Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 15, 2016

Business & Politics

Any softwood lumber deal needs to address root cause of rift: a low loonie

by Doug Smyth, forest industry consultant and former research director with IWA-Canada.
Globe and Mail
March 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama said last week in Washington that they are committed to fixing the continuing “irritant” of the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber dispute. …. Let’s hope so, because there is no doubt that the 2006-15 U.S.-Canada softwood lumber agreements were a costly disaster for the four major provinces covered: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. From October, 2006, to October, 2015, they paid out $1.9-billion (Canadian) in export charges. However, the damage didn’t stop there. The U.S. government had already hit Canadian lumber imports with average duties of 27 per cent from 2002 to 2006. The total cost to the four provinces came to $5.3-billion (U.S.) in duties.

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Lumber Jumps as Trudeau-Obama Meeting Fuels Hopes for Trade Pact

Bloomberg News
March 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Lumber prices touched an eight-month high after a state visit to the U.S. by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised expectations that the latest chapter in a long-simmering trade dispute is closer to being resolved. Futures for May settlement rose 3.6 percent to their daily limit of $291.60 per 1,000 board feet at 12:45 p.m. in Chicago, the highest intraday price for a most-active contract since July 14. …A new accord would probably boost prices as imported Canadian lumber will be subject to a tax at the border, Paul Quinn, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Vancouver, said in an interview.

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Cannings disappointed by slow progress on softwood lumber

Castlegar News
March 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings was disappointed with the progres made by the Canadian government in negotiating a new softwood lumber agreement with the US. During a press conference Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama held in the Rose Garden on Thursday, Trudeau briefly addressed the issue, referring to it as an irritant. “I’m confident that we are on a track to resolving this irritant in the coming weeks and months,” said Trudeau. Obama also referred to it as an irritant. “This issue of softwood lumber will get resolved in some fashion,” said Obama. 

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Workers to remain on job following blast at MDF plant

Prince George Citizen
March 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Employees at West Fraser’s WestPine medium density fibreboard plant in Quesnel will remain on the job conducting cleanup and repair following last week’s fire and explosion, the company’s CEO said Monday. “We will not restart operations at WestPine MDF until we know it is safe,” Ted Seraphim also said in a statement. The incident occurred Wednesday evening in the feed-stock area outside the plant’s main production area. All 30 employees who were working at the time were safely evacuated and volunteer firefighters were called in to battle the ensuing blaze. “West Fraser is committed to repairing and restarting WestPine but not until we complete our investigation, determine the root cause of what failed inside the MDF forming process equipment, and are confident we have the solution in place to ensure a similar incident can never happen again,” Seraphim said.

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Thunder Bay MP Don Rusnak in Washington to talk softwood lumber

‘It’s a minor issue for our American friends, but it’s a huge issue for us,’ Rusnak says
CBC News
March 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Softwood lumber is part of the agenda as a large Canadian delegation, including governing and opposition MPs, meet their counterparts in Washington on Tuesday. Thunder Bay – Rainy River MP Don Rusnak said he’ll meet with members of congress and U.S. Senators whose work is relevant to his riding, and the country. “It’s a minor issue for our American friends, but it’s a huge issue for us especially here in Thunder Bay,” Rusnak said. “I know the Prime Minister and President have committed to a framework within a hundred days to get the issue resolved. Rusnak said the meetings will build on the relationships initiated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this month in Washington.

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Sierra Pacific buys 7.8 million board feet of federal timber

The Eureka Times-Standard
March 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Sierra Pacific Industries has purchased more than 7.8 million board feet of timber in the Six Rivers National Forest in the final sale from the Kelsey Peak Timber Sale and Fuelbreak Project, an effort Sierra Pacific says is designed to provide timber, improve fire protection and promote safety in the forest and surrounding communities. The $604,107 Kelsey Peak sale comes a month and a half after Sierra Pacific officials cited a lack of log supply in announcing they would close the company’s sawmill on the Samoa Peninsula, affecting 123 workers. The mill was scheduled to stop running by March 25 and have all leftover timber shipped out by April 22. Sierra Pacific officials said the Arcata mill was designed for 16-inch or bigger diameter logs, and they struggled to find suitable timber despite efforts to import logs from Washington state or British Columbia.

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The Sacramento Mountain Wood Industry Summit is set for the end of March

Ruidoso News
March 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Sacramento Mountain Wood Industry Summit will be held Mar. 30 and 31 at the Ruidoso Convention Center. The two-day event will bring forest industry experts to the area to discuss new products and ideas in the field of bio-mass, investment, economic development and funding possibilities in the wood industry, contracting on local and state levels and the many prescriptions utilized by various local agencies. The summit is free and open to the public. One of the sponsors of the summit is ENMU-Ruidoso which has organized annual conferences and monthly talks on forest health.

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Mill shakeups in Maine

Changes in costs and marketplace have impacted mills statewide.
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
March 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A combination of declining demand for newsprint and for glossy paper, cheaper imports and increasing energy and transportation costs have led to several closures and bankruptcies at Maine mills in recent years. Among the recent mill shake-ups: • Verso Paper sold off its unprofitable Bucksport mill in 2014, eliminating 500 jobs. …• Lincoln Paper and Tissue never recovered from a boiler explosion in 2013 that idled the mill, ultimately forcing it to file bankruptcy in September 2015….• Old Town pulp mill, which once employed 400, had been foundering since
2006 when Georgia Pacific relocated operations to the South.

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Madison mill to close in May; more than 200 to lose jobs

Associated Press in the Washington Times
March 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine – The Madison Paper Industries mill will close by the end of May, representing the fifth mill to cease manufacturing in little more than two years in Maine, officials said Monday. Nearly all 214 employees in Madison will lose their jobs, but a handful of maintenance workers will be retained to maintain buildings and a hydro facility after June 1, said Ruud van den Berg, vice president of UPM Paper’s division for North America and Europe. A glut of paper has reduced demand for the type of paper made in Madison, and recent duties targeting subsidized paper from Canada didn’t have as big of an impact as the operators had hoped, he said. “The major reason obviously is the continued decrease of paper demand,” he said Monday. “There is an unhealthy supply and demand balance in the paper industry.”

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Collins, King ask feds to help stem Maine paper industry’s ‘economic crisis’

Bangor Daily News
March 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — As another paper mill announced Monday that it will shut its doors, Maine U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King asked federal officials for help to address “an economic crisis of unprecedented magnitude” in Maine’s forest products industry. In a letter sent Monday to the U.S. Commerce Department, Collins and King focused on declines in the state’s pulp and paper industry and called on the department to lead a team from various federal agencies to study Maine’s forest product economy, as the department did for the Gulf Coast region in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The changing nature of fires

Winnipeg Free Press
March 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The recent number and severity of fires in Winnipeg is of great concern, not only to the citizens of Winnipeg, but also to its professional firefighters. …Also, construction of newer homes incorporates design features such as open floor plans with higher ceilings, for example. This leads to the use of manufactured wood I-beams or TJI floor and ceiling joists. While providing superior strength and straightness, these mechanically produced joists quickly fail under fire conditions. Attics are now commonly constructed with lightweight wooden truss systems with metal fasteners and hangers. Again, compared to older housing stock made with dimensional lumber, these newer features of today’s homes burn hotter and much more quickly.

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Cross-Laminated Timber Industry 2016-2021 Forecasts and Market Outlook Research Reports

PR Newswire
March 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Global and Chinese Cross-Laminated Timber Market (CLT) 2016 Research Report starts with providing a basic overview of the industry that covers definition, applications and manufacturing technology, post which the report explores into the international and Chinese players in the market. …The ‘Global and Chinese Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) Industry, 2016 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.

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Forestry

Spruce beetle outbreak in northeast BC has potential to spread

By Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stressed by drought and already severely damaged by a massive pine beetle infestation, British Columbia’s beleaguered forests are facing a second major insect attack. Katherine Bleiker, a research scientist with Natural Resources Canada, said a regional spruce beetle outbreak in northeast B.C. is serious and could spread to a larger area. “You are starting to see it everywhere,” Dr. Bleiker said of the spruce beetle, which the provincial government identified last week as a major threat to forests in the Omineca region near Prince George. She said while the infestation zone in B.C. is currently localized, bigger outbreaks in Alaska and Colorado could foreshadow what’s to come for the province. …Since the spruce beetle outbreak was first detected near Prince George three years ago, it has spread to 156,000 hectares.

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Timber Sale On Hold, Road Link Allowed to Proceed

Sit News
March 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ketchikan, Alaska – The U.S. Forest Service’s Alaska Regional Forester Beth Pendleton has directed the Tongass National Forest to put the Saddle Lake Timber Sale on hold until a supplemental environmental review can be completed and further public comments are considered. Friday’s decision still allows a fish pass to be built to help spawning salmon and construction of a 1.1-mile road link. The proposed Saddle Lakes Timber Sale project is located in the middle of Revillagigedo Island, east of the city of Ketchikan, on a peninsula between George and Carroll Inlets. The project would harvest approximately 30- 47 million board feet (MMBF) of timber on about 2,207 acres using cable, shovel, and helicopter logging systems; and would construct up to 16 miles of NFS system and temporary road.

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Bark Beetles, Wildfires, and Our Forests: 5 Questions for Dr. Brian J. Harvey

Huffington Post
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The last several decades have seen an increase in deadly bark beetle outbreaks and severe wildfires throughout western North America, killing trees throughout tens of millions of acres of forests from Arizona to Alaska. Although tree-killing beetles and wildfires are native to these forests, the recent increases in both disturbances have scientists, policymakers, and residents throughout the West concerned about the future of forests. Dr. Brian J. Harvey of the University of Colorado studies the causes and consequences of beetle outbreaks and forest fires. I interviewed him to learn the latest science on how to deal with these threats.

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Alaska Timber Sale on Hold After Objections by Environmental Groups

Center for Biological Diversity
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

KETCHIKAN, Alaska— In response to an appeal by environmental groups, the supervisor of the Tongass National Forest has put the Saddle Lake timber sale on hold until a “supplemental environmental review” can be completed and public comments are reviewed. Friday’s decision, though, allows a pass to be built to help spawning salmon, which environmental groups support, and construction of a 1.1-mile road link, which the groups continue to oppose. The proposed Saddle Lakes timber sale project is located in the middle of Revillagigedo Island, east of the city of Ketchikan, on a peninsula between George and Carroll inlets. In November environmental groups filed appeals formally objecting to a final environmental impact statement and accompanying draft project decision for the project. The proposed decision was for 47 million board feet of logging and 37 miles of road construction and reconstruction.

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Bogus Basin trees in peril as dwarf mistletoe plagues Boise National Forest

By Stephaney Kerley – Mountain Home District Ranger for the Boise National Forest AND Brad Wilson – general manager of Bogus Basin Mountain Resort.
Idaho Statesman
March 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For many years now, dwarf mistletoe, a parasitic plant that grows on trees, has been steadily increasing its hold on the forests around Bogus Basin Ski Resort and other ski resorts in forested areas. Dwarf mistletoe lives under the bark of trees and causes the growth of dense branches called “brooms.” The mistletoe deprives trees of water and nutrients, weakening them to the point where they eventually die or become desirable to Douglas-fir beetles and western bark beetles, which attack and kill them quickly. Dwarf mistletoe may take decades to kill a tree, but bark beetles can wipe out large numbers of trees in one or two years. Minor dwarf mistletoe infection is not a bad thing. In fact, dwarf mistletoe brooms and dead trees can be beneficial for wildlife that use them for food and shelter. However, at Bogus Basin, mistletoe infection rates have skyrocketed: nearly 90 percent of Douglas-fir trees are now infected.

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Seeking balanced solution for O&C lands

by Doug Robertson and Tim Freeman
The News-Review
March 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Counties throughout Oregon have begun developing their budgets for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. For the 18 O&C counties in Western Oregon, the management, or lack of it, on the 2.2 million acres of O&C lands will play a significant role in that process. … At this point, the BLM is proposing a new management plan for the O&C lands. It appears that the plan will violate the O&C Act in many respects. The association has notified the Congressional delegation and BLM that if the plan is adopted in the form first published, the association will have no choice but to file litigation to correct its failures. The Association of O&C Counties would prefer to avoid litigation and is committed to do everything possible to work on a balanced solution that provides outcomes that are acceptable to all involved.

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Helicopters To Drop Wood Mulch On Scorched Oregon Land

Oregon Public Broadcasting News
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Seven months after Baker County fought its largest wildfire ever, a helicopter has returned to the region — this time with wood instead of water. The Baker City Herald reports that the chopper is dropping hundreds of tons of wood mulch on land burned by the Cornet-Windy Ridge fire. The Forest Service hired Mountain West Helicopters of Provo, Utah, for the work. The mulch is expected to stabilize steep slopes that were stripped of vegetation by the fire.

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Equipment Displays, Education Highlights from the 78th Oregon Logging Conference

Forest Industry Network
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The 2016 theme for the Oregon Logging Conference (OLC) was “Reaching New Heights With Forest Products,” and not only was the latest in logging technology machinery available for viewing, the seminars and workshops all centered around that theme. 2016 OLC President, Jeff Unger,, said “The theme reflects how today’s innovations and modern technology in logging equipment are helping our industry grow with more productive and operator-friendly machines.” Of particular interest was the discussion about cross laminated timbers. Both Oregon State University Dean of Forestry Thomas Maness and Vancouver, BC architect Michael Green describe the use of wood when constructing tall buildings as “game changing.” Mannes said Oregon can “lead the way” in the new demand for cross laminated timbers, that will be created when wood is used for tall building construction.

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Finding a ‘new normal’ in forest management

Farmington Daily Times
March 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In mid-February, nearly three years after the Silver Fire raged through the Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico, dead trees stand like matchsticks along Emory Pass. A surge of warm temperatures hasn’t yet melted all the snow, and the charred skeletons cast long shadows down the wintry slopes. For decades, scientists have warned that increasing greenhouse gas emissions are warming the Earth’s climate. In the southwestern United States, those warmer temperatures are spurring bigger and hotter wildfires, increasing forests’ vulnerabilities to disease and insect outbreaks, and contributing to the large-scale die-off of conifer trees. Today’s wildfires aren’t only ravaging forests and threatening communities, however. They’re burning through funds the U.S. Forest Service could use to avert such disasters through prescribed burns and other preventive measures.

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Forests are renewable treasures

Both economically and environmentally
The Union Times
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DORCHESTER — Clemson Cooperative Extension forestry agent Derrick Phinney, the longtime natural resources professional, talked about forestry’s importance and value to South Carolina — both as a lucrative resource and as a friend to the environment — in a recent question-and-answer session. Phinney, who is based in Dorchester, provides programming and outreach education in 11 counties in the Lowcountry region. He has been involved in land management and environmental regulations for the past 18 years. He has also spent much of his time working with landowners on refining their objectives, writing and implementing management plans and coordinating timber sales, reforestation and timber stand improvements.

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Dave Anderson’s Forest Journal: Wildlife thrives in young forests that grow up after cutting

New Hampshire Union Leader
March 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

” …A common misconception is that doing nothing with a given tract of land perpetuates a status-quo forest — where no management equals no change. Right?  Wrong. Mature forests grow slowly. Change is nearly imperceptible. Yet open, scrubby fields and clearings grow all-too-quickly from thickets of young saplings to shady dense forests of pole-size timber with a closed canopy of shade. As March sunshine returns to our northern latitude, this is an excellent time to remember that sunlight is the coin of the realm for northern trees. The more sunlight, the faster the rates of growth.

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Commentary: Bring balance back to conservation efforts

By Bob Williams
Philly.com
March 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Today our natural resources are being loved to death with a hands-off preservation approach to actual conservation. More than 100 years ago, folks like Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, started a movement that brought true conservation of natural resources to the forefront of our environmental concerns. Over the last 40 years, our country has lost its conservation land ethic and abandoned it to an extremist preservation culture founded in political correctness. As we have funded the protection of open spaces in the billions of dollars, we get straight A’s for that great effort. However, now we get straight F’s in providing the needed active stewardship of those natural resources.

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Disease could hit plantations

Disease found in Grand Traverse, Kalkaska counties in 2015
Record Eagle
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TRAVERSE CITY — Pockets of dead trees speckle landscapes in southern Michigan where a fungus spreads through the air and below the ground. The culprit — a fungus that causes Heterobasidion root disease — was detected for the first time in Kalkaska and Grand Traverse counties last year, according to a report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Heterobasidion root disease is native, said Kama Ross, district forester for Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse conservation districts. It spreads easily, stunting and killing trees, in plantations where trees are harvested for timber.

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What Is A Tree Worth?

Bangor Daily News
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A question that may come to readers who are unacquainted with the woods industry, especially as they read about markets and forestry is, “What, exactly, is a tree worth?” I can’t give a straight answer to that question, and the truth is that anyone who does is either wrong or a lot smarter than I am, as the answer, like everything in the woods, is highly variable. The specific market value of a stem is going to depend on the species, grade of the tree, and market conditions. Most importantly, however, is the answer to the question “of what value to whom?” A tree is going to be valued differently by landowners, loggers, and mills, each of which have differing interests in the value chain of producing a finished wood product.

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Polish foresters, environmentalists debate over Europe’s last pristine forest

Associated Press in CTV News
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s Environment Ministry is leaving part of Europe’s last pristine forest without any human intervention as it seeks ways of saving it from woodworms, it announced Monday. The Bialowieza forest, in Poland’s northeast, is at the heart of a heated debate between foresters who advocate cutting tens of thousands of cubic meters (yards) of worm-affected trees, and environmentalists, who say that nature alone should be allowed to deal with the plague. European Union environment officials are also concerned about the condition of the unique forest are in touch with the ministry, according to Environment Minister Jan Szyszko. “The problem is serious because the forest is losing some of its chief species,” Szyszko has said.

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Partnership marks a new chapter for NZ forestry sector

Gisborne Herald
March 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

GISBORNE’S forest growers and farm-foresters are being given the chance to come up with a “cohesive” plan to put the region at the tip of a new $2 billion hardwood industry by planting eucalypt forests. A trial site to test the potential of planting ground-durable eucalypts in this region was set up at Te Koawa Station, Te Karaka in 2010 under the New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative. NZDFI project manager Paul Millen said last week’s formal launch of the Speciality Wood Products Research Partnership, aimed at diversifying New Zealand’s wood products to include eucalypts, was exciting news for Gisborne and the provinces. “It’s pretty exciting for the whole dryland forests initiative because it means the whole tree-improvement programme is very much going to happen over the next six years.

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Malaysian timber giant may lose FSC certification in NZ

New Zealand Scoop
March 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Local stakeholders in the East Coast region of New Zealand’s North Island have lodged a complaint against the Malaysian Samling Group with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international body that issues sustainability certificates to timber operators. Samling is accused of boycotting local efforts to build up a wood-processing industry and failing to provide sufficient economic opportunities to one of New Zealand’s economically weakest regions. Samling is being criticized for exporting the bulk of timber harvested in New Zealand as unprocessed logs. Despite being a key player in the local timber business, the Malaysian group has consistently refused to provide timber at market rates to a new wood-processing facility built up by the Gisborne District Council, the Eastland Community Trust and Activate Tairawhiti in a joint effort to revive the local economy.

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Europe’s first redwood forest planted at Eden Project

The Guardian
March 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forty coast redwood trees were planted on Monday at the Eden Project in the south-west of England, the first time a “forest” of these big friendly giants from north America has been introduced to Europe. By the year 2050 they will soar 25m into the Cornish sky. If all goes to plan they will become a new landmark, thrilling and amazing people for many centuries to come. Coast redwoods are the tallest living things on Earth, growing to 115 metres in height. But almost all have been cut down over the past 150 years and many of the remaining specimens in California and Oregon are under threat in their west coast home because of drought, forest fire and the decline of the foggy, sometimes chilly, conditions they thrive in.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Tasmanian fires: how climate change has ravaged ancient world heritage forests

The National
March 15, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…Once, as the sign suggests, this was a place of globally significant biodiversity – an ancient remnant of the upland vegetation of the supercontinent of Gondwana, which once stretched across the highlands of Australia, Antarctica and South America. Two-thirds of the plants in these valleys grow nowhere else on Earth. They are places of great beauty, in which time is stretched over a grand expanse. Now, according to the warnings of forest scientists, we may be bringing about the end of this great natural treasure. Many Australian forests are uniquely adapted to burn, but not these ones. The ancient alpine conifers and the little plants that grow amid the bogs are blasted year by year with all the rain the Southern and Indian Oceans can muster.

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Forest protection has major role to play in tackling climate change

Eco-Business
March 15, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

So what might be the solution to this complex challenge? The Belantara Foundation, a new Indonesian based organisation, which is focused on implementing effective mechanisms to funnel finance directly to programmes working on the ground across Indonesia believes that the key is the adoption of landscape scale conservation action plans that can unite diverse interests behind the implementation of a single scheme. The work of the Foundation, which was formed by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), will be overseen by an Advisory Board appointed in February 2016, consisting of widely respected individuals drawn from the government, non-profit and corporate sectors.

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