Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 7, 2016

Business & Politics

Editorial: Forest industry needs attention

Vancouver Sun
July 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Provincial government plans to diversify British Columbia’s resource-based economy by developing markets and exports for Liquified Natural Gas, a project which seems to have dominated cabinet thinking in recent years, is all well and good. But in attempting to realize any dream of future diversification, nobody should lose sight of the pragmatic reality of where our current prosperity has its foundations. The Council of Forest Industries reports an estimated total economic output from B.C.’s forest sector of $31.4 billion, which generates revenue for federal, provincial and municipal governments on the order of $2.5 billion… So when the Truck Loggers Association, which is responsible for 90 per cent of the harvesting in coastal forests, released its recent survey detailing what mayors in 27 forest-dependent coastal communities think about the direction of forest industry after a decade of massive restructuring, we hope everyone took sharp notice — especially the provincial government.

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Firefighters tackle late night sawmill blaze

TB Newswatch
July 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A fire at a local sawmill sent flames high into the late night sky. Thunder Bay Rescue firefighters were called to the blaze at the Resolute Forest Products sawmill on Darrell Avenue shortly after midnight on Thursday. Sources at the scene said the fire was reportedly contained to sawdust storage containers adjacent to the mill. Flames could be seen rising above the top of the containers. The extent of the damage is not yet known. (END)

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Lac Seul, Slate Falls First Nations sign resource extraction agreement

The Sioux Lookout Bulletin
July 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Lac Seul First Nation and Slate Falls First Nation have signed an agreement with Domtar, Weyerhaeuser, and seven independent loggers which supports resource extraction practices anticipated to benefit all parties.  Lac Seul First Nation Chief Clifford Bull commented, “There are mechanisms in the agreement that benchmark opportunities and promote growth for all involved. Too often First Nations do not receive any benefits from resource extraction in their traditional territories. While we take a leading role in managing the forest, we have also defined the needs of the other stakeholders. In this agreement, our band members see tangible benefits and the elements that are important to the First Nations are defined and protected.”

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Two Political Trainwrecks in the Making

Huffington Post
July 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

And they’re off! Last week, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees finished work on their respective versions of the federal spending bill that funds the Department of the Interior, the EPA and the U.S. Forest Service. Both bills are loaded with ideological riders that would block or eliminate protections for our air, water, climate, public health, endangered species, forests and other public lands… The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its spending bill on June 16. It too contains more than a dozen anti-environmental riders. It has riders that seek to undermine public involvement and environmental impact analysis of logging projects in national forests. Its riders would also prevent the Obama administration from reducing old-growth logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. 

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WDFW to buy forest, grazing land in Central Washington

The Capital Press
July 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA — Grazing and logging will continue on 3,613 acres in Klickitat County that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will buy, according to a state official. The Fish and Wildlife Commission on June 10 approved purchasing the land for $1.98 million from Western Pacific Timber. The state also hopes to buy approximately 15,100 acres in the Simcoe Mountains from the timber company as money become available. WDFW prizes the land for its habitat for Western gray squirrels, spotted owls and steelhead fish. The land will become part of the Klickitat Wildlife Area. WDFW will manage the land with the Central Klickitat Conservation District and the Eastern Klickitat Conservation District. WDFW Lands Division Manager Clay Sprague said the department also expects to continue commercial activities, though a management plan has not been developed.

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European sawlog prices have fallen 9% in two years with the biggest declines in Austria, Germany and Czech Republic

Lesprom
July 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Sawlog prices have trended downward in most European countries in both US dollars terms and in the local currencies over the past two years. The European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI), which represents nine major softwood sawlog markets in Europe, did not change much quarter-over-quarter and was Euro 82.33/m3 in the 1Q/16, according to the latest issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). However, before this last quarter, the ESPI had been in steady decline for two years and in the first quarter of this year was nine percent below the 1Q/14 level. The biggest price declines since 2014, in Euro terms, have occurred in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Softwood sawlog prices in both Austria and Germany have been falling since early 2014, but in the 1Q/16 they reached their lowest level since the 2Q/10 (in Euro terms).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

‘Build with Strength’ to Provide Concrete Information and Resources for Seattle, WA Design / Build and Construction Markets

PR Newswire
July 7, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE, – Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), will be launching new resources, training programs, and educational content in Seattle, Washington as part of increased efforts to inform the design / build and construction communities about the advantages of concrete construction in the low- to mid-rise residential sector, and in general. The launch of the Seattle programs comes on the heels of a legislative victory in February that saw the Washington State Legislature reject a bill that would have granted tax breaks for the use of a product known as cross laminated timber (CLT). 

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World’s largest timber construction – Noah’s Ark – opens for business

Woodworking Network
July 6, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. — A 510-foot-long, $100 million pine-clad Noah’s Ark replica has opened in Kentucky. And Colorado Timberframe was chosen to mill the logs because they are said to be the only U.S. group capable of milling logs as large as 50 feet long and 36 inches in diameter. The Ark Encounter was engineered and built using exact biblical measurements, requiring over 3.3 million board feet of timber to construct it, and fitting over 16,000 people simultaneously. The Book of Genesis describes Noah’s Ark as 300 cubits long, its width 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits, The attraction will feature museum-like exhibits, displays of Noah’s family, and lifelike models of animals – existing in pairs and in compartments just like the Bible described.

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Sandy Springs moves to require ‘higher-quality’ apartments

Reporter Newspapers
July 7, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A possible building code change to require “higher-quality” apartment construction in Sandy Springs is moving ahead after a June 21 City Council vote. A state review and a final council vote are still required. The proposed change would require apartment buildings over three stories tall or over 100,000 square feet in size to be constructed with steel and masonry rather than wood framing. Current code—which also includes hotels and condos—allows wood-framing up to four stories, or five stories if the building has a fire sprinkler system, and steel and masonry for taller structures. The move to reduce wood-framed, or “stick-built,” apartments began last fall with advocacy for “high-quality” construction from such community leaders as Trisha Thompson, president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods.

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Forestry

Forest loss coincides with endangered species habitat: study

Canadian Press in CTV News
July 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Research based on satellite imagery shows that almost all industrial activity in Canada’s intact forests is occurring on the home ranges of endangered species. A report released Tuesday by Global Forest Watch Canada says 92 per cent of the land affected supports at least one endangered species. It says 14 per cent of activity — mostly in the forestry and energy sectors — occurs where there are at least six species at risk. “It doesn’t mean that all forestry is bad,” said Wynet Smith, the group’s director. “But in terms of habitat for certain species, especially species at risk, how much disturbance there is, is key.” …The report found that, overall, Canada lost about five per cent of its
undisturbed forest land in that time period. About 60 per cent of that
loss occurred in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.

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Audit of woodlot near Creston finds problems

BC Forest Practices Board
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of forestry activities on a woodlot in the Selkirk Natural Resource District found that the woodlot licensee failed to comply with B.C.’s forestry legislation for silviculture activities, according to a report released today. However, planning and road maintenance activities did meet the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act. “The auditors found that the woodlot licensee did not meet obligations related to reforesting previously logged sites or reporting these activities to government,” said Tim Ryan, board chair.

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Lantzville council agrees to representative for advisory group

Nanaimo Bulletin
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Lantzville councillor will sit on a woodlot management advisory group. At last week’s meeting, District of Lantzville councillors voted in favour of appointing Coun. Dot Neary to the Lantzville Woodlot Advisory Group, also known as LWAG. The advisory group was formed in 2014 to ensure the public could provide input, express concerns and provide recommendations regarding the management of Woodlot 1475, which is currently managed and logged by John Gregson and his brother. The group, which is the reincarnation of a similar advisory group that was formed in 2000, is currently made up of representatives from the public, Nanoose First Nation, South Island District, Econ Consulting and the woodlot operators.

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B.C. logging firm ordered to replant after audit of Creston-area operations

Canadian Press in BC Local News
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—The Forest Practices Board in British Columbia says trees have not been replanted after cutting in the Selkirk Natural Resource District near Creston. It has ordered an unnamed logging operator to develop a plan to replant in the areas it audited. Board chairman Tim Ryan says in a news release that the licensee hasn’t harvested any cutblocks in the last two years. But he says new trees weren’t planted on seven cutblocks that were logged in the past. The audit examined planning, road maintenance, and silviculture activities conducted between September 2013 and September 2015.

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Failed self-regulation goes beyond real estate

By Scott McCannell, executive director, Professional Employees Association
Times Colonist
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Shadow-flipping and runaway real estate prices forced the government to end self-regulation in the real estate industry… Self-regulation is still the order of the day in other industries, especially those based on B.C.’s natural resources. The government has received numerous reports concluding that self-regulation in natural resource development is failing the public interest… Self-regulation in the forestry industry is also failing British Columbians. Recently the B.C. Forest Practices Board concluded “the compliance and enforcement program has significantly reduced its inspection effort in the areas of forestry and range practices.” Geologists, engineers, foresters and the other licensed science officers employed by the province have been sounding this alarm for years.

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City of Hamilton says emerald ash borer has changed city tree canopy

CBC News
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


Emerald ash borer was recently discovered in Thunder Bay, but Hamilton has been fighting the insect for years. Battling the spread of the emerald ash borer has taken its toll on the urban canopy in Hamilton, Ont. says the southern Ontario city’s manager of forestry. The invasive beetle was first discovered in Hamilton in 2009, said Le’Ann Seely, and an action plan to deal with it was approved by city council the next year. Much of it involves cutting down and removing thousands of ash trees, and replacing them with other species. “It is noticeable particularly along the streetscape,” Seely said. “There are some areas and some subdivisions [where] ash was the chosen tree for that streetscape years ago … so we do have some areas where you can really notice. “There’s a lot of standing dead, I’m personally noticing a lot this spring,” she continued, adding that since 2010, over 9,000 city ash trees have been removed.

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Frog’s ‘critical habitat’ not abuse of federal power, court rules

The Times-Picayune
July 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, International

In a decision deemed by a plaintiff’s attorney as “absurd,” the federal appeals court in New Orleans agrees that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not overstep its authority by designating 1,544 acres of privately owned land in western St. Tammany Parish as “critical habitat” for the endangered dusky gopher frog. Attorneys for the plaintiffs, owners of the St. Tammany Parish land affected by the designation, said Tuesday (July 5) they will ask the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the case and, if necessary, will petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review. …The Poitevent family owns most of the acreage, which straddles Louisiana 36 west of Pearl River; Weyerhaeuser owns 140 acres and has a timber lease on all of it.

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Forest Service begins second 4FRI analysis

Arizona Daily Sun
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

More than a year after completing its first environmental analysis for northern Arizona’s Four Forest Restoration Initiative, the Forest Service has begun a second environmental planning process encompassing the eastern portion of the 2.4 million-acre project. The area in focus includes about 1.2 million acres of ponderosa pine, pinyon juniper, oak shrub and grassland that stretch from the Happy Jack area to east of Pinetop-Lakeside across the Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests. The Forest Service’s recently released proposed action, which outlines the agency’s rough forest restoration plan for the area, dubs the acreage “Rim Country.”

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California’s forests have been decimated, and this is their final insult

Fusion
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEIAD VALLEY, Calif.—One morning in early May, a group of several dozen forest defenders, river advocates, and members of the Karuk Tribe gathered on a logging road in Klamath National Forest in northern California. Brandishing megaphones and a wide banner reading “Karuk Land/Karuk Plan”, they created a blockade against one of the myriad clearcutting operations currently active in the region, collectively known as the Westside Fire Recovery Project (WFRP). … The U.S. Forest Service launched the WFRP at the end of February in response to the 2014 wildfires that hit the region—the agency is currently auctioning 5,800 acres of public land in Klamath National Forest to private timber companies for clearcutting purposes.

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As California Forests Decline, Observers Cite Mismanagement

Sierra Sun Times
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

From state highways, foothill campgrounds and aerial surveys, it’s easy to see the catastrophic tree die-off in California forests. What isn’t as easily grasped is the scale of rapidly expanding tree mortality in the state’s 40 million acres of forestland—and what to do about it. The U.S. Forest Service said in June that its survey showed more than 66 million trees, mostly pine species, have died in the southern Sierra Nevada alone, and more are dying. Forestry experts say the scale of the die-off is beyond anything ever observed. They attribute the tree mortality to four years of drought, bark beetle infestations, climate change and mismanagement. “I’m afraid people are going to think the catastrophe we’re seeing in our forests today is just a natural cycle of drought and insect infestations, but there’s a lot more to this story,” Tuolumne County rancher Shaun Crook said.

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Do Dead or Dying Trees Raise Wildfire Risk?

Scientists, land managers debate need to cut down and remove those logs from forest ecosystem
San Diego Union Tribune
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As a record number of trees stand dead or dying in California’s forests due to drought and beetle infestations, concerns are mounting that the die-off is creating an abundance of fuel likely to trigger wildfires that could threaten homes and lives. However, an emerging body of science finds little evidence to support these fears. Researchers studying wildfires across the western United States during the past decade have increasingly concluded that forests ravaged by bark beetles and other insects aren’t more likely to burn than healthy expanses of forest. “People get really freaked out about it,” said Tania Schoennagel, a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder who co-authored one of the most prominent studies on the topic.

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Timber project can be positive for forest, wildlife

Letter by Wil Avril
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
July 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I live about a mile north of Triple Tree subdivision. As such, we look our upon the foothills of the Gallatin Range with hay fields between us and the foothills. In view of our location I want to convey our support for the logging that the Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) plans to do on the State Trust Land in the foothills. This support is based on the following: he logging will make use of dead or dying trees, which is a positive for the state as seller and lumber companies as buyers as well as people building or buying homes. This is good conservation.  Fire danger will be reduced by removing the dead timber.

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Bitterroot Forest supervisor signs off on Westside timber project

The Missoulian
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON – Bitterroot Forest Supervisor Julie King signed off on a project Monday that would thin more 2,300 acres of forest almost directly downhill from a fire burning southwest of Hamilton. The Observation fire has already touched the western edge of the Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project, but officials are hoping that predicted wet and cooler temperatures will help keep that fire at bay. The project is the second to last that needs to be done to complete a yearslong effort to reduce fuels along the border between private and federal lands on the west side the Bitterroot Valley. When completed, the project will have thinned about five miles of national forest along that borderline between Lost Horse and Roaring Lion creeks.

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Forest Service wants to ban snowmobiles, other motorized access from Idaho’s Great Burn area

Helena ir
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A U.S. Forest Service decision to close most of Idaho’s Great Burn area along the Montana border to motorized access has observers both frustrated and confused. Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert released a draft record of decision banning snowmobile access in the national forest’s recommended wilderness areas and limiting summer motorized use to a single trail. Motorized advocates called the ban unjustified because the area lacks a federal wilderness designation. A coalition of environmental groups was equally upset because Probert’s decision appears to ignore a recent court order telling the Forest Service to protect more elk habitat from motorized access.

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My Turn: Tongass logging trasition doesn’t do enough for old growth or timber jobs

Juneau Empire
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service recently announced its long-awaited “Record of Decision” on the Tongass logging transition, and not much has changed from the draft. While all parties agree that an end to old growth logging is nearing, the agency’s plan does little to preserve old growth or, equally concerning, assure industry viability through accelerated testing of modern sawing technology required for economic transition. The Forest Service is slow-walking the transition by missing a unique opportunity to take advantage of a “wall of second growth wood” soon available to offset old growth logging.

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Forest Fires

Burns Bog fire in Delta 100% contained, Highway 17 reopened

The fire is still an estimated 78 hectares, but is no longer a threat to highway traffic
CBC News
July 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire that broke out early Sunday morning in Delta’s Burns Bog is now 100 per cent contained. In an update released today, the Corporation of Delta says the Ministry of Transportation has reopened Highway 17 in both directions between Nordel Way and Highway 99. The section of highway had been closed since July 3 when flames from the fire jumped the roadway. The decision was made to close the highway as a precaution, as well as to allow firefighters and first responders to access the area. ….The fire is still an estimated 78 hectares. Crews from the B.C. Wildfire Service are expected to continue assisting Delta Fire until the end of the week.

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Wildlife returns as forest regenerates after Fort McMurray wildfire

University of Alberta researchers are studying the first animals to return to the charred forest
CBC News
July 7, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Standing in a burned-out bog near Fort McMurray, University of Alberta researcher Hedwig Lankau is surrounded by small signs of life. The damp bog is one of her favourite places to explore, after a wildfire changes its ecosystem. “I find that after the fire it’s different, but it’s beautiful and it represents that new beginning,” Lankau says. Researchers were already studying the forests around Fort McMurray before a massive wildfire tore through in May, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate the city. But the wildfire presents a unique opportunity to study the natural cycle of the forest.

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Crews monitoring hot spots at forest fire near Sheet Harbour, N.S.

CTV News Kitchener
July 7, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Firefighters are working to extinguish hot spots at a forest fire roughly two hours outside of Halifax. Two helicopters, nine tankers and 40 firefighters responded to the scene Tuesday. The fire started in a wooded area near Malay Falls, N.S., close to Sheet Harbour, N.S. No evacuations or injuries have been reported, and the fire, which is roughly four hectares in size, isn’t near any residential buildings. “Basically what our crews encountered was a relatively aggressive, fast-moving fire,” said forest fire technician Dave Steeves.

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Idaho wildfire season begins to build momentum

Idaho Statesman
July 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Idaho fire season picked up momentum Wednesday, with the Buck Fire more than doubling and prompting the Forest Service to call in a national team to manage the blaze eight miles east of the Deadwood Reservoir. The Type 2 incident management team includes specialists in all facets of firefighting. It allows the Forest Service to focus on initial attack and other fires on the Boise National Forest, where fire danger is high. Last week’s 2,500-acre Table Rock Fire in the East Boise Foothills got state and federal land managers out, telling the public about rising risks for everything from fireworks to campfires as the region moves into the fire season when forests join rangelands in dry conditions.

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Observation fire evacuation warning lifted

Missoulian
July 7, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The evacuation warning for the Observation fire was officially lifted Wednesday as firefighters made great strides in corralling the blaze burning 10 miles southwest of Hamilton. “With some favorable weather coming in and, honestly, some pretty aggressive firefighting tactics by the Forest Service, we feel comfortable about rescinding the evacuation warning,” said Ravalli County Undersheriff Steve Holton. “It’s unlikely anyone will have to evacuate now … the firefighters have done a lot of really good work over the last few days.” There had been a stage 1 evacuation alert in place for 203 residences since June 28 for an area that includes everything west of U.S. Highway 93 between Lost Horse Road to the south and the Gold Creek area to the north.

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