Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 23, 2015

Business & Politics

TimberWest put pellet plant construction on hold

Nanaimo News Bulletin
November 22, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Plans to build a $60-million pellet plant at Duke Point are on hold while TimberWest reviews its business model for the facility and product. The proposed wood pellet fuel manufacturing plant was announced in July 2014 with construction to begin in 2015. Production capacity was estimated at 200,000 metric tonnes of wood fuel pellets annually to supply power generation plants world-wide. Wood pellets, made from tree limbs and tops, sawmill tailings and sawdust that would otherwise go to waste, are considered a renewable, carbon-neutral energy source that can be blended with or even replace coal burned in coal-fired power generation plants.

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Millar Western closes northern Alberta lumber mill affecting 91 workers

Edmonton Journal
November 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the latest blow to Alberta’s resource economy, Millar Western Forest Products Ltd. is shutting down its Boyle sawmill indefinitely. The Edmonton-based, family-owned forest products company said Friday current weak market conditions and the Boyle mill’s high cost structure made the dimension lumber plant uneconomical to keep operating. It plans to begin a phased closure, beginning in December and to be completed in February. Ninety-one employees were given notice and will be offered severance compensation and other support. “We recognize the impact this closure will have on our people, whose dedicated service has been very highly valued, as well as on our contractors, suppliers and the community of Boyle, whose support over the years has been greatly appreciated,” Millar Western president and CEO Craig Armstrong said.

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Insider buying builds at Western Forest Products

Globe and Mail
November 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite some optimism surrounding the U.S. housing market, Canadian forest products stocks have not been benefiting over the past year, in part due to concerns about global lumber demand. Now we are seeing insider buying in the forestry group, in particular at Western Forest Products Inc. On Nov. 9, the vice-president of lumber sales and marketing acquired 180,000 common shares through options exercise (not shown on chart) and has not subsequently sold those shares. Earlier in September, vice-president and chief forester Shannon Janzen acquired 12,000 common shares at $1.71.

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Judge allows sale of Lincoln paper mill to a liquidator

The deal does not include the union agreement with about 175 workers, clouding the future of their jobs.
Portland Press Herald
November 20, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Despite an 11th-hour objection by union workers, a federal judge Friday approved the sale of Lincoln Paper and Tissue for $5.95 million to a Boston-based liquidator of industrial assets. The United Steelworkers, which represents the mill’s roughly 175 workers, Friday morning filed an objection to the impending sale after Keith Van Scotter, the mill’s CEO, told employees in a late-night email Thursday that the deal did not include the union’s collective bargaining agreement. The judge overruled that objection and approved the sale to a joint venture firm led by Boston-based Gordon Brothers Group, which won the auction for the mill Thursday, according to Sam Anderson, the attorney representing the paper company. The deal is expected to close in early December, Anderson said, leaving an uncertain future for the employees.

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Georgia-Pacific’s Crossett Mill On Front Line of Tissue Wars

Arkansas Business Online
November 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Increasingly provocative TV commercials — a cartoon bear with white bits clinging to its bottom and a British blonde challenging passersby to “go commando” — are the public side of an arms race in toilet paper technology, and Crossett is on the front line. Here at the paper mill that Georgia-Pacific has owned for half a century, hardwood and softwood pulp are combined into the proprietary recipes for Quilted Northern Ultra Strong & Soft (“Your hiney will be happy,” the bespectacled girl in the commercial says) and Angel Soft. G-P employs almost 3,500 Arkansans, including 1,500 in Crossett. Of those, more than 1,100 work at the paper mill. The plant runs constantly — four shifts working an average of 40-42 hours per week — in an industry that has emphasized sustainability for decades.

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Forest Industry Taskforce: Labor reveals terms of reference for eastern Victoria logging industry inquiry

ABC News, Australia
November 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Victorian Opposition is questioning the need for another study into eastern Victoria’s timber industry. On Friday afternoon, Labor released the terms of reference for its Forest Industry Taskforce. Environment Minister Lisa Neville said the group had been asked to provide recommendations about the future of the timber industry, including job protection, economic activity and the protection of native flora, fauna and threatened species, by mid next year. “We’ll have a really clear road map both about how we ensure a sustainable timber industry and the jobs there and how we also protect some really important natural assets,” she said. “This is about the remaining timber logging that happens in native forest in the east of Victoria.”

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Private forestry company Forico wins environmental tick for woodchip exports

ABC News, Australia
November 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A private Tasmanian forestry company hopes independent environmental certification will help double its overseas woodchip exports. Forico has been awarded Forestry Stewardship Council certification, meaning its products can be marketed overseas as responsibly managed. Chief executive Bryan Hayes said it would help boost woodchip exports to northern Asia. “We already had a plan to expand our volumes, almost double our volumes this year, from 800,000 tonnes in the previous year to 1.5 million tonnes,” he said. “We already had plans to do that but we hadn’t secured the customers, hadn’t locked them down for the year so with this certification we’ll be able to go back into the marketplace and lock down those volumes.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Does LEED v4 Give Better Terms for Steel Construction Due to Transparent Supply?

MetalMiner
November 23, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

As the US Green Building Council finished its annual Greenbuild Conference in Washington, DC, last week, one somewhat unlikely organization came away touting better opportunities for its green and sustainable products: The Steel Market Development Institute. Steel, you say? Doesn’t it burn a lot of fossil fuels just to get the iron ore out of the ground? Isn’t the process to turn it into structural beams and bars energy-intensive and dirty, as well? Perhaps, if you’re looking at mined and milled steel only, but if you look at less-obvious concepts like reusability, material reduction through smart design, recyclability, decreased maintenance cost and empowerment of adaptive reuse, steel and, even some other metals, are ahead of the game when it comes to construction specification.

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Young friends kick-start sustainable skate company Potaito Boards

Santa Cruz Sentinel
November 21, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Two 23-year-old high school friends are getting their careers off to a rolling start with a company that makes skateboards out of reclaimed hardwood atop American-made trucks and wheels. …He became interested in the feel and durability of hardwoods but since those woods carry a hefty price tag he had to get creative for his sourcing. “Because I wasn’t allowed to use the good stuff I had to pull out of the scrap pile,” Detro said. …Buying American-made parts is another important part of reducing the boards’ eco-footprint by cutting out overseas transportation, Czeropski said.

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‘CLT will be considered conventional in Australia by 2020.’ – Alex de Rijke, dRMM

Architecture and Design
November 23, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Founding Director of London-based architecture firm de Rijke Marsh Morgan Architects (dRMM), Alex de Rijke has played a central role in pioneering cross-laminated timber panel construction in the UK and Australia. de Rijke is currently touring Australia as part of a Forest and Wood Products Australia and WoodSolutions-sponsored seminar series that discusses the role of engineered timber in 21st century architecture. Architecture & Design caught up with de Rijke to see why he thinks architects are increasingly turning to wood to construct big buildings and how technological advancements will see engineered timber increasingly specified by architects in the future. 

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United over decision to dump 100 per cent recycled paper rule

By Phillip Hudson
The Australian
November 23, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

It’s not every day a Liberal MP stands in parliament to express support for the militant CFMEU. Nor is it common for an assistant minister in the Coalition to take a public stand alongside one of the most powerful union leaders who is ­demonised by his government. It is rarer still for the Wilderness Society to be on a unity ticket with the Australian Forest Products Association. The issue that has brought them all together is a decision by the federal government to dump a policy mandating the use of 100 per cent recycled paper by its departments, part of its ideolog­ical quest to cut red tape. Malcolm Turnbull is being urged to reverse that decision in what is being viewed as a test of his green credentials amid warnings it will be an embarrassment that follows him to climate change talks in Paris.

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Forestry

B.C.’s wildlife policy skirts issue of habitat loss due to logging

by Mark Hume
Globe and Mail
November 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s biodiversity is under threat not just because of climate change and poorly regulated industrial activity, but also because the provincial government won’t deal with the root problem – habitat loss. One example of how the government manages for resource extraction at the expense of wildlife can be found in the “forest enhancement program” that was announced in September. A Ministry of Forests briefing document obtained by The Globe and Mail shows the province proposes to invest $115-million in the plan. In effect, it’s a massive subsidy to encourage the logging of marginally valuable forest – and one of the key targets will be the last existing old growth on the coast.

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Saanich mayor urges halt to logging on Watkiss Way

Victoria Times Colonist
November 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell said Saturday that he hopes the ongoing removal of 4,900 trees opposite Victoria General Hospital on Watkiss Way can be stopped so that alternatives can be broached with property owner Allen Vandekerkhove. “I think it would be in everyone’s best interest to stop logging right now just to have the conversation,” Atwell said. Saanich staff gave Vandekerkhove a tree-removal permit on Oct. 14 under the provisions of B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve, based on his intention to grow hay on the 24-acre site. “I don’t think that there’s a window of time here that we’re racing against, and I don’t want to get in the business of telling private property owners what to do,” Atwell told the Times Colonist.

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Royal BC Museum asks Indo-Canadian community to check accuracy of displays

CBC News
November 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Members of B.C.’s Indo-Canadian community invited to the Royal BC Museum in Victoria on Nov. 21, inspected the museum’s displays to determine if they accurately portray that community’s history and role in B.C.’s forestry industry. “It’s a little bit of history in the making, literally in a sense,” said Satwinder Bains, associate professor and the the director of the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. …”Our community has been in the [logging] industry right from the beginning, right from the 100 year history that we have in British Columbia,” she said.

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Partnerships Help Accelerate Forest Restoration, Increasing Benefits, Decreasing Threats

USDA Blog
November 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

We cannot care for public forests and grasslands alone—the land benefits the most when communities join us and provide input to help shape forest plans. The U.S. Forest Service takes pride in being part of the communities we serve, whether by managing the land to be resilient to disturbance or as members of the public participating as citizens in the towns where we live and work. Spurred by Secretary Tom Vilsack’s vision that emphasizes collaboration with stakeholders and restoration of the Nation’s forests, the Forest Service published the report Increasing the Pace of Restoration and Job Creation on Our National Forests in 2012. Since then, the agency has worked feverishly to build shared landscape ownership, anchored in understanding and appreciating of the diverse perspectives our community members bring to the table.

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Feds’ footprint

Ketchikan Daily News
November 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

From sea to shining sea — plus Alaska and Hawaii — the total acreage of our United States of America is about 2.3 billion acres. As of this past week, the federal government owned about 640 million acres within these United States, about three of every 10 acres. That’s according to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, which this week announced the availability of its new “Federal Footprint Map.” The committee’s chairman, Utah Republican Rob Bishop, wants the online, interactive map to be an educational resource for Congress, the public and media. “Whether they know it or not, every person is affected by the mammoth federal land ownership in this country,” Bishop said in announcing the map. “The Federal Footprint Map will help bridge this understanding, and will play a vital educational role as Congress evaluates and responds to executive actions and debates related policy reforms.”

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How Fire, Once a Friend of Forests, Became a Destroyer

By Michelle Nijhuis
National Geographic
November 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

This summer, eye-watering smoke hung over much of the western United States, and flames threatened homes, towns, and even the giant sequoias of Kings Canyon National Park. By mid-November, wildfires had burned 9.8 million acres across the country, and 2015 was on track to become the biggest fire year in at least a decade. Rising temperatures, drought, and dense forests created by decades of fire suppression are contributing to larger, faster-moving wildfires. And as more people move into the woods, fires of all sizes are becoming more dangerous and destructive. (Check out an interactive map of this year’s fires.)

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Citizens shout “stop the wilderness”

Graham Star
November 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

No. Don’t do it. We don’t want it. Leave us alone. That’s the consensus Graham County leaders and concerned citizens are emphatically expressing to a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) proposal that would designate more of the county as wilderness areas. Opposition to the plan was repeatedly voiced during a special hearing conducted by Graham County commissioners Thursday. On Tuesday, commissioners passed a strongly-worded resolution against the USFS plan. Local trucking magnate Steve Odom, who is spearheading a campaign to keep the USFS from reclassifying lands as wilderness, applauded the bold action by elected officials. “To their credit the county commission is working hard on this issue. The last resolution opposing the Wilderness was in 2013,” Odom said.

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USFS updates Wrangell Island Timber Sale proposal

KSTK
November 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service recently announced it is changing its proposal for a timber sale on Wrangell Island. The Wrangell Island Timber Sale has been in the works for five years. The last time the proposed action was updated and opened to public comment was in 2013. Wrangell District Ranger Bob Dalrymple said the new proposal reflects additional field work the Forest Service conducted in the past year. “And as we got to looking at more detail in the field, we reduced the amount of acreage that we were proposing,” Dalrymple said. “We went out there, and we basically excluded areas that had poor volume or environmental reasons not to be there. There’s less acreage and less volume.” The Forest Service is proposing a harvest of about 5,300 acres for 73 million board feet of mostly old growth timber. That is 5 million board feet less than the previous plan.

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Oregon wildfires torched 631000 acres in 2015

Statesman Journal
November 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The 2015 fire season didn’t set records for the amount of land torched, but it was still a highly damaging year in Oregon. The 631,000 acres burned during this year’s fire season was the fourth-highest total since 2003 in the Beaver State, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Centre. That’s almost twice 10 year average of but was smaller than the 985,000 acres burned in 2014 and the 1.2 million acres torched in 2012. “While in some years there were more acres burned, this year’s fires impacted communities much more,” said Ron Graham, deputy chief of ODF’s Forest Protection Division. “It was a perfect storm of extreme drought and ignitions at times when big wind events would cause the fires to just blow up.”

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Forty years in forestry earns NAU Regents’ professor prestigious award

Northern Arizona University
November 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Over four decades of study, forestry professor and restoration ecologist Wally Covington has seen trees compete for water and sunlight, struggle with insects and disease, turn to ash in wildfires. He has also seen the future in the past—what a forest should look like through what it used to look like. Covington this week was recognized with the Biswell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Fire Ecology, honoring his pioneering research in dry, frequent-fire forests of the West. …“It was always my dream to be at NAU,” Covington said. “The School of Forestry program was broad enough that I had the freedom to work with colleagues to solve complex problems and implement research aimed at restoring the self-regulatory mechanisms of the ecosystem.”

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Forestry students land national award, new jobs

Colorado State University
November 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Colorado State University’s student chapter of the Society of American Foresters recently took top honors at the organization’s annual convention in Baton Rouge, La. This was the second year in a row that CSU students received the award. There are currently 55 student chapters across the country; only six of them opted to complete a lengthy application to be considered for the top prize. CSU’s student group is the Alpha chapter, meaning it was the first in the nation to be established. John Schroeder, chapter president, said that the award is a great acknowledgment of the group’s hard work and efforts. “We are one of the largest and most active clubs in the country,” he said. “We do a lot of work with students and professionals in the area, we do outreach events with underprivileged youth and the Boy Scouts, and we try to recruit as many people as possible to join the chapter.”

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AK: With sustainable logging in mind, Galena looks to forests for fuel

Alaska Public Media
November 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Large-scale logging on the Yukon River started about a hundred years ago, when steamships burned a cord of wood per hour to power their engines. Village residents clear-cut wide swathes of forest along the river, but the logging tapered off when ships switched to diesel. These days, villages like Galena are once again looking to the forest for an energy supply. But this time around, a new generation of loggers is thinking more about sustainability in how – and why – they harvest trees from around their communities. The first sizeable timber harvest in decades is now underway just west of Galena, in low-lying cottonwood-dominated forest. I

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Weyerhaeuser-Plum Creek merger: Welcome to forest privatization

by George Ochenski
The Missoulian
November 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Montana is about to experience the evolution – or the devolution – of one of our nation’s first and worst ideas in privatizing federal lands. That our governor is trying to maintain free public access to these lands in return for turning over even more national forest timber to the decidedly for-profit Weyerhaeuser Corporation is just another continuation of the horrendously failed public policy that started with the railroad land grants almost two centuries ago. In a nutshell, the federal government and Congress, through a succession of laws, granted tens of millions of acres of public land to a variety of railroad corporations across the nation. What followed was a long history of corruption, defaults, broken promises, and rape and destruction by rapacious resource extraction corporations. The history is long and sordid, but for those interested in how we got to where we are today, it is vital to understand.

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Results come from transcending boundaries

The Durango Herald
November 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As winter weather drives more people indoors, it’s time to note that there’s been good progress made lately on Colorado’s natural resources issues. There’s a long way to go before we are protecting our watersheds with healthier forests, but federal and state policies are going through some changes that will head us in that direction. The U.S. Forest Service recently announced that it’s expanding the federal-state partnership, known as Good Neighbor authority, to increase state management efforts on federal lands. This is recognition that states do have a positive role to play in mitigating wildfire risk and improving forest health on federal lands. This will be done in a collaborative way with the Colorado State Forest Service and the trend to utilize state agencies for forest treatments is also being followed in Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas.

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Groups debate salvage on tour of Stouts Creek Fire

The News-Review
November 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

TILLER — What started as a public glimpse of the lands burned by the Stouts Creek Fire quickly turned into a tug-of-war over the fates of the dead and dying trees that were scorched in the blazes. About two dozen people, many from groups on both sides of the timber debate, arrived Wednesday morning at a work cabin at the ranger station in Tiller. The itinerary was to shuttle through the near-30,000 acres of damaged forestlands and talk about the fire’s impact. Instead, talks quickly derailed into whether the Umpqua National Forest, who was conducting the tour, should salvage more of the logs that were felled in the course of fighting the wildfire. During introductions to the tour, some wasted no time in announcing their varied agendas. Donna Owens, the district ranger who led the tour and was left fielding most of the questions, tried to keep things ordered.

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A Federal Judge And His Twitter Account: A Cautionary Tale

Above The Law
November 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Lawyers and Twitter can be a dangerous combination. Just ask this Biglaw partner, or this one. …United States v. Sierra Pacific Industries arises out of the Moonlight Fire, a 2007 wildfire that scorched almost 65,000 acres of California land before its containment. The federal government blamed the fire on Sierra Pacific, a lumber producer that the government accused of negligence in the hiring and supervision of a logging contractor. …Judge William B. Shubb (E.D. Cal.) denied Sierra Pacific’s motion to terminate the settlement. Sierra Pacific is now appealing that ruling to the Ninth Circuit. …Additionally, that evening at 9:51 p.m., Judge Shubb completed the
feedback loop by posting on his @nostalgist1 public Twitter account: “Sierra Pacific still liable for Moonlight Fire damages.”

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Forest Thinning Progress – And Criticism

Payson Roundup
November 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The largest forest restoration project in history continues to make progress — and spur criticism. Good Earth Power says that by January it will have enough trucks, mills and infrastructure to thin 20,000 acres a year, according to its November progress report. Work on a new mill in Williams, purchase of more equipment and a new contract with a Mesa Trucking company will allow Good Earth to haul some 750 loads a week, according to the report. The report struck a defensive tone in the face of mounting political criticism because the company has managed to thin only about 5,000 acres in the past two years, although the original timetable envisions thinning 30,000 acres annually for each of the next 10 years.

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Calling all tree huggers and lovers

Statesman Journal
November 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s time to start thinking about who’s tops in trees again. The Oregon Travel Experience agency in Salem, along with the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee, has put out the call for nominations for the second annual Maynard Drawson Memorial Award. It will be given out next April. Drawson, who passed away at the age of 87 in December 2012, was a native Oregonian and longtime Salem resident who was passionate about trees. He often called the newspaper with stories about trees in Bush’s Pasture Park or elsewhere around the city, and was known for speaking up when a tree was deserving of attention.

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Report: Firefighters down to ‘zero visibility’ in deadly Washington wildfire

The Oregonian
November 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Investigators looking into the deaths of three U.S. Forest Service firefighters during a fast-growing wildfire near Twisp say visibility was down to zero before the crew’s engine crashed on a winding dirt road and was consumed by flames. On Friday, state and federal officials released a 24-page preliminary report examining the Aug. 19 deaths of Tom Zbyszewski, 20; Andrew Zajac, 26; and Richard Wheeler, 31. Another firefighter, Daniel Lyon, 25, sustained severe burns and spent three months in the hospital.  “They kept driving downhill, but they had zero visibility, and the engine went off the road,” the report said.

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Vermont Company Partners With Rainforest Alliance To Promote Sustainable Logging

Vermont Public Radio
November 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A partnership between a Vermont wood products company and the Rainforest Alliance aims to help preserve biodiversity and improve the local economy in the Petén region of Guatemala. Vermont Edition spoke to Parker Nichols, owner of Vermont WildWoods, and Ben Hodgdon, director of forestry for the Rainforest Alliance, about their collaboration. The Rainforest Alliance takes a multi-tiered approach to biodiversity conservation efforts by transforming land use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. The organization works with both international businesses and locally-owned community enterprises to ensure production standards.

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Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman hoping to convince UNESCO delegation of WHA logging plan

ABC News, Australia
November 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government’s plans for selective logging in the Wilderness World Heritage Area (WHA) rest on a meeting with a UNESCO delegation. The delegation is in Tasmania this week after earlier this year rejecting the State Government’s plans to allow speciality timber to be logged in the protected zone. Premier Will Hodgman is making the case for selective logging in the WHA and said the Government would “abide by the umpire’s decision”. The Tasmanian Government wants to log specialty species timbers in the 1.6 million hectare zone as part of its draft management plan. Earlier this year, UNESCO assessed the plan and called for a ban on logging in the WHA.

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Bark-eating koalas chewing on gumtrees near Canberra, wildlife researchers say

ABC News, Australia
November 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A small population of bark-eating koalas in forests between Canberra and Cooma have caught the attention of wildlife researchers with their unusual eating habits, after they developed a taste for more than gum leaves. Koala numbers have been falling since Europeans arrived in Australia, and according to some estimates there may be less than 100,000 left in the wild across Australia. The native animal is listed as threatened by the Commonwealth Government, as well as the Queensland and New South Wales governments. But new research is underway to investigate gum-leaf quality in koala habitats across eastern Australia, after a unique group of koalas in southern NSW began eating gumtree bark.

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Southern fire crews contain blaze near Dipton, Southland

Stuff.co.nz
November 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Fire crews have contained a large fire that has burnt about 100 hectares in a forestry block near Dipton. Southern Rural Fire community and education coordinator Sally Chesterfield said crews would work until dusk on Monday before returning to the site on Tuesday morning to continue the mop up and ensure wind does not spark the fire again. “Wind continues to be an issue with winds blowing around 30km an hour.” Firefighters began battling the central Southland fire that was fanned by wind about 10.20am on Monday.

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NSW Forestry ‘stacked’ expert panel

Echo NetDaily
November 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A freedom of information request by a north coast environment group has revealed that an ‘independent’ panel of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) advising on threatened species is dominated by serving and former NSW Forestry Corporation staff. A spokesperson for the group has described the move as ‘state sanctioned environmental destruction’. The North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) made the GIPA (Government Information Public Access) application after the authority failed to make public the make-up of the panel. The Threatened Species Expert Panel is advising the EPA on the re-writing of the logging rules for public forests.

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Why are autumn leaves mostly yellow in Europe and red in North America?

The Guardian
November 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The colour of a British wood in autumn is predominantly yellow. There are relatively few European trees which have red leaves in the autumn. But there are splashes of crimson or rust-red colours from a few indigenous trees, like the rowan, as well as from introduced species, like the North American red oak. The woods near me are full of these oaks, enlivened by the red-coppery hue of their large, serrated leaves. But what is it all for, this wonderful display? It’s not for me, I know that much. The colours weren’t put there for humankind to enjoy. 

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More Than Half of Amazon Tree Species Seen at Risk of Extinction

Reuters in Voice of America
November 20, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WASHINGTON—South America’s vast Amazon region harbors one of the world’s most diverse collection of tree species, but more than half may be at risk for extinction due to ongoing deforestation to clear land for farming, ranching and other purposes, scientists say. Researchers said on Friday that if recent trends continued, between 36 and 57 percent of the estimated 15,000 Amazonian tree species likely would qualify as threatened with extinction under criteria used by the group that makes such determinations, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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WA bushfires: Firefighters work through the night to control several blazes

ABC News Australia
November 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Firefighters in Western Australia are working through the night to control and contain several blazes. An alert for a fire burning near the Brand Highway at North Muchea has been downgraded to “watch and act”. An emergency warning was in place for the area, where a fire threatened homes along Brand between Timaru Road and Byrne Road. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said the blaze started in Yanchep pine plantation.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The Wood Pellet Industry In NC: Economic Boon or Climate Disaster?

WUNC
November 23, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Trucks carrying long logs stream into the wood pellet plant on the edge of Ahoskie all day, every day. The facility, owned by a company called Enviva, was an abandoned saw mill just five years ago. Now, it towers over the adjacent Wal-Mart and Hardees, spewing white smoke. Along the fence that encircles the plant, logs are stacked 40-feet high. Longleaf pine, southern red oak, white ash – pretty much every tree species that grows in the southeast could be used to make wood pellets. How this plant came to be – in a remote corner of northeastern North Carolina – is tied directly to a decision made six years ago, when the European Union inadvertently created the market for wood pellets.

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General

Deer hunt in Massachusetts recreational area sparks backlash

Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
November 22, 2015
Category: Uncategorised

BOSTON (AP) — A plan to allow hunting in a nearly 11-square-mile swath of pristine forest within sight of downtown Boston to thin the exploding deer population is coming under fire from activists who insist that contraception and other more humane methods be used. The hunt in the Blue Hills Reservation is needed to trim a deer population estimated at 85 animals per square mile, far above the ideal of six to 18 deer per square mile, according to state wildlife biologists. Hunting has not been allowed in the park since the state set it aside for public recreational use in 1893. The deer are a threat to public safety and a threat to the forest ecosystem, said Matthew Sisk, deputy commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the state agency that oversees the park, popular with hikers, mountain bikers and cross country skiers.

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