Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 12, 2016

Business & Politics

B.C. company tackles wildfires in Indonesia

Ministry of International Trade
BC Government
July 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PARKSVILLE – British Columbia’s expertise in managing forest fires has helped a B.C. company win a contract extension to train workers in fire-plagued regions of Indonesia. In February 2016, Parksville-based TREK Wildland Services began working with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which manages forest lands in Indonesia. The relationship began after officials from the Ministry of International Trade introduced TREK to an APP sustainability officer. This introduction led to a three-month contract by APP, which they’ve now extended, and TREK is identified as a preferred supplier. “This agreement is a great example of the business opportunities that are developing out of B.C.’s growing ties with Southeast Asia,” said Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat.

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Domtar Corp. says it’s not responsible for Calgary West Village creosote cleanup

Metronews
July 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The successor corporation of a company that owned and operated a wood-preserving plant that left toxic creosote in Calgary’s West Village says it’s not responsible for the clean up. On Monday, Metro confirmed the Alberta government sent Domtar Corp. — the successor of the preceding wood-preserving plant, Canada Creosote Company Ltd. — a letter in March, according to Domtar spokesman David Struhs.  “Having never actually operated at the site, we don’t feel like we have any responsibility,” Struhs said. “There are no problems with the existing use of the property,” he added, referencing the CMLC’s April 2016 report that found there were no immediate adverse health affects due to current conditions.

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Fading hopes of softwood trade deal worries EACOM

By Ron Grech
Timmins Press
July 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TIMMINS – Hopes of avoiding a new round of U.S. duties on imported softwood lumber are fading for companies like EACOM Timber Corporation which owns sawmills in Timmins and Gogama. “The American market is critical for us … the majority of our shipments are destined to the U.S.,” said Christine Leduc, EACOM’s director of public affairs. “If you’re (a lumber producer) in Ontario, you’re not going to ship west; you’re not going to ship east. You’re shipping domestically or you’re shipping south. In fact, 95% of Ontario’s forest products are destined to the U.S. “For us at EACOM, we’re Ontario’s largest softwood producer with our five sawmills and so access to the U.S. market is critical for us to maintain and grow our operations.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Will mass timber cut into the concrete market?

By Peter Caulfield
Journal of Commerce
July 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Will mass timber cut into the market share of concrete that is used in Industrial Commercial and Institutional (ICI) construction? Two B.C. projects that made use of mass timber, which are wood products made from laminating together smaller pieces of spruce, pine or fir, won Governor General’s Medals in Architecture for 2016. The two winners are the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George and the BC Passive House Factory in Pemberton. “Architects like designing with mass timber,” said Russell Acton, principal of Acton Ostry Architects Inc. in Vancouver. “It is clean, quiet, it looks nice and everything fits together easily.”

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Frank Miller Lumber’s Criswell Davis to Meet with World’s Leading Architectural and Design Firms

By Frank Miller Lumber
PR Newswire UK
July 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

UNION CITY, Indiana — This week, Criswell Davis, architectural marketing manager for Frank Miller Lumber, travels to London, England, to meet with some of the world’s leading architectural and design firms, including Foster + Partners, KPF, WATG, and Woods Bagot. Criswell is an approved continuing education provider for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), university lecturer and renowned international speaker promoting the many virtues of sustainable American hardwoods in design. He regularly visits with architectural and design firms, job sites, manufacturers and universities around the world. He has shared his American hardwood expertise with more than 4,000 architects, designers, manufacturers and students worldwide over the past six years. He has represented Frank Miller Lumber for 20 years of his 28-year career in the American hardwood industry.

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Glenwood garage concept wins Oregon BEST contest, money for design and testing

By Dylan Darling
The Register-Guard
July 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The plans for an unusual parking garage in Glenwood have taken the top honor in a statewide contest among projects highlighting different uses for engineered wood. Oregon BEST, a state agency that encourages environmentally friendly innovations, declared the city of Springfield’s Glenwood parking garage plan the winner Monday after evaluating four candidates around the state. The agency will provide $155,000 for research, performance testing and code documentation for the garage. …All of the projects in the contest would use cross-laminated timber , a wood product mills produce by gluing many pieces of lumber together. Builders can use the resulting big boards, some the size and shape of beams, in place of steel and concrete in construction. Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg has championed the idea of a CLT parking garage in Glenwood.

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Build with Strength: Fire Safety Must Come First in Seattle Construction

By Build with Strength: A coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
PR Newswire
July 11, 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), today placed extra emphasis on the importance of utilizing durable and resilient construction materials in the Seattle, Washington market. The highlight comes as part of an increased effort 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. …Build with Strength has released a new video highlighting the safety benefits associated with concrete construction and the limitations of buildings built with wood and wood products. …Ocosta Elementary School, along the Washington coast, recently made waves when it built the nation’s first tsunamic refuge in the school’s gym. “…tons of concrete and steel that make it the first structure in the nation designed to withstand a tsunami and provide a safe haven from the rushing waters.”

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US Rep. Kilmer, others introduce Timber Innovation Act aimed at boosting building construction, rural communities

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
July 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer is among members of Congress who have introduced a bill to accelerate wood building construction and help rural communities affected by mill closures. Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, and three congressional colleagues introduced Wednesday bipartisan legislation that would create federal grants to encourage the use of less expensive and less carbon-intensive construction materials in tall buildings. The Timber Innovation Act would spur the use of highly flexible, sturdy and flame-resistant modern wood products such as cross-laminated timber in buildings over 85 feet, according to a joint news release. …“With cross-laminated timber we can utilize an abundant and sustainable product native to Washington state that connects rural economies to greener urban growth,” Kilmer said.

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Forestry

Indigenous peoples and sustainable forestry: the tradition continues

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
TreeHugger
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Indigenous peoples and forests in North America have long been intertwined. Aboriginal and tribal communities have served as forest stewards for centuries. These communities have relied on forests for material, cultural and spiritual necessities. Examples include using plants for food and medicine and wood for shelter, boats, tools, baskets and ceremonial masks. Today, more than 30 aboriginal and tribal groups across North America manage more than 5.1 million acres (2.0 million hectares) of forest land, certified to the standards of the independent, non-profit Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Requirements for certification reflect a respect for the traditional forestry knowledge of indigenous peoples, their cultures and their rights.

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Don’t be ‘ticked’ off by Lyme disease

By Dr. Brian Goldman
CBC News
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a busy time for camping and hiking across the country.But Canadians spending time outdoors this summer face an emerging health problem.There’s a rapid increase in the number of cases of Lyme disease and infection caused by tick bites. And those who have the disease, say authorities aren’t doing enough to combat the threat. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. The way you get infected with Borrelia is to be bitten by a vector or insect carrying the infection typically, a black-legged deer tick so named because the tick gets infected after biting a deer (sometimes a mouse) carrying the bacterium. The infected tick latches tightly onto a person and bites the skin, drawing blood, thus transmitting the bacterium. You don’t get Lyme disease by eating deer infected with the bacterium.  

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B.C. farmland protected from reforestation

By Tom Fletcher
Prince Rupert Northern View
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has changed regulations to require a permit from the Agricultural Land Commission for large-scale tree-planting on agricultural land. The change comes after a British-based food and drug company began buying up farms in the B.C. Interior and planting them with trees so it could advertise its global manufacturing business as carbon-neutral. The new regulation requires a permit before planting trees on any protected agricultural property more than 20 hectares in size. It exempts trees grown for food production such as fruit or nuts and “agroforestry,” where trees and shrubs are incorporated into farm production for such uses as shelter belts or soil improvement.

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OPINION: Woodlands must be protected with vigilance

by Mike Parker
Chronicle Herald
July 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An increasing number of people today are finding their ideal place in the quiet solitude of Nova Scotia’s protected wilderness areas. They enjoy the traditional (ie. non-motorized) travel pursuits of walking and hiking, paddling and portaging, skiing and snowshoeing. They seek respite from the materialistic, mind-numbing, exhaust-spewing, electronically driven, societal cacophony that bombards and envelops most of us on a daily basis. Sadly, primitive wilderness places are more “visionary” than “actual.” Even lawfully designated areas mandated under Nova Scotia’s Parks and Protected Areas System Plan face pressure from lobbyists bent upon gaining access in pursuit of self-gratification and the omnipotent dollar.

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Kingston plans to double urban forest over 10 years

CKWS
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Meantime, trees will be on the mind of city councillors this week. They will be asked to endorse a plan proposed by staff to double the number of trees in urban parts of the city by 2025.  That could be a challenge with about about 30 thousand trees on city lands in the urban part of kingston. About 2,000 new trees have been planted since 2012 but the city has lost three thousand ash trees to the emerald ash borer. Hundreds of trees die every year from other pressures including old age.  A staff report notes that kingston will need to plant 3,000 new trees every year to reach its 2025 goal.

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Taking the pulse of the forest

by EMERY COWAN
Arizona Daily Sun
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The tower rises above the tips of the tallest trees, tubes extend down from its metal frame into a small shed full of measurement devices. From its location in the middle of the 3,500-acre Harvard Forest in north central Massachusetts, the system collects data on moisture, temperature, carbon dioxide and more, acting like a giant monitor on the pulse of the forest. For University of Arizona researchers, the Harvard Forest’s flux tower provides unique, real-time data about how trees absorb and release carbon dioxide through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Using that data, the research team is the first to successfully measure how an entire forest breathes. And after six years of monitoring, some of their findings have come to contradict longstanding ideas about how carbon dioxide cycles through the forest.

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Guest opinion: New projects keep Montanans working in woods

By STEVE BULLOCK Governor of Montana
The Billings Gazette
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Last fall during Wood Products week, a young man from the Seeley area thanked me. He said his logging company had his and three other families working in the woods that week because of our focused efforts. Families wouldn’t be getting that income from the forests, had we not been pushing to get more projects on the ground. People talk about the timber industry in numbers of acres, board feet and stream miles restored. We cannot forget that people do that work — people who know how to work in the woods, how to sustainably harvest trees, and how to restore our watersheds. Years ago, Colorado lost nearly all of its mills, and with it, the ability to keep Coloradans working in the woods. It also lost the families who know how to do this work. I will not let that happen to Montana. Working on forestry with industry leaders and Montanans of all stripes has been a key priority.

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Fire behavior gets scarier as climate gets hotter and drier

Idaho Statesman
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Before the rain and cooler weather came to southwest Idaho last weekend, firefighters on the Buck Fire on the Boise National Forest were reporting behavior they didn’t expect for early July including fire burning hot against the wind. …“This fire has exhibited interesting behavior, such as having winds coming from the southwest and the fire not being push to the northeast,” Blake said. “If anything, it’s moved slightly into the wind.” One view many in Idaho carry is that this behavior is due to the heavy fuels in the forest from a century of fire suppression and a lack of logging for the last 25 years. But in 2015’s record year only about 10 percent of the fires nationally burned in dense forest. Most were in sagebrush-steppe, grasslands and brush country.

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SRP to test if burning wood as fuel can aid forest restoration, protect water supply

By Brandon Loomis
AZCentral
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Valley power and water provider wants to speed forest restoration by providing wood-fired electricity. Some Arizonans will get wood-fired electricity this fall or winter in a test burn meant to accelerate forest thinning, which protects the state’s water supply. Salt River Project plans to mix up to 10 percent wood chips from northern Arizona’s pine forests with the coal it burns at Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns. The test will last 20 days and help the public utility determine whether it can burn such a mix longer-term without requiring major plant modifications. Though the product is power, the incentive is water. “The majority of our surface water comes out of those forests and we’re very, very concerned that those forests are going to burn,” said Bruce Hallin, water supply director for SRP, a major water and power supplier to the Phoenix area.

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Timber Industry Pays Linn County’s Legal Bills In State Forest Lawsuit

By Cassandra Profita
Oregon Public Broadcasting
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Court documents show the timber industry is footing the bill for Linn County’s $1.4 billion lawsuit over logging in Oregon state forests. The county is suing the state on the grounds it has failed to maximize revenue from state-owned forestland. The lawsuit claims the state is contractually required to allow more logging on state forestland to ensure funding for counties that deeded the land over to the state more than 70 years ago. Court filings show the Oregon Forest Industries Council, Hampton Tree Farm, Stimson Lumber Company and the Sustainable Forest Fund have paid nearly $100,000 to cover Linn County’s legal fees in the case and that the group agreed to pay up to $125,000.

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Conservative Conservation at its Finest

By Douglas Lorain, Hamilton
Flathead Beacon
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This plan is a model for how conservation should be accomplished. As the author of nearly a dozen hiking guidebooks for areas all around the American West, I have enjoyed walking tens of thousands of miles through some of the most scenic places in North America. … I am a lifelong Republican who deeply believes in conservative principles like limited government, free market capitalism, and fiscal responsibility. This matters because I am writing to express my strong support for the Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Project Proposal, which is conservative conservation at its finest. …As a proud Montanan, and particularly as a Republican, I call upon Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Ryan Zinke, politicians for whom I voted and with whom I share a political philosophy, to support this proposal.

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Time and Tongass

Ketchikan Daily News
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry, Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…With the decline in Alaska’s economy, i.e. the multi-billion state budget deficit robbing Alaskans of jobs and services, Tongass inhabitants would benefit from a Tongass plan that allows for a viable and sustainable timber industry. The industry has growth potential. Timber is what the area largely depended upon for its economy before the discovery of oil on Alaska’s North Slope made Alaska a wealthy state. That and fishing. But a steep drop in oil prices created deficit state expenditures. The crux of the Tongass plan in terms of the timber industry provides a way for transitioning from old-growth to young-growth harvests. The plan calls for a 16-year transition, of which particular conservationists say is too long and industry officials maintain is too short. Industry says an economically stable switch from old- to young-growth is a 30-year endeavor, while others want to see it accomplished in 10-15 years. Young trees should be harvested at an age when they will realize the most marketable product. And old trees should be harvested before they die.

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California’s ‘treepocalypse’ creates wildfire emergency

Professional environmentalists are blinded by their own ideology
The Fresno Bee
July 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


At that time, the environmental critique of the Forest Service – that it was blinded by an ideology of extraction and profit-maximization in its management of the forests – seemed to be dead-on. Fast-forward more than three decades, however, and the pendulum has swung too far to the other side. Now it is the professional environmentalists who are blinded by their own ideology. See, for example, “California Seeks Federal Aid as Bark Beetles Destroy Trees” (New York Times, Oct. 31, 2015), in which Brian Nowicki of the Center for Biological Diversity (headquartered in Tucson, Ariz.; nearest office in Oakland) argues that Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration of a state of emergency in response to California’s widespread tree die-off erroneously “conflates dead trees with wildfire risk when there is not a clear connection.”

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A better bill to fight wildfires

Letter by Rep. Tom McClintock, chairman, House Federal Lands Subcommittee
The Sacramento Bee
July 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Re: “Preventing forest fires is in hands of Congress” (Editorials, July 3): The Bee rightly decries the self-defeating practice of raiding forest fire prevention funds to pay for escalating firefighting costs. Sadly, it focuses its support on a Band-Aid while taking another pot shot at me for a “plan that has gone nowhere.” Actually, the bill supported by The Bee has gone nowhere, for good reason. While HR 167 allows fire costs to be spent off-budget, it maintains the forest management policies that are causing an endless spiral of more fires and higher costs.

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Editorial: If trees burn in a national forest, will the feds listen?

Albuquerque Journal
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stomped his foot last week, and the nation’s forests should be shaking. That’s because Vilsack told Journal Washington bureau correspondent Michael Coleman that if the U.S. Forest Service, which he oversees, runs out of money to fight fires this summer, it will be up to Congress to give him an emergency appropriation to battle the flames because he won’t take money from any other part of his budget. He certainly wouldn’t want to disrupt all those recreation specialists and their long-range planning. His threat would carry more weight if the Forest Service was actually doing more fire suppression, using thinning and prescribed burns to remove fuel and improve the health of public lands while reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfires. Instead, the agency spends its time successfully suing communities like Otero County in federal court to stop tree cutting to proactively thin overgrown forests.

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This little green bug is wreaking havoc on our ash trees

The Washington Post
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The emerald ash borer conjures up images of a majestic little bug, but the invasive species from Asia is in the process of doing big-time damage to ash trees. It is boring its way through tens of millions of ash trees, leaving huge gaps in forests and neighborhoods alike. The emerald ash borer was discovered in Michigan in 2002. Entomologists believe the bug made its way into the United States via wooden shipping crates from overseas. With no natural predators, it quickly spread through the Eastern hardwood forests. Making matters worse, climate change has reduced the number of cold nights, which is the ash trees’ best defense against the bug. …. Although warmer winters will accelerate and increase the spread of the emerald ash borer — commonly referred to as the EAB — it cannot match the force of human activity, which is the main culprit in the bug’s dispersion

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Man killed in Oswego County logging accident

CNYCentral
July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TOWN OF VOLNEY– A 54-year-old man was killed when he was struck by a falling branch in the Town of Volney Monday morning. State Police were called to scene off Mullen Road at 10:40am for reports of an unconscious person. They say Shane Moore of Fulton had been cutting down trees when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are continuing to investigate. END OF STORY

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Forest Fires

Firefighters go global

Castanet Kelowna
July 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. wildfire crews are going international. British Columbia’s expertise in managing forest fires has helped a B.C. company win a contract extension to train workers in fire-plagued regions of Indonesia. In February, Parksville-based TREK Wildland Services began working with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which manages forest lands in Indonesia. The relationship began after officials from the Ministry of International Trade introduced TREK to an APP sustainability officer. This introduction led to a three-month contract by APP, which they’ve now extended, and TREK is identified as a preferred supplier.

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Fire in Pike National Forest has burned 11 acres

Colorado Springs Gazette
July 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

An 11-acre wildfire south of Deckers prompted authorities to issue Level 1 fire restrictions Monday, prohibiting open burning and fireworks, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The Spring Gulch fire, near mile marker 64 of Colorado 67, was reported Sunday on federal land in Pike National Forest, said Lauren Lekander, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. “There’s no threat for buildings or structures at this time,” she said. Firefighters successfully kept the fire at 11 acres overnight, Lekander said. Officials from the U.S. Forest Service, the county’s office of emergency management, the Sheriff’s Office and a wildfire mitigation crew were on scene Monday.

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Fires ignite in San Isabel National Forest

Chaffee County Times
July 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

COALDALE – Heavy smoke created low visibility for drivers on U.S. 50 as a fire burning as much as 5,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land in the San Isabel National Forest caused campgrounds to be evacuated Sunday. The U.S. Forest Service Twitter feed reported roadblocks were set up at the intersection of Fremont County Roads 45 and 6, and evacuations of Cutty’s Resort and Hayden Creek campgrounds were enforced. Ryan Christensen, Howard, said he saw the plume of smoke around 3 p.m. and it continued to grow. “It’s concerning even for us in Howard,” Christensen said. “It’s in the back of my mind right now, but the smoke is the big issue. We have a little baby at home and she’s on oxygen at night. So we’ll probably have to head to Salida.”

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Time and Tongass

Ketchikan Daily News
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry, Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…With the decline in Alaska’s economy, i.e. the multi-billion state budget deficit robbing Alaskans of jobs and services, Tongass inhabitants would benefit from a Tongass plan that allows for a viable and sustainable timber industry. The industry has growth potential. Timber is what the area largely depended upon for its economy before the discovery of oil on Alaska’s North Slope made Alaska a wealthy state. That and fishing. But a steep drop in oil prices created deficit state expenditures. The crux of the Tongass plan in terms of the timber industry provides a way for transitioning from old-growth to young-growth harvests. The plan calls for a 16-year transition, of which particular conservationists say is too long and industry officials maintain is too short. Industry says an economically stable switch from old- to young-growth is a 30-year endeavor, while others want to see it accomplished in 10-15 years. Young trees should be harvested at an age when they will realize the most marketable product. And old trees should be harvested before they die.

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No one can manage Western wildfires anymore

By Allison Linville
The Denver Post
July 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…According to the National Interagency Fire Center, based in Boise, the five worst years in wildfire history all occurred in the last decade. At one point in 2015, there were 27,000 firefighters trying to put out blazes across the West. In the dispatch center on the Idaho Panhandle, we worked 12-hour days, six days a week, from July until October. Our job was to move the necessary pieces — the aircraft, crews and equipment — to whatever places fire managers and incident commanders told us to. And that summer, it was an almost endless job. … In Montana, fire managers were watching fire models and using their extensive training and experience to manage fires just as they always had, only to have people on the ground begging them to understand that they were seeing something totally different. “Their models weren’t showing what a beast it actually was,” said a firefighter on the Flathead National Forest. She was talking about a fire that she barely escaped before it blew up.

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Florida Forest Service crews respond to 7 lightning-caused wildfires in Northeast Florida

Action News Jax
July 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States

Florida Forest Service responded Monday night to seven lightning-caused wildfires across Northeast Florida. Annaleasa Winter of FFS said the fires were in the following locations: Big Talbot Island, Duval County: The Big Talbot Island fire was estimated to be 15 acres in size and crews were having to get to the fire on foot because it is so far into the marsh. Rain put the fire out, Winter said, and no structures were threatened by the fire. Park service will monitor the fire overnight and the Florida Highway Patrol is watching for smoke on State Road A1A. -Leno Road, Clay County: The fire was 10 acres in size and was 75 percent contained, according to crews. No structures were threatened by that fire.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Greens warn against GOP bill promoting wood-burning power plants

By Kyle Feldscher
Washington Examiner
July 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The House this week is set to take up a $32 billion funding bill that environmentalists say would hobble Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including by exempting wood-burning power plants from the EPA’s emissions rules. Former California Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman said Monday morning that the $32.1 billion funding bill for the EPA, Department of Interior, U.S. Forest Service, Indian Health Service and other agencies contains a number of riders he says are anti-environment. Chief among Waxman’s worries is a provision greens have referred to as the “biomass loophole.” That language treats emissions from wood-burning power plants as carbon neutral, despite studies that show burning wood for power actually emits more carbon into the atmosphere than burning coal.

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Is Burning Trees Still Green? Some Experts Now Question Biomass

National Public Radio
July 12, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

In northern New York state, logger Greg Hemmerich and his crew are clearing out an old pasture at the edge of a forest. “There’s a lot of balsam, lot of spruce, thorn apple trees,” Hemmerich says. “Ninety percent of this lot is low-grade wood.” In other words, it’s no good for furniture or paper or sawmills. But he’ll make $80,000 to run the wood through a chipper and truck the chips to a nearby biomass plant. “Everybody said that green power was supposed to be the wave of the future,” Hemmerich says. “So I went full in.” In 2015, biomass — which refers to trees or other organic matter burned for fuel — produced more electrical energy in the U.S. than solar panels.

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Congress must act on bioenergy

By Robert Glowinski, Donna Harman, Deb Hawkinson, and Dave Tenny
The HIll
July 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States


While it may not be as entertaining (or as bizarre) as the presidential election, Congress is about to make a decision that could have profound effects on the future of American energy. The question they face is this: Should the U.S. treat “biomass” energy generated from our forests—one of the most renewable, recyclable, and greenest resources on the planet—like a part of our clean energy solution, or should it be treated like part of the problem? At the risk of bragging, there is no better example of the sustainable potential of biomass energy than our industries themselves. The pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products sectors use biomass for roughly two-thirds of our power, and so we are able to dramatically reduce our fossil fuel purchases.

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Wood smoke draws researchers to New Zealand

Press Release by NIWA
New Zealand Scoop
July 12, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Wood smoke draws researchers to New Zealand. The burning question of winter is attracting international air quality scientists to Wellington later this month to design a large scale joint research programme. Leading researchers in atmospheric wood smoke and its impact on health from the US, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Australia and New Zealand will meet to launch the International Wood Smoke Research Network. NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley said wood burning for heating was the primary cause of poor air quality in New Zealand. However, the decision to form the network stemmed from limited and uncertain evidence about how wood smoke affects health and what has been gained by introducing regulations on their use.

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Sweden’s Strong Suit

By Tim Portz
Biomass Magazine
July 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Forssjö Pellets exemplifies the Swedish pellet industry, at one time the global leader in pellet production and consumption. Sweden’s per-capita consumption of wood pellets is more than 20 times that of the United States. If every American consumed as many wood pellets as every Swedish citizen does, pellet consumption in the U.S. would soar to over 60 million tons annually, instantaneously tripling the total global market. As recently as 2007, Sweden was the world’s largest producer and consumer of wood pellets, and tracing the growth of the wood pellet industry in Sweden is an object lesson in how a combination of public policy and natural resources can be leveraged to completely reimagine and reengineer a country’s energy strategy. …Forssjö Pellets near Katrineholm is representative of many of pellet plants in Sweden that generate the bulk of the country’s annual volume. …“About 50 percent of a harvested tree’s biomass never leaves the forest,” Stenegard says. “Our goal is to fully utilize the 50 percent that does come into our plant.”

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