Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 13, 2015

Special Feature

Look At This: Rain Forest Was Here

National Public Radio
November 12, 2015
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

This is a unique online presentation: You were taught in school that the rain forest is like the lungs of our planet. It’s not that simple. The rain forest is more like the planet’s air conditioner, says scientist Dan Nepstad of the Earth Innovation Institute. If we cut off the source, things could get really hot and dry. Like you, we’ve seen these stories before. But this is not just about destruction and guilt (though there may be some of that). Let’s start with the basics. Half the planet’s rain forests are here in the Amazon, which is huge.

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Business & Politics

Eugene timber insurance company expands roots to Portland

Portland Business Journal
November 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A 60-year-old Eugene insurance company that has long served the wood products industry has expanded into the Portland market with a new office in John’s Landing. Ward Insurance, which was founded in Eugene in 1955, has leased 2,000 square feet of space in the River Park Plaza at 6500 S.W. Macadam Ave. and officially opened the office today. Over its decades of business, the firm has focused heavily on the wood products, construction and manufacturing industries. Ward’s current woods products client list includes more than 100 accounts, ranging from sawmills and plywood companies to logging firms and furniture makers.

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Billionaire conservationist proposes huge sawmill for San Luis Valley

The Denver Post
November 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Hedge-fund manager and renowned conservationist Louis Bacon plans to build a large sawmill in the San Luis Valley to help process timber harvested from his Trinchera Blanca Ranch, the largest contiguous ranch in Colorado. The 172,000-acre ranch, with 167,000 acres locked in a conservation easement donated to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, harvests about 2.5 million board feet of timber every year. It needs to harvest more to keep the forests healthy and growing. “Large portions of Colorado’s forests are hurting due to prolonged drought, bug infestations and poor historic forest management practices – the same issues we are facing on the ranch,” said Ty Ryland, the manager of the Trinchera Blanca Ranch, in a statement.

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Stimson mill gets spotlight at dam-upgrade meeting

News Times
November 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The focus of Monday night’s meeting at Scoggins Valley Church was supposed to be the possibility of building a new dam that might flood out the church and other properties in that area. But the spotlight quickly turned to Stimson Lumber mill and what residents claim is its long history of heavily polluting the area. Stimson would be the biggest occupied site flooded out by a new dam and the government would first need to build a new mill for the company at a different location. Forest Grove resident Dale Feik, who attended the meeting, said he likes that option because he thinks a new mill might keep Stimson from polluting as much as he claims it does now.

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Hopes and Fears for Montana Timber Jobs With Weyerhaeuser Purchase

KGVO
November 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

On Sunday, November 8, Weyerhaeuser announced intentions to purchase Plumb Creek Timber, a company well known in Montana where it owns around 700,000 acres of timber land. Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research Forest Industry Research Director Todd Morgan said the announcement is a big deal. “It’ll be a very big deal for timber land ownership around the U.S. with Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek together, somewhere around 13.2 million acres nationally that will be held by one company,” said Morgan. “They will be the biggest single timber land owner in the country. Plum Creek already has timberland in nineteen different states.”

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Lumber company gives new life to scorched timber

KXLY
November 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

COLVILLE, Wash. – This summer more than one million acres burned throughout Washington. 2015 was the worst fire season in the state’s history. Many of those acres burned through timber and forests. Private land owners are now in a race to recover the cost of burned trees before time runs out. It’s a constant buzz of heavy machinery and trucks as logs are being stocked up at Vaagen Brothers Lumber in Colville to prepare for the slowdown in the spring. Many of those logs, scarred from fire. “Fire isn’t anything new for us,” said Russ Vaagen with Vaagen Brothers Lumber. While burned logs are common, Vaagen says because of this year’s fire season the lumber company is seeing a higher percentage and from more areas of the state. “But it’s really important for the land owner to recover at least some value,” said Vaagen.

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Forest industry leaders plan review of options to strengthen timber hauling

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
November 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities today released a report–Enhancing the Strength and Vitality of the Nation’s Timber Harvesting/Hauling Network –from a late summer convening of sector leaders that explored opportunities to strengthen the nation’s timber harvesting and hauling link in the forest products value chain. The report contains a commitment by participants to explore and test 21st century solutions to what the group considers the most significant bottleneck in the system – hauling or trucking wood from timber harvesting sites to manufacturing facilities. “As the economy has rebounded from the Great Recession, it appears that every segment of the business community faces a common challenge – finding and training qualified truck drivers to get their raw materials and products to market,” said Endowment President & CEO Carlton Owen. “This bottleneck is perhaps even more acute in the forest sector than it is in others markets.”

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Maine Paper Mills: The Struggle to survive

WCSH-TV
November 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

…How did Maine’s paper industry get here? Foreign competition, higher energy costs, and high fiber prices are hurting the industry but so is growth in the use of computers, phones, and tablets. Dr. Robert Rice, a professor of wood science and technology at the University of Maine School of Forest Resources said the majority of Maine’s mills are in the coated paper markets, making specialty papers for things like magazines, books, and catalogs. “Nationally and internationally the whole industry has suffered from the advent of electronic devices Kindles, iPads. iPhones and so on,” Dr. Rice said. He said that the paper market use to mirror population increases, but that isn’t the case anymore. His assessment is Maine’s Paper industry hasn’t quite hit rock bottom yet.

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Touring legislators grasping challenges of paper industry

Bangor Daily News
November 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BAILEYVILLE, Maine — Legislators touring the Woodland Pulp and St. Croix tissue mills in Baileyville on Thursday said they now have a better understanding of the challenges faced by Maine’s paper industry. Those challenges include the high costs of wood; the high costs of fuel, especially natural gas; and the slow turnaround time for rail transit. “I believe today was very illuminating for the members of the legislative delegation,” said Woodland Pulp spokesman Scott Beal. Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, said mill officials expressed concern that landowners are taking advantage of the state Tree Growth Tax Program without having any intention of harvesting trees.

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Forestry Corporation handed an EPA penalty over clear-felling near Coffs Harbour

ABC News, Australia
November 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Forestry Corporation has been fined thousands of dollars over erosion caused by clear-felling near Coffs Harbour. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) said harvesting of a native forest plantation in the Tuckers Nob State Forest saw a huge amount of sediment wash into the Never Never Creek. The EPA’s regional manager Brett Nudd said not enough attention was paid to likely rainfall and soil loss during the logging, which ran from September 2014 until February this year. “That activity involved whole scale removal of the vegetation, and exposed 95 hectares of land,” he said. “There was a significant rainfall event that resulted in a significant volume of sediment being discharged into the Never Never Creek.

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Lumber exports from Russia increased by 7.8% in January-September 2015

Lesprom
November 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

For the first three quarters 2015 total volume of lumber exports from Russia increased by 7.8%, to 10.638 million tons year-over-year, as Federal Customs Service of Russia said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The volume of Russian exports of roundwood for the reporting period amounted to 13.79 million cubic metres, (8.9% less than in the same period last year). Export value of roundwood decreased by 25.8% to $971.7 million; export value of lumber decreased by 19.8% to $2.334 billion. 13.306 million cubic metres of roundwood (-9.3%) worth $951.3 million (-25.7%) were shipped to other countries in January- September 2015; to CIS countries – 480.1 thousand cubic metres (+4.2%) worth $20.4 million (-34.4%).

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Sappi’s profit rises across the board

BDlive.co.za
November 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

ALL Sappi’s operations lifted profit in its fourth quarter to September, on stronger seasonal demand and improved markets for graphic paper and dissolving wood pulp compared with the third quarter. The group generated operating profit of $136m, which was higher than in the same quarter last year, despite the translation effect of a weaker euro relative to the dollar. Profit shot up by 22% year on year to $83m due in part to lower interest costs on reduced debt. “We had a strong year,” CEO Steve Binnie said on Thursday. “Obviously, that doesn’t happen overnight. We have reduced costs and lowered debt and interest costs.” He said the weak rand had helped group operations. Sappi Southern Africa is a big exporter of dissolving wood pulp, also known as chemical cellulose.

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Timber industry benefitting from housing growth but challenges remain

ABC News, Australia
November 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Queensland timber industry says the sector has benefitted from the rising housing market, but the challenge of competing with cheaper imports is ongoing. The most recent Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Australian forest and wood products statistics report for the March and June quarters of 2015 shows some signs of improvement in the forestry sector, but highlights areas of concern before the sector can be declared to have enjoyed a turnaround. The forestry sector employs about 19,000 people in Queensland, and is estimated to contribute about $3.8 billion to the state’s economy.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Ontario’s 2015 Wood Design Award winners revealed

Daily Commercial News
November 12, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A select group of architects, engineers and project teams from across the province received 2015 Wood Design Awards at the 15th annual Ontario Wood WORKS! celebration. The awards recognize people and organizations that through design excellence, advocacy and innovation are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction. “The winning projects showcase the many benefits of wood construction,” said Marianne Berube, executive director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! program. “It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a large commercial building or a small residential addition, a performance hall or a bar.”

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Ontario Wood WORKS! 2015 Wood Design Award Winners Announced

Canadian Architect
November 12, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A select group of Ontario’s leading architects, engineers, and project teams received Wood Design Awards at the 15th annual Wood WORKS! celebration in Toronto tonight. The awards program recognizes people and organizations that, through design excellence, advocacy, and innovation, are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction. “The winning projects of this year’s program showcase the many benefits of wood construction,” says Marianne Berube, executive director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! program. “All of these buildings were thoughtfully created with people in mind. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a large commercial building or a small residential addition, a performance hall or a bar. Wood is a sustainable, innovative, cost-effective building solution that can meet the needs of many projects.”

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Federal judge dismisses part of Avalon at Edgewater class action suit

NorthJersey.com
November 13, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

EDGEWATER — A federal judge has dismissed part of a class action lawsuit filed by residents of the Avalon at Edgewater apartment complex, ruling that they could not be compensated for losses from the January fire under the state’s Consumer Fraud Act. The blaze destroyed more than half the apartments in the 308-unit development, leaving about 500 people homeless and displacing hundreds more. Two residents sued AvalonBay Communities Inc., which manages more than 170 apartment communities in the country, on behalf of all tenants of the Russell building and the River Mews building, alleging negligence, private nuisance and consumer fraud.

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2015 Greenbuild Unity Home is Unveiled

This year’s show home boasts sustainable design, high-performance construction, and rapid assembly at a market-ready price.
Builder Magazine
November 12, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Anyone searching for an example of integrated residential design and construction need look no further than Walpole, N.H.–based Unity Homes, which created the 2015 Greenbuild Unity Home for display at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C. The home is a collaboration among BUILDER, Unity Homes, and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, along with support from 30 advisers, sponsors, and product contributors. The project’s mission is to reveal how high-quality architectural design, engineering, and construction can be combined with affordable features and state-of-the-art products and systems to maximize a home’s performance while enhancing the comfort, health, and security of those who live there.

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Forestry

Smithers forest licensee gets good audit report

BC Forest Practices Board
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of forest licence A70026, held by Lowell A. Johnson Consultants Ltd., found compliance with B.C.’s forestry legislation, according to a report released today. Planning and forestry activities on the licence were conducted by Canfor Ltd. on behalf of Lowell A. Johnson. “We are pleased to see that this licensee carried out good forest practices and fully met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act,” said Tim Ryan, board chair.

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Jens Wieting: Why Vancouver Island’s Walbran Valley rainforest matters

The Georgia Straight
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new Sierra Club map of B.C.’s southern coastal rainforest shows why the Walbran rainforest on Vancouver Island matters, and what we stand to lose for species, carbon and beauty, if the proposed logging goes ahead. A few weeks ago, the B.C. government issued the first of eight logging permits for the Walbran requested by logging company Teal Jones, despite a public outcry and opposition from many environmental groups. . …To defend the issuing of the permit, the B.C. government has stated that a large portion of the Walbran remains protected in a park. This is correct. But to allow further logging of the remaining old-growth in this area is inexcusable considering that the Walbran is literally the last place on Southern Vancouver Island with old-growth rainforest of this type, size, and intactness.

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Managing Vancouver’s urban forest

By Steve Whysall
Vancouver Sun
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bill Stephen, tree expert with City of Vancouver’s urban forest strategy team, wants to show me how hard it is to take care of trees in the city’s downtown core. We meet at the corner of Carrall and Water streets in bustling Gastown and Stephen points to a beautiful row of maples planted along the sidewalk. There are at least five varieties of maple planted along a short strip that runs past Trounce Alley — Autumn Flame, October Glory, Silver Maple, Field Maple and Red Sunset Maple. Planted 45 years ago, they all look sensational with canopies offering a charming range of colours from soft pink and red to amber, yellow, and shades of rust and orange.

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Safety discussed as Cape Breton moose hunt remains on hold

The Chronicle Herald
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The moose cull in Cape Breton Highlands National Park remained suspended Thursday for safety reasons, one day after protesters confronted Mi’kmaq hunters in the woods on North Mountain. Parks Canada said in an email statement late Thursday the moose harvest is temporarily suspended while park officials discuss safety measures with Mi’kmaq representatives. There was no indication when the hunt would start again. A spokesman said no one from Parks Canada would be available for interviews, and representatives of the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources either declined comment or did not return phone calls all day.

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Very Old Firewood Tells A Tale Of Flammable Forests

Boise State Public Radio
November 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A photographer from Wenatchee, Washington, has made a revealing discovery at the scene of a remote and long-abandoned fire lookout: a pile of very old firewood. John Marshall has a contract to make cross-time comparisons by re-photographing landscape panoramas from Western fire lookouts. In the 1930s, Forest Service crews snapped the original panoramic photos. That’s what brought Marshall to the ruins of the Juniper Point lookout in northern Okanogan County, Washington.

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Major Stoltze easement moving forward

Hungry Horse News
November 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A major conservation easement that would preserve more than 10,000 acres of F.H. Stoltze Land Lumber Co. property from development continues to move forward. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is pursuing two separate conservation easements. One is a 3,020-acre easement in Haskill Basin which would preserve open space and protect the city of Whitefish’s water supply. The second is a large block of land along Trumbull Creek just to the northwest of Columbia Falls. Both easements allow the 103-year-old company to continue to manage and harvest trees from the forests, while maintaining public access and prohibiting residential development.

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Fire is a natural part of Idaho ecosystem

Idaho Statesman
November 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Just about anything you can say about wildfire is true in some, but not all, Western forests. The same might be said for Fred Birnbaum’s recent column (Nov. 5). His comments are not true for all forests — logging won’t reduce the threat of wildfire. One thing, however, is certain: Lingering drought combined with high winds create extreme conditions in Western forests that can lead to extreme fires. In the face of such fires, human efforts are all but irrelevant; only a change in weather can extinguish them. That is true for forests from the normally rain-soaked Olympic National Forest to Yellowstone to the dry ponderosa forests of New Mexico. Where the absence of fire has allowed dead wood, needles and leaf litter to build up on the ground, fires are more dangerous, more expensive to fight and more likely to become extreme fires. And a warming climate may increase the likelihood of extreme conditions.

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Commissioners wary of murrelet proposals

The Wahkiakum County Eagle
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The next steps in developing a state habitat conservation plan aren’t filling Wahkiakum County commissioners with optimism. The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has tied, or encumbered, over 3,000 of the county’s 12,000 acres of trust timberland as potential habitat for the marbled murrelet, an endangered sea bird that nests on big limbs of old trees. The agency, which also manages timber harvests off the trust lands, has had little or no logging on them in recent years, and that has hurt revenue for county government. At its regular monthly public meeting November 3, the state Board of Natural Resources began the process of comparing five alternative proposals aimed at conserving habitat for the marbled murrelet on state trust lands in western Washington.

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Four accused of illegal bough tipping in Penobscot

Bangor Daily News
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BANGOR, Maine — Four people were summoned Thursday in connection with the illegal harvest of more than 600 pounds of evergreen boughs on forestland owned by Haynes Timberland in Penobscot, Regional Forest Ranger Jeff Currier of the Maine Forest Service said Thursday evening. Summoned for the unlawful taking of evergreen boughs were Jeremy Bennoch, 38, of Frankfort; Kevin Reed, 48, of Ellsworth; Edward Burrill, 54, of Orland; and Roy Saunders, 49, of Orland, according to Ranger Courtney Hammond. Hammond noted that the Forest Service has been receiving numerous complaints about illegal tipping and that he recently summoned two others in Steuben on the same charge.

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Activist issues warning about New Guinea forests

An environmental and social activist says the governments of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia cannot claim to be serious about climate change impacts when they continue to allow rampant forest clearance across New Guinea.
Radio New Zealand News
November 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An environmental and social activist says the destruction wrought upon New Guinea’s forests by the logging industry typifies the way so-called development works in PNG. Dorothy Tekwie says PNG’s government, as with the leaders of Indonesia’s neighbouring territory, cannot claim to be serious about climate change impacts when they continue to allow rampant forest clearance. The West Sepik-based activist says in her region, Asian logging companies have become so powerful they are starting to dominate many local sectors other than logging. She told Johnny Blades that it’s happening throughout PNG.

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Mexico hopes to see 3-4 times more monarch butterflies

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

PIEDRA HERRADA, Mexico — The number of monarch butterflies reaching their wintering grounds in central Mexico this year may be three to four times higher than the previous season, authorities said Thursday. Speaking during a visit to a monarch reserve with U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Mexican Environment Secretary Rafael Pacchiano said initial reports suggest the butterfly population is rebounding. “We estimate that the butterfly population that arrives at the reserve is as much as three and could reach four times the surface area it occupied last season,” Pacchiano said.

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Tasmania’s plantation forestry sector finds new markets

ABC News Australia
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Activity in Tasmania’s plantation forestry sector is picking up after a deep and prolonged downturn. Tas Land and Forest managing director Kent Lyon said new markets for soft and hardwood timber were emerging. “We’re very busy and markets are good,” he said. Tas Land and Forest manages plantation harvesting and marketing for private landowners. Mr Lyon said hardwood prices were stable and much better since the value of the Australian dollar had dropped this year. He said softwood demand and prices also were rising as supplies of northern hemisphere softwood tailed off over the northern winter. “With softwoods we’ve probably got seven or eight products out of one plantation,” Mr Lyon said.

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Widow frustrated at lack of answers on forestry worker’s death

Stuff.co.nz
November 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The widow of a forestry worker who was crushed to death between two trees near Nelson is frustrated that a coroner has failed to offer any answers as to why her partner died or highlight larger safety issues in the industry. Coroner Christopher Devonport found that Michael Steven Langford, 28, was fatally crushed after failing to apply the handbrake on a machine he was using to shift logs. Langford was logging on a forestry site at Fox Hill Cemetery Rd near Nelson, when he was crushed to death on November 29, 2013. He was one of 10 fatalities in the industry in that year and put pressure on the Government to review health and safety legislation which was passed this year.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

A city earns revenue from not cutting its timberland

Marketplace.org
November 12, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Astoria, Oregon, the oldest American settlement on the West Coast, is the first city to raise money on the burgeoning carbon markets. Instead of harvesting trees for timber, Astoria will make money by maintaining its forest. Astoria owns more than 37,000 acres surrounding its watershed, which is more than 10 miles from town. Around the reservoir, the forest is dense with spruce, hemlock and Douglas fir. But outside the property boundaries, whole hillsides have been reduced to a sea of stumps. Looking at an aerial map, Astoria’s forester, Mike Barnes, pointed out areas that have been clear-cut. “All this is gone,” he said. “This is gone. Gone, gone, gone.”

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