Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 14, 2015

Business & Politics

Cross-border issues abound in Montana congressional delegation’s letters to Canada

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
December 13, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Montana’s congressional delegation is still waiting for answers to letters they sent regarding cross-border issues with Canada, but that could be because Canadians are waiting for answers themselves. “With the election of (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau, the tone and outlook of the federal government took a pretty big change,” said political science assistant professor Greg Anderson of the University of Alberta. …The Republicans asked for “consideration of a few pending issues that are of great importance to our constituents,” including the Softwood Lumber Agreement, Columbia River Treaty and Keystone XL pipeline project.

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Local businesses find sawdust hard to swallow

Oliver Chronicle
December 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

An Oliver business owner believes the Town is dragging its feet in getting a local company to clean up its act, literally. Jim Ruhland from the Firehall Brewery says he has waited three years for Structurlam Products to resolve concerns relating to its sawdust emissions and invasive noise in the community. He claims these problems have led to environmental issues, fire hazards, food safety and WorkSafe issues for his employees. “Everybody is tip-toeing around letting this happen . . . I think I’ve been patient long enough,” Ruhland said. ….However, Structurlam president Bill Downing noted the company’s actions to address the problem. “We are now looking at putting a baghouse in place of the cyclone that will help with both shavings and sound issues. However, there is a height issue that needs to be addressed.”

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Lumber giant signs 12-year lease at the Port of Vancouver

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

A lumber giant likely won’t be leaving the Port of Vancouver USA anytime in the next 12 years. This week, Boise Cascade Building Materials Distribution LLC renewed its lease with the port for at least 12 years, with three additional five-year options. One of about 50 tenants at the port, Boise Cascade leases 20 acres and 77,600 square feet of industrial space. The company employs 53 full-time workers at the port. The port’s Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the lease this week. “I’ve been involved with working with the port since the late (1980s), and it’s just been very rewarding,” said Jerry Gaukroger, Boise Cascade branch manager, in a release. “With the economic ups and downs that we’ve had over the year . . . you’ve been able to work with us and accommodate our growth.”

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Fire crews extinguish service truck burning inside logging building

KVAL
December 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Ore. – Multiple Lane County Fire units responded to a burning service truck inside a logging company building Saturday morning. The building is located off Highway 58 near Matthews Road by Pleasant Hill. A driver spotted smoke coming from the building and called 9-1-1. Interim Goshen Fire Chief Steve Abel says that because fire crews couldn’t see the vehicle in the building, they were prepared for much worse. Goshen, Pleasant Hill, South Lane, and Dexter Fire crews rushed to the scene. “Initial reports were we were prepared for a fully-involved structure fire.

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Roseburg Forest Products moving corporate headquarters to Springfield

The Register-Guard
December 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SPRINGFIELD — Roseburg Forest Products will move its corporate headquarters to Springfield by late next summer. The firm, now based in Dillard, near Roseburg, says it will move 85 corporate employees to the former Northwest Community Credit Union building on Gateway Street by next September. The employees, including most of its top executives, will join about 30 information technology employees already in the building, said Rebecca Taylor, Roseburg’s spokeswoman. Roseburg is remodeling the 50,429-square-foot building for its corporate offices. One of the state’s major companies, Roseburg has more than 3,000 employees in Oregon, Montana, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia. The company makes softwood and hardwood plywood, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, laminates and engineered wood products. It owns and manages 630,000 acres of timberland.

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U.S. finalizes duties expected to benefit Madison Paper

Maine’s U.S. senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, have asked the Department of Commerce to review its investigative practices, saying the decision could hurt other Maine workers.
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
December 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued a final order that countervailing duties be placed on supercalendered paper from Canada being imported into the United States, according to a news release Friday from U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King. The final order follows a decision by the department last month to impose the duties at rates of 18 to 20 percent on supercalendered paper coming into the U.S. The decision was applauded by U.S. paper producers Madison Paper Industries and Verso Corp., which are expected to benefit from the duties placed on the Canadian paper. The two companies, which together formed the Coalition for Fair Paper Imports, filed a complaint in February asking for the duties to be put in place as a response to unfair subsidies given to Nova Scotia’s Port Hawkesbury Paper.

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New jobs may soon come to El Dorado

KNOE
December 11, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

EL DORADO, Ar. – New jobs may be on the way to El Dorado, after the city council decided to take its first steps towards bringing a $1.3 billion paper mill to South Arkansas. The move would bring approximately 250 jobs to El Dorado, with the construction of a pulp mill to be built by Shan Dong Sun Paper: A China-based company employing more than 10,000 people worldwide. The board unanimously approved talks with the state of Arkansas to begin negotiations with the company, however El Dorado is just one of several towns in South Arkansas being considered for the plant’s location. A final decision is expected May 1st, 2016.

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Federal compensation packages for forest industry workers ending, Assistant Agriculture Minister says

ABC News Australia
December 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The days of federally-funded compensation packages for former forestry workers appear to be over, according to the minister responsible. Millions of dollars in state and Commonwealth funding has been provided to Tasmanians caught up in the collapse of forestry giant Gunns, including money for retraining, leaving the industry and financial transition support. Earlier this year an additional $1 million compensation fund was announced, using money left over from a package introduced by the former federal government. The new Assistant Agriculture Minister, South Australian Senator Anne Ruston, said it was likely to be the last.

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Scope of work for forest owners grows

By The Forest Growers Levy Trust
Scoop Independent News
December 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Funds raised by forest growers for research and other industry activities are expected to total $7,620,000 in 2015, about $1 million more than budgeted. At the same time, administrative expenditure has been kept under tight control. This will allow the Forest Growers Levy Trust in 2016 to keep the levy rate on harvested logs to 27c/tonne for the second year in a row. It will also enable the Trust to expand the work it does for all growers, says chair Geoff Thompson. “We are looking at innovative ways to communicate new technology and best practice to growers, especially the owners of smaller forests who may be unaware of the opportunities for increasing the profitability and environmental performance of their plantations.

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France: Maritime pine maintains firm prices

IHB The Timber Network
December 14, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Good news for forest owners in southwestern France. In a French softwood roundwood market that has generally tended to falter, maritime pine stands firm this year. Over the course of the first half of 2015, prices have aligned at high levels, while over the last six months of the year, price stability prevailed.  This observation applies in particular for roundwood with a volume larger than 1 m3, intended for producing lumber. ”In late autumn, the large volume roundwood (1,5 m3) is still marketed at around 40 euro/m3, standing, under bark,” says Emmanuel de Montbron, manager of a forestry group in Gironde and of a company that markets wood from various private owners. Since June 2013, the value of the French maritime pine went up by an average of 30%, with small timbers (0,5 m3) reaching even 50% price increase (see table below).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Urban jungle: wooden high-rises change city skylines as builders ditch concrete

December 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The concrete jungle has a rival: forests. Two urban building projects, in New York City and Portland, Oregon, will be changing their city’s skylines with an environmentally sustainable, cost-competitive building material. The key ingredient? Wood. Called mass timber, the material is an umbrella term for large, solid chunks of panelized wood. When used in buildings, the benefits are sky high: flexible, strong, fire resistant and carbon-sequestering. Mass timber could prove to be a viable alternative to concrete and steel for mid-to-high rise buildings….According to the USDA, during the recession, the drop in new construction and decline in home remodeling had a serious impact on wood manufacturing. So it’s hoping next-generation wood products can pick up the slack in the non-residential market. Roughly 35 jobs are created for each million board feet of wood processed.

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Urban jungle: wooden high-rises change city skylines as builders ditch concrete

December 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The concrete jungle has a rival: forests. Two urban building projects, in New York City and Portland, Oregon, will be changing their city’s skylines with an environmentally sustainable, cost-competitive building material. The key ingredient? Wood. Called mass timber, the material is an umbrella term for large, solid chunks of panelized wood. When used in buildings, the benefits are sky high: flexible, strong, fire resistant and carbon-sequestering. Mass timber could prove to be a viable alternative to concrete and steel for mid-to-high rise buildings….According to the USDA, during the recession, the drop in new construction and decline in home remodeling had a serious impact on wood manufacturing. So it’s hoping next-generation wood products can pick up the slack in the non-residential market. Roughly 35 jobs are created for each million board feet of wood processed.

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Applying lessons of midrise wood building from the West in Ontario

Daily Commercial News
December 14, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Builders in Ontario constructing five- to six-storey wood frame buildings, approved under the building code in January 2015, would be wise to review the experiences of their counterparts on the West Coast who have put up hundreds of midrise wood buildings in the past few years. I think the biggest lesson from B.C.’s Lower Mainland and other jurisdictions on the West Coast is you just can’t jump from building or designing a three- to four-storey into doing a five-to six-storey building. You have to think about implications that this has for the whole building including the structure, mechanical systems and building enclosure,” says Graham Finch, a principal and building science research specialist at RDH Building Science Inc., a building enclosure consulting firm with eight offices in Canada and the U.S.

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Forestry

Saskatchewan, Manitoba at top of mediocre class in caribou report

Canadian Press in the The Victoria Times Colonist
December 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

EDMONTON – Manitoba and Saskatchewan come out on top of a mediocre class in a new review of how Canada’s provinces and territories are protecting vulnerable woodland caribou. “They’ve been taking it seriously,” said Eric Hebert-Daly, national director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. “They’ve taken the bull by the horns and really driven things.” Woodland caribou are considered a strong indicator of a healthy boreal forest. While there remain about 32,000 woodland caribou across the country, their habitat is increasingly fragmented and degraded by industrial development and many herds are in danger of disappearing.

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NZ forestry tech in demand in US, Canada

Radio New Zealand
December 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

Designed to reduce the high number of serious accidents in the forestry industry, the technology will be demonstrated to North American companies at a conference in March. The machines have already reduced accidents, conference organiser John Stulen of Innovatek said. “The serious harm statistics are well down and that’s because over the last three years, 40 of these machines have been put out on the hillside replacing manual tree fellers wherever they could,” Mr Stulen said. “This technology is working and it’s stable, and it’s not just safer – it’s actually much more productive. It’s been developed by local contractors with small engineering companies in New Zealand. We’re running a conference because everyone wants to hear from these Kiwi logging innovators.

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B.C. resources make a lot of our Christmas gifts possible

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
December 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When the holiday season rolls around, it’s easy to forget that without B.C. resources such as wood products and minerals, many of the gifts you see would not be sitting under your Christmas tree. B.C. wood products play a large role in maintaining the joy of the holiday season. From gifts and the environment in which you open them to holiday activities and employment, evidence of B.C.’s forest industry is all around you. Forestry is the main driver in more than 40% of regional economies in B.C., and sustains direct jobs for more than 60,000 British Columbians in areas such as forest management, silviculture and manufacturing – generating more than $12 billion in provincial exports in 2014.

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Allegheny Forest Alliance discusses timber issues at Kane session

The Bradford Era
December 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

KANE — The Allegheny Forest Alliance held a meet-and-greet session at the Kane Manor Country Inn in Kane on Wednesday evening as a means to facilitate more networking with both current and potential members. However, several members weighed in on a few key issues with the local timber industry. AFA president Bob Kirchner explained the main focus of the meet-and-greet is to explain who the organization is, and what it’s trying to accomplish. One of the tools used to show people on Wednesday what the AFA is attempting to carry out was a Power Point presentation used at township and school board meetings earlier in the year. According to the presentation, the AFA is asking the U.S. Forest Service to adhere to the 1908 Good Neighbor Compact, which calls for a 25 percent payment from receipts from timber sales on the Allegheny National Forest and sustainable management of the forest.

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Texas A&M Forest Service Releases Winter Wildfire Forecast

December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Researchers say El Nino is creating cooler, moister conditions across Texas, but that doesn’t eliminate the threat of wildfires. The forecast shows a higher risk of grass fires this season. Tom Spencer is with the Texas A&M Forest Service. He says recent rain has led to higher grass growth across the state. “And it’s that extra loading — regardless of the moist conditions — that will still provide us with opportunities for fires,” Spencer says. Spencer says wildfires can also burn on top of wet ground where tall grass is present. Muddy areas like those are harder to access, which could make the fires more difficult to control. Stuart Coombs is a specialist in Wildland Urban Interface, or areas where wilderness meets development.

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Calvin DuBrock appointed Penn State Goddard Chair in forest resources

Penn State News
December 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Calvin DuBrock, retired director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management, recently was named the Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. DuBrock, a certified wildlife biologist, will serve a term of up to six years. He was with the Game Commission for 32 years, 23 of which were spent guiding the agency’s wildlife management activities. During that time, he was responsible for directing the commission’s statewide programs and research on game, nongame and endangered species, and for developing and implementing agency wildlife management goals, objectives, standards and policies. The Goddard Chair is a faculty position unlike any other at Penn State, with a focus on providing leadership on public-policy issues.

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Six investigations underway into operations of state-owned corporation

The Sydney Morning Herald
December 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The $1 billion state-owned Forestry Corporation is facing half a dozen separate investigations into its timber logging operations around the state.  The investigations, which include scrutinising thousands of alleged breaches of environmental controls at Cherry Tree State Forest in the north of the state come after the Forestry Corporation has been hit with 46 fines during the past five years for offences including breaching threatened species regulations, polluting waters, not marking trees or exclusion zones and not properly searching for koala habitats.  The Forestry Corp, which has assets of $1.2 billion and in the past financial year reported profits of $52 million before tax with a $19 million dividend paid to NSW Treasury, was also issued with six clean-up notices during the same period.

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Firefighters, helicopter defeat North Canterbury forest fire

The Press
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Firefighters have thrown “everything” at a large forest fire in North Canterbury –- and won. Strong winds helped stoke the fire in Balmoral Forest, near the Hurunui River between Hawarden and Culverden. Firefighters were notified about the 30 hectare blaze about 3.20pm. Fourteen fire crews, two helicopters carrying monsoon buckets and a Fire service command unit from Christchurch responded. The Hurunui District Council said strong northwest winds fanned the fire. Diggers got firefighters access to a second, smaller, fire in the forest. Firefighters brought it under control by 6.30pm, when it was “as good as out”, council spokeswoman Naomi Woodham said.

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Additional pest control needed to save Northland’s Forests

By New Zealand Institute of Forestry
Scoop Independent News
December 14, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) is concerned about the rapid degradation of Northland’s forests due to inadequate pest control. “The short film made public by Forest and Bird shows as a society we have a serious problem if we are to even maintain our native forests” said NZIF President James Treadwell. Mr Treadwell continued to say “NZIF has been calling for a review of how the maintenance and conservation of native forests are funded for some time. Most New Zealanders know of area of native forest being decimated by pests.” “The Department of Conservation do a fantastic job on a very limited budget. At a time when our Government is supporting calls for other countries to cease clearing forests to help climate change it is a disgrace our own forests are slowly being destroyed by introduced pests.”

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Marlborough fire: locals get ready to flee gallery

Stuff.co.nz
December 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Marlborough residents face a nervous wait as high winds threaten to push a forest fire toward their homes. The Wairau Valley fire has been burning for three days over about 1200 hectares, advancing beyond the the ridge between Wairau Valley and Waihopai Valley. The blaze is the biggest the region has seen in 15 years and firefighting costs were running at $400,000 a day, Marlborough principal rural fire officer Richard McNamara said. He said about 12 properties on Waihopai Valley Rd could be at risk if winds changed as forecast for Saturday afternoon.  “We are preparing for all possibilities as this is a very big fire and the safety of human life is paramount.” About 80 Waihopai Valley residents met the fire management team on Saturday to discuss preparations for evacuations.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

B.C. environmentalists cheer Paris climate deal

BY BETHANY LINDSAY AND GORDON HOEKSTRA
Vancouver Sun
December 13, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Business group warns of ‘delicate’ balance in reducing greenhouse gases and improving economy – A climate change agreement reached in Paris this weekend is expected to put more pressure on Christy Clark’s Liberal government to increase the province’s carbon tax. Close to 200 countries, including Canada, signed on to the global agreement, which aims to further cut emissions and keep temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100. The historic agreement will also bring more scrutiny on the provincial government’s plans to create a new industry to export natural gas overseas to Asia, as the momentum shifts away from fossil-fuel energy sources.

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Treated with care: Analyzing a new pre-treatment process for biofuel production

separationsNOW.com
December 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The biofuel industry is placing great store in the next-generation of biofuels produced from general plant biomass such as straw and wood rather than from food crops such as corn and wheat. The big remaining stumbling block is that although the technology exists for converting plant biomass into biofuels, the process is currently too expensive to compete with conventional petroleum, especially given the fall in oil prices over the past few years. One of the most expensive parts of this conversion process is the pre-treatment step that releases the cellulose from the cell walls of the plant material. Recently, though, a team of scientists in the US, led by Bin Yang at Washington State University in Richland, have come up with a much milder and cheaper, but still effective, pre-treatment step.

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North Fork biomass plant adds $900,000 in funding

Sierra Star
December 11, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A biomass energy facility planned for the North Fork area was awarded $900,000 through multiple financial agencies, officials announced Friday. North Fork Community Power, a public-private partnership between North Fork Community Development Council (NFCDC) and Phoenix Energy, is working on the development and construction of the biomass gasification facility in the area. The project will utilize sustainably harvested forest biomass to produce clean energy, reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and produce biochar, a carbon based soil amendment, as a byproduct.. Construction of the plant will begin in early 2016 with commercial operations commencing in 2017, depending on when interconnection upgrades are complete.

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The Wood Pellet Industry In North Carolina (audio)

WUNC
December 11, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The wood pellet industry is booming in North Carolina, thanks in part to high demand from Europe. Power plants burn the wood product to create energy, but wood pellet companies are cutting down trees at a higher rate than anticipated, raising questions about whether the practice really is carbon neutral. This week, one of the major wood pellet companies, Enviva, announced it would give $5 million over 10 years toward environmental grants to protect bottomland forests. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC environment reporter Dave DeWitt about the arguments for and against wood pellet production in North Carolina.

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Institute of Forestry welcomes the COP21 agreement

New Zealand Scoop
December 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) welcomes the latest international agreement on climate change and challenges the Government to lift its game. “As a New Zealander I am embarrassed about how little we are doing to reduce climate change” said President of NZIF James Treadwell. “As a country, until agriculture, our largest emitting sector, is included into the emissions trading scheme, New Zealand is unlikely to be seen as doing its fair share.” “The COP21 agreement to keep climate change below 2 degrees is unlikely to occur unless all countries take action immediately. In New Zealand this means all sectors need to be in the ETS and we need to take a serious look at additional tree planting, either production or native.”

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‘Help us replant’: Fresh call from foresters after Paris climate deal

Stuff.co.nz
December 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Foresters say the Paris climate deal has cast a spotlight on New Zealand’s poor tree replanting rate and the needs to fix it. The deal struck last night in Paris involves 185 countries which have all pledged to reduce emissions over the course of this year. New Zealand has given itself until 2030 to cut harmful emissions back to 30 per cent below 2005 levels. It also announced a $200 million contribution towards climate finance, particularly for Pacific Island countries, over the next four years. Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser hailed the Paris deal as a “huge and historic step forward”.

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Forests Emerge as a Big Winner in Paris Agreement

Huffington Post
December 12, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The global climate agreement reached in Paris marks a historic moment for forests as they are now enshrined in international climate action. All countries agreed on simple but strong language that operationalizes forest protection and flips the ‘on’ switch for the international finance to make it happen. It also brings in the necessary technical and scientific rules to make sure there is the blueprint to build national forest protection plans. In doing so, they expanded the opportunities for forests to play a key part in our global response to climate change, helping to achieve both mitigation and adaptation goals.

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General

Texas A&M Forest Service Releases Winter Wildfire Forecast

December 14, 2015
Category: Uncategorised

Researchers say El Nino is creating cooler, moister conditions across Texas, but that doesn’t eliminate the threat of wildfires. The forecast shows a higher risk of grass fires this season. Tom Spencer is with the Texas A&M Forest Service. He says recent rain has led to higher grass growth across the state. “And it’s that extra loading — regardless of the moist conditions — that will still provide us with opportunities for fires,” Spencer says. Spencer says wildfires can also burn on top of wet ground where tall grass is present. Muddy areas like those are harder to access, which could make the fires more difficult to control. Stuart Coombs is a specialist in Wildland Urban Interface, or areas where wilderness meets development.

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