Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 16, 2015

Froggy Foibles

Artist Uses Chain Saw To Cut Down Tree Into Library

NewslinQ via You Tube
November 15, 2015
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Read More

Business & Politics

No interest in the extension of the Softwood Lumber Agreement

IHB The Timber Network
November 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the US expired in October and negotiations have not started for a new trade agreement. The softwood lumber dispute is one of the longest and largest trade disputes between the two countries, with US producers accusing Canada of subsidising soft sawnwood production. The US has shown little interest to sign a similar agreement because current market prices and limited Canadian wood supply have changed the trading environment. The US is Canada’s largest market for softwood sawnwood accounting for 66% of total exports in 2014, which accounts for about one third of total US consumption.

Read More

West Fraser greenlights new building

South Peace News
November 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new office building for High Prairie Forest Products will soon be built.  The new building will feature two storeys of 1,250 square-feet each and is set to replace a current structure built in 1981. …“We’ve added staff as we’ve grown and now we need more space.”  Growth is all part of the future for West Fraser in the region.  “We have a good, strong long-term sustainable view of High Prairie Forest Products and West Fraser in this community,” says Ray Ferris, West Fraser vice-president of wood products, based in Quesnel, British Columbia.  “We are very pleased to be here in the High Prairie community and we want to build on the history of the Buchanan family.” 

Read More

BRIGHTON: Biomass plant mess should trump rate plan

Chronicle Herald
November 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The new electricity plan is largely unnecessary and does nothing to fix the political stench still wafting from the Cape Breton biomass plant. Ratepayers are being billed $6 million to $8 million extra a year to keep Nova Scotia Power Inc.’s inefficient biomass plant operating year-round. There is general agreement that the plant is inefficient and excessively costly, but the decision to stop the rot keeps being postponed. Nova Scotia Power must keep the power plant running constantly to satisfy tailor-made regulations designed to suit the adjacent paper mill in Point Tupper. The regulations designated the biomass plant as a “must run” facility so that any higher costs incurred in generating renewable electricity from the plant could be lawfully passed on to ratepayers.

Read More

New old growth for long-surviving Weyerhaeuser

By Jon Talton
Seattle Times
November 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Iconic Northwest company Weyerhaeuser has survived not through sentimentality but by ruthless adaptation to changing conditions. It’s tempting to say that business fads come and go in the Northwest, companies rise and fall, but Weyerhaeuser is eternal. Eternal, at least, by the standards of American commerce. Not many enterprises founded in 1900 are still around, especially after the merger frenzy that began in the 1980s. Even Anheuser-Busch has been subsumed into a global kegger conglomeration. The venerable large public corporations that remain independent are special. I think of Procter & Gamble, founded in 1837 and still in Cincinnati. State Street, the Boston bank, was established in 1792. In the Northwest, Paccar traces its history back to 1905 and Boeing to 1916.

Read More

EDITORIAL: Waiting and watching on Weyerhaeuser

Daily Inter Lake
November 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Last week’s announcement that timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co. is buying Plum Creek Timber Co. for $8.44 billion was one of those breaking news stories that no doubt elicited a collective “wow” from most of us here in the Flathead Valley. We don’t know how the merger will affect Plum Creek’s manufacturing facilities here, and it’s only natural to have some fear of the unknown. Locally, Plum Creek employs about 750 workers in the Flathead Valley, of which 623 work in manufacturing. That’s a big piece of the Flathead economy, so let’s hope it will be “business as usual” even after the merger is completed. Plum Creek’s payroll this year will top $60 million.

Read More

Sizing Up the Weyerhaeuser Plum Creek Merger

Barron’s
November 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Timber giants Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek Timber agreed to merge last week in an $8.3 billion transaction that will create the country’s largest private landowner, with more than 13 million acres. It will be positioned for strong long-term growth as the housing market improves. The deal will allow Plum Creek CEO Rick Holley, 63, who has led the real estate investment trust for 20 of its 25 years, to exit on a high note. Weyerhaeuser (ticker: WY) agreed to pay close to $48 a share, a 19% premium, based on the exchange of 1.6 Weyerhaeuser shares for each of Plum Creek’s (PCL). The company will operate under the Weyerhaeuser name.

Read More

Contamination investigation at former mill site to begin

Associated Press in The Billings Gazette
November 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

HELENA — Federal environmental regulators say an investigation will begin this month to gauge the extent of contamination at a former pulp mill along the Clark Fork River in Frenchtown. Environmental Protection Agency officials say they made an agreement with three companies that will conduct the investigation: M2Green, International Paper and WestRock. The companies will analyze soil, river sediment, ground water and surface water at the Smurfit Stone Mill Superfund site, with the goal of identifying options to clean the site. EPA regional administrator Shaun McGrath said in a statement Thursday the investigation will allow the agency to fully identify and address threats to health and the environment.

Read More

Forest product industry leaders to meet to survey challenges, develop plan for future

By Paul Koenig
Maine Biz
November 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A daylong summit Nov. 17 in Bangor aims to engage policymakers and stakeholders throughout Maine’s pulp and paper industry in an effort to develop a plan for keeping the industry alive for years to come. The summit, organized by the Maine Pulp & Paper Association, will cover a range of issues for the industry, including energy costs, the availability and costs of wood fiber, transportation infrastructure, taxes and other public policy challenges. It’s following a string of recent bad news for the paper and pulp industry in Maine. Just in September, Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC filed for bankruptcy, Catalyst Paper announced it would keep a machine at Rumford Paper Mill shut down indefinitely and the owner of Old Town Fuel and Fiber pulp mill it will close the mill by year-end.

Read More

Softwood battles headwinds back to growth

Timber Trad Journal
November 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The consensus at the International Softwood Conference was that the industry is still dealing with the fallout from global recession in many areas. The international speaker line-up at the Amsterdam event on November 4-6 highlighted that different countries were emerging from the downturn at different rates, and said that new stresses were emerging as producers increased output to capitalise on economic upturn, risking over-supply. The sector also had to adapt to global market shifts triggered or accentuated by the economic crisis, most significantly Asia and notably China’s emergence as a prime market mover. Rupert Oliver, of Forest Industries Intelligence, said the global softwood sector overall was clearly in recovery.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

21 reasons we’re entering the plyscraper era

The Fifth Estate Australia
November 16, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Timber is the new concrete, according to professor Alex de Rijke, former dean of the School of Architecture at the London College of Art and founder of dRMM architecture. Mr de Rijke is currently in Australia to present a series of talks for WoodSolutions about the opportunities offered by engineered timbers for major construction, and to add fuel to calls for federal, state and local governments to adopt “wood encouragement” policies for publicly funded buildings.
Currently, there are four Australian councils promoting the use of engineered timbers – Latrobe Valley and Wellington Councils in Victoria, Kyogle Shire in NSW, and Wattle Range Council in South Australia. …school buildings using engineered timbers, [show] the students in those buildings are less stressed and that academic standards have improved compared to their previous performance in concrete and steel buildings.

Read More

Forestry

Timber manager files lawsuit against 4FRI contractor

White Mountain Independent
November 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — The contractor for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI, is being sued by its former timber manager, Campbell Global, which signed an agreement with Good Earth Power in October 2013. In July of this year Campbell Global terminated the contract and filed suit in U.S. District Court in Oregon. Campbell Global’s complaint sustains that GEP owes it about $3 million. Campbell Global said GEP offered scheduled payments but only paid $18,000 of the $100,000 first payment. GEP attorneys filed a counterclaim, claiming Campbell Global failed to complete certain jobs and hired an inexperienced logging company. GEP has said in past newsletters that it has had a problem hiring enough trucking contractors so it hired its own. At least eight trucking companies have said they were owed money by GEP.

Read More

Cut above the rest — UI Student Logging Crew offers unique, hands-on experience

The Argonaut
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When fire ecology major Walter Schroth joined the University of Idaho Student Logging Crew in May, he quickly discovered his favorite part of the job — the challenge of using a chainsaw. “But the most important thing is understanding how logging works,” Schroth said. “How production comes about, how we get paper, chairs, books — it all starts out in the woods with somebody with a chainsaw.” Schroth, one of three students on the UI Student Logging Crew last summer, put his forest management skills to good use by felling, thinning and scaling trees, as well as learning to operate equipment in UI’s Experimental Forest. The forest is a collection of eight properties in and surrounding Moscow that were gifted to the College of Natural Resources for teaching opportunities such as the logging crew. The crew works full-time in the summer and part-time in the fall.

Read More

Fried to a Crisp: Why Some Experts Say We Must Burn the Trees to Save the Forests

UC Berkeley
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent rains have blunted the psychological impact of California’s four-year drought, washing down the streets, perking up the landscaping, and heightening anticipation for a stormy El Nino-driven winter. We know, however, that one wet year is highly unlikely to end water shortages. What we may not fully grasp is that the damage done to the state’s forests is so far reaching that it may be permanent. How bad is it? Really, really bad. Horrendous, in fact. Sally Thompson, an assistant professor in UC Berkeley’s department of civil and environmental engineering, cites the status of the state’s iconic giant sequoias as an example. Thompson notes that Cal biology professor Todd Dawson has been monitoring the biggest trees on earth, “and has found that they’re extremely stressed.

Read More

Fighting wildfire in Idaho starts at home

Idaho Statesman
November 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CLEAR CREEK – Sam Bonovich steers his truck up the steep rutted road on the outskirts of this Boise Front community that is a collection of trailers, shacks and a few carpenter-built homes. The chief of the Clear Creek Fire Department heads into thick forest, which is nearly all private and unmanaged, and talks about one of Idahoans’ greatest fears: wildfires. When the Walker Fire broke out here in the Grimes Creek drainage just to the east, Bonovich tried singlehandedly to stop a fire that a cabin owner had sparked trying to burn pine needles around his shack. “You can’t prepare for stupid,” Bonovich said.

Read More

Letter: Why fire funding, forest policy changes are needed now

Bend Bulletin
November 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Rural communities across the West have waited decades for Congress to fix our broken system of federal forest management. Forest growth and mortality continue to rise at unsustainable rates, leading to larger and unnaturally severe catastrophic wildfires that are costlier to contain. Our federal representatives — Republican and Democratic alike — understand the problem and are committed to finding solutions. This isn’t a partisan issue, but we can no longer afford to wait until the next year, the next election, nor the next Congress for our leaders to act.

Read More

World On Fire

Wildfires ignite political firestorm centered on faster forest thinning, budget reforms
Payson Roundup
November 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service remains in something approaching bureaucratic and budget meltdown, with wildfires torching the budget and thinning projects languishing. Forest Service officials have appealed to Congress to completely overhaul the wildfire budget, to keep the predictable disaster of each fire season from consuming money for everything else the Forest Service does. In the meantime, Arizona’s senators and governor have crafted an urgent appeal to the Forest Service to both accelerate the Four Forest Restoration Initiative while funding additional thinning projects as well. The rising heat on wildfire politics comes after a mild fire season in Arizona, but an all-out disaster in California and some other western states.

Read More

Budget cuts force closure of Haines Forestry office

Alaska Dispatch News
November 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JUNEAU — The Alaska Department of Forestry Thursday announced that budget cuts have forced the closure of its Haines office, responsible for managing the 286,000-acre Haines State Forest. The closure of the office took local legislators by surprise. “It just doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense to me,” said Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau. “Here we have a working forest, multiple-use, proven regeneration, creating jobs, (and) we’re going to shut the state forest office down for long periods of time.” But the Division of Forestry said the closure was forced by the state Legislature’s budget cuts. The closure isn’t permanent — the one remaining part-time forester will open the office for two weeks in January to manage a scheduled timber sale, and local residents can contact the office then for firewood cutting, land access or other issues, or contact the division’s Juneau office.

Read More

A wilderness proposal gone wild

Capital Press
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The plan to set up a 2.5-million-acre national monument in southeastern Oregon shows why the urban-rural divide is getting wider. Residents of Malheur County, Ore., are wise to be suspicious of a plan to designate 43 percent of their county as a wilderness area. They should continue to resist the proposal any way they can. It’s a tradition among outgoing Democratic presidents to set aside massive swaths of the West as wilderness areas. They do it to curry favor with the environmental community. Jimmy Carter holds the record, setting aside 27 million acres of Alaska as wilderness during his single term as president. Bill Clinton set aside 9.2 million acres of wilderness in seven national monuments as he was heading out the door. Now it’s President Barack Obama’s turn. You’ll note that in all of the above cases, the people who live in those areas were steamrolled.

Read More

Economics of forest health in the Northern Rockies

Chris Linkenhoker is a retired professional forester and certified silviculturist
The Missoulian
November 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Despite popular opinion, environmental groups are not responsible for the demise of the timber industry in western Montana, even though they have made for a convenient “whipping boy.” A strong dollar and international trade agreements are to blame, making imports, including wood products, extremely cheap. For nearly three decades, much of America’s insatiable demand for wood has been met by many third-world nations, where logging practices are extremely destructive. Areas of Madagascar have been decimated, with millions of years of soil profile simply washed away into the Pacific Ocean. In Southeast Asia, very valuable forests of exotic hardwoods, shipped to America and Europe, have been cut down and the sites turned into palm oil plantations.

Read More

Land managers discuss collaborative landscape work

Laramie Boomerang
November 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A collaborative project aiming to improve habitat health and reduce wildfire fuels in the Pole Mountain area could be a model for future land management. The U.S. Forest Service began working on the Pole Mountain Vegetation Project in 2014. The project aims to improve range conditions and decrease wildfire fuels. A partnership with the state allows that work to be conducted across boundaries. Robert Bonnie, under secretary of agriculture, toured a treatment area that spanned federal and state lands Tuesday morning during a visit to Laramie. Bonnie supervises the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service. He said the Forest Service is looking for ways to conduct more fire prevention work and looking to do that work even more efficiently.

Read More

Siblings seek to sell 220-acre forest to York Land Trust

The family is asking $850,000 for the property near York Village.
Associated Press in Portland Press Herald
November 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

YORK – New Hampshire state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark and her siblings are working with the York Land Trust in Maine to preserve more than 200 acres of her family’s Rams Head Farm. Clark’s family has already donated easements on the land and is now looking to sell an untouched, 220-acre forest to the land trust. Raising the $850,000 assessed value Clark and her siblings seek will be a daunting challenge, but a worthwhile endeavor, York Land Trust officials told The Portsmouth Herald. The trust has already raised $200,000 and will be asking York voters for $300,000 in May. Clark and her siblings have given the land trust three years to raise the funds.

Read More

Vermont recreational land unaffected by timber merger

Associated Press in The Longview Daily News
November 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. — State officials say Vermonters will not lose access to recreational land owned by one Washington-based timber company that has agreed to merge with another. The Caledonian Record reports Plum Creek Timber Company, owners of 86,000 acres in northern Vermont, has been sold to Weyerhaeuser Co. for $8.44 billion. The Federal Way, Washington, company expects to close on the sale early next year. Plum Creek spokeswoman Kathy Budinick says the companies are operating separately until the merger is finalized, so it will be “business as usual for Plum Creek in Vermont.”

Read More

Leadbeater’s possum national park plans dealt a blow

The Age Australia
November 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A plan for a new national park to protect the endangered Leadbeater’s possum has been dealt a blow with revelations VicForests locked in millions of dollars worth of new logging contracts. State Labor ducked a proposal to create a Great Forest national park stretching from Kinglake to Mt Baw Baw and north-east up to Eildon in the recent state election, instead announcing a taskforce made up of environment groups, scientists, the union and the forestry industry. The decision to set up the taskforce to strike a “consensus” followed pressure during the campaign from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and and Energy Union, which had threatened to campaign against Labor on concerns that ending logging in the area would threaten Gippsland jobs.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Carbon Accumulation by U.S. Forests May Slow Over the Next 25 Years

USDA Southern Research Station
November 12, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Currently, the carbon sequestered in U.S. forests partially offsets the nation’s carbon emissions and reduces the overall costs of achieving emission targets to address climate change – but that could change over the next 25 years. The accumulation of carbon stored in U.S. forests may slow in the future, primarily due to land use change and forest aging – with the rate widely varying among regions – according to findings by U.S. Forest Service scientists published today in the journal Scientific Reports. Future declines in forest carbon sequestration could influence emission reduction targets in other sectors of the economy and impact the costs of achieving policy goals. The study also found that policies that encourage retaining or expanding forest land could enhance carbon sequestration levels in U.S. forests over the next 25 years.

Read More

How Industrial Forest Practices are Subverting Oregon’s Climate Agenda

Center for Sustainable Economy
November 16, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Clearcutting and use of forest chemicals and fertilizers on industrial forestlands could represent Oregon’s second largest source of global warming pollution and are subverting the State’s climate agenda by making landscapes more susceptible to wildfires, landslides, floods and warm waters that kill salmon. And despite legal requirements to do so, the Oregon Global Warming Commission has failed to track and evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from forest practices or follow through on commitments to develop and promote alternative management techniques that can transform these lands from a net source to a net sink for atmospheric carbon.

Read More

General

Time is over for compromising on habitat versus logging issue

By Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail
November 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorised
Region: Canada, Canada West

Plans to save the endangered northern goshawk in British Columbia have been shaped to reflect the interests of the logging industry, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. With more than 1,000 species endangered in B.C., 200 of which are listed under the federal Species At Risk Act (SARA), the province is supposed to be working diligently with Ottawa on recovery plans for those most in danger of vanishing. The spotted owl, mountain caribou and northern goshawk are three species that are arguably of greatest concern in B.C., and under SARA the province is required to take appropriate action to save them. Despite that, briefing notes obtained under FOI show the province has been reluctant to set aside northern goshawk habitat if it means restricting logging.

Read More