Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 19, 2015

Business & Politics

Softwood Lumber Prices Continued to Fall in Many Markets Around the World

Wood Resources International
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Seattle — Softwood lumber prices (in US $) have fallen throughout a majority of the main markets in the world during the 2Q/15 because of weaker demand, ample supply throughout the distribution chain and a strengthening US dollar. The biggest declines have occurred in the US, Canada and the Nordic countries, while the drop in import prices to China and Japan has been more modest.

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Canadian manufacturing sales fall in August after 3 months of gains: Statcan

By Craig Wong
Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Manufacturing sales fell in August, following three consecutive monthly increases, but the decline was less than economists had expected. Statistics Canada said Friday that manufacturing sales slipped 0.2 per cent to $52.1 billion in August due to a drop in the petroleum and coal industry as well as the auto parts and aerospace product and parts industries. However, gains were made in motor vehicle assembly and wood products. …Motor vehicle assembly sales rose 6.7 per cent to $5.7 billion, following maintenance shutdowns in July, while wood product sales were up 5.1 per cent to $2.2 billion.

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Canfor’s annual allowable cut increases 72 per cent

Alaska Highway News
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s Chief Forester Diane Nicholls announced Thursday that Canfor Corp.’s annual allowable cut (AAC) for a cut block near Chetwynd will increased by 72 per cent from 900,000 cubic metres to 1.5 million. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said the increase is necessary to salvage dead trees affected by mountain pine beetle before the stands deteriorate and are no longer suitable for sawlogs. “The increased harvest level for the next five years will allow for the harvest of mountain pine beetle-impacted trees,” Nicholls said. The new AAC includes a portion of 100,000 cubic metres for deciduous tree stands.

Press release from BC Government

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Catalyst Paper hit with $1.3m in countervailing duties

Around the same time that Catalyst Paper Corp. was investing in the U.S. with the acquisition of…
Business in Vancouver
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Around the same time that Catalyst Paper Corp. (TSX:CYT) was investing in the U.S. with the acquisition of two pulp mills, its American competitors were lobbying for countervailing duties against the B.C. company, and on October 14, they succeeded. Catalyst is one of four Canadian producers of supercalendered paper that have been hit with American countervailing duties, based on a finding by the US Department of Commerce that Canadian mills are subsidized. Supercalendered paper is typically used in magazines and catalogues. On October 14, the U.S. Department of Commerce made a final determination on the duties, setting them at 11.19% for Catalyst. That amounts to $1.3 million in duties for Catalyst.

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B.C. logs should be processed here

Letter from Mark Salter
Victoria Times Colonist
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Blame game is on as softwood lumber deal expires,” Oct. 14. Interesting article on the defunct softwood deal. All those raw logs cluttering up the landscape, and not bound for the U.S. Yet. Damndest thing — I remember when those raw logs would be cut into lumber in B.C., with people employed in B.C. mills, earning good, living wages and paying lots of taxes, in B.C. Sadly, those mills had to close, as did many pulp mills, due to “lack of “fibre.” That missing “fibre” now goes to China and our friend and neighbour, the good old U.S. of A. Anybody else out there see anything wrong with this picture?

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BRIGHTON: U.S. ruling on duties highlights cost of keeping Port Hawkesbury mill afloat

Chronicle Herald
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ratepayers carrying the cost of deep power discounts for Port Hawkesbury Paper LP are watching their money go down the toilet as the mill pays out an equivalent amount in countervailing duties to the United States government. This week, the U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed its July decision to impose countervailing duties on supercalendered paper exports from Canada. The U.S. duties were set at 20.18 per cent for Port Hawkesbury Paper, 17.87 per cent for Resolute FP Canada Inc. and 18.85 per cent for other Canadian paper exporters, including J.D. Irving Ltd.

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EDITORIAL: Phoney war on power deal for Port Hawkesbury Paper

Chronicle Herald
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Port Hawkesbury Paper has weathered many storms in Cape Breton — spruce budworm, high power rates, changes of ownership, restucturing and closure of a newsprint mill. Now it has another tempest to navigate: the decision last week by the U.S. Commerce Department to maintain a 20.18 per cent countervailing duty on PHP’s exports of supercalendered paper to the United States. The Commerce ruling upholds its July finding that PHP’s exports are unfairly subsidized by its power rate and by Nova Scotia government forestry programs and loans made when the mill was rescued by the Stern group in 2012. Since 90 per cent of its sales are to the U.S., the duty is a heavy burden for PHP. 

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New agreement needed to sustain Montana’s mills

Missoulian Editorial Board
Missoulian
October 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

It’s evident that western Montana’s wood products industry is suffering. What was once a cornerstone industry here has been languishing for years, with another 500 jobs lost just in the past few months… Yet unlike some of the other major factors affecting American lumber markets, the cause of these latest layoffs was entirely foreseeable and preventable. This month, the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement expired. The agreement helped level the field between Canadian and United States lumber producers by imposing a tariff on Canadian lumber. Its end means that the U.S. can expect a flood of cheap Canadian lumber to hit the U.S. market, severely undercutting American producers and threatening their ability to compete – or survive.

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Newberg pulp, paper mill to close ‘indefinitely;’ more than 200 jobs affected

The Oregonian
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SP Fiber Technologies, a Newberg pulp and paper company, will close “indefinitely” in mid-November and could result in the layoffs of about 200 workers. WestRock Co., which acquired the mill and other assets earlier this month, has announced that it will “idle indefinitely” the Newberg mill within weeks. Representatives for WestRock Co., the Richmond, Va., company that announced Oct. 1 it had purchased the Newberg mill along with other assets, delivered the news at the mill Thursday, according to an official in the Newberg city manager’s office. The closure is not necessarily permanent but there’s no immediate plan to resume operations, SP Fiber Technologies human resources manager Stace Gordon informed Newberg City Manager Pro Tem Steve Rhodes.

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Gov. Beshear Proclaims Oct. 18-24 as Forest Products Week in Kentucky

SurfKY News
October 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed Oct. 18–24, 2015, as Forest Products Week in Kentucky. Congress established this annual event in 1960 to emphasize to each American how forests are inseparably tied to our past, present and future. “Kentucky’s forests are a renewable natural resource, with forest products industries generating and contributing a total economic impact of $12.8 billion to the state’s economy, employing over 59,000 people,” said Gov. Beshear. Kentucky is one of the leading producers of hardwood forest products in the south and exports wood products across the nation and the world.

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SBA Funds Ohio Wood Products Cluster to Build New Businesses

Woodworking Network
October 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ATHENS, OH – An incubator for wood products businesses has been funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Appalachian Ohio Wood Products Cluster, managed by the Appalachian Partnership, Inc., is one of 14 Regional Innovation Clusters, and could qualify for up to $2.5 million in grants. Competition for the SBA grants was fierce, with 40 applications yielding three new clusters, including the wood manufacturing one. While the area’s wood products industry has particular strength in furniture manufacturing, it includes a number of sub-sectors, including veneer and plywood manufacturing, flooring and engineered wood manufacturing.

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Trade compact end may affect timber industry in Floyd County

Rome News Tribune
October 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

…..The attorneys argued that in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, virtually all Crown timber is sold to softwood lumber mills at fixed rates. Most of the U.S. timberland is privately owned and Storey said even federal timber is sold to the high bidder when the timber is cut. Plum Creek and Berry College are the two largest owners of timberland in Floyd County. Storey said the Canadians are doing their best to keep employment in the mills up, which he said is a noble commitment. “But the bottom line is, when you sell timber for pennies on the dollar, it is an initial direct subsidy — so mills are starting off with a much lower investment in the timber and that keeps the price down,” he said.

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Forestry boost as companies seek to export ‘responsibly managed’ timber products

ABC News, Australia
October 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

There are signs Tasmania’s forestry industry is picking up, with hopes of increased exports of veneer and sawlogs from the state’s north. Forestry company Neville-Smith Smartfibre has teamed up with SFM Forest Products and there are plans to export timber products from Tasmania’s north. SFM has Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, meaning its products can be authorised as “responsibly managed” and are more attractive on the international market. SFM’s Dan Ryan said he was hopeful the collaboration between the two private companies would result in Tasmanian veneers and sawlog products being exported and sold globally with FSC certification.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

CLT creates new opportunities for hardwoods

IHB The Timber Network
October 19, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The latest UNECE Forest Products Annual Market Review highlights the rapid growth in the market for crosslaminated lumber (CLT) and the new opportunities the product creates for wood, including hardwood, to compete in high-end structural applications… To date commercial production of CLT has been dominated by softwood, notably Norway spruce and Sitka spruce, for reasons of price and wood consistency. However the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is also now promoting development of hardwood CLT, noting that some hardwood species are underutilised and readily available at competitive prices while also offering up to twice the inherent strength of softwoods. This last factor presents an opportunity to significantly reduce the amount of fibre, or mass, required to achieve the same strength performance. Hardwood species also provide opportunities to improve the appearance of CLT panels.

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New wood-frame codes allow for more flexibility

Colorado Real Estate Journal
October 19, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

From the construction of tenements in the 1800s to the high-rise steel and concrete luxury residential towers built today, for-rent housing has come a long way. But one constant is the use of wood to build rental housing. Over the years, architects and engineers have pushed the limits of what wood can do, and the adoption of the 2015 International Building Code allows this to continue. Not everyone is happy though. There has been some recent backlash about the number of four- and five-story wood-frame apartments impacting Denver’s downtown. With continued demand for housing, escalating construction prices and the ability to achieve even higher densities under the recent IBC, we don’t anticipate the number of new wood-frame buildings added to the Denver landscape will diminish.

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Forestry

‘Pioneer’ Rustads not afraid of hard work

Prince George Citizen
October 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jim and Noreen (Dezell) Rustad are long time community minded residents of the City of Prince George; they both came from local well known and what I call “pioneer families”. There just isn’t enough space in this column to do them justice so here is their story in a nutshell. …Over the years, Jim was the chairman of the Northern Interior Lumber Association and the Council of Forest Industries. He served on or was involved in almost every association in the north that pertained to the sawmill industry. He said, “these were all strong associations with differing opinions but we mainly all saw eye to eye on the major issues. We showed our united strength as we all fought the 19 per cent U.S. imposed tariff on the Canadian softwood lumber imports.’ 

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Province signs environmental bill of rights

MyToba
October 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province has signed a declaration to introduce an environmental bill of rights. Manitoba is the first region to sign the bill, which calls for a healthy environment and was championed by environmentalist David Suzuki. …The province will also invest $400,000 in the new Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg over the next two years. …The first project the funds will support is a documentary film by Dr. Ian Mauro about the province’s boreal forest. The film will examine how the the forest captures carbon and the implications of climate change.

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Nova Scotia Naturally: What’s in a Name? Nature

The Chronicle Herald
October 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Imagine the rugged beauty, adventure and natural wonders waiting in some of Nova Scotia’s 200-plus new protected areas. …These are just some of the remarkable places you may never have heard of but will play a critical role in retaining some of Nova Scotia’s natural landscape. They are among the new sites detailed in the provincial government’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan — remnants of the natural world forever set aside from logging, new roads and ATV trails, mines, subdivisions and the like to instead deliver all the benefits of intact nature. At the plan’s origin, over a decade ago, was a desire among conservation organizations and the logging industry to deal with the lingering uncertainty surrounding potential protected sites. 

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Presidential Proclamation — National Forest Products Week, 2015

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation
Newsroom America
October 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

America’s forests have defined the landscapes of our country’s natural beauty for centuries, and protecting them is imperative to preserving our world for future generations. In addition to providing renewable energy, wildlife habitat, soil health, local foods, and water, they purify the air we breathe and support an industry that employs more than one million Americans. Each day, we use a wide range of forest products — from the wood in our homes to the paper we write on to the packaging that protects our food, medicine, and other goods we rely on. During National Forest Products Week, we recognize the ways in which our Nation’s forests contribute to our livelihood and recommit to ensuring their health and stability for centuries to come. …NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 18 through October 24, 2015, as National Forest Products Week. 

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USFS: Forests Might Not Recover From Butte Fire

Capital Public Radio
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S Forest Service is assessing the damage and considering next steps to restore the landscape in the Butte Fire area. Nearly 71,000 acres burned in Amador and Calaveras counties in September. A team of state and federal officials visited areas affected by the blaze Wednesday. Much of the burn area is completely devoid of life. The trees are blackened sticks. Large areas suffered “high severity” burns, which means no vegetation survived the extremely hot flames. “We don’t have any trees there anymore,” says Barnie Gyant, a deputy regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service. “No seed source for natural generation so when we look at this drought and what this costs on these fires are in the region, it’s a system gone bad.” In other words, decades of fire suppression has resulted in hotter more devastating fires.

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State to timber whistleblower’s former employer: Pay up, shut down

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

Five months after timber worker Darryl Ivy blew the whistle on his employer’s helicopter spray practices in Oregon’s forests, the state Department of Agriculture has proposed revoking the company’s license and fining it more than $40,000. Ivy, a truck driver, spent 17 days this spring on a spray crew in Douglas County, the heart of Oregon’s timber country. Videos and photos he shot show that he routinely hid inside his pickup truck while herbicides rained down. The milky chemical mix stained Ivy’s windshield white and turned his phlegm red. In late September, the Oregon Department of Agriculture suspended the spraying license of Applebee Aviation, Ivy’s employer. The state agency, which enforces pesticide laws, initially proposed a $1,110 fine.

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Bark beetles empowered by drought threaten rare Torrey pines

The Sacramento Bee
October 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…State park officials are concerned about the effects of the state’s drought on the trees their namesake reserve is intended to protect. The dry conditions have weakened trees, making them unable to fight bark beetles that have infested and killed dozens of trees at the reserve. To help combat the problem, state park officials have expanded trapping efforts in hopes of treating sick trees and isolating the infestation. So far, about 150 of the reserve’s roughly 4,600 Torrey pines have been affected, Smith said. Of those 150 trees, about 100 have been removed in the last year, but the rest remain. Removing them may be too destructive or hazardous, particularly if the tree is on a slope or cliff.

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Tired of watching our forest officials back down when bullied by extremists

Daily Sun News
October 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It seems like every time an environmental group threatens the U.S. Forest Service, those officials being paid by our tax dollars back down. Such was the case again last month in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The agency that manages our publicly owned land from Naches to the U.S.-Canada border reversed its decision to allow “wheeled” all-terrain vehicles on several forest roads open to other vehicles. Those roads are Bald Mountain and Clover Spring in the Naches Ranger District, the Entiat Ridge route in the Wenatchee River and Entiat Ranger Districts, Grade-Oss in the Chelan and Methow Valley Ranger Districts, and Thunder Mountain in the Methow and Tonasket Ranger Districts.

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Montana wildfire fund grows to $86.5 million

Associated Press in Billings Gazette
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOZEMAN — After decades of seeing the state pay its firefighting bills after the smoke cleared, state Sen. Pat Connell, a Republican from Hamilton, is pretty happy. In the 2015 fire season, the state spent $10.5 million. But the Legislature’s fiscal division reported this week that the state’s wildfire suppression fund is at $86.5 million, with just a few bills left to pay. This year’s balance started at $38.7 million, rolled over from last year, but was boosted by the $13.4 million left over in the governor’s emergency fund. Plus, $21.5 million of leftover appropriations and a one-time infusion of $15 million of excess corporate license taxes.

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Can rare wolves and sawmill jobs both survive on an Alaska island? A battle heats up

LA Times
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The story of the wolves, the island and the ancient forest began long before there were struggling sawmills and endangered species. But that lost world has a name now: the Tongass National Forest, in southeast Alaska. So do the wolves and the island. They have all become prominent characters in one of the more remote but revealing battles for balance between ecosystems and economies in the West…The forest is home to giant evergreens — spruce, hemlock and cedar, some 800 years old and more than 200 feet tall. They are part of the 17-million-acre Tongass, America’s largest national forest. The government calls it “the most intact temperate rain forest on Earth.” This spring, with the approval of the U.S. Forest Service, loggers began cutting thousands of acres of old-growth trees on Prince of Wales Island in one of the largest and most controversial timber sales in the Tongass in two decades.

Old-Growth Logging The True Culprit Behind Drastic Wolf Declines in he Tongass Says Report from The Sit News

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Kilmer, Vilsack tackle forest collaboration with Harbor visit

The Daily World
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Economy and ecology — topics that are often at odds with one another — were the focus of a visit by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Congressman Derek Kilmer in Aberdeen Wednesday in an effort to bring major players from both sides to the same table. The meeting at Sierra Pacific Industries came after a tour of the facility and was followed by a press conference, where Kilmer discussed the importance of collaboration among players from both timber harvesting industries and forest conservation advocates.

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Grizzly security deal will allow resumption of logging work

Daily Inter Lake
October 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Grizzly security deal will allow resumption of logging work. Environmentalists and state forest officials have reached a settlement in a lawsuit over grizzly bear habitat in the Stillwater and Coal Creek state forests. But for lumber companies now able to resume logging on sales that were halted last year by the lawsuit, the economic damage may already have been done. Conservation organizations Friends of the Wild Swan, the Montana Environmental Information Center and the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for signing off on a 2011 state habitat conservation plan that covered more than 90,000 acres in the two forests.

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Regional fall prescribed burning projects beginning

Herald and News
October 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Federal and state land management agencies within the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) have begun fall prescribed burns, according to a news release. Prescribed burns are tools to reduce overgrown hazardous vegetation, decrease the threat of high-intensity wildfires, reduce fire danger to communities, reduce the risk of insect and disease outbreaks and recycle nutrients into the soil. Since Sept. 24, fire specialists have burned nearly 725 acres on the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s Lakeview Ranger District and about 10 acres on the Klamath Ranger District. Burns only occur when suitable weather conditions exist. Local fire and law enforcement agencies are aware of controlled burn activity so fire managers request the public refrain from calling 911 if smoke is seen in areas planned for burning.

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OSHA fines on Deschutes National Forest would have been close to $300K

Federal agency does not fine other parts of federal government
The Bend Bulletin
October 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

More than two dozen safety violations found by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration in 2014 inspections at Deschutes National Forest offices and other buildings would have resulted in nearly $300,000 in fines. But, because OSHA and the national forest are both federal entities, the government does not fine itself. But OSHA can raise an alarm by putting out a press release, as it did earlier this month in response to an April inspection of ranger district offices in the John Day-based Malheur National Forest. “No agency wants to have their name in the public spotlight to show they have these problems,” said Galen Blanton, deputy regional administrator for OSHA in Seattle.

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Change in big game security standard for Helena National Forest worries some hunting advocates

Helena Independent Record
October 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Helena National Forest is proposing changes to how it manages big game habitat in parts of the forest, and that has some hunting advocates concerned. …Under the current forest plan, big game security is defined using hiding cover standards based on the amount of cover dense enough to hide elk during hunting season. The problems with the standards, forest officials say, range from the ability to meet the standards to an expected decrease in hiding cover from beetle kill. …Forest managers also face an uncertainty of what the forest will look like as beetle killed trees increasingly fall over. Standing dead trees do provide hiding cover, but that decreases once they are on the ground, Pengeroth said.

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Idaho incident commander loses position over handling of wildfire

Associated Press in the Oregonian
October 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE — An incident commander has lost his post after a regional U.S. Forest Service board reviewed his handling of a wildfire near Riggins last month. The Idaho Statesman reports that Chris Ourada of Idaho Falls was taken off the Great Basin Type 1 incident management team, one of several elite units brought in to manage large fires or other emergencies. The move comes after a report to the National Interagency Fire Center’s website said Ourada had ordered the hotshot crews into an unsafe situation. A crew had walked off the line after landowners and federal law enforcement officers had faced off with pistols on their hips. Forest Service officials declined to comment specifically. But the agency’s Sue Stewart said the incident was reviewed and appropriate actions were taken.

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Forest officials waiting on heavier rains to determine fire season end

The Albany Democrat-Herald
October 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SWEET HOME — Although dew drips like rain from metal gates on cool mornings and there’s a slight tinge of green to area grass seed fields, the mid-valley is not yet out of wildfire season, according to Craig Pettinger of the Oregon Department of Forestry. “We’ve had some rainfall, but it has been less than forecast and then it has been followed by a week or more of warm weather. That really doesn’t do anything in terms of lowering fire danger.” Pettinger said fire officials are anxiously watching weather forecasting tools and it looks like the mid-valley could get measurable rainfall Saturday and Monday. “We’re not going to jump the gun and declare fire season over until we see more than forecasts,” he said. “Rain is coming soon, but it’s not here yet.”

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Some Texas residents to return to homes in fire-ravaged area

Associated Press in Washington Post
October 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUSTIN, Texas — Firefighters in Central Texas are halfway to controlling a wildfire that’s destroyed dozens of homes, and authorities said Saturday that enough progress has been made to allow some residents to return to their neighborhoods. The Hidden Pines Fire has consumed about 4,600 acres and razed nearly 50 homes and seven businesses, most of them just north of Buescher State Park. Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said during a news conference Saturday evening that about 50 percent of the fire is contained, and that the fire had not spread during the entire day. “It has been a good day in the battle,” he said.

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Push to treat public lands like a cash cow portends dire future for our forests

LePage administration’s we’re-broke-cut-the-wood approach undermines generations of carefully managed forests.
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
October 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Gov. Paul LePage and Maine Forest Service Director Doug Denico insist that more timber needs to be extracted from our public forests and that revenues need to be removed from the Maine Public Reserved Lands Trust to fund other governmental purposes. Neither has the best interests of Maine’s public forests in mind by pursuing this destructive, precedent-setting proposal. Today, they want to lower energy costs. What will it be tomorrow when another governor or program gets short on cash? “We can always cut more wood on public lands,” is the message set by this precedent. From my 30 years of forestry work, the we’re-broke-cut-the-wood approach is unsustainable forestry and a blueprint for the depletion of Maine’s forests.

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Iceland’s Best Tree Of 2015 Award Announced

Reykjavík Grapevine
October 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Of all the things Iceland is famous for, its trees are not among them. Most Icelandic trees are shivering, skinny little things, with branches close to the trunk, and not too tall. Basically, they’re trying as hard as possible not to be pulled out of the ground by the gale-force winds of winter. But the Icelandic Gardener’s Association keeps an eye out year-round for particularly unusual or impressive specimens. This year, the winner of Iceland’s best tree is an unusual 11.98m rowan tree that grows at the historic site of Sandfell Oræfi, on the edge of the Vatnajökull glacier. Planted in 1923, the tree stands near the ruins of the former settlement of Sandfell, visible from the southern ring-road, forming a sort of natural memorial.

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Forgotten forests

Buenos Aires Herald
October 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…The government earmarked 246 million pesos to be used next year to protect the country’s forests, 23 times less than the actual 4.7 billion pesos that should have been assigned according to the Forest Law. Passed in 2007 to prevent deforestation, the Forest Law never received the funds it was supposed to, a trend that has only worsened due to inflation… The government should allocate 0.3 percent of the budget plus two percent of the export duties for the Forest Law, which are meant to be used to compensate land owners who have native forests that can’t be destroyed… “A lot could be done if those funds are made available. We could increase the amount of protected areas, which would lead to lower deforestation. 

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Forestry workers watched by drones

Stuff.co.nz
October 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Marlborough District Council officers keeping tabs on forestry blocks have started using drone technology as part of compliance checks. Environmental protection officers have trialled the council’s harbours drone to capture aerial video and still footage of blocks on angles not possible by foot. Officers used the footage when checking to see if blocks were compliant with their resource consents. Monitoring of forestry blocks in Northbank, Port Underwood, Rai Valley and the Marlborough Sounds was rolled out during harvesting. A report to the council’s environment committee revealed 156 skid site inspections in the past year. A skid site is where the logs are cut during harvesting.

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Malaysia ready to fight forest fires AsiaOne

Asia One
October 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International


JOHOR BARU: Malaysia can send between 1,200 and 1,500 personnel to fight the forest fires in Indonesia, responsible for much of the haze now enveloping parts of the region. Fire and Rescue Department Datuk Wan Mohd Noor Ibrahim said the team could be assembled in stages within 48 hours. “Now, it’s up to the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia to decide on this matter. “So far, nothing has been finalised but my personnel have already been put on alert, similar to what was done during our deployment to Indonesia during the 1997 haze,” he told The Star here yesterday. The deployment, he added, would include vehicles and equipment.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change requires new conservation models

In a world transformed by climate change and human activity, conserving biodiversity and protecting species will require an interdisciplinary combination of ecological and social research methods.
Standord University
October 15, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A threatened tree species in Alaska could serve as a model for integrating ecological and social research methods in efforts to safeguard species that are vulnerable to climate change effects and human activity. In a new Stanford-led study, published online this week in the journal Biological Conservation, scientists assessed the health of yellow cedar, a culturally and commercially valuable tree throughout coastal Alaska that is experiencing climate change-induced dieback. In an era when climate change touches every part of the globe, the traditional conservation approach of setting aside lands to protect biodiversity is no longer sufficient to protect species, said the study’s first author, Lauren Oakes, a research associate at Stanford University.

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Belief in climate change doesn’t inspire wildfire mitigation

The Durango Herald
October 18, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

DENVER – Even though the majority of people believe climate change adds to wildfire risk, those people are not any more likely to take actions to prevent wildfire damage, according to a new study. University of Colorado Boulder researchers, along with U.S. Forest Service officials, published the results of the recent survey in the journal Environmental Hazards. Despite more than half of respondents acknowledging that climate change has increased wildfire risk in the state, those interviewed were not necessarily more likely to take action on their private property to mitigate potential damage from future blazes.

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