Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 11, 2016

Business & Politics

Like The ‘Rust Belt’, The ‘Timber Belt’ And Harney County Are Hurting

Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

While Harney County residents are asking armed protesters to leave, many locals are sympathetic to their issues. Economists say the root may lie in the west’s rural economy. Harney County is sparsely populated, with 7,000 residents living on 10,000 square miles of land. That used to mean a healthy timber industry. But Josh Lehner with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis says since 1978 Harney County has lost 99 percent of its wood product jobs, “All those manufacturing jobs are gone,” he said. …Economists say the county is part of a ‘Timber Belt’ that’s been hit just as hard as the ‘Rust Belt’ of the northeastern United States.

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Wood suppliers worry about life after Covanta plants close

Bangor Daily News
January 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WEST ENFIELD, Maine — News that Covanta Holding Corp. is planning to take its local biomass energy plant and one in Jonesboro offline in March has caused one of the company’s biggest suppliers of waste wood to worry about his employees. “I’m hopeful that something will change,” Brian Souers of Treeline Inc. of Lincoln said Friday. “If it closes, it’s not good.” Between a quarter and one-third of Treeline’s business is with Covanta, said Souers, who has 65 employees. Covanta Maine Energy in West Enfield, with 24 employees, and the Covanta Jonesboro Power Station, with 20 employees, will be closing at the end of the quarter because “energy prices are not sufficient to cover the costs of operation and fuel supply,” James F. Regan, Covanta spokesman, said Thursday in a statement.

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Stora Enso parts with LWC mill in Brazil

EUWID
January 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Stora Enso gives up LWC production in Brazil. The company will sell its majority stake in the Arapoti mill to Papeles Bio Bio. Stora Enso announced plans to part with its 80% ownership in the Brazilian Arapoti magazine paper mill. The stake is to be sold to Papeles Bio Bio for a total of €21m. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of this year. The remaining 20% are held by Chilean pulp and paper manufacturer Arauco and are not impacted by the transaction.

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Forestry

Wildfires broke record in 2015 — scorching an area seven times the size of Toronto Edmonton Journal

Canadian Press in Edmonton Journal
January 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Wildfires scorched a record amount of Canada’s national parks last year — the latest in a number of long, hot summers that have almost entirely depleted Parks Canada’s firefighting reserve. “We had a very busy fire year,” said director of fire management Jeff Weir. “We had more wildfires than normal and those fires burned larger areas than normal.” The agency’s annual fire report recorded 122 wildfires in 2015 that burned through 4,600 square kilometres — seven times the area of the city of Toronto. The yearly average is 82, and, in 2014, the amount of park land burned in non-prescribed fires was 3,000 square kilometres.

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Directors upset with timber process

Vernon Morning Star
January 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rural politicians continue to lash out at a provincial agency. Much of Thursday’s Electoral Area Advisory Committee meeting was dominated by B.C. Timber Sales’ process for putting cutblocks up for sale. “The process is, ‘Here is what we’re doing and that’s it.’ We want more communication with the communities,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director. Macnabb added that elected officials and residents should have a role in how areas are harvested before logging rights are put up for bid. “People have water licenses on creeks and wells downstream. What certainty do people have that their water won’t be affected (from logging)?” In December, EAAC was upset with BCTS not making it aware of cutblock sales near Cosens Bay and on Vernon Mountain.

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Ways to combat local forestry job loss by 2020 discussed

by Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester
Williams Lake Tribune
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Most people may not realize that a significant reduction on the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) in the Williams Lake TSA could come in less than five years. If you read the fine print in the latest Chief Forester report there are some circumstances that could force a reduction before the estimated 10-year reduction period identified by the forest model. Most, if not all, AAC rationales emphasize the final number is a determination and not just a calculation from a forest modeling exercise. The “AAC Rational for Williams Lake TSA February 2015” is a good example. Chief Forester Dave Peterson describes the base case harvest level of 3.4 million cubic metres per year being sustainable for 10 years before decreasing to a midterm level of 1.4 million cubic meters for 60 years and then increasing to 2.99 cubic metres as a long-term harvest level.

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Windsor’s massive street tree dates back to 1890

Silver maple planted by city crews in nineteenth century still thriving
CBC News
January 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The booming branches of the sweeping silver maple stretch upward in every direction far above the homes along St. Louis Avenue. Most residents on the street have no idea this mammoth tree is one of the oldest in Windsor. But even without knowing its age, neighbours like Sue McMillan say the old maple has always been a character in the east-end neighbourhood. “Everybody who goes by walking stops and looks at it,” she told CBC News. “It’s really quite something.” City foresters planted the tree in 1890, making it at least 127 years old. One other tree in the city’s inventory of 70,000 precedes this towering maple by 10 years, but nothing else compares in terms of its size. T

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Blow Me Down ski club engages pilot project with Corner Brook Pulp & Paper

CBC News
January 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

What once was brought to a landfill just might assist in growing grass. The Blow Me Down cross-country ski club has initiated a pilot project with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., in an effort to turn some of the mill’s waste material into valuable mulch for the club’s trails. Club spokesperson Shawn Leamon told the Corner Brook Morning Show this week that they’re always interested in trying new ideas to improve ski conditions for members. As in other years, alders, which are vigorous-growing trees, have been poking up through the ground. Last year, a club member tripped while out on the trail. Leamon said the club has been wanting to level the trails, to keep alders from growing.

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Reforestation plan in motion for burned Baker County land

Associated Press in The Register Guard
January 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BAKER CITY — 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. But the task is likely to amount to several thousand acres. “We’re going to have to plant a lot of trees,” Sciarrino said.

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Forest Service crafting responses to thousands of comments on naval electronic warfare exercises plan

Peninsula Daily News
January 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — The U.S. Forest Service is completing final draft responses to thousands of mostly negative comments directed at plans for expanded naval electronic warfare exercises over the North Olympic Peninsula, including Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest. But if you submitted one of the 3,397 correspondences on the $11.5 million Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Training Range project, don’t expect a response specifically to your submission. Greg Wahl, Olympic National Forest environmental coordinator, said this week that the agency is writing final drafts of up to about 100 general responses to the thousands of comments submitted by Nov. 28.

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3 big land acquisitions on Fish and Wildlife Commission’s agenda

Billings Gazette
January 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Three big land acquisitions highlight Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on Thursday as commissioners consider the purchase of properties totaling 1,150 acres at a cost of $2.45 million. The areas provide a variety of wildlife habitat in northwestern Montana. The 320-acre ($1.4 million) addition to the Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area is the most expensive. Fish Creek is a tributary to the Clark Fork River northwest of Missoula. The land acquisition is a private inholding in the 34,573-acre Fish Creek WMA, which is also bordered by state and forest land. “The area is recognized as an important forest carnivore linkage zone, supports elk, mule deer, moose, and high densities of white-tailed deer, and represents some of the best remaining habitat for bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout in the Middle Clark Fork,” FWP wrote about the acquisition for the commission’s agenda.

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Climate change triggers triage in Northwest forests

Siuslaw National Forest managers must decide whether to save meadows or let trees encroach.
High Country News
January 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…In places, the trees have crowded out the wildflowers and blocked the mountain’s panoramic views, which draw approximately 10,000 annual visitors. Many worry that the meadows could vanish completely. In response, the Siuslaw National Forest has decided to fight for the meadows. In the fall of 2015, crews undertook a campaign to remove roughly 3,000 trees from 25 acres of former meadow. Crews have also sawed the stumps down to the ground, and plan to reseed reclaimed land with native grasses. On this cool November day, the work continues; the roar of chainsaws splits the fog and the air is sweet with the aroma of fresh sawdust.

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Column: Will vegetation management boost our water supply?

The Daily Courier
January 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Vegetation management (thinning) has gotten a lot of press lately. Historically, thinning has been a tool to reduce the threat of uncontrollable, damaging wildfires. However, the Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition (Coalition) now proposes thinning as a technique to increase the fraction of precipitation that recharges our aquifers. Is this expensive activity worth considering? …Vegetation management can improve forest health, but it is unlikely to augment our groundwater supply. Prescott and Prescott Valley have promised the public to mitigate any harm to the Verde River base flow caused by pumping groundwater from the Big Chino Water Ranch; their vegetation management proposal appears to be an attempt to offset their planned pumping.

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Rim Fire Reforestation: Create A Better Plan

My Mother Lode
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors added strong language to their response to the Stanislaus National Forest’s reforestation plan. District 1 Supervisor Sherry Brennan said parts of the plan are; “wholly inadequate and believe that we are only setting ourselves up for a much larger catastrophic fire…” The plan, released for public review on November 25th is to address 48,000 acres of the burn scar that are within the National Park.

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MISSOULIAN EDITORIAL: Project in conflict with Rattlesnake’s character

The Missoulian
January 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The U.S. Forest Service’s plans for the Marshall Woods project, unfortunately, give good reason to worry. …The goals behind the nearly 4,000-acre project are to reduce the threat of wildfire through forest thinning, improve areas scarred by old logging operations and restore open meadows, as well as treat for noxious weeds and perform trail maintenance. …Yet the original plan proposed to remove some 80 truck loads of timber from along Rattlesnake Creek, an option that was removed in August following an outpouring of opposition. A good deal of that opposition remains concerning the revised plan, which still includes a 266-acre commercial logging operation in Marshall Canyon.

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N.Y. Wants Help Fighting Southern Pine Beetle

Courthouse News Service
January 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

New York’s natural resources division said Thursday that it is taking bids for timber harvesters to help combat an invasive species of beetles. The southern pine beetle was discovered in October 2014, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC. The department went to work planning a response with a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The best way to get rid of the “forest pest” is to cut down infested trees and thin out surrounding wooded areas, DEC says. Tree-cutting operations began as part of the response plan, resulting in nearly 2,500 infested trees being chopped down, according to the agency.

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Forestry’s Importance Recognised

Scoop New Zealand
January 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) is pleased to note the recognition of the importance of forestry within the New Year Honours list. Andrew McEwen, immediate past president of NZIF received an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to forestry. “Andrew has worked tirelessly to promote the benefits of forestry for all of New Zealand” says President of NZIF James Treadwell. “Throughout his career Andrew has informed and promoted the direct and wider benefits of all forms of forestry. He has long championed the need for better scientific understanding and professional management of the role of forestry, whether for conservation and biodiversity values of native forests or as plantation-sourced climate friendly and renewable fuel, packaging or building materials.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Global Warming Helped Exacerbate Biggest Year Ever for U.S. Wildfires

A warmer, drier climate played a role in fires that burned more than 10 million acres
Scientific American
January 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States


Scientists and forest agency officials yesterday said they see a link between climate change and the record-breaking 2015 wildfire season. Parsing the exact role a changing climate played in the historic burns can be challenging, especially in Western forests overstocked with woody kindling due to decades of fire suppression and a relatively hands-off forest management policy. But, experts agreed, there is clear evidence that a warmer, drier climate played a central role. “We do see a climate change signal in the fire seasons we’re having,” said Jennifer Jones, a public affairs specialist with the Forest Service’s office of fire and aviation management. “It’s climate change, it’s hazardous fuel buildup, it’s nonnative species invasions, it’s insect infestations. Climate change is part of that, but in any given season, it’s impossible to know how much.”

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Talking Point: Ministers can’t see the wood for the trees in climate change struggle

The Mercury
January 12, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

YOU may find this hard to believe, but the Tasmanian and national governments are tree-huggers. …They may not believe it either. I’ll explain. Tasmania’s Environment Minister, Matthew Groom, told a Legislative Council estimates committee last June that the state’s carbon emissions had declined by 90 per cent since 1990, meaning its legislated 2050 target had been reached “several decades ahead of time”. This is remarkable. We know that in this hydro-powered state, emissions from the main source of carbon pollution, cars and other transport, have stayed stubbornly high. …Gold standard accounting? No, this is escapism – a phony accounting system set up to avoid hard decisions about fossil fuels.

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