder of the importance of careful planning in relationship to the proposed cutting of the upper Walbran watershed. The Commission of Resources and Environment Vancouver Island (CORE) planning process he describes was initiated in the early 1990s because the existing practices were not working. This failure was becoming increasingly obvious to the main stakeholders, the people of B.C. Protests were ubiquitous and changes had to be made to the way that our forest lands were being managed. If these protests had not happened, if the modus operandi of the time had not been challenged, we would have been left with a much-depleted natural environment on Vancouver Island. We survived and prospered, and we have a richer environment for the future as a result of the plan.

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How B.C.’s anti-logging activists are using drones to fight the ‘information war’

September 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

… B.C. environmentalists — seeking to raise awareness against logging plans in Vancouver Island’s old-growth forests — think they have a solution for the issue posed in the saying. “If we can’t bring B.C.’s four million people to the forests, we’re going to bring the forests to the people,” activist TJ Watt of the Ancient Forest Alliance told The Province. Watt and other activists are using drone technology to shoot compelling, high-definition videos of “Canada’s grandest old-growth” rain forest near Port Renfrew. They say the area is endangered because in mid-September the B.C. Forest Service granted the Surrey-based Teal-Jones Group a permit for helicopter logging in one of the eight “cutblock” areas the company wants to log in the area.

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College celebrates our forest heritage

The Daily Observer
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The main common area at Algonquin College Waterfront Campus in Pembroke was abuzz with green-themed activity as staff, students and special guests came together to celebrate National Tree Day. …We’re trying to make a connection here between trees and forests; Algonquin College with our outdoor programs; and our partners like Shaw Woods, Ontario Forests and the National Wildlife Federation. …”Algonquin College has made a commitment to sustainability. The efforts of our faculty and students to bring awareness to “Tree Day” is one example of our commitment to educating our community about sustainability.”

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Tree-planting subsidies offered to landowners

Ottawa Community News
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…Forests Ontario and its planting partners remind landowners that now is the most opportune time for planning spring planting activities. In a news release promoting the 50 Million Tree Program, the agency said that landowners who might be considering conservation projects should think about tree planting as a way to increase the value of their properties while contributing to a healthy environment. …The 50 Million Tree Program is designed to make the tree planting process as easy as possible for Ontario’s landowners. Through the program, landowners are able to access subsidies covering up to 85 per cent of total planting costs as well as practical support and ongoing forest management assistance.

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Timmins in talks to establish forestry training centre

Northern Ontario Business
September 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Timmins and industry partners are investigating the feasibility of establishing a forestry innovation and training centre in Timmins.  Mayor Steve Black said the idea was broached by the last term of council, and he’s taken it forward to the province to start preliminary discussions.  “We know the forestry industry’s in a rebound and is going to be growing over the next few years,” Black said. “Finding that skilled workforce is going to be one of those challenges.” In August, during the annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO),

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Pyramid Mountain Lumber awarded Bitterroot timber sale

by PERRY BACKUS
Helena Independent Record
September 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON – Work to thin 1,770 acres of Bitterroot National Forest lands between Lake Como and Lost Horse Canyon will get underway in the next couple of weeks. Pyramid Mountain Lumber Co. of Seeley Lake was awarded the timber contract for the Como Forest Health Project on the Darby Ranger District this week. “We will be working to put in some of the initial roadwork in the next couple of weeks,” said Pyramid resource manager Gordy Sanders. “We’re still a few weeks out before we begin harvesting.” Sanders expects that most of the harvest work will be completed through the winter months. “We should be there until spring,” he said. The project’s focus is improving forest health and reducing hazardous fuels while maintaining the scenic qualities of the area popular for recreation.

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Gypsy moths detected in Grants Pass

So far numbers are small for the leaf-eating invaders
The Mail Tribune
September 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For the third consecutive year, gypsy moths have turned up near Grants Pass. In fact, half of the state total of 14 detections this year came from one single trap in the Azalea Drive area a few miles west of town. The leaf-eating moths don’t pose an immediate threat at this level, but their presence makes foresters nervous. “We’re catching these before they have populations high enough to damage trees,” said Clint Burfitt, manager of Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Insect Pest Prevention and Management Program. In large numbers the moths, which were imported to Massachusetts from Europe in 1869, are among the worst tree defoliaters around. In their caterpillar stage, they can eat as much as a square foot of leaves per day.

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Dramatic climate shifts require attention to forests, water

BY PETER GOLDMARK, GENE DUVERNOY and MIKE STEVENS
The Olympian
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Some of our state’s leaders are taking the threat seriously, looking for local solutions and ways to lead the nation in grappling with climate change: the Department of Ecology just announced a clean air rule to treat greenhouse gases like other pollutants, some legislators are exploring a legislative solution, and voters could find an initiative on the ballot in 2016. No matter the chosen path, proven natural solutions must be at the heart of our state’s approach to climate change. Investing in the health of our forests and rivers reduces the impacts of climate change and encourages economic and community vitality. When well-stewarded, the Evergreen State’s lush forests naturally sequester millions of tons of carbon every year and help ensure abundant clean water for agricultural and growing communities.

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Nature replants its own burned forests, environmentalists say

Los Angeles Times
September 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


During the dry summer of 2011, wind gusts sent a 75-foot aspen tumbling into a power line, sparking a fire on federal land that burned for five weeks over an area the size of Manhattan. All that was left in the hottest burn zones was a silent swath of blackened trees and ash-covered ground. Federal foresters decided the towering ponderosa pines would never return and declared the area dead, the first step in a process to allow timber companies to harvest trees on public land that would otherwise be off-limits. But a growing body of fire research indicates that the federal salvage strategy creates more problems than it solves by stunting tree regrowth, denying habitat to a variety of species and increasing the risk of erosion.

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4FRI still needs public-private partnership boost

Arizona Daily Sun
September 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If patience is a virtue, then stakeholders in the Four Forest Restoration Initiative have been virtuous indeed. But patience alone isn’t getting the job done, and many are starting to ask what more, if anything, can be done to get the ambitious, 2 million-acre project back on track. We believe the 4FRI stakeholders need to get re-engaged with the project and its main contractor in ways that expand and create new partnerships, including with other businesses. The task of rebuilding a wood products industry in northern Arizona is simply too big to take on alone. …In the past, stakeholders in 4FRI have shown not only patience but also innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. They need to use all of those virtues now on behalf of a project that won’t succeed without them.

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Huge wildfires will keep driving up a costly tab

The Idaho Statesman
September 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Dozens of fires burned unattended in North Idaho in August because there weren’t enough firefighters to go around. The fires were burning in the backcountry, away from communities, homes and structures. More than 32,000 firefighters were fighting other, larger fires threatening communities across the Northwest, in Montana and in California, and the U.S. Forest Service was spending more than $240 million a week. These unattended fires are the exception. Records show that 98 percent of all fires that start in the West are put out before they grow to 300 acres. But the 2 percent that escape containment are increasingly likely to burn under extreme conditions on lands that are thick with fuel, accounting for 97 percent of the wildfire suppression costs and area burned.

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Oregon Board of Forestry will consider 2 new proposals on no-logging buffers near streams

Associated Press in Trib Town
September 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Oregon — A subcommittee of the Oregon Board of Forestry has identified two proposals for new state logging rules to keep streams in western Oregon cool enough for salmon. One proposal increases no-cut buffer zones to 90 feet. The other offers approaches such as thinning or staggering harvests. Currently, trees must not be cut within 20 feet from streams. Conservation and fishing groups say neither proposal is sufficient. They say no-cut buffers should be 100-foot deep. Removing too many trees leads streams to warm up, which can harm fish. Logging near streams also eliminates downed logs, which help create deep pools for salmon to escape predators and hide from the heat.

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Fire marshal: Black Forest fire presented several challenges to fire crews

Colorado Springs Gazette
September 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SNOWMASS – Firefighters faced more than a perfect storm of heat, wind and dry vegetation when the Black Forest fire exploded on June 11, 2013. A collection of El Paso County fire districts walked into what they considered a hostile neighborhood long resistant to fire protections. And without maps, crews were forced to navigate an overgrown forest criss-crossed with dead-end roads. At all corners, the odds were stacked against them. For county fire crews, political and environmental factors made the Black Forest fire extremely hard to fight. But it also is a valuable lesson for fighting future wildfires, said Vernon Champlin, who gave a presentation on the fire during the Colorado Wildfire Conference in Snowmass on Friday.

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Reason, science and the law: Where LePage’s public forest plans fall short

Bangor Daily News
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Gov. Paul LePage says he’s giving up on the Legislature, but there’s no indication he’s backing down from his effort to cut more wood from the state’s public lands and set aside the revenue so rural, low-income households can afford to upgrade to lower cost heating systems. LePage says he won’t release $6.5 million in voter-approved conservation bonds until the Legislature carries out his wishes. The proposal has numerous problems, which only start with the lack of a transparent, science-based case for increasing the amount of wood cut from 400,000 acres of public reserved lands. One of the most worrisome parts is that the initiative taps a specific source of revenue with a dedicated purpose in state law — paying for the management of 600,000 acres of public lands — and uses it for something unrelated.

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Butler County tree farmer receives forest stewardship award

High Plains Journal
September 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Forest Stewardship and Kansas Tree Farm programs work hand-in-hand to encourage Kansas farmers and ranchers to value and manage the woodland and related natural resources on their properties. …Both programs provide professional forestry expertise, planning and certification to help Kansas farmers manage their woodlands using expertise from professional Kansas Forest Service foresters. Healthy, productive woodlands will increase the overall value of a farming operation and provide both private and public benefits. …This year, Cal Ammons was selected to receive the Forest Stewardship Tree Farmer of the Year award.

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Emerald ash borer damage prompts Kenosha County plans to cut down 2,600 trees

Associated Press in the Star Tribune
September 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SOMERS, Wis. — Kenosha County plans to cut down more than 2,600 ash trees because of damage from the emerald ash borer. The trees are located in four county parks and golf courses. Jonathan Rudie, the county’s general manager of park operations, acknowledges that’s “a lot of trees.” But Rudie tells the Kenosha News treating the trees with pesticides “is a cycle you’ll never get off of.” Rudie says the southeastern Wisconsin county has secured a contract with an Oshkosh-based logging company to do the job for about $17 to $29 per tree. That’s much less expensive than upward of $500 per tree a tree-removal firm might charge.

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Crane, Forestry dean, to depart in June

Yale News
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

When Peter Crane first arrived in 2009 to become dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, he had to deal with the repercussions of the Great Recession. The financial problems of FES, a self-supported school, posed one of the toughest challenges during his time in the role, as he had to tell several qualified staff and faculty that they no longer had a job. On Sep. 11, 2015, six years after his arrival at Yale, Crane announced his upcoming departure from FES in an email to the school community. He will become the inaugural president of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, an estate of Rachel Lambert Mellon that includes extensive gardens and a library of landscape history and plant science. June 30, 2016 will be Crane’s last day of his deanship.

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Deforestation: Public Shame Reduces Tree Loss

Nature World News
September 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Publicly shaming areas that have high illegal deforestation rates has successfully reduced Amazon forest loss by 26 percent per years, according to a recent study. Areas that exceed deforestation limits find themselves on “blacklists,” which have been regularly published by Brazil’s public authorities since 2008. Between 2004 and 2009, tree coverage declined from 27,000 square kilometers to 10,000 square kilometers. However, according to scientists from the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR) at the University of Bonn, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has recently declined.

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Singapore presses Asia Pulp & Paper for information on forest fires

Malay Mail Online
September 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SINGAPORE— Singapore has called on Asia Pulp & Paper Co Ltd (APP) to check whether its subsidiaries and suppliers have any connection with the recent forest fires in Indonesia, which have caused a thick smog to envelop the city state. Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) also said in a statement that it has separately sent notices to four other Indonesian companies, accusing them of contributing to the pollution. Unlisted APP, a member of Indonesia’s Sinar Mas group, is a major supplier of paper, pulp and packaging in Asia. A spokeswoman for APP in Jakarta said it has not received a notice from Singapore to date.

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Farmers in northern NSW buy failed managed investment scheme forestry plantations

ABC News, Australia
September 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Community members in northern NSW have welcomed the recent releases of failed managed investment scheme (MIS) forestry plantations, as many farmers purchase them to return the land back to farming. The property market on the North Coast and other parts of Australia has seen an influx of releases and sales of plantations since June this year, after a US company recently bought the whole estate off defunct timber company Forest Enterprises Australia (FEA). The ABC has been told that a company has sold about 40 former FEA plantations around Australia on behalf of the new owners.

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Drones could make forest conservation monitoring significantly cheaper

Phys.org
September 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Drones could monitor the success of forest regeneration in the tropics, suggests a new study published in Biological Conservation. The researchers say automating the monitoring process leads to equally accurate results and could save a significant amount of time and money. The new research has been selected by an international scientific committee to be given the Atlas award. Between 1990 and 2005, the world’s rainforests were depleted by more than 8% through deforestation, in part to make way for agriculture. Today, large areas of agricultural land are being restored to rainforest to meet conservation goals in the tropics. It is important to monitor the success of these efforts to ensure that these areas are replenished with the right vegetation.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Cities vote against carbon tax hike

By Jeff Nagel
BC Local News in Penticton Western News
September 24, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Municipal leaders have decided against asking the province to resume regular increases in B.C.’s carbon tax in the name of fighting climate change. Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention narrowly defeated the motion from New Westminster on Thursday, with 52.4 per cent voting no on Thursday. The tax has been frozen at $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions since 2012 – equivalent to about seven cents a litre on gasoline. The tax also applies to natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels. The proposal called for increases of $5 per tonne each year for five years, followed by a review. It also urged the province to break from its policy of making the tax revenue-neutral and use the extra revenue to support emission-reduction projects.

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Massachusetts’ Highest Court Will Be Asked To Block Biomass Plant

WAMC – Public Radio
September 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A last- ditch court fight will be waged by opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in western Massachusetts. The Springfield City Council, with the bare minimum of seven councilors present to be able to conduct business, voted unanimously at a special meeting Friday morning to appeal to the state’s highest court the decisions of lower courts that directed the city to issue a building permit to Palmer Renewable Energy. Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton said if the appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court fails, the 35-megawatt biomass power plant that was first proposed in 2008 will likely be built.

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Climate Change and Tree Growth: New Trees Can’t Handle As Much Carbon As We Thought

Nature World News
September 25, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Photosynthesis is driven by atmospheric carbon dioxide, so trees are often planted to capture and store the increasing carbon emissions we face today. It turns out that our reliance on them may be overestimated, according to a recent study. To better understand future tree growth related to increased carbon emissions, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom modeled future land cover and use. They discovered that forests are limited on how much carbon they can absorb, because they will also be storing nitrogen, according to a news release. “Forests take up carbon from the atmosphere, but in order for the plants to fix the carbon, it requires a certain amount of nitrogen,” Prasanth Meiyappan, graduate student who worked alongside atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain, said in the release.

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