Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 19, 2016

Froggy Foibles

Floating urban forest coming to New York this summer

TreeHugger
April 18, 2016
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Looking for a new way to obtain fresh produce? This floating urban forest has your back. Swale, a barge topped with a forest of trees and edible plants, will be docking in Brooklyn, Governors Island and the Bronx this June. The 80 feet by 30 feet barge and collaborative floating food project will let people on board harvest scallions, rosemary, blueberries, wild leek, radicchio, ramps, sea kale and other fresh produce. Mary Mattingly, the artist behind the project, told Brooklyn Based via email.  Unlike traditional farming and gardening, food forests require less care in the long term. They don’t have to be replanted each year, and once they are more established, they take care of themselves to a large extent. We want to ask, what if healthy free food could be a public service instead of an expensive commodity? 

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Business & Politics

Two built-in-BC tugs join Ledcor’s fleet

BC Shipping News
April 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ledcor’s extensive marine fleet has been bolstered by the addition of two new built-in-BC tugs that will operate along British Columbia’s Fraser River. Construction of the tugs was completed by Richmond-based, Bracewell Marine Group, a family-operated marine refit and construction company with a long history of providing top-quality industrial marine vessels. “In addition to providing business diversification for Ledcor, these acquisitions bring new jobs and economic opportunities to the local marine industry,” said Mark Houghton, Chief Operating Officer of Ledcor’s Marine Operations.

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Sino-Forest founder committed ‘gross breach of trust,’ OSC says

Globe and Mail
April 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sino-Forest Corp. founder Allen Chan committed a “gross breach of trust” when he misled investors about the value of the company’s business deals and revenues for years prior to its collapse, an Ontario Securities Commission lawyer said Monday. The Sino-Forest case is entering its final phase as lawyers began closing arguments Monday, more than 19 months after the complex fraud hearing began before an OSC hearing panel in September, 2014. Closing remarks are scheduled to continue for 10 days, including four days scheduled for OSC staff to detail their case. OSC lawyer Hugh Craig led off Monday, alleging that Sino-Forest founder and chief executive officer Allen Chan was responsible for decisions that led to fraud and false reporting of the company’s financial statements and “abused the trust” placed in him by shareholders.

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Former CEO of Sino-Forest was ‘controlling mind’ behind alleged frauds: lawyer

Canadian Press in Battlefords Now
April 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — Allen Chan, the former CEO of Sino-Forest Corp., was the “controlling mind” behind alleged frauds that robbed shareholders of value, a securities tribunal heard Monday. After 173 days of hearings, a lawyer for the Ontario Securities Commission kicked off closing arguments in the case against five Sino-Forest executives accused of perpetrating a massive fraud before the forestry company collapsed in 2012. Chan was a “hands-on” CEO who signed off on all of the company’s transactions during Monday morning meetings, Hugh Craig told the three-member tribunal. “He knew what was going on,” said Craig.

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Pacific Lumber & Shipping’s Leeds skillfully putting the log in logistics

American Journal of Transportation
April 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Exporting logs isn’t exactly an exercise in nuclear science, but it has plenty of its own complexities, to which Tom Leeds, the president of Pacific Lumber & Shipping, to this day applies his experiences of more than three decades ago as a Hanford Project engineer. Based in Seattle, PLS depends upon Washington state’s Port of Longview and other maritime hubs to ship logs and related goods throughout the world. And PLS and its customers rely upon the expertise of Leeds, who joined the company as an export sales manager in 1991 and has been its president since 2008.

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Forestry

B.C. has seen 59 wildfires since April 1, forestry ministry says

Canadian Underwriter
April 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Wildfire Service crews have responded to 59 wildfires since April 1, including 12 in the Prince George Fire Centre, the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said on Friday. Almost all of the wildfires were human-caused, and wildfires caused by people unnecessarily divert firefighting crews and resources from naturally occurring fires, the ministry said in a press release. Many parts of British Columbia are also experiencing unseasonably warm and dry conditions this spring. Another statement from the ministry on Friday noted that since April 1, 12 fires have burned 88 hectares in the Prince George Fire Centre, which covers an area from the Northwest Territories and Yukon in the north to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, the Cottonwood River and the Robson Valley in the south, and from the Alberta border in the east to the Skeena Mountains in the west.

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A Walk in the Forest Serious Work for Selkirk College Forestry Students

Boundary Sentinel
April 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CASTLEGAR – You’ve got to get an education to have a career in forestry management these days. But it’s still important to see how things work in the “real world”—especially if it’s a different world from the one you’ve been learning about in the classroom for the last two years. That’s why 26 second-year students from Selkirk College’s Forestry Technology Program took part in the school’s annual field trip to Vancouver Island in March. There they spent a week hiking and exploring ecosystems quite different than the West Kootenay terrain where the program is based. “Coastal forestry is quite different from Interior forestry in many ways,” says Jesper Nielsen, an instructor with the Forest Technology Program. “The trees grow bigger and faster, the vegetation is different and the terrain is tougher.”

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Wildfires near Fort St. John, Prince George prompt evacuations

CBC News
April 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Peace River Regional District in northern B.C. has declared a state of emergency due to several forest fires in the area.  The district said about 48 wildfires were burning in the region Monday night.  Evacuation orders and evacuation alerts have been issued for parts of the Baldonnel community near Fort St. John, as well as at Charlie Lake. The Blueberry First Nation reserve north of Fort St. John was also evacuated and residents were sent to Taylor, where an emergency reception centre has been established. The City of Fort St. John said the fire destroyed three structures in the area. DriveBC reported Highway 29 has been closed in both directions from Bear Flats to Halfway River Bridge because of a fire. 

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B.C. wildlife management overhaul coming

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
April 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is considering putting revenues from hunting licences and tags into a dedicated fund for wildlife management, Forests Minister Steve Thomson says. A similar shift was made with fishing licence revenue last year to boost the budget for the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. by $3 million a year for its lake stocking program. The province is in discussions with the B.C. Wildlife Federation and others to do something similar, Thomson told Black Press in an interview. The ministry has expanded its multi-year study of declining moose populations into a broader modernization of wildlife management, with the funding increase on the table. “We have Al Gorley, the former chair of the Forest Practices Board, engaged with the groups currently, both on a moose population enhancement program but also engaging in discussion around modernizing wildlife management going forward,” Thomson said.

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Maritime forestry

Wood Business
April 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

For two years Groupe de Scieries (GDS), one of the largest family businesses in the processing of forest products from the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé area, has been harvesting timber on Anticosti Island in Quebec to help stabilize its supply to its sawmills in the Gaspé Peninsula, which have an annual consumption of 600,000 m3 of logs. At the end of its first year of operations on Anticosti, the company harvested 75,000 m3, channeled mainly to its sawmill in Grande-Vallée, Que.  “The harvest on Anticosti has several limitations, due to the periods of harvest and transportation,” explains Robert Belzile, vice-president of supply for GDS.

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Industry placing endangered species at risk, say enviro groups

Northern Ontario Business
April 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Two environmental groups are in an Ontario appeals court this week seeking to overturn a provincial regulation that they claim exempts major industry from following the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Ontario Nature and CPAW Wildlands League claim these exemptions “deprive 160 endangered and threatened species of their core legal protections – allowing industry now to kill endangered wildlife and destroy their habitats, subject only to minimal restrictions.” …The group maintains that man-made activities are threatening caribou habitat by the expansion of logging, mentioning the “blanket exemption” given to forestry activities in the Brightsand Range in northwestern Ontario which is “contributing to (the) boreal caribou’s demise,” the groups said in an April 18 statement.

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Large wildfires cannot be managed by current methods

By GEORGE WUERTHNER
Helena Independent Record
April 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service solution to large wildfires is more logging, but this prescription ignores the growing body of scientific research that suggests that logging/thinning/prescribed burning does not work under severe fire conditions. Why is this important? Because the vast majority of all fires self-extinguish whether we do anything or not. However, all large fires — the ones that are a threat to communities — burn under what are termed “severe fire weather.” These are fires burning under conditions of low humidity, high temperatures, persistent drought and, most importantly, high winds.

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Forest Die-Offs Predicted in U.S. Southwest

Yale Climate News
April 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

New research predicts that nearly all coniferous forests in the American Southwest could be lost to climate change by the end of the century. Dr. Nathan McDowell, who led the Los Alamos National Laboratory study, says the projected mass die-off of trees like junipers and piñon pines will be widespread within the next thirty-four years. MCDOWELL: “The key take away from a study like this is that while the exact numbers are tenuous, the general trajectories they project are pretty robust. All of the different research is pointing in the same direction, which is that we’re going to lose forests around the world.” What’s going to kill so many trees? The big culprits will be more frequent and intense droughts and heat waves.

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Logging accident claims second life

Lewis Herald
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

In the span of one month, a second Lewis County man has died as a result of a logging accident near Linden. Perry County Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to a call on April 6, 2016 to a logging accident at 6762 Highway 412 West in Linden at approximately 10:21 a.m. William Earl Barnes Jr., “Dolittle,” of 475 McCord Road in Hohenwald was found by his son, James Earl Barnes, under a fallen tree. According to a law enforcement report, James Earl Barnes told deputies he got on the knuckle boom and removed the tree and then went for help. “It looked like William Earl had been cutting timber out of a fence row, leaving tree tops behind him” Chief Deputy Bart Rosson, first on the scene, explained.

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Forestry industry split on how to vote in Brexit referendum

Press and Journal
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Britain’s forestry industry is split down the middle on how to vote in the European referendum in June. A poll by Confor, the forestry and timber trade body which represents around 2,000 businesses across the UK, showed 52% in favour of remaining a member of the European Union and 48% saying they would prefer to leave. Almost a third of those who cast a vote said they felt they did not have enough information. Confor has published an industry discussion paper, “Seeing the EU through the trees” which will form the basis of a discussion by Westminster’s all-party parliamentary group on forestry today.

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How To Tell If A Drought Is Going To Kill Off Your Trees

Gizmodo
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Droughts are hitting us harder, and they’re only going to keep on coming. But how do you know if your trees can make it through a severe drought? Now there’s a way to find out before the drought hits. Obviously, some species of trees need more (or less) water than others. But scientists didn’t know why, when an unexpected dry spell hit, some species seemed to be able to weather the (lack of) storm, while others died off en masse. So researchers at the University of Utah undertook a survey of the available drought data to see what traits the survivors had in common. The results have just been published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It’s not so much a question of how much water a species of tree does or doesn’t take up. Rather, it comes down to how well the tree transports that water.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

So how, exactly, does global warming kill forests?

Summit County Citizens Voice
April 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Scientists tracking massive forest die-offs say a new study may help forest managers learn how to predict which trees will succumb to global warming — and what the implications are for the global carbon balance. “There are some common threads that we might be able to use to predict which species are going to be more vulnerable in the future,” said University of Utah biologist William Anderegg, explaining that recent tree-killing droughts in the western U.S. were marked more by elevated temperature than by a lack of rainfall. “These widespread tree die-offs are a really early and visible sign of climate change already affecting our landscapes,” Anderegg said.

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Our View: Biomass and solar bills both should be signed by LePage

Maine shouldn’t just try to hold on to the past but look for new industries that will grow.
Portland Press Herald
April 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Two energy bills passed in the last hours of the legislative session appear to be headed in two different directions. Lawmakers approved a $13.4 million bailout of the biomass industry that is promised to save hundreds of jobs for those who work in the wood-to-energy plants as well as the loggers and truckers who deliver fuel to the plants. …Biomass plants have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the paper industry, creating a market for wood waste that would otherwise have to be burried in a landfill. They also have benefited from the move away from coal-fired power plants, because electricity produced at the biomass plants could be sold as renewable energy to other Northeastern states.

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Does The Future of Maine’s Biomass Lie in Europe?

By Zachary Lowry
Bangor Daily News
April 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Over the past week, I have enjoyed reading the debate surrounding Maine’s biomass and the proposed bailout of the utility. …Reading about these current woes in the news, as well as hearing about it anecdotally from friends – and keeping in spirit with the post I made a few weeks ago about prospective markets for low grade materials – I wanted to do a bit of investigation into an area of the market I’ve heard a great deal about over the past few years: biomass exports to Europe; specifically, exporting wood pellets to the UK and northern Europe. This has become a booming business in certain parts of the country, and it could represent large potential for Maine’s forests. It’s not a new idea, but given the increasing exports that every year seems to bring, it’s a market that warrants another look.

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Bioenergy from working forests is carbon-friendly, with many other benefits to Maine

By Stephen Shaler and Robert Wagner
Bangor Daily News
April 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

…Given the impetus for greater reliance on renewable resources, Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King recently co-sponsored a legislative amendment (S.A. 3140) to the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012). The amendment seeks to standardize the definition of energy derived from renewable resources, particularly forest-derived woody biomass. Critics of this amendment have focused on the use of the term “carbon-neutral.” However, this criticism distracts from the carbon-related benefits and many others of using wood as a renewable source of energy. Substantial scientific research over the past 40 years has examined the carbon impacts of using forest biomass for energy and other uses.

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Tasmanian farmers’ group calls for more detail on new woodchip mill proposal

ABC News Australia
April 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A proposed plantation woodchip mill and export facility in Tasmania’s south could come too late for fed-up private foresters, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) warns. Businessman and truck driver Darren Oates has revealed his $30 million plan to build a mill and port at an unnamed location between Hobart and Triabunna, on the east coast. But the TFGA said it wanted details, as farmers who had planted private forests had suffered badly with the collapse of managed investments. Mr Oates is yet to reveal where his proposed port will be built. “We’ve got a deep water port, it’s got two deep water access ports, so we’ll be looking at setting up a chip mill and a loading facility on one spot,” he said.

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