Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 8, 2016

Business & Politics

Regional sawmills ramping up

The Chronicle Journal
January 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sawmills in Ear Falls and Kenora are taking advantage of the ongoing recovery in the lumber sector and are ramping up production. Unifor national representative Stephen Boon said Wednesday that they are happy to see EACOM’s Ear Falls sawmill start full production earlier this week with an addition of a second shift (on) Monday. The Ear Falls mill now employs 110 Unifor members with another 150 members working across the company’s woodlands operations. “The good news for the region’s forest sector continues as Kenora Forest Products is also making final preparations for a long-awaited sawmill start-up by early February,” Boon said.

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How’s your paper trail for logs? Why you can’t ignore the Lacey Act

GreenBiz
January 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Lumber Liquidators, the largest U.S. retailer of specialty hardwood flooring, agreed last October to pay more than $13 million to settle charges related to the Lacey Act, which governs the trade of forests, fish and other wildlife. The settlement marked the first felony conviction related to illegal timber imports, plus the largest ever fine related to the law. But a smaller investigation in Washington state also serves as an object lesson for companies with a stake in the lumber industry. The target: a local mill that sells specialty big-leaf maple wood to PRS Guitars, whose instruments are strummed by the likes of Carlos Santana, Journey, the Doobie Brothers and many other artists.

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U.S. agency considers white paper unfair trade case

Duluth News Tribune
January 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Unfairly traded goods are coming from foreign countries, with those governments subsidizing an industry so they can “dump” their product below cost in the United States and undermine domestic producers. That’s been the rallying cry for months for the U.S. iron ore and steel industry, but it’s now being claimed for the domestic paper industry. The International Trade Commission of the U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday held a hearing in Washington, D.C., in which they heard that illegal government subsidies of foreign papermakers are putting jobs at risk in places like International Falls. That’s where the former Boise, now Packaging Corp. of America, plant employs 580 people making white office paper.

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Biomass plants in West Enfield, Jonesboro to close

Bangor Daily News
January 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WEST ENFIELD, Maine — Two biomass energy plants in Maine owned by Morristown, New Jersey-based Covanta Holding Corp. are closing in March because of low energy prices, company spokesman James F. Regan said in a statement released Thursday. “At the end of March, Covanta is planning to take the operations of our Jonesboro and West Enfield, Maine, biomass facilities offline,” Regan said. “Unfortunately, this happens with some frequency in the biomass industry, when energy prices are not sufficient to cover the costs of operation and fuel supply. We have experienced similar situations in the past and resumed operations when the economics improved. We will continue to evaluate the future of the facilities.”

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Verso sells power plants at Jay mill to N.J. company

The company says the sale would not affect operations at the paper mill.
Portland Press Herald
January 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Verso Corp. announced Thursday that it has sold four hydroelectric generators, part of the company’s Androscoggin Mill in Jay, to a New Jersey-based hydroelectric developer for $62 million in cash. The announcement was made in a press release Thursday on the company’s website. The generators are owned by Verso Androscoggin Power LLC, a subsidiary of Verso Corp., and are associated with the pulp and paper mill in Jay, the release said. The sale to Eagle Creek Renewable Energy LLC is part of the company’s “efforts to raise funds to address its previously disclosed cash flow and liquidity concerns,” it said.

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Southern Tablelands forestry industry prepares for boost

Goulburn Post
January 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A RAIL hub approved for Goulburn is touted to revitalise a flagging forestry industry in the region. Chicago Freight Rail Service’s local depot will be hauling a “minimum” two trains of logs weekly to ports, which will be loaded onto Chinabound ships under the plan. Goulburn Mulwaree Council approved the proposal in December. It aims to shift 135,000 tonnes of mainly radiata logs annually. While community debate continues over the logs’ fumigation using methyl bromide, others are talking up the economic benefits. International Primary Products (Aust and NZ) director Phil Jeune said his firm would source, buy and arrange transport for logs grown in the region to the rail hub.

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Greenheart NZ to buy Northland Forest Managers for $1.5M

Scoop Independent News
January 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Greenheart Group has signed a conditional deal to buy Northland Forest Managers (1995) for $1.5 million as the Hong Kong-listed owner of Northland’s Mangakahia forestry estate looks to expand its New Zealand interests. Greenheart yesterday said it entered into a conditional agreement to buy all of the shares in Kerikeri-based Northland Forest Managers, which oversees 19,000 hectares of plantation forest throughout Northland. The forest manager counts Greenheart as its biggest client. “The forest management service company is a well-established business with the prerequisite knowhow, experience and professionalism in plantation operation,” Greenheart said in a statement.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Favorable Buying Conditions for Corrugated Containers

Spend Matters
January 7, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Both linerboard and corrugated medium prices slipped marginally in the fourth quarter of 2015 amid plentiful supply. The benchmark price for 42-pound Linerboard East Coast Market is now $730/short ton, down from $735/short ton in the third quarter. Corrugating medium (26 pound) declined from $690/short ton to $680/short ton. Although these benchmark prices have not seen any significant drops, discounting has been widespread and some contract prices are reported to be around $100–120/short ton below benchmark. 

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US hardwood at London architects fair

Timber Trades Journal
January 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, International

US hardwood will feature at a London trade fair aimed at architects and designers this month. One of the main attractions at ARCHITECT@WORK (January 27-28), is the Rotunda Serotina, featuring American cherry and maple. The event, which features collaborations, exhibitions and talks for its 2016 edition will be held at Olympia National hall. The Rotunda is making its first appearance in London. The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) partnered with designers Kolman Boye and, furniture-makers Benchmark to create a towering structure of food plates in a commission for Wallpaper* Handmade 2015 called the Rotunda Serotina).

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Forestry

Tolko contributes lumber for new daycare centre

Williams Lake Tribune
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries Ltd. is donating lumber for the new Women’s Contact Society Kidcare Daycare. The donation will provide material to frame and construct the lower and main level, roof, and floor of the centre and represents a donation of approximately $5,000. “We’re proud to support the project,” said Mike Dextrase, plant manager, Soda Creek. “The majority of our employees at both divisions in town work shift work, and having childcare services available from 5 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week, will certainly help reduce stress for them.” The new daycare, Dextrase said, will also open up opportunities for those who might be interested in working with Tolko, but who may have been limited by childcare options.

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Pioneer marmot in captive breeding program dies at 14

Victoria Times Colonist
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Canadian pioneer — born on Vancouver Island with stops in Langley, Toronto and Calgary —has died. Harriet, a 14-year-old Vancouver Island marmot, died at the Calgary Zoo on Christmas Eve. Harriet was the oldest marmot in captivity and the last of the first group brought in from the wild to be part of a captive breeding program to ensure the survival of her species. “She was one of our founder marmots,” said Adam Taylor, executive director of the Marmot Recovery Foundation, on Wednesday. “Harriet was one of the first marmots taken from the wild here on Vancouver Island for a captive breeding program.”

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City taking ‘wise’ approach to tree killer

Orillia Packet & Times
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Orillia has put its ash trees under surveillance to keep an eye out for the emerald ash borer insect, which has already made its way into Barrie, Midland, Oro-Medonte Township and Tay Township. “Right now, what we’re doing is monitoring,” said Rob Jackson, city arborist. “We’re working with Simcoe County, (and) they’ve put traps up the last couple of seasons in different locations around the city to see if it’s arrived yet.” County forester Graeme Davis noted the emerald ash borer “is a very difficult insect to trap, and it is entirely possible it is in the city, but we have not received a confirmation.” The fact no emerald ash borers have been confirmed in the city means there is still time for proactive measures, such as the ones taken by the City of Barrie since 2012.

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A Record Amount of US Forest Went up in Flames Last Year

VICE News
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Wildfires across the United States blackened more than 10 million acres of land in 2015, a new record set amid an intense drought across the West, the US Department of Agriculture reported this week. Those blazes destroyed more than 4,500 buildings, and 13 firefighters died battling them, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. Government agencies burned more than $2.6 billion on firefighting costs, which consumed more than half of the US Forest Service’s budget and forced the agency to shift money away from conservation and restoration projects aimed at preventing future fires, he said.

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Federal Land Management Has Been Disastrous

Terry L. Anderson, the William A. Dunn Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center
The New York Times
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

…Federal management of the West’s resources has been disastrous for decades. The impetus for the Oregon occupation is the imprisonment of a father and son for setting fire to federal lands to control invasive species moving to private lands and to help prevent wildfires, a huge land management problem in the West. …The second cause is “multiple conflicts over multiple uses.” At the time of the Sagebrush Rebellion the list of multiple uses that federal land agencies were to manage was huge. It is growing exponentially. From its original task of sustaining timber production and clean water, the U.S. Forest Service is now expected to supply recreation — motorized and non-motorized — provide endangered species habitat, sequester carbon, offer livestock grazing and provide access for hunting, that list expands with every new interest group that pops up in Washington.

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Environmental lawsuits spiked in 2015

Capital Press
January 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The number of federal lawsuits filed over environmental issues increased more than 60 percent, to 862, across the U.S. in 2015 compared to the previous year. While the environmental caseload in federal courts can swing wildly from year to year, that figure is also roughly 8 percent above the average number of complaints filed annually over the past decade. A broad range of lawsuits can fall under the “environmental matters” category in the federal case filing system, so it’s tough to point to any particular reason for a spike, said Karen Budd-Falen, an natural resources attorney in Cheyenne, Wyo.

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In rainforests, battle for sunlight shapes forest structure

New finding sheds light on tropical forests’ influence on global climate – Princeton University
EurekAlert!
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Despite their diversity, the structure of most tropical rainforests is highly predictable. Scientists have described the various sizes of the trees by a simple mathematical relationship called a power law. In a new study using data from a rainforest in Panama, researchers determined that competition for sunlight is the underlying cause of this common structure, which is observed in rainforests around the globe despite differences in plant species and geography. The new finding can be used in climate simulations to predict how rainforests absorb excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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U.S. wildfires just set an amazing and troubling new record

The Washington Post
January 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Last year’s wildfire season set a record with more than 10 million acres burned. That’s more land than Maryland, the District and Delaware combined. More than half the total was the result of mega-fires in Alaska, where dryness due to historically low mountain snowpack and a freak lightning storm created perfect conditions for a huge blaze. The nation’s overall toll was about 4 million acres more than the yearly average, scorching a record set in 2006. The record was anticipated by the U.S. Forest Service, the Agriculture Department division charged with fighting fires, because of climate change and a prolonged drought in western states that parched wilderness areas. Alaska’s wildfire season was its second worst ever, and both Washington and Oregon suffered historic burns.

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Forest Service plans salvage timber sales in Idaho

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LEWISTON, IDAHO  – The U.S. Forest Service is planning salvage timber sales for trees damaged by fire in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. Agency officials are streamlining the process to approve the removal of dead and dying trees scorched by the summer’s wildfires, The Lewiston Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1PgSTJV). The first trees could be sold starting in February or early March, with more logging and sales to follow. The Forest Service is planning the salvage logging as categorical exclusions, which allows the agency to skip the normally lengthy analysis of proposed timber sales that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The mechanism is used for projects that are deemed to have insignificant environmental impacts.

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Scientific consensus says U.S. Forest Service should implement proposed forest treatments

YubaNet
January 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After conducting extensive forest research and taking into consideration all aspects of forest health – including fire and wildlife behavior, water quality and quantity – a group of distinguished scientists have concluded that enough is now known about proposed U.S. Forest Service landscape management treatments for them to be implemented in Sierra Nevada forests. “There is currently a great need for forest restoration and fire hazard reduction treatments to be implemented at large spatial scales in the Sierra Nevada,” the scientists wrote. “The next one to three decades are a critical period: after this time it may be very difficult to influence the character of Sierra Nevada forests, especially old forest characteristics.”

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Agency conserves Skamania land, pays for timber value

Plan gives county close to $649,000, protects habitat of endangered spotted owl
The Columbian
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state Department of Natural Resources recently approved a plan to transfer 90 acres of state forest trust land in Skamania County to conservation status while paying the county government $648,795 for the value of the timber that won’t be cut down. “Funds from this transfer will help support the many services our county provides that are important to the quality of life for our citizens and the fabric of our communities,” Skamania County Commissioner Bob Hamlin said in a press release. The parcel is home to a number of nesting sites of the endangered northern spotted owl in a remote part of the county about eight miles northwest of Stevenson.

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Center-Horse project near Ovando up for review

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
January 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An extensive forestry project along the southern boundary of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex is up for public review this month. The Center Horse project affects 61,300 acres in the mountains north of Ovando, including the Monture, Dunham, Shanley, Cottonwood and Spring Creek drainages. It’s expected to take between five and 10 years, starting in 2017. …To do that, the project would include commercial and noncommercial logging and prescribed fire on about 9,164 acres within the area.

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Opinion/Letter: Good management preserves forests

by Ellen Powell & David Powell
The Daily Progress
January 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

We are perplexed at the recent letter “Trees an essential part of ecosystem” (The Daily Progress, Dec. 31). On the headline and central point, we totally agree. The writer lists many undisputed benefits of trees. But to say the government supports “extraction of natural resources” on public lands is misinformed with regard to trees. Extraction typically involves taking away without putting back. That unfortunately does happen in many parts of the world and sometimes even in Virginia. But thanks to professional foresters, both state and national forests are managed sustainably, meaning that harvested trees are replaced with new plantings or are allowed to grow back naturally. Foresters encourage the same on private lands in Virginia.

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Timber harvest planned at Oakfield natural area

Action Report Media
January 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

An interim plan for managing forest resources in the Oakfield Ledge State Natural Area calls for creating more open woodlands by removing ash trees and invasive species. Oakfield Ledge is one of the most significant exposures of the Niagara Escarpment in Wisconsin. Spread across 8,520 acres in Fond du Lac County and 6,109 acres in Winnebago County, the landscape contains large moraines and glacial plains, a mix of prairie, oak and maple-basswood forests, savanna, meadows and marshes. It also serves as home to rare plants, including ferns. A plan in place will certify that all harvested timber was “sustainably managed,” said Aaron Buchholz, a land program manager with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Green Bay.

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Forest products industry shouldn’t get louder say than Mainers on national park

Bangor Daily News
January 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

I have lived in Mattawamkeag my entire life, and for many years I’ve watched the development of the proposal for a national park next to Baxter State Park. It’s past time for action on this idea. …The paper industry is gone, and the trend in harvesting is toward mechanization, employing fewer and fewer people for the same amount of timber. The industry looks at trees and land as ways to make money. A national park is another way to make money. As far as I know, every national park in the country has a much higher return per acre than commercially managed timberland.

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Trees employ similar strategies to outcompete their neighbors

Smithsonian Science News
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

How more than 1,000 tree species may occur in a small area of forest in Amazonia or Borneo is an unsolved mystery. Their ability to co-exist may depend on how trees get along with their neighbors. A new study based, in part, on data from the Smithsonian’s Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) network shows that trees worldwide compete in some of the same ways, making simpler models of forest response to climate change possible. Published in Nature, the study demonstrated how ‘personal’ traits such as wood density and leaf morphology influence a tree species’ ability to compete. There are trade-offs. Species with lighter wood usually grow more quickly than species with denser wood. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Save the Forests or the Trees?

OnEarth Magazine
January 7, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

World leaders came out of Paris with an international climate agreement seeking to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The following is part of a “What It Takes” series that looks into what we’ll need to do to pull that off. Bolivia’s Noel Kempff Mercado National Park is one of the largest intact parks in the Amazon basin and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back in 1996, the Nature Conservancy partnered with three fossil fuel and energy companies to protect and expand the park in a deal that was supposed to be a model for forest conservation. They got the Bolivian government to ban logging on 1.5 million acres adjacent to the national park, hired park rangers for the new area, and trained locals as eco-tourism guides.

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Letters: Drax saves carbon and US forests flourish

by Dorothy Thompson, Chief Executive, Drax
The Independent
January 7, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The claims made by the European Environment Bureau (letter, 7 January) are inaccurate on a number of counts. …The biomass industry is not the driver for felling trees. US forestry production in working forests is driven by construction and furniture making which uses high value wood. Drax uses forestry by-products which are much lower grade and much lower cost. Drax only sources from sustainably managed working forests which are growing, not declining, including the south-east US. In fact forest growth has outpaced removals for more than five decades in the US and now covers more than 766 million acres – around one third of the entire US landmass and greater than it was 100 years ago.

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General

Reforestation plan in motion for burned Baker County land

Associated Press in Statesman Journal
January 7, 2016
Category: Uncategorised

BAKER CITY, Ore.  — The ponderosa pines that will transform the landscape left by the Cornet/Windy Ridge fire from black to green will start their life in a Medford nursery. Thousands of seedling pines, enough to reforest about 1,000 acre, should be ready to be planted in the fire-scarred ground south of Baker City during the spring of 2017, said Joe Sciarrino of the Whitman Ranger District. But that represents only a small start to a big project that probably will take three years. Whitman District officials won’t know until late summer, after they’ve walked through the burn, how many acres will need to be replanted, Sciarrino said.

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