Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 16, 2015

Froggy Foibles

Where do politicians go when they die?

Tree Frog Subscriber submission
October 16, 2015
Category: Froggy Foibles

While walking down the street one day a Member of Parliament is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. ‘Welcome to heaven,’ says St. Peter. ‘Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.’ ‘No problem, just let me in,’ says the man. ‘Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.’

…click the read more for a chuckle!

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Business & Politics

Canada: Timber harvests up 14% in five years due to higher lumber production and log exports

IHB The Timber Network
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

In 2014, Canada harvested an estimated 137 million m3 of industrial roundwood, which was 1.3% more than in 2013 and 14% more than in 2010. According to analysis by Wood Resources International, a large majority of the harvested trees, almost three-quarters, were softwood sawlogs destined for the sawmilling industry predominantly in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. A major share of harvested hardwood trees is small-diameter logs used by the pulp mills and OSB manufacturers in Alberta and the Eastern provinces. Hardwood harvest levels have been fairly stable at around 20 million m3 for a number of years, while softwood harvests have been steadily climbing following the global financial crisis. From 2008 to 2014, softwood log removals in Canada increased by 24%.

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Working group meets to discuss future of mill

Columbia Valley Pioneer
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With permanent shutdown of the Canal Flats mill less than a month away, the first working group meeting aimed at assessing the future of the forest industry in Canal Flats was held on Wednesday, October 7th, and included representatives from Canfor, the Ktunaxa First Nation, provincial officials, industry partners, Columbia River–Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald, and Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras. “We spent most of the meeting brainstorming and scoping out opportunities and ideas to help Canal Flats move forward; but it was just the start of a process,” said Mayor Juras in a press release. “Some really interesting ideas came out and I am looking forward to continuing to work together to flush out more ideas from others.

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Catalyst hit by tariff in US trade dispute over specialty paper

Vancouver Sun
October 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.-based Catalyst Paper has been hit with punishing duties on its U.S. exports of a specialty paper because American companies say Canadian producers are subsidized and dumping the product at below-market prices south of the border. However, Catalyst argues the tariff has been unfairly slapped on its exports without having been given due process in the U.S. Department of Commerce investigation, which applies to four Canadian companies, although the inquiry only looked at evidence from two. “We’re disappointed in the ruling and reject the allegation that we receive any subsidies,” said Catalyst executive Len Posyniak. “And we are very confident that upon review, that will be the ultimate ruling.”

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B.C.’s Catalyst Paper hit with costly duties in trade dispute

Canadian Press in CBC News
October 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s International Trade Minister Teresa Wat says she’s disappointed with a decision by U.S. officials to impose costly duties on a paper product produced by four Canadian paper mills, including B.C.’s Catalyst Paper. The U.S. Department of Commerce says imports of supercalendered paper have been subsidized so Canadian mills now face a duty of 18.85 per cent, up more than seven per cent. The special paper is used in products like magazines, catalogues, corporate brochures and advertising inserts. Wat says her ministry is confident that a full investigation of Catalyst will confirm the company has not received government subsidies.

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Atlantic provinces hope for return to talks with US for expired lumber deal

Canadian Business
October 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SUSSEX, N.B. – Cabinet ministers in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are expressing concern that Canada and the United States haven’t started renegotiating the softwood lumber trade agreement. The 2006 agreement that expired on Monday was reached to regulate Canadian softwood exports to the U.S., and ended five years of court battles. It returned $4 billion in duties collected by the U.S. on Canadian producers, and gave the Atlantic provinces an exemption from quotas imposed on larger producers such as British Columbia. Rick Doucet, the trade minister in New Brunswick, said in an interview today that it’s extremely important to the industry in the province that the Canadian and U.S. governments get back to the bargaining table.

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U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Countervailing Duties in Canadian Supercalender Case

Canada NewsWire (press release)
October 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products Inc. learned that the U.S. Department of Commerce released rates in the countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigation of imports of supercalendered paper from Canada. Commerce determined a final subsidy rate of 17.87% for Resolute, and rates of 20.18% for Port Hawkesbury Paper LP and 18.85% for all other producers/exporters in Canada. On July 29, 2015, Commerce calculated a preliminary rate of 2.04% for Resolute. Commerce’s justification for the change is based on the application of “adverse facts available,” saying that the Company “did not fully cooperate with the investigation.” Resolute believes that it has fully cooperated with the investigation; it is surprised and disappointed with this announcement.  

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Idaho logging, wood product and paper industries hang steady

The Idaho Statesman
October 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Idaho’s logging and wood products industries struggle with volatile prices and a sharply reduced amount of timber available for harvest on federal lands compared with a generation ago. But Idaho wood is still a moneymaker, and recent trend lines are mostly positive, said Philip Cook, research scientist for the Policy Analysis Group at the University of Idaho. “Like any industry, it faces challenges,” Cook said. “But it’s tended to be a steady industry and a steady part of Idaho’s economy, and it should continue to be.” Employment in logging, wood product manufacturing and supporting industries rose from fewer than 10,000 Idahoans in 2010 to nearly 12,000 in 2014, according to the University of Idaho.

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Sawmill in town of Fowler shuts down;owner considering options

Watertown Daily Times
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BALMAT — A sawmill at 3624 Route 58 that received a low-interest loan and payment in lieu of taxes agreement from the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency has shut down and auctioned off its equipment. After operating on and off since 2007, St. Lawrence Lumber Inc. permanently shut down its 18,000-square-foot sawmill in February. During a public auction at the site last week, equipment and other items were sold off by Associated Auction & Liquidation Co., Yuma, Tenn. The sawmill’s owner, Gregory L. Hoppel of Cape Vincent, blamed the plant’s closure in part on the 2008 recession that hurt the construction industry and lowered lumber prices.

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Timber Industry Supporters Seek More Train Cars To Haul Wood From Northwoods

Bill Would Allow DOT To Provide $5M Grant To Build New Cars
Wisconsin Public Radio News
October 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A bipartisan bill would allow public money to be used for manufacturing rail cars to ship wood. The bill requires the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to award a $4.8 million grant to the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission from the state’s Freight Rail Infrastructure Improvement Program, which provides loans to private companies to improve transportation efficiency and connections to the national railroad system. The money would be used by the transit commission to purchase the log cars. Sens. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, and Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, introduced the measure. Bewley said that currently, there’s a shortage of cars that needs to be addressed. “The railroads are devoting most of their cars over to sand, and we need to come up with the cars we need to haul wood products,” said Bewley.

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Bangor Daily News The Old Town mill is in jeopardy again. Maybe it needs a tissue … machine.

Bangor Daily News
October 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

When Expera Specialty Solutions came to town last December, it looked like the chance for a fresh start for the Old Town mill. Within a month of acquiring Old Town Fuel and Fiber, the Wisconsin-based papermaker revived the mill and began pumping out pulp destined for its paper mills in the Midwest. But less than a year later, Expera announced that high wood costs, a weak Canadian dollar and a significant increase in pulp capacity in the market had taken the wind out of the Old Town mill’s sails. Expera said it would close up shop in Old Town by the end of the year. …Unfortunately, this isn’t the first mill closure Old Town has had to endure. In the last 35 years, the mill has changed hands six times, including three times in the last decade.

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State-owned forestry company to be incorporated

The Slovenia Times
October 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The government adopted legislation Wednesday under which a new state-owned company will be incorporated to manage forests in public ownership, a move that will completely overhaul the existing system of licensing forest exploitation to private firms. About 20% of Slovenia’s forests are in state ownership. “The bill aims to create a solid basis for the development of the wood industry,” Dejan Židan, the minister of agriculture, forestry and food, said after the cabinet session. The legislation has been in the making since shortly after a devastating ice storm felled millions of trees in early 2014, with Židan its main proponent.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New labels promote Nova Scotia wood products

Daily Business Buzz
October 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

ANNAPOLIS ROYAL- Home Hardware stores in Annapolis Royal and Caledonia are supporting the local lumber industry by helping their customers identify products from Nova Scotia. Customers at Mary Lake Home Hardware in Caledonia and Annapolis Home Hardware Building Centre can now easily spot a variety of Nova Scotian forest products. Picnic tables, lumber, roof trusses, wood pellets, sawdust, fibre fuel, and firewood are a few examples of local products that are now being labeled with special signs.

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Researchers study how cross-laminated timber can stimulate rural communities

Pamplin Media Group
October 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Oregon BEST will conduct a study of how cross-laminated timber can help stimulate the rural economies of Oregon and southwest Washington. Oregon BEST,which brings together public university researchers and entrepreneurs and developers in the clean technology sector, won a $120,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to conduct the study, along with the Pacific Northwest Manufacturing Partnership. The entities are collaborating with Business Oregon, Oregon State University, Washington State University and the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

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This Man Built His House With Storm-Proof, Bullet-Proof Concrete

Forbes
October 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

…Architect Andrew Dennis is working to change all that. He’s touting a new way to build, with material that’s strong enough to stop a speeding bullet or withstand a tropical hurricane, yet safe enough to eat. …Worried about the massive energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions of traditional cement, Dennis decided to quit his day job and take on the task of inventing a new material. He spent three years locked away designing the products he now calls “GigaCrete.” …With GigaCrete, the ‘sticks’ (ie. steel) are on the inside, and insulation ‘glues’ the building together on the outside. …national forest ranger stations have taken interest as the company’s coatings are being applied on energy efficient schools across the country.

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UMass President Marty Meehan to celebrate new UMass design building

MassLive
October 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

AMHERST – University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan will be attending the ceremonial ground breaking for the new $52 million Design Building that will be home to three colleges when it opens in 2017. …When completed, the building will be home to Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; the Department of Architecture from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the Building Construction Technology program from the College of Natural Sciences. …It will also feature a covered indoor courtyard on the first floor and an outdoor courtyard complete with green roof on the third floor.  According to the site, the wood superstructure is slated to be erected in December with the targeted opening of January 2017.

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High Rise Made of Laminated Timber

Jetson Green
October 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

This interesting building is actually the winning entry into the so-called Finlandia Prize for Architecture, which is organized in Finland. The building is called Puukuokka and was designed by the OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture and build out of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). The Puukuokka building was constructed using prefabricated modular cubical elements, or more precisely Stora´s Enso CLT Urban MultyStory concept CLTs, which are dry, adaptable, lightweight, and they arrived at the building site ready-to install. …Pointing out the dangers of fire in wooden construction is often just the concrete industry’s way of holding onto the status quo. …Using wood to build larger structures is a viable and sustainable option, though still not used very widely. So it is always nice to see buildings such as the Puukuokka being erected and getting a wider international recognition.

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Forestry

Moose mystery probed by Saskatchewan researchers

A research project studying moose on the Saskatchewan prairies will be completed this spring
CBC News
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Moose are on the move this time of year in Saskatchewan and some are being tracked by wildlife researchers. It’s part of the Saskatchewan Farmland Moose Project at the University of Saskatchewan. Fifty adult female moose between Saskatoon and Regina were fitted with satellite collars in 2013. Researchers are studying moose habitat and movement in Saskatchewan. Once all the data is collected, they hope to learn where moose cross highways and how they interact with the prairie landscape. The location of a collared moose is sent to scientists every hour.  “[We’re] really trying to understand the whole notion of moose showing up in farmland because of course this is a new phenomenon,” said Ryan Brook, lead supervisor for the Saskatchewan Farmland Moose Project.

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Manitoba plans to protect boreal woodland caribou

CBC News
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Manitoba is moving forward with a 10-year boreal woodland caribou recovery strategy to create an environment where herds can thrive, the provincial government announced on Thursday. The strategy’s key goals are to maintain self-sustaining local populations and create the opportunity for effective management and protection of their habitat, Conservation Minister Tom Nevakshonoff said in a news release. “[It] will help government make decisions that balance the demand for boreal forest resource use with caribou conservation,” Nevakshonoff said.

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Grizzly bear population in Alberta’s Foothills has doubled, finds study

Combination of hunting moratorium and animal relocation programs could explain spike
CBC News
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Results of a new survey show the grizzly bear population in western Alberta is making a strong recovery. The number of bears in the Foothills east of Banff and Jasper National parks has doubled over the past decade, the study by fRI Research found. Between 2004 and 2014, the grizzly bear population in Bear Management Area (BMA) 3 — which stretches from the Banff and Jasper national park boundaries east to Drayton Valley and Rocky Mountain House between Highways 16 and 11 — has increased from an estimated 36 bears to 74. …The study was completed by fRI Research, with funding from Weyerhaeuser, West Fraser, Alberta Environment and Parks, and Parks Canada.

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Colorado State Forest Service issues report on health of Colorado’s forests

Pagosa Springs Sun
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) issued the 2014 report on the health of Colorado’s forests this summer, which provides information about emerging and ongoing forest health issues. The following information is part of that report and can be found in its entirety on the CSFS website at www.csfs.colostate.edu. Data on insect and disease issues for this report were largely obtained through the annual aerial forest health survey, data cooperative project between the CSFS and the Rocky Mountain Region of the USDA Forest Service. Data were also derived from field inspections, contacts with forest landowners and special surveys designed to ensure early detection of invasive insect species.

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Late-season Idaho wildfire still burning through timber

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

IDAHO CITY, Idaho — A late-season wildfire burning in mountains about 40 miles northeast of Boise grew to 8 square miles Thursday but is 50 percent contained. Fire officials say the human-caused fire that destroyed three cabins is burning in timber and making runs uphill. Many firefighting crews in the region had already disbanded for the season, meaning crews have been pulled in from other states, mostly California. About 400 firefighters are now battling the blaze that started Saturday afternoon and grew quickly with strong winds. Six helicopters are also assigned, as well as several small fixed-wing aircraft. “As soon as we started getting lots of resources in and airpower we went from 10 percent contained to 50 percent contained,” said Denise Cobb, fire spokeswoman. “So we’re making good progress. A lot of it is weather dependent.”

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Forest Service plans to withdraw Mitkof timber sale decision

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

The U.S. Forest Service and five environmental groups this month filed a court document signaling that agency’s intention to withdraw a decision on a timber sale on Mitkof Island near Petersburg. The groups sued the Forest Service to block that sale and are calling the planned withdrawal a victory for old growth forest and deer on Mitkof Island. The Forest Service in March released an environmental assessment document and decision to offer timber on more than four thousand acres on Tongass National Forest land on the Mitkof Island road system south of Petersburg. That prompted a lawsuit this May filed by five environmental organizations. 

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Forest restored to pre-wildfire suppression conditions

King 5 News
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

NEAR NACHES, Wash. — Hundreds of trees are falling in the Oak Creek forest near Naches. It’s part of a 12,000-acre project to restore the forest to health, prior to the advent of wildfire suppression efforts. Ponderosa Pines in the Oak Creek forest don’t make noise, but they can still tell a story – one that’s 700 years old. “Fire’s occurred every 10-15 years,” explained Reese Lolly. “You see on these edges where it’s all black.” Fire marks on the wood piece Lolley held Wednesday were wider spaced prior to the early 1900s. That’s when forest management started putting out wildfires. “After around 1910 without fires, the forest became more dense,” Lolley said. Lolley works with The Nature Conservancy. They own some of the forest and wanted to restore it to its conditions before wildfire suppression.

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Congress tries to speed up contentious post-fire logging

New legislation comes despite science showing timber salvage harms essential wildlife habitat
High Country News
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The third-largest wildfire in California history, 2013’s Rim Fire, burned more than 400 square miles, including parts of Yosemite National Park and the Stanislaus National Forest. A year later, the Forest Service proposed cutting down the dead and damaged trees across about 50 square miles, but environmental groups sued to stop the salvage logging, saying it would harm wildlife and impede forest regeneration. Their appeal was denied and logging began, but the groups’ concerns are increasingly borne out by science: Recently-released studies point to the crucial importance of burned-over habitat for many species, including the Pacific fisher and black-backed woodpecker. Despite this, Congressional Republicans are pushing two bills, supported by the timber industry, that would speed up logging in national forests after wildfires and reduce environmental review.

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Officials discuss ways to reduce size of wildfires

Associated Press in the Bellingham Herald
October 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash. Thinning forests of fuel, pre-certifying more volunteer firefighters and greater use of drone aircraft were some of the ideas put forward to reduce the size of future wildfires in Washington at a round-table discussion Wednesday chaired by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers. This year saw the biggest wildfire season in state history, with more than 1 million acres burned and three firefighters killed. “We had the fire season we had all feared,” said McMorris-Rodgers, R-Washington, who represents the Spokane region. Cantwell, D-Washington, said this was also the longest fire season in state history, thanks to drought conditions, and battling the fires cost $319 million. “We need to be better prepared for the next fire season,” she said.

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Rocky Barker: When the smoke clears, the same forest fire problem lingers

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

…Many areas, such as the Grimes Creek area that is burning this week, need to have mechanical thinning near homes before prescribed fires. But many other areas can be treated with fire without thinning first. The Boise and Payette national forests have been especially effective at using fire this way. This is important because of the way the federal government pays for firefighting. Today, excess firefighting costs come out of other agency budgets. But even if Congress changes that, it won’t stop the current trend to keep spending more and more on wildfires, as I reported recently. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell testified to Congress a week ago that the increasing cost of firefighting is taking progressively more of the money for fire prevention and restoration.

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Man crushed by 16-pound pine cone sues park for $5 million

Palm Beach Post
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


A U.S. Navy veteran is suing after a 16-pound pine cone fell on his head and damaged his skull at a federal park in San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Sean Mace visited the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park on Oct. 12, 2014, to watch the Blue Angels air show. He then decided to take a nap under a tree until he was awoken by an enormous pine cone that hit his head and crushed his skull. He was rushed to the hospital where he “underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain from internal bleeding,” the lawsuit states.

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In Defense of the Bark Beetle

Counter Punch
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We’ve all seen the sensational headlines: according to the U.S. Forest Service, bark beetles, spurred on by the drought, have killed 25 million trees in California’s forests this year, greatly increasing the spread and intensity of recent fires. What we haven’t seen is a critical assessment of these claims. Are bark beetles really increasing fire intensity? Are they really threatening the ecological health of our forests? Many Californians, unfortunately, are content to avoid these questions. That number includes some state and federal legislators and their timber industry campaign contributors, who are taking advantage of public fear and misunderstanding of the ecological role of beetles to push for a huge increase in logging and clearcutting in California’s forests.

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Forest Service shares information on process for developing California Spotted Owl Conservation Strategy

U.S. Forest Service – Pacific Southwest Region
October 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

VALLEJO, California – The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is developing a conservation strategy for the California spotted owl. The Conservation Strategy will offer management and conservation recommendations for forest managers to consider when planning activities and uses in national forests. …The Strategy will be developed in coordination with other key agencies that have interest in and experience with conservation of the California spotted owl, including: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Park Service, and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

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Shedding light on the importance of forestry

In southeastern Vermont, it’s a major part of the economy and worthy of our support
The Commons News
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Did you realize that approximately 86 percent of southeastern Vermont is forested? It has been estimated that annual tree growth in Windham County exceeds 20 million cubic feet. These forests provide a livelihood for many people through wood harvesting, wood products, hunting, tourism, and maple products. Forests are one of the region’s most valuable renewable resources and contribute greatly to the region’s economy and authentic sense of place, not to mention their fundamental role in water quality. …In 2010, Windham County ranked first in the state for total sawlog and veneer log harvest with 22.996 million board feet.

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No rain coming as Texas wildfire scorches dry, hard-hit area

The Missoulian
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SMITHVILLE, Texas (AP) — A wildfire chewing the same Central Texas forestland scorched by a devastating blaze in 2011 slowed dramatically Thursday as improving weather kept the deadly destruction of four years ago at bay. No rain is in sight to extinguish the latest flare-up that has burned 6 square miles, wiped out roughly three dozen homes and threatened hundreds others. But calming and shifting winds pushed the blaze away from busy neighborhoods in Bastrop County and were far weaker than the 50 mph gusts in 2011 that carried flames over highways and containment lines. “It’s been a good day for firefighting,” Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said.

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General

Bark beetles still affecting the Forest

Custer County News
October 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorised

South Dakota Public Television aired a program recently on the metamorphosis of the Black Hills forest due to bark beetles. It was supposed to be an overview and recap of where we’ve been, where we’re headed and what it all means. Unfortunately, the question “So what?” was not answered and there was no anchor to the questions “Why should I care?” and “What can I do?” It’s a tough subject. We may know less about mountain pine beetles now than we did 20 years ago when this latest epidemic started. The beetles appear to be declining, but they have appeared to be declining before only to double in numbers in following years. While there is plenty of information about the beetles, the beetles don’t appear to be reading any of it. And the bottom line for the public is still murky at best.

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