Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 5, 2016

Business & Politics

Domtar Corporation reports preliminary fourth quarter and fiscal year 2015 financial results

Canada Newswire press release
February 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

FORT MILL, SC, – Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) today reported net earnings of $57 million ($0.91 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to net earnings of $11 million ($0.17 per share) for the third quarter of 2015 and net earnings of $71 million ($1.10 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2014. Sales for the fourth quarter of 2015 were $1.3 billion. Excluding items listed below, the Company had earnings before items1 of $70 million ($1.11 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to earnings before items1 of $54 million ($0.86 per share) for the third quarter of 2015 and earnings before items1 of $91 million ($1.41 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2014.

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TimberWest Applauds Government Signature of the Trans Pacific Partnership

TimberWest Press Release
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver: TimberWest applauds the Canadian Government for signing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement today in New Zealand. The Company looks forward to a prompt ratification process. The TPP includes 12 countries and promises Canadian businesses preferred and improved access to a combined market of appromixately $28 trillion in economic activitiy with a total reach of 800 million people. “The TPP is an important economic boost to BC and the 145,000 men and women who work directly or indirectly in the forest industry,” says, Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. 

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Wood plant purchased

Vernon Morning Star
February 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Chilliwack company has extended its reach to an Armstrong wood plant. Woodtone has completed the purchase of Synergy Pacific Engineered Timber Ltd. Synergy produces premium building products and components, both engineered and solid fibre. Products have been sold under Synergy’s own Quattro brand as well as under Woodtone’s RealPost and RealCorner brands. “This acquisition locks in the supply of two of our key products – RealPost and RealCorner – as we continue to grow market share across North America,” said Chris Young, principal of Woodtone. “We are excited to further grow Synergy’s product offerings and market reach.” In addition, Kevin Young, principal of Woodtone, notes that, “the manufacturing facilities and equipment acquired through this deal provide key capabilities for future product development and growth.”

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Softwood lumber deal ‘central’ to Canada-US relationship, Christy Clark says

CBC News
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is expressing hope the Trudeau government can overcome U.S. resistance and renew a softwood lumber deal that brought peace to Canada-U.S. trade relations a decade ago. “The last time … relations around softwood lumber went sideways, [Canada’s] whole relationship with the United States went off the rails,” Clark told reporters in Ottawa Thursday. Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are scheduled to meet in person on Friday. The prime minister “has been absolutely steadfast in wanting to support getting this deal done, making sure that we avoid a disruption in the nation’s trade relationships,” Clark said.

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Acadian Timber considering sale of its assets

Canadian Press in BC Local News
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – The second-largest timberland operator in New Brunswick and Maine says it’s looking for a buyer for some or all of its assets. Acadian Timber Corp. (TSX:ADN) says its board of directors has begun a review of strategic alternatives that could include a sale, merger or other transaction. The company, which has its head office in Vancouver, manages more than 950,000 hectares in total — including more than 500,000 hectares of Crown land in New Brunswick.

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Looking forward to next year?s resources forum

Letter by Dan M. Jepsen
Prince George Citizen
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

I would like to extend a big thank-you to Prince George for their amazing hospitality in hosting the Premier’s 13th Annual B.C. Natural Resources Forum last week. The forum has established itself as the most diverse and important conference to learn first-hand the latest news, trends and opportunities linked to resource management in B.C., including financing, natural gas, energy, First Nations, minerals and mining, forestry, oil and gas, technology, trapping, agriculture and tourism. We were amazed to see record attendance of over 900 delegates, 66 trade show booths and participation by a large contingent of leaders from First Nations and federal, provincial and local government.

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Lakeland suing insurer over WorkSafeBC fines for fatal blast

Prince George Citizen
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lakeland Mills has filed a civil court lawsuit against its insurer, claiming it had coverage for the WorkSafeBC claim against the mill’s owners following the 2012 blast that destroyed the facility, killed two employees and injured many others. According to the claim, filed Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Lakeland is entitled to the coverage under the “corporate wrongful act” provision of the policy the mill’s owners, Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd., had purchased from Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company. In July, WorkSafeBC issued Lakeland a $626,663 claims cost levy for violating regulations that govern worker compensation, as well as employee health and safety, and a $97,500 administrative penalty for $724,163 in total. “Lakeland has incurred loss, including defence costs, in connection with the WorkSafeBC claim,” the claim states.

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Resolute Forest share price slides on bigger-than-expected loss

Globe and Mail
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products Inc.’s stock price plummeted Thursday on declining sales and a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss. The Montreal-based company’s shares were off 23 per cent – or $1.67 – at $5.60 in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Sales fell 15 per cent to $894-million (U.S.) in the fourth quarter. The loss for the quarter was $214-million or $2.39 per share, compared with a loss of $109-million or $1.15 per share in the year-earlier period. Excluding special items, the loss was $26-million or 29 cents per share, compared with an adjusted profit of $35-million or 37 cents.

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Beaver Bank’s Barrett Lumber takes on `ditch tax`

February 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Barrett Lumber, a family-run company in Beaver Bank, is locked in a years-long battle with Halifax Water over what it says are unfair charges that could threaten the forest industry in Nova Scotia. Halifax Water levies a surcharge on rural properties for repair and maintenance of ditches and culverts, which it owns. Residential property owners everywhere pay a flat rate annually of $74.39, while commercial or industrial properties are charged $0.149 cents per square metre of any ‘impervious’ areas, such as those that are paved over or contain buildings. “I’m beginning to think that the object of HRM and the Nova Scotia government is to completely destroy private forestry in Nova Scotia,” David Barrett says in a letter.

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Resolute faces threat of expulsion from forest council

by ROSS MAROWITS
Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products is facing the threat of expulsion from the group that manages a widely used international forest certification system. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) said Thursday its international board will decide in March whether to recommend that its 800 members vote to remove the Quebec-based company, the second-largest holder of FSC certifications in North America. Director-general Kim Carstensen said it was considering the move after verbal attacks by Resolute, which has rejected an FSC proposal for mediation to find peace among producers, First Nations and environment groups. “Over the last months, we have repeatedly tried to open the door for constructive engagement from Resolute,” Mr. Carstensen said in a news release. “Instead, Resolute has made derogative comments and attempted to instill public distrust in our system. This behaviour is contrary to what is expected from FSC’s members.”

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Last of PCBs at Bonner mill site being removed

The Missoulian
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

BONNER – Winter work is well underway on what should be the last mass cleanup of contaminants from the banks of the Blackfoot River at the former Bonner mill site. A third nest of polychlorniated biphenyls, or PCBs, was identified last year a couple of hundred feet from the riverbank at the site of the former compressor building.  An Envirocon excavator was making headway downward Thursday, removing dirt laced with varying degrees of PCBs that leaked from air compressors decades ago.

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Longtime executive of Eugene-based Seneca Sawmill retires

The Register-Guard
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Longtime lumberman Rick Re has retired after a 43-year career with Seneca Sawmill Co. in Eugene, including 16 as general manager. Re, 64, who last worked at the company as president and chief executive officer, started at Seneca in 1973. He had a variety of jobs before becoming vice president and general manager in 1998. During his time as general manager, he lead Seneca through several expansions and large capital projects, including the replacement of two sawmills and the addition of two others, the company said in a news release about his retirement. Re was “instrumental in leading Seneca through significant changes within the industry during his tenure, including the early ’80s with challenging high interest rates, the late ’90s with the spotted owl and reduction in federal timber harvest, and most recently the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression,” the company said.

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Chinese company looking in, outside state for mill site

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A Chinese company that expressed interest in November in building a $1.36 billion pulp mill in south Arkansas is also considering other states for the mill. “While we continue to work on finalizing this deal, there isn’t anything prohibiting them from looking outside the state,” Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, said Tuesday evening. “However, when we signed a letter of intent in November, Sun Paper and Shandong province officials made it clear that their desire is to build a mill in south Arkansas.” A timber industry source said this week that Sun Paper is also considering one or more locations in Mississippi. Scott Hardin, an Arkansas Economic Development Commission spokesman, said Sun Paper recently told the agency that it was evaluating other states but did not identify them.

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Stora Enso 4Q sales fall 2.5%

Lesprom
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Stora Enso’s 4Q 2015 sales at Euro 2 487 million were Euro 65 million, or 2.5% lower than the same quarter a year ago, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Sales excluding structurally declining paper business, the divested Corenso business operations and Barcelona Mill increased by Euro 83 million, or 5.4%, mainly due to the Montes del Plata Pulp Mill and the Varkaus Mill kraftliner ramp-up. 4Q 2015 operational EBIT increased 15.8% to Euro 242 million, mainly due to strong performance in Biomaterials, lower variable costs, and favourable foreign exchange rates.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The 9 Coolest Wood Buildings Of The Year

Co.Design
February 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Wood-frame construction goes back thousands of years. But as buildings gradually became taller and larger, more robust materials—like steel and concrete—came to dominate modern architecture. While steel and concrete are strong, they also come with a huge carbon footprint. Good news: timber is making a comeback. Wood has been praised for its environmental creds (if ethically farmed, not tropical hardwoods, of course), better fire resistance and thermal properties compared to steel and concrete, and versatility. A 2011 study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended that wood become the primary material in green buildings and argues that the material “provides substantial environmental benefits, provides incentives for private landowners to maintain forest land, and provides a critical source of jobs in rural America.”

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American Wood Council Releases Construction Fire Best Practice Manuals, Website

Press Release Rocket
February 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Leesburg, VA  – The American Wood Council (AWC) today released three manuals and a website designed to inform developers, local building departments and fire departments on how to prevent and reduce fire losses in buildings under construction. “This is a timely and relevant topic, in large part due to the significant impacts large construction fires have,” said AWC Director of Fire Technology Kuma Sumathipala. “More importantly, the fires that have occurred were preventable by adhering to the best practices outlined in these materials.”  A series of three manuals were developed in a cooperative effort between AWC and FireforceOne, a consulting firm led by former California State Fire Marshall Ronny Coleman.

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Forestry

Editorial: Landmark Great Bear Rainforest deal proves agreement is possible

Vancouver Sun
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An agreement on logging in the Great Bear Rainforest now points the way forward for so many other groups in B.C. who are mired in conflict over land use. Just 15 per cent of the land that is part of the deal is to be open to commercial logging, with strict forestry standards applying. The accord, 20 years in the making, is historic, demonstrating that it is possible, even in the face of diametrically opposed and entrenched positions, for British Columbians to find balance and pursue beneficial outcomes. …Thus, similar outcomes are entirely possible for those entrenched at the present time in battles over shipping coal in B.C., building pipelines, or developing mines on aboriginal lands. The Great Bear Rainforest agreement proves it.

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LETTER: Glade residents concerned about logging

Nelson Star
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Sept. 30, a meeting was held in Glade by Kalesnikoff Lumber and Atco Wood Products concerning their proposed logging plans for Glade Creek watershed. At that time Kim Green of Apex Geoscience provided preliminary work of a Glade hydrogeomorphic assessment report. This report is now complete. A follow up community meeting is planned for Feb. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Glade hall. Kalesnikoff and Atco representatives will be in attendance. All stakeholders are urged to attend. After the September meeting I went door to door on behalf of the Glade watershed protection sub-committee. Preservation of potable water is the overarching concern here in Glade. Other concerns are logging trucks frequenting Glade Road through the community; the presence of bull trout in Glade Creek and the preservation of our adjacent wooded area and sign-posted hiking trails.

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End of Great Bear Rainforest grizzly hunt will cost First Nations millions

By Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Canadian Press in National Post
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – New information reveals ending the trophy hunt for grizzly bears in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest will cost millions of dollars, and in the meantime hunters will still be able to set their sights on the bruins. Premier Christy Clark announced a landmark deal earlier this week to limit logging and end the commercial grizzly hunt on the central coast, which is home to rare, white spirit bears and 1000-year-old cedar forests. First Nations, environmentalists and hunters said Wednesday there is no target date to end the hunt, and its demise requires negotiations over hunting rights that are destined to cost millions of dollars.

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New Methods Track Canopy Water Content

Mountain News
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The four-year drought has left California with severely reduced ground water, reservoir levels, snowpack and soil moisture. The impact on forest health, however, is unknown and has not been quantified. …Six scientists—Gregory P. Asner, Philip G. Brodrick, Christopher B. Anderson, Nicholas Vaughn, David E. Knapp and Roberta E. Martin—from the Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS) in Stanford, Calif., have identified new methods to monitor forest canopy water content (CWC) due to drought and climate conditions. Their efforts were challenging because standard satellite observations don’t reveal the onset or evolution of canopy stress.

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Forest slowly winning war against mountain pine beetle

Rapid City Journal
February 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There are promising results from 2015’s battle in the two decades of warfare between Black Hills National Forest and the mountain pine beetle. The latest surveys of the national forest and surrounding land show that the beetle epidemic has slowed overall, largely as a result of cutting down and sanitizing trees. Some 16,000 to 17,000 acres of forest in the area were still infested by the mountain-pine beetle last year, about the same size as in 2014, but the population of young beetles has decreased, suggesting a downward trend, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien said on Thursday. “Our thinning the forests in those at-risk areas is resulting in the thin forests remaining green and healthy,” Bobzien said on the day the U.S. Forest Service released the results of high-resolution aerial photography and on-the-ground surveys conducted last August and September.

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Addressing the ‘wicked’ wildfire problem

CDA Press
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

New partnerships are desperately needed to tackle the “wicked problem” of wildfires, a team of University of Idaho researchers wrote in a report. Alistair Smith, director of research and graduate studies at the UI’s College of Natural Sciences, said academia, government, industries and communities must work together in the wildfire battle because the problem is so complex that a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist. “We need to help communities understand how to coexist with wildfire,” said Smith, the lead author in the report published on Tuesday in the BioScience journal. … Smith said most of the focus on wildfires has been on identifying the risks of fires. “But that is just one part of the whole problem,” Smith said. “We need new industries with innovative mitigation technologies or strategies to reduce the impact when fires occur. We have to have industries to take this challenge on.”

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County lawsuit hampers state forestry collaborative efforts, Salmon rep says

Corvallis Gazette-Times
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALBANY — Linn County’s decision to sue the Oregon Department of Forestry for breach of contract based on reduced timber harvest payments “is a really polarizing act between certain counties and timber companies to maximize revenues and logging production,” said Bob Van Dyk, Oregon & California Policy Director with the Wild Salmon Center. “It was a bit of a surprise, but also not a surprise,” Van Dyk said of the county’s Jan. 13 announcement. “There has been tension over state forest lands management for some time.” Van Dyk said the class-action lawsuit, which names 15 counties, has damaged years of collaborative efforts to develop a long-term, sustainable program of timber harvesting along with respecting other core value uses including recreation, riparian zones, wildlife diversity and salmonid restoration efforts.

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As We See It: BLM misses the mark on Rainbow Ridge

by K. Norman Johnson, professor in the College of Forestry, Oregon State University and Jerry F. Franklin, professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington
Corvallis Gazette-Times
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The Rainbow Ridge Timber Sale does not meet our third criteria, however: retention of a significant portion of the original stand embedded within the harvest unit as patches and individual trees. …We have consistently recommended that retained patches and individual trees be embedded within the harvest unit, and have worked successfully with the BLM in southwestern Oregon to achieve this result. Such an approach fulfills the objectives of life-boating biodiversity and important ecological functions throughout the harvest unit, which is not accomplished when retention is confined to the margins. Well-executed variable retention harvest also has a desirable social benefit — it does not look and feel like a clearcut.

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Senators introduce wildfire funding amendment

East Oregonian
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, have called for an end to “fire-borrowing” in an amendment to the Senate’s energy bill. Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden is once again working with Idaho Republican Mike Crapo on legislation to fix wildfire funding. Wyden and Crapo introduced an amendment to the Senate’s proposed energy bill on Tuesday that would end “fire-borrowing,” where land management agencies shift money from other programs to cover the cost of fighting large wildfires.  Wyden described fire-borrowing as “budgetary quicksand” that drags down every program at the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The amendment would establish a new Wildfire Disaster Relief Fund — which is similar to how the federal government pays for other natural disasters.

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Forest Service considering additional logging and prescribed burning near Elliston

Helena Independent Record
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is taking public comment on a new alternative for a timber project south of Elliston. The Telegraph Vegetation Project first considered a no-action alternative and two action alternatives for a nearly 24,000-acre area 15 miles southwest of Helena. With public comment in mind, the Forest Service released a fourth alternative Tuesday with a proposed uptick in acres of logging and prescribed burning focused on supplementing private land fuel reductions, forest documents say. Following public comment, open house meetings and a field trip to the area with a landowner, Forest Service officials heard a common concern about wildfire in beetle-killed forests adjacent to private lands.

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Forest Service proposes 1,300-acre salvage sale

Hungry Horse News
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service last week released a plan to salvage timber from a little more than 1,300 acres of the Trail Creek Fire near Spotted Bear. The fire burned more than 21,456 acres, but the bulk of that was in inventoried roadless areas or in the Great Bear Wilderness. The plan calls for building 7 miles of roads in previous road grades. After the harvest, the roads, plus an additional mile of existing road would be placed in what the Forest Service terms “intermittent stored service.” The new roads would not remain open to motorized use. The project looks to harvest between 6 and 7 million board feet of timber. About 246 acres of the burned area were initially part of the Spotted Bear River project that was approved before the fire.

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Annual forest health survey is released

KEVN Black Hills Fox
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The new aerial forest health survey for the Black Hills National Forest is out, and while the results look promising, the mountain pine beetle epidemic is continuing. The survey comes from the U-S Forest Service, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the Wyoming State Forestry Division. The Forest Service says, like 2014, between 16,000 and 17,000 acres in the forest were affected in 2015 and says ground surveys and beetle brood surveys reveal signs that the epidemic is slowing.  They say the areas that have the highest current activity include the northwest corner of the forest around the Tinton area, areas south and east of Custer and the west-central area near the South Dakota/Wyoming state line.

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Fire officials focus on grants for Cambria forest

The Cambrian
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As fire and forestry officials and others work to meet the terms of a $498,000 carbon-sequestration grant already awarded to improve the health of the North Coast’s 3,200-acre Monterey pine forest, they continue to seek other funding opportunities that look promising. To sequester carbon in this case, actions taken would have to reduce the amount of dead wood that’s left on site after a tree falls and find uses for that wood that reduce the carbon footprint, such as turning it into charcoal, milling it for lumber or burning it to generate electricity that would otherwise be provided by a carbon-rich process. Dan Turner, business manager for the county’s Fire Safe Council, wrote in a Jan. 26 report to the Cambria Fire Safe Focus Group that environmental review and operational planning for the grant project is underway by registered professional foresters on the forestry faculty at Cal Poly.

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Volunteers work to rebuild forest damaged in 2012 fire

Corvallis Gazette-Times
February 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LIHUE, Hawaii — A group of volunteers is helping to restore the Hikimoe Ridge, three years after the forest was damaged in a fire that burned several thousand acres on Kauai. About 30 volunteers planted seedlings on Wednesday across two acres of the Hikimoe Ridge. Officials say they plan to plant 20,000 seedlings along the entire area that was destroyed in the 2012 blaze, The Garden Island reported. “It’s great to have the chance to come back and heal the land,” said Michelle Clark, a biologist with US Fish and Wildlife Service. “Who can say no to a chance to come out to Kokee to plant trees.” Hikimoe Ridge, in the Kokee Area Forest Reserves, was one of three ridges charred in the fire that spread across the Na Pali-Kona, Puuka Pele Forest Reserves and southern Poki. Almost 3,000 acres of eucalyptus trees were burned to the ground.

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Risky behavior outdoors is a factor in growing number of carnivore attacks

Maine News Online
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A study said that risky behavior in the outdoors is a factor responsible for increasing number of attacks on people by huge carnivores like bears, cougars and coyotes. Such risks include parents leaving kids unattended, walking unleashed dog and hunters looking for an injured animal, doing outdoor activities at night and going closer to a female carnivore with young. The study findings appeared in the online journal Nature.com on Wednesday said that remarkably, risk-enhancing human behavior played a part in at 50% of the well-documented attacks. A team of researchers, including a University of Calgary bear expert Stephen Herrero, analyzed 700 big carnivore attacks taken place in North America and Western Europe, since 1955.

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Seeking foresters

Foresters provide valuable expertise in maintaining forest health, forest industry, and all the other goods and services that forests provide. Management is the key. However, foresters come in many breeds.
Michigan State University
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Some foresters within the forestry community have recently been engaged with the proposal to upgrade and enhance the Michigan Registered Forester occupational code. Unlike many professions, foresters do not need to be licensed in Michigan. However, forest owners, and others, can derive some level of assurance when they engage the services of a Registered Forester, which requires a university degree, field experience, and (proposed) continuing education. Should the Michigan Legislature upgrade the current Registered Forester program, along the guidelines of the new proposal, forest owners will have another level of confidence when seeking professional forestry assistance.

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Forest Service And DNR Sign Minnesota Good Neighbor Agreement

KDAL
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DULUTH, MN  – In a move that will boost collaborative management of Minnesota’s forest lands, the U.S. Forest Service has signed a Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) master agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The completed master agreement between the Chippewa and Superior National Forests in Minnesota and the DNR follows similar agreements signed by the national forests in Michigan and Wisconsin. These agreements are among the first signed GNA master agreements in the country.  The master agreement is a broad pact allowing the state to supplement
the work being done by Forest Service staff on the national forests.

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Albania passes 10-year moratorium to stop cutting wood

Associated Press in The Washington Post
February 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

TIRANA, Albania — The Albanian Environment Ministry says Parliament has passed a 10-year moratorium on chopping down trees for industry or export purposes. Spokeswoman Ana Kekezi on Friday said that the law only allows local authorities to approve limited wood-cutting for heating. Albania’s 1.4 million hectares (3.5 million acres) of forests have been savagely cut or burnt over the past 26 years since the fall of the communist regime, with an average of 2.5 million trees chopped down each year. Environment Minister Lefter Koka said that the “extreme decision on this moratorium” came after recent measures failed to stop loss of forest, one of the main reasons for floods throughout the country in recent years.

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Protesters in call to join fight for forest at Lapoinya

The Mercury
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AS harvesting gets under way in a fiercely contested area of native forest at Lapoinya, a local protest group is refusing to give up the fight against it. The Forests of Lapoinya Action Group (Flag) has put out another call for people from around the state to join its campaign and will use $10,000 raised through crowd-funding for an advertising blitz. Forestry Tasmania says the trees contained in the 49ha of forest to be logged are an ­important resource for North West sawmills, but locals say the forest is worth more to the state and to them if it’s left standing. Over the past fortnight, five people, including former Greens Senator Bob Brown, have been arrested and charged at the Lapoinya protest under the State Government’s anti-protest legislation.

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Forest management not so hot at fighting warming

Tree-planting strategies in Europe make climate change worse, study suggests
Science News
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmentalists hoping that micromanaging Europe’s forests will help curb climate change may be barking up the wrong tree. Retracing changes in forestry since 1750, researchers report in the Feb. 5 Science that forest management in Europe has made climate change worse, not better. Despite an overall uptick in tree populations, European forests stockpile less carbon than they did around 250 years ago. Furthermore, favoritism among foresters for certain tree species has resulted in forests that absorb more warming sunlight and undergo less air-cooling evaporation, the researchers found. The net result is that forest management practices have slightly worsened warming, says study coauthor Kim Naudts, a forest ecologist at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.

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Conifer forest expansion blamed for boosting global warming

Dark colours of pine and spruce trap the sun’s heat, scientists warn
Thomson Reuters in CBC
February 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An expansion of Europe’s forests towards dark green conifers has stoked global warming, according to a study on Thursday at odds with a widespread view that planting more trees helps human efforts to slow rising temperatures. …They said the changes in the make-up of Europe’s forests outweighed trees’ role in curbing global warming. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, from the air as they grow. “It’s not all about carbon,” lead author Kim Naudts told Reuters, saying government policies to favour forests should be re-thought to take account of factors such as their colour and changes to moisture and soils.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Japan’s power producers scour forests in search of wood to burn

The Japan Times
February 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

With almost 70 percent of its land covered by forests, Japan is leading a drive to return to wood as a source of cleaner energy. While projects in the U.K. and the U.S. are experimenting with biomass, Japan is giving favorable tariffs to power producers who burn leftover wood as a way to cut the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. It is a program that is so successful that local biomass producers already are having problems meeting demand, and researchers warn there may not be enough raw materials to feed the power stations now being planned. Some environmentalists even question whether the use of biomass is as carbon-free as advertised.

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Rainforest regrowth boosts carbon capture, study shows

BBC News
February 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Newly grown rainforests can absorb 11 times as much carbon from the atmosphere as old-growth forests, a study has shown. The researchers have produced a map showing regions in Latin America where regrowing rainforests would deliver the greatest benefits. However, they added that old-growth forests still needed to be protected as they locked away vast amount of carbon. The international team of scientists compiled data from almost 1,500 plots at 45 sites across the Neotropics, which covers southern and central America, allowing them to produce map highlighting the carbon sequestration potential of areas across the Neotropics.

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Stora Enso reiterates commitment to bioenergy

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
February 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Finnish pulp and paper manufacture Stora Enso said it will invest €16m to start wood pellet production at its Ala sawmill in Sweden and €10m to revamp its biomass-fired boiler in Finland, as it attempts to transform into a renewable materials company. In its 2015 fourth-quarter statement published today (4 February, 2015), the firm said sales decreased by 2.5% to €2.49bn for the quarter 2015 compared to €2.55bn the same period a year earlier. Stora Enso’s CEO, Karl-Henrik Sundström, said: “Stora Enso has shown its ability to transform into a renewable materials growth company. In the fourth quarter, sales excluding the structurally declining paper business and divestments increased 5.4%.

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