Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 8, 2016

Special Feature

COFI 2016: Setting the Stage for Competitiveness

Tree Frog News
April 7, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice-President and Chief Policy Advisor of the BC Business Council, set the stage for all the top-notch speakers that followed at COFI’s  annual conference in Kelowna BC yesterday. His task was to “set the stage” for the competitiveness discussions, which he did by noting that BC is a small economy (1% of North America) and thus a price taker in the market. Jock noted that the drop in the Canadian dollar relative to the US has been key to current earnings, as many other factors are hurting competitiveness. This includes the level of BC’s marginal tax rate compared to competitor regions (particularly with the switch back to the PST from the HST), the fact that BC is one of the few jurisdictions in the world with a carbon tax (and it is planning to increase it) and wood costs have been increasing at rates much faster than our key competitiors. Looking forward, Joch noted the importance of predictability with respect to fibre costs and availability, regulator care on all fronts and consideration of investment tax credits to incentivize new investments. [END]

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International Outlook on Forest Product Markets

Tree Frog News
April 7, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Jannke of Forest Economic Advisors and Daryl Swetlishoff of Raymond James provided the COFI attendees with valuable insights into the market from a supply/demand and raising capital perspective, respectively. Paul emphasized his firm’s belief that lumber markets and thus prices will strengthen over the next five years (notwithstanding their pessimistic view of 2016), why supply will be hard pressed to meet growing demand and the associated implication that offshore exports will decrease and imports will increase. Daryl spoke of the importance of understanding industry’s minuscule position in capital markets, the importance of increasing investor mindshare, meeting investor hurdle rates and increasing trading liquidity. The panel was moderated by Chris McIver, of West Fraser Timber. END

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Canada Grows on Trees – Keynote by Bruce Anderson

Tree Frog News
April 7, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Acclaimed pollster and communication advisor Bruce Anderson was the keynote luncheon speaker at COFI’s 2016 Conference. Bruce–an advisor of the forest products sector for over two decades–started his presentation by talking about how negative the public was towards the sector 20 years ago (compared to mining, oil and gas, etc.) and how much it has approved today (in part to his credit we would add!). With respect to public opinion changes, Bruce spoke about how the global nature of markets is now accepted as a reality rather than a threat, change is accepted as a given as opposed to “a choice”, the economy and the environment are now seen as mutually inclusive rather than exclusive and although political debate can be polarized, the majority of the public (at least in Canada) wants something more pragmatic. Bruce also spoke about the risks he sees in the anti-trade rhetoric in the US presidential primary elections and why a more nuanced strategy is required by Canada on trade, and he concluded by emphasizing the importance of continuing to communicate and position the sector for future success. [END]

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British Columbia Fibre Outlook

Tree Frog News
April 7, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Deputy Minister Tim Sheldan and newly affirmed Chief Forester Diane Nichols spoke of the challenges and opportunities related to BC’s future fibre supply. Tim focused on the importance of having a “competitiveness lens” when considering policy changes and of removing barriers to ensure industry can continue to provide economic and community benefits. Diane focused on the transition to a lower AAC resulting from the Mountain Pine Beetle but also the opportunities represented by the fact that not all areas were as hard hit as originally forecast, the current AAC has not been fully utilized in many areas and because there is additional fibre opportunity outside the traditional AAC land base. The panel was moderated by Ric Slaco of Interfor.  [END]

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Health and Safety in the BC Forest Industry

Tree Frog News
April 8, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rob Moonen, the newly minted CEO of the BC Forest Safety Council and WorkSafeBC’s prevention manager for the Interior North, Barry Nakahara, were the last (but certainly not least) panel speakers of Day 1 at COFI 2016. Rob spoke of the significant progress that has been made in the last decade in reducing workforce injuries (down by 1/3) and fatalities (down by 75%) but also of the importance of not becoming complacent because of this success. Barry talked about the changes at WorkSafe resulting from the sawmill explosion inquests including expanded injunction powers and increased reporting requirements. Looking forward, the speakers emphasized the importance of challenging the status quo and creating culture change in support of safety. The panel was moderated by Rick Jeffrey of the Coast Forest Products Association. END]

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Business & Politics

TPP would ‘dilute’ powerful position Canadian business has in U.S. market: memo

Canadian Press in BC Local News
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — On the day Canada agreed to the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, an internal federal analysis warned the deal threatened to water down the country’s powerful business position in the crucial U.S. market. …Joining the TPP would enable Canada to continue its participation in the North American supply chains that “underpin the economy,” said the note, obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act. …Supporters of the TPP argue it would open foreign markets and could bring significant benefits for Canadian sectors like forestry, manufacturing and agriculture, especially canola, beef and pork production.

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Building Momentum: Government and Industry finding sustainable solutions using the LEAN process

by Les Kiss, Vice President, Forestry, Coast Forest Products Association
Coast Forest Products Association
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In today’s challenging economic environment, government and industry feel the pressure to operate more efficiently, seek out process improvements, and find cost reduction opportunities. When it comes to coastal log handling, log value is reduced every time a log is “touched”. Therefore, it is essential to identify opportunities to eliminate “waste” (i.e. those log handling steps that add no value) in order to maintain a competitive coast forest industry. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations (FLNRO) took action mid last year by establishing the LEAN Log Handling Working Group to address the issue. Simply put, LEAN is about doing the right activities, in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities while at the same time minimizing nonvalue added work.

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Truck Loggers Association meet in Port Alberni

Alberni Valley News
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A regular board of directors meeting is being held today in Port Alberni for the Truck Loggers Association. The Association is in support of its 22 members operating in the Alberni Valley recognizing those who have been negatively impacted by the rate dispute between Island Pacific Logging and Western Forest Products. Last month, Western Forest Products sent home mill workers because of a log shortage. The United Steelworkers have moved towards legal proceedings against WFP.

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Forest industry strong

Castanet Kelowna
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forests Minister Steve Thomson says the forest industry in B.C. is getting stronger following the economic downturn at the end of last decade. He made the comments Thursday morning at the annual Council of Forest Industries convention at the Delta Grand in Kelowna. “I am pleased to say in 2015, the forest sector continues to rebound from that (downturn) and continues to grow,” said Thomson. “Forest exports have increased again. We increased 3.6 per cent to $12.9 million, supporting more than 60,000 direct jobs and 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province.” Since 2009, Thomson says employment in the industry is up 20 per cent, while the export value of softwood lumber is up more than 60 per cent since 2007.

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Softwood lumber deal discussed at forest industry convention in Kelowna

Global News
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KELOWNA – Forest products are big business in B.C. The sector contributes more than $12 billion to the GDP of British Columbia and employs 145,000 people in the province directly or indirectly. “Government and industry have a shared interest in making sure the industry remains competitive,” says Susan Yurkovitch, president and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries.

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BC’s forest minister says industry is on the rebound

Kelowna Capital News
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s forests minister says while the once mighty forest industry in this province is currently very healthy, more needs to be done to keep it competitive in the face of challenges from both inside and outside B.C. Steve Thomson, who spoke to delegates at the annual Council of Forest Industries convention in Kelowna Thursday, said after the forest sector’s downturn during the last recession, it has rebounded and is growing, up 3.6 per cent last year. And he promised his government will do all it can to help maintain and improve the industry competitive edge going forward. Thomson said the industry now supports more than 60,000 direct jobs in this province and another 90,000 indirect jobs.

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Time for timber to face the harsh realities of their own making

by Hunter McIntosh, President/CEO, The Boat Company
Sit News
April 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Viking Lumber and other southeast Alaska timber companies are threatening to close down unless they can continue cutting down old growth trees in the Tongass National Forest and other nearby forests. To which I say: Good riddance. This is a shameless act of extortion by an industry that has had its way with our public lands for far too long. It s clear cutting of ecologically irreplaceable first-growth forests has been incredibly destructive, and not just to bears, salmon, birds, wolves, and other wildlife. Not to mention fully subsidized by the Federal Government (aka, our tax payer dollars), almost entirely for decades. The tourism and fishing industries, neither of which receive a single penny in federal subsidies, employ far more Alaskans than the timber industry.

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Coos Bay awards 2016 timber sale to Swanson Group

The World
April 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

COOS BAY — The Coos Bay City Council has awarded its 2016 timber sale to the Swanson Group for $542,203.10. Following a cruise performed by Stuntzner Engineering and Forestry, the city received two responses for the 1,406 board feet of timber. Scott Timber Company, the other bidder, submitted a bid of $412,468.80. Compared to past years, this year’s timber sale will bring in less money, with prices for all species of trees except red cedar dropping. The city will have to pay additional costs in the amount of $52,800 to complete the sale for seeding procurement, reforestation and the reimbursement fee for the original construction of Loop Road and its maintenance.

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Southeast’s largest lumber mill may close

KRBD
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Owners of Southeast Alaska’s largest remaining mill say it could close next year. It’s part of an ongoing battle over logging in the Tongass National Forest. Viking Lumber is a family-owned business in Klawock, on the west side of Southeast’s Prince of Wales Island. It would have been considered a small-to-medium-sized mill in the peak days of the timber industry. But now, it’s the biggest in the region. “The amount of economic timber in the next five years is pretty much non-existent,” said Bryce Dahlstrom of Viking Lumber, addressing a recent meeting of the regional development organization Southeast Conference. He said the U.S. Forest Service isn’t selling enough old-growth trees for Viking to stay in business. As a result, he said the mill, which 150 people depend on for their jobs, will have to close in about 18 months.

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Pyramid Continues to Avoid Layoffs

Seeley Swan Pathfinder
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SEELEY LAKE – Pyramid Mountain Lumber Company, Inc. has maintained 140 employees and kept their doors open through the worst year financially the mill has ever experienced. Pyramid’s Chief of Operations Loren Rose said the mill intends to persevere and keep their employees on the payroll despite economic challenges. Rose said the biggest reasons for the loss of revenue are log costs and the drop instead of rise in market prices in the spring. Pyramid was the first of the Montana mills to adjust spending to account for poor lumber prices. About a year ago, Pyramid cut spending. That sent local loggers to other mills where they could get more for their timber. “What mills were paying for logs wasn’t making sense for what they would get out of them,” said Rose.

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84 Lumber Named on Forbes’ 2016 List of America’s 250 Best Mid-Size Employers

PR Newswire
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

EIGHTY FOUR, Pa. — 84 Lumber, the nation’s leading privately held building materials and services supplier, has been named to Forbes’ 2016 list of America’s 250 Best Mid-Size Employers. Companies were selected based on a survey conducted by Forbes, in partnership with Statista.com, of more than 30,000 employees working for large or midsize firms – with 1,000 or more employees – across 25 industries. Employees were asked to recommend and rate their employers, as well as mention good and bad employers in sectors and industries besides their own. 

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Different industries feel impact of Verso paper mill shut down

WPSD
April 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States


ARLINGTON, KY – Businesses and their employees in and near Ballard County are rethinking their future after Verso announced the closure of the Wickliffe paper mill. Loads of timber get dropped off at Wright’s Saw Mill in Arlington every day. It’s truck driver Henry Cole’s job to deliver them. His route has one less stop than it had about five months ago. “I’ve had to tighten up around the house a little bit. It’s making me not spend as much money in our local area,” Cole said. Cole used to haul smaller trees, limbs and lumber scraps to the Verso mill. The loss of that stop has cost him up to $200 a week. “That’s caused us to have to leave a lot limbs and stuff on our logging jobs in the woods instead of getting a profit out of them,” Cole said. He says it has hurt the loggers, the landowners who own the timber and the saw mill that employs him.

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LePage asks Massachusetts to reconsider rule that hurts Maine wood industry

Associated Press in The Portland Press Herald
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA – New renewable energy standards in Massachusetts are adding to the problems of Maine’s logging industry, which is already threatened by the collapse of the biomass market and recent closure of pulp and paper mills. Gov. Paul LePage is asking Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to reconsider a rule change that went into effect on Jan. 1 that kicked two biomass electricity plants in Washington County out of a program that awards higher payments for renewable energy. The two plants closed last month, putting 44 people out of work and further squeezing the region’s loggers, who are struggling to find buyers for low-grade wood and byproduct wood from cutting lumber.

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Timber man wants inquiry into contracts

The Mackay Argus
April 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A KEMPSEY-based hardwood flooring manufacturer has challenged the NSW government to initiate an open inquiry into recently issued Forestry Corporation NSW contracts. Australian Solar Timbers owner Dr Douglas Head said his calls for an inquiry centred on what he believed were commercial anomalies in contracts with Boral. “And while these anomalies are widely understood within the industry, there exists a profound reluctance to address these issues,” Dr Head said. “I believe this could inevitably result in the destruction of the family companies that were, after all, the original pioneers of the NSW hardwood industry,” Dr Head said. “Courage to remedy this uncompetitive mess is required.

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Waste wood market ‘less reliant on Sweden’

Lets Recycle
April 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Amid concern over Environment Agency plans to impose stricter storage rules, wood recyclers are reporting a more stable spot market for lower grade material and slightly less reliance on biomass export. The waste wood market has traditionally been driven by seasonal demand, with arisings from summertime construction work helping to boost stocks of material, and winter demand for heat and energy seeing larger amounts used for biomass burning by colder countries in northern Europe, such as Sweden. Usually this results in recyclers raising their summer spot market gate fees when they struggle to offload material, before reducing them in the winter in response to greater movement on the market.

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Chinese company puts plans on hold

Rotorua Daily Post
April 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A Chinese company that was seriously investigating building a sawmill and wood-processing plant in Taupo has put the project on hold to focus on buying a competitor. China-based Fenglin Group, a listed company on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, had been undertaking a due diligence study on the possibility of basing part of its operation near Taupo. The company was approached in January 2015 by economic development agency Enterprise Great Lake Taupo (EGLT), which has spent two years working with various entities to attract a business to do a feasibility study on constructing, owning and operating a sawmill, laminated veneer lumber and medium density fibreboard plant near Taupo. Radiata pine logs would be processed using geothermal energy before being shipped to China.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Thompson Applauds Announcement by US Green Building Council

Gant Daily
April 7, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON, D.C .– U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson has applauded the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for making changes to their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. The long overdue change will encourage more wood use in building construction. That includes lumber companies certified by the American Tree Farm System and landowners certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the Forest Stewardship Council. “For a state which was founded as ‘Penn’s Woods,’ this is wonderful news,” said Thompson. “Wood is the ultimate green building material. This decision will provide a boost to companies across the state involved in the wood industry.”

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Forestry

Tanizul Timber passes audit of community forest licence

BC Forest Practices Board
April 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of Community Forest Agreement CFA K4B, near Fort St. James, has found that Tanizul Timber Ltd. met the requirements of provincial forestry legislation, according to a report released today. “The auditors found that Tanizul is meeting the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act on the community forest,” said Forest Practices Board chair Tim Ryan. “There was one area of improvement noted, which has to do with formally assessing fire hazards after harvesting. Tanizul treated all hazards appropriately, so this was not a significant issue,” Ryan said. “However, it is a frequent issue that comes up in board audits and is something all licensees need to pay more attention to.”

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Nicola Valley eyeing BC Rural Dividend

Merritt Herald
April 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province is presenting a pot of money to rural communities to help diversify and strengthen their economies, the potential of which isn’t lost on locals. Over the next three years the provincial government is handing out $75 million — $25 million per year — to communities with populations under 25,000 through its newly created BC Rural Dividend. Last Thursday, Minister of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Steve Thomson, announced to a group of locals at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Merritt that the first wave of applications were being accepted between April 4 and May 31. Among those who attended were members of the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society, which has been trying to build a movie theatre and performing arts centre downtown. Currently the group needs to raise $3.2 million to cover the cost of construction.

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Quebec moves to protect woodland caribou

National Observer
April 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC – The Quebec government has announced its plan to preserve the endangered woodland caribou, designating as protected 90-per-cent of the province’s intact forests. The woodland caribou, unlike its migratory cousin, stays in the same forest area. A report by Quebec’s chief forester last year found that logging and forestry roads were disturbing the habitat of the woodland caribou and endangering the ecotype. Quebec’s plan calls for returning existing forestry roads to nature, in collaboration with first nations people living in Quebec’s north. In making the announcement, Forestry Minister Laurent Lessard noted he has communicated Quebec’s position to the Germany-based Forest Stewardship Council, which certifies the environmental and social acceptability of forestry practices.

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New Rating Approach for Green Building a Step Forward for Healthy Forests

National Association of State Foresters
April 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON —The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) applauds Tuesday’s announcement by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to expand opportunities for using wood products in green buildings, including wood certified by the American Tree Farm System®, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, and programs that are endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). USGBC, the governing body for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, announced this week the decision to expand LEED’s forest certification options. The announcement creates new pathways that can allow responsibly managed wood products to receive recognition for their contributions to sustainability in buildings.

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Drought, Bark Beetles Still Here

Structural Termite and Pest Control Targets Beetles
The Mountain News
April 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

“We’re having another early spring so bark beetles are coming out of pine trees sooner and are attacking the trees sooner,” said Dawn Fluharty, West regional technical manager for Arborjet, a leader in the fight against bark beetles. …Bark beetles never really go away from the mountains, but flare during a drought because trees use water to create pitch which in turn pushes the beetle out of, and away from, a tree’s bark. According to the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Program, there are more than 200 species in California alone

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McCain urges more federal land be made availabe to Arizona’s forest industry to prevent fires

Arizona Business Daily
April 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recently asked the U.S. Forest Service to let Arizona forestland become available to the state’s timber industry for the sake of reforestation and to prevent rampant wildfires. McCain addressed his remarks to U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell as part of an effort to free up woodlands to help reduce widespread and dangerous fires. He also stressed that the Eastern Arizona Counties Organization (EACO) wishes to take responsibility. “My constituents … warn me that the timber industry in eastern Arizona is currently in survival mode and barely operating due to a lack of lands that are (National Environmental Policy Act) NEPA-approved for treatment,” McCain said.

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Recreation brings more money than timber on Oregon’s BLM lands

The World
April 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COOS BAY — A new study commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts is touting the economic value of “quiet recreation” on Bureau of Land Management lands, a value that, according to the study, rivals that of other commercial revenues. Conducted by independent firm ECONorthwest, Quiet Recreation on BLM-Managed Lands: Economic Contribution 2014 is a first-of-its-kind study to focus on the economic value behind quiet recreation activities — or, more simply put, nonmotorized recreation. ECONorthwest senior economic analyst and lead researcher Kristin Lee said the study was significant not only in being the first to quantify the effects on the local economy, but also in the findings, which showed billions of dollars in economic output.

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FWP: Montana Ready to Address Deadly Bat Disease if Necessary

Flathead Beacon
April 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildlife officials say they are prepared to combat a deadly disease afflicting bat populations across North America should it arrive in Montana. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is working with partner agencies and other organizations to prepare for the possible emergence of white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that has killed millions of bats across the continent in the last decade. Washington officials announced last week that the disease was detected in a bat discovered near North Bend, Washington, marking the first time white-nose syndrome has been confirmed in the Western U.S. WNS is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife.

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Wildfire In The Sierra Nevada Is Threatening The Existence Of This Cat-like Mammal

Valley Public Radio
April 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


There’s a furry little animal that lives in the mountains along the West Coast that soon could get an added step of protection by being listed as threatened both in California and nationally. And as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports they face a number of threats including wildfire. …“So they’re in the same family that you would find the wolverines, pine martins, things like skunks,” says Don Richardson who curates the animals at the zoo in Kern County.  …Curry’s organization would like state and federal fish and wildlife agencies to protect the fisher from any further decrease in population from logging, climate change or new development. That includes the threat of poisoning.

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New protections for northern long-eared bats

Traverse City Record Eagle
April 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TRAVERSE CITY — Just east of Manistee, 700 northern long-eared bats join the 20,000-bat huddle within the Tippy Dam spillway, as they have for many winters. But the future looks grim for long-eared bats, a species experiencing the devastating fungus disease known as white nose syndrome. Special protections for the threatened species went into effect in February but they may prove too late in coming to save the long-eared bats, once one of the region’s most common bat species. …Newly finalized regulations associated with the long-eared bat’s threatened status allow for their removal from their roost trees or buildings only when presenting a danger to humans

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

US Forest Service experimental forests chosen for US-China climate initiative

Science Codex
April 7, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Two U.S. Forest Service experimental forests have been chosen to participate in the U.S,-China Climate Change and Forests Initiative, a program of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group led by the U.S. Department of State. The two U.S. experimental forests selected – the Santee Experimental Forest in South Carolina and the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire – will partner with two forests in China, the Wangqing Forest Bureau in northern China and the Tropical Forest Experimental Center in Guangxi Province in southern China, as sites for the engagement of technical experts, discussion of land management practices, and possible joint research projects as part of the Initiative’s work on synergies of forest mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

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