Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 18, 2016

Business & Politics

B.C. manufacturing: small but strong

By Albert Van Santvoort
Business in Vancouver
July 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As month-to-month manufacturing sales fall in Alberta and the east, service industry heavy British Columbia see’s its small manufacturing sector thrive compared to the rest of the country. …May’s soft wood lumber sales were up 3.9% in British Columbia. Other sectors related to housing construction were also up in B.C. including concrete and cement product sales, up 7.2%, and wood door and window sales, up 6%. According to Kirkland, this was a result of increased housing construction in both Vancouver and the U.S.

Read More

With Mill Closures Looming, Columbia Falls Contemplates Future

By Justin Franz
Flathead Beacon
July 17, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

COLUMBIA FALLS – Sen. Jon Tester hosts roundtable meeting as local officials brace for the loss of more than 200 jobs at Weyerhaeuser. In mid-June, Mayor Don Barnhart attended the opening of the community’s newest hotel, the Cedar Creek Lodge. The arrival of the $7 million hotel along U.S. Highway 2 was cause for celebration, he said, especially in a community stung by changing economic conditions. But a few days later, the celebratory atmosphere was dampened by the stunning news that Weyerhaeuser Company would be shuttering its lumber and plywood mills in Columbia Falls, economic cornerstones of the community for generations. 

Read More

Tester brainstorms solutions for Weyerhaeuser workers

By Jerad Giottonini
NBC Montana
July 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

KALISPELL, Mont. – U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is looking at solutions for the 200-plus Weyerhaeuser employees laid off in the Flathead. He called on the community and organizations to help come up with solutions. Weyerhaeuser blames a lack of lumber for the decision to shut down two of its Columbia Falls locations. The local job service says some workers might find jobs at a Kalispell facility. But there are only enough openings for 140 employees to transfer to that facility. Community organizations want to do everything they can to lessen the blow. “Of course it is our responsibility to help these people find good-paying jobs, we want people to not just live, but we want them to survive in Flathead County,” said Job Service manager Laura Gardner.

Read More

Local lumber mills benefit from trade deal with U.K.

WSLS
July 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

GOSHEN – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced new export sales of Virginia wood products to the United Kingdom during a trade and marketing mission to Israel and the U.K. this week. The sales were struck between four Virginia lumber companies and James Latham PLC, one of the oldest and largest wood importers and distributors into the U.K. Needless to say, they are excited about establishing sales with a key buyer in a growing market overseas.  Every piece of lumber is carefully cut and inspected as it quickly comes in and goes out of the lumber yard at the Blue Ridge lumber company’s site in Goshen. The tree’s harvested are handpicked, this lumber yard wants only the finest product for what they say is one of the most essential natural resources available world-wide. “Wood does a lot. It goes a long way,” said Assistant Sales manager Heather Woods.

Read More

Paper industry: Wood consumption declines slightly

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
July 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

According to data published on 4 July by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) the European pulp and paper industry consumed 144.567m m³ of roundwood and wood chips in 2015, representing year-on-year decline of 1.3%. Softwood accounted for 104.082m m³ and hardwood for 40.485m m³. In 2005, the pulp and paper industry had consumed a total of 153.380m m³ in the 18 European countries covered by the CEPI, comprising 112.043m m³ of softwood and 41.337m m³ of hardwood. Consumption of wood chips in 2015, at 35.527m m³, was down year on year by only 0.2%. Roundwood consumption fell at a slightly faster rate of 1.7% to 109.040m m³.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Timber and the future of sustainable construction

by Christiane Lellig, Campaign Director at Wood for Good
Business Reporter
July 17, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Timber, one of the most sustainable building materials, could help solve a major issue in modern construction – helping the UK increase housing stock without triggering significant carbon emissions. By sector, the built environment is one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions in the UK. With the country challenged to deliver 200,000 new homes every year just to keep pace with demand, it is new housing developments that will have one of the biggest impacts on our commitment to global carbon reduction targets set in Paris at the end of 2015. Timber could help tackle these conflicting goals. Not only can it exceed other materials in terms of ease of use and speed of delivery, it is the most sustainable way of creating new buildings.

Read More

Forestry

Toquaht Nation Acquires Renewable Forest Licence from Coulson

Toquaht Nation
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Toquaht Nation is thrilled to announce that, on June 17, 2016, after more than 14-months of negotiations, the Toquaht Nation acquired 100% ownership of Forest Licence A19234 from Coulson Forest Products Ltd. The assignment of several tenures on BC Provincial Crown Land is included in this exciting aquisition. These Crown tenures include the licence of occupation for the Toquaht Bay Dryland Sort, the lease for the adjoining booming grounds as well as several road permits and heli water drop sites. Toquaht has also acquired approved cutting permits and pre-paid engineering, associated with FLA19234, for approximately 50,000 cubic metres of timber that will be harvested in late 2016 and early 2017.

Read More

‘There were thousands of trees lost’: Tree Canada to help Fort McMurray regenerate urban forest

By Caley Ramsay
Global News
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A plan is underway to help regenerate the urban forest in Fort McMurray after May’s devastating wildfire. As part of Operation ReLeaf Fort McMurray, Tree Canada has been tasked with helping the northern Alberta municipality rebuild and rejuvenate its urban tree canopy. “This is a biggie. There were thousands of trees lost, urban trees. There were millions of trees lost in the bush, in the rural forest, but there were thousands of trees lost in town,” Michael Rosen, president of the not-for-profit organization, said Friday. “The amount of forest that was actually burnt within the city of Fort McMurray itself… was quite disturbing,” Rosen said.

Read More

Failed reforestation attempt near Creston raises red flag

Logging audit shows failure to meet reforestation obligations
CBC News
July 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A failed reforestation effort in the Kootenays has left B.C.’s logging watchdog concerned. Arrow Glenn Ltd, a private logging company with access to over 600 hectares of forested land in B.C., failed to reforest several clear-cuts near Creston — a direct violation of the regulatory Forest and Range Practices Act. According to a two-year random audit from the Forest Practices Board, Arrow Glenn had seven years to replant trees in numerous clear-cuts but failed to meet minimum standards. They also failed to submit mandatory annual progress reports to the government. “In the case of a licensee not meeting reforestation obligations, that’s not good stewardship — or stewardship period,” said Timothy Ryan, chair of the FPB.

Read More

Calgary’s deciduous trees turn yellow from drought

Despite rainfall, moisture not soaking into roots, expert says
CBC News
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The calendar shows it’s the height of summer, but Calgary’s deciduous trees are in early fall. Poplar trees all over the city are starting to turn yellow, as well as some elm and ash. “The trees have actually been suffering from drought,” said Jeannette Wheeler, Urban Forestry Lead with the City of Calgary. That might seem confusing, given all the recent rain. But she said it’s come down so hard, it hasn’t soaked down to the roots.  “It’s just been running off,” said Wheeler. “If you were to dig into some of these areas where you were seeing some of these trees that are turning yellow already, you would find that there is no moisture in the ground.”

Read More

B.C. needs to ensure supply of quality timber

Letter by Ray Travers, Retired RPF
Victoria Times Colonist
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jack Knox’s playfully amusing column about the sport of recreational axe-throwing in Canada’s cities, from Vancouver to Halifax, has a serious edge. Knox refers to the declining economic contribution of forestry in Vancouver Island communities. ..We must stop doing what is not working, and innovate to conserve and create value. …This new way of managing forests would be beneficial for both timber and non-timber values, including a more rapid transition away from logging the small amount of remaining old growth, less clearcutting, less visual impact, improved habitat for some wildlife, hydrological benefits, increased carbon storage from larger trees and a stronger forest economy.

Read More

UNESCO bid for Manitoba-Ontario boreal forest suffers major blow

CBC News
July 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

A First Nation partner withdrew its support of the project for an area of Manitoba-Ontario boreal forest. The 12-year process to designate a vast area of Manitoba and Ontario’s boreal forest a UNESCO World Heritage site has hit another major setback after a First Nation partner withdrew its support. The Pimachiowin Aki project nomination was being considered for the World Heritage List at the 2016 World Heritage Committee session in Istanbul, Turkey this week. However, the committee decided to refer the nomination after one of the First Nations involved withdrew its support of the project.

Read More

House, Senate Republicans: Wildfire-Funding Fix Needs to Expedite Forest-Thinning Projects

By Jack Fitzpatrick
Morning Consult
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Key House and Senate lawmakers argued Friday that it’s not enough to change how the U.S. Forest Service pays for the rising costs of wildfire, saying Congress needs to pass legislation that expedites preventative forest-management projects. Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) touted their chambers’ bills that would allow some forest-thinning projects to bypass lengthy environmental reviews, in a conference call with reporters on Friday. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said there needs to be a solution to the Forest Service’s financial Catch-22 on wildfires, in which the agency’s fire suppression expenses consistently go over budget, forcing the agency to pull money from other parts of the budget, which in some cases could have been used to mitigate wildfire damage.

Read More

Bullock has vision to defend public lands

By Rick Bass – board member of the Yaak Valley Forest Council.
The Missoulian
July 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wilderness is never too far from any of us in Montana, and again, it’s why we’re here instead of someplace else. Our pro-wilderness and pro-restoration community service organization, the Yaak Valley Forest Council, has been laboring to connect workers and community to the outdoors on the Kootenai National Forest for parts of three decades now, restoring public lands damaged by decades of mismanagement. …Recreation is part of the administration’s new public lands agenda, and so is sound forest management; the latter of which is our main focus here on the Kootenai. Some parts of Montana are bona fide blue-ribbon recreation areas, and easily safeguarded by the new public lands agenda. In the high stony country of rock and ice, backpackers can still visit high mountain cirques; farther down, can still canoe or sail deep blue lakes and winding rivers beneath high bluffs. 

Read More

King Sequoia: The Tree That Inspired A Nation, Created Our National Park System, And Changed The Way We Think About Nature

By Patrick Cone
National Parks Traveller
July 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

William Tweed, who spent 30 years with the National Park Service as an historian, writer, and naturalist, has now given me that answer. In his book, King Sequoia (Sierra College Press 2016) Tweed details the long struggles to protect the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron gigantum) in this wonderful biography of a magnificent species. The Sequoia is the world’s largest single tree, with some specimens reaching nearly 300 feet into the Sierra sky, and 26 feet in diameter. Some individuals are more than 3,000 years old. Tweed describes their first discovery by the 49ers, and Augustus Dowd’s description of the Calaveras Grove in 1852. The public, used to tall tales from the Western provinces, were in disbelief, and doubted their existence.

Read More

My Turn: Alaska’s pulp mills and the rest of the story

by Rich Moniak
Juneau Empire
July 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When Southeast Alaska’s two pulp mills closed in the 1990s, Alaska’s congressional delegation blamed environmentalists, the Tongass Timber Reform Act (TTRA) and the Clinton Administration for destroying an industry that had been the region’s largest private employer. And now that political fiction has peddled its way into the new Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives and Museum. I toured the new museum for the first time last week. It’s a magnificent building housing Alaska’s arts and cultural treasures. And it was designed to be an honest resting place for the state’s often tumultuous history. But at the Tongass National Forest exhibit I found this troubling description of the mill closings.

Read More

Editorial: Getting burned

Las Vegas Review-Journal
July 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Only “you can prevent forest fires.” That’s what Smokey Bear would have you believe, anyway. But America’s anti-wildfire mascot identifies only part of the equation. But decades of bad land-management decisions and poor public policy keeps burning America — in a literal sense. Large-scale wildfires in this country occur predominately in national forests, national recreation areas and other federal lands. …Since then, however, a mixture of senseless regulations, the persistent threat of lawsuits, pressures from environmental extremists and bad management decisions have left national forests and other federal lands largely untouched. Logging has been in steep decline on government lands and federal land administrators have been discouraged from thinning trees and brush with machines or through controlled burns.

Read More

EPA, Forest Service want permanent firefighters near Libby

Associated Press in Bristol Herald Courier
July 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LIBBY, Mont. — The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Forest Service want to station 10 firefighters near Libby this summer so crews are immediately available to fight any fire that night burn in or near a former vermiculite mine contaminated with asbestos, which can cause lung cancer. Libby District Ranger Nate Gassmann said having a team located in the area is critical to containing the threat of airborne asbestos if that case were to happen. A test burn showed that a fire in that area would expose firefighters to asbestos at well above the risk target set by the EPA, said Christina Progress, the remedial project manager for the cleanup at the former W.R. Grace vermiculite mine site.

Read More

Elliott State Forest should be auctioned to high bidder in order to benefit schools (opinion)

By John A. Charles Jr., president and CEO of the Portland-based Cascade Policy Institute,
The Oregonian
July 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In his recent guest column, Director of the Oregon Department of State Lands Jim Paul summarizes the history of the Elliott State Forest. He correctly notes that the Common School Trust lands within the Elliott must be managed as an endowment asset for public schools. Since the Elliott is now a net liability instead of an asset due to environmental litigation, the State Land Board has appropriately concluded that the trust lands should be sold. Unfortunately, the sale will not take place through competitive bidding, because this is not an auction. On July 27, the Land Board will announce the results of an appraisal and set the sale price as the appraised price. If you dare to offer even one dollar more, your bid will be set aside by state lawyers as “nonresponsive.”

Read More

Coquille Tribe to regain control of 5,000 ancestral forestland acres

KCBY
July 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

NORTH BEND, Ore. — The Coquille Tribe is regaining control over a piece of ancestral forest land. The tribe says it’s the only tribe in the country whose timber harvest is restricted by federal forest requirements. Tribal leaders say the 5,000 acres of forestland provides 20 percent of their annual revenue, money that is critical to supporting their health care, education, and elder care. The Coquille Forest Fairness act will free the tribe from the standards and guidelines set by the Bureau of Land Management. The bill was approved Wednesday by the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Read More

California Makes First Arrest of Hobbyist for Flying Drone Over Forest Fire

By Jennifer Calfas
Wall Street Journal
July 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California officials on Friday made their first arrest of a hobbyist drone operator under a crackdown to prevent such unmanned aircraft from impeding efforts to fight wildfires. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection detained Eric Wamser, 57 years old, of Foresthill, Calif., after they had found a video taken from a drone Mr. Wamser allegedly posted on social media of a large wildfire in northeast Sacramento last month. He was later released. Mr. Wamser couldn’t immediately be reached to comment. Mr. Wamser was charged with one misdemeanor for interfering with wildfire operations. A fine hasn’t yet been determined, but drone operators who fly over wildfires could face up to $27,500 in civil penalties, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Read More

State leaders gain knowledge of Douglas County logging industry

KPIC
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CAMAS VALLEY, Ore. — Dozens of state leaders are learning about logging in Douglas County after visiting the area. “It’s important that the public and the policy makers understand that different landowners have different objectives and they use different systems,” says Michael Cloughesy with Oregon Forest Resources Institute. The first stop on the timber tour was Roseburg Forest Products, which uses a clear-cutting system they say is the most efficient and cost-effective way to harvest. “He picks up the logs and cuts them to the size the company wants,” describes RFP’s Harold Rowe. “He will do the loading of the wood onto the trucks and take it to different destinations.” The second stop was a unit of Bureau of Land Management lands. The agency uses different land management methods for its private and federal lands. They say the public lands are not just managed to produce wood; they’re also managed to protect natural resources.

Read More

Siuslaw forestry practices offer great example for Tongass

By Dominick DellaSala, Catherine Mater and Jim Furnish
The Register-Guard
July 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent release of the U.S. Forest Service’s old growth logging plans for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest stalls urgent climate change protections and relies on old school forestry. What happens in the Tongass is important to Oregonians, and the nation, because this national forest absorbs about 8 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution annually — far more than any other forest. And what is happening in the Siuslaw National Forest can inform the Tongass. The Tongass plan calls for continued old growth logging, mostly over the next 16 years, threatening 43,000 acres of Tongass rainforest. This long time frame will unnecessarily release the equivalent emissions of 4 million vehicles annually over the next 100 years at a time when nations are looking to cut back on carbon pollution.

Read More

New Black Hills forest supervisor brings 33 years of experience

By Tom Griffith
Rapid City Journal
July 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CUSTER | Roam the 193 million acres managed by the U.S. Forest Service in 155 National Forests and 21 National Grasslands in 44 states and Puerto Rico and you’d be hard-pressed to find an official with more years of diverse service than the newly named supervisor of Black Hills National Forest. Mark Van Every, who will assume the post Aug. 22, has spent the past 33 years with the U.S. Forest Service gaining extensive experience in forest management, oil and gas leases, stewardship, fire suppression, prescribed burning, and special and recreational uses. He’s worked in national forests from the mountains of Juneau, Alaska, to the grasslands of Texas.

Read More

Nobody wins when our forests burn

Letter by Daniel Wood
Helena Independent Record
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Every year our forests burn down, and every year we say something different has to happen, except the environmentalists. They say burning is natural and we should just let it happen until snow or rain falls. There’s nothing natural about the state of our forests. Our forests are overgrown and full of dead trees. Just look at the national forest off Highway 12 driving out of Helena. One lightning strike and the entire forest from Helena to west of the pass will be ashes. …Last year Ryan Zinke passed a bill in the House that would help get rid of the dead logs in the forests. It won’t stop a fire from happening, but it will help stop it from spreading. It’s a good idea, and I think Steve Daines or Jon Tester should introduce it in the Senate.

Read More

Iowa is losing millions of trees — and it’s hurting water quality, experts say

The Des Moines Register
July 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Iowa’s thirst for new farmland helped drive the loss of 97,000 acres of woodlands in just five years, a new federal report shows. It’s the first time in nearly 40 years that the state has seen a net loss of forested land, a disturbing development that experts fear is contributing to Iowa’s problems with farm runoff and poor water quality. Record-high prices for corn and soybeans in 2012 fueled much of Iowa’s woodland losses, as farmers put more land into production to reap bigger profits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service report. “People are going in and bulldozing trees for farming, leaving behind gigantic piles of walnuts, oaks, elms,” said Shannon Ramsay, CEO of Trees Forever, who called the clearing of trees across the state heartbreaking.

Read More

37 Division of Forestry workers now unemployed after effort to prevent layoffs fails

By Matt Maccaro
West Virginia MetroNews
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

HARLESTON, W.Va. — Thirty-seven state Division of Forestry workers spent their last day on the job Friday after a last-minute effort to prevent layoffs failed.  State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin worked up until the deadline to work out a deal with Forestry Association to accept a higher timber tax, but the industry refused. “To restore the tax to 2.78 (percent), take this on to the legislature,” Burdette said of the proposal. “He was willing to call the legislature into special session and try to facilitate something. About noon today, the Forestry Association contacted the governor’s office and said we’re staying the course.”

Read More

Second phase of Forest Expansion Scheme opens in NI

By Peter McCann
Irish Farmers Journal
July 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The second phase of the Forest Expansion Scheme in Northern Ireland opened for applications on Thursday. The scheme provides funding for landowners for the establishment of forestry of at least 5ha in size to cover establishment costs and lost agricultural income for 10 years. The first phase of the scheme opened last November and resulted in 180ha of forest being planted in NI, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen has said. The scheme is funded under the Rural Development Programme and has changed since the first phase with increased funding to cover establishment costs from 70% to 100% and a shorter period for annual payments from 15 years to 10 years.

Read More

Forest Fires

Forest fire hazard extreme in parts of the north

TB Newswatch
July 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There were no new fires in the Northwest Region by the afternoon of July 16. There was one new fire confirmed later in the evening on July 15. Thunder Bay District Fire 024 is out at 0.1 hectares. The forest fire hazard is low to moderate in the south and high to extreme in the north. Active fires in the Northwest Region include: • Nipigon District Fire 023 is a lightning-caused fire listed at 960 hectares in size. It is being observed and is located 30 kilometres west of Neskantaga First Nation in the far north. • Nipigon District Fire 024 is a lightning-caused fire listed at 0.2 hectares in size. It is being observed and is located on an island in Nibinamik Lake, 29 km east of Wunnumin Lake First Nation.

Read More

Crews battle wildfire near McHugh Creek that sent smoke over Turnagain Arm

Alaska Dispatch News
July 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

State forestry firefighters jumped on a backwoods fire near the popular McHugh Creek Trail that kicked up a large plume of white smoke over Cook Inlet Sunday, as throngs of travelers enjoying hot, sunny weather returned from weekend adventures on the Seward Highway below. The McHugh wildfire was one of more than 100 new fires around the state that sparked up late in the week, following a three-day period with more than 45,000 recorded lightning strikes. State fire officials said Sunday they did not yet know the cause of the McHugh fire.   The fire was about three-quarters of a mile from the upper McHugh Creek parking lot, said Tim Mowry, a public information officer for the state Division of Forestry. It’s located in a difficult-to-access area in the drainage, according to Tom Crockett, a park ranger for Chugach State Park.

Read More

Lava Mountain Fire burns 250 acres near Dubois, Wyo.

By Jordan Niedermeier
The Billings Gazette
July 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West, International

Fire crews battled a wildfire northwest of Dubois, Wyo., on Sunday, and the 250 acre blaze remains at zero percent containment, said incident contact Kristie Salzmann. The Lava Mountain Fire is burning through thick timber on the Wind River Ranger District of the Shoshone National Forest. Salzmann said some smoke was seen in the area on July 10 after lightning strikes. Firefighters looked for the source of the smoke over the past week but didn’t find an exact location. High temperatures and strong winds on Saturday created the necessary conditions for a full scale wildfire.

Read More

An update on Colorado’s wildfires

9NEWS.com
July 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

KUSA – Residents forced to leave their houses as the Cold Springs Fire in Boulder County burned more than 500 acres are now back home but people in Fremont County are still dealing with the fire there. The Hayden Pass fire near Salida spread by about 500 acres since Friday. It’s now at 16,200 acres and residents were evacuated from 140 homes. High temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity are working against crews battling the Hayden Pass Fire. Firefighters only have 5 percent of it contained but are trying to keep it from spreading. “This is a real critical area because if the fire were to scoot to the north, then we get winds that could catch us from the backdoor.

Read More

Fuller Fire grows close to 6,000 acres on Grand Canyon’s North Rim

AZCentral
July 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

More than 500 firefighters were battling a growing 5,940-acre blaze on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, fire officials said. The fire, which began after a lightning strike two weeks ago, is burning about three miles southwest of Point Imperial Road. Its aggressive behavior has led to multiple closures along Cape Royal and Point Imperial roads, which are home to two of the easier, shorter North Rim day hikes. Firefighters plan to continue burnout operations along those roads, fire officials said. The North Rim lodge, visitor center and campground remain open. Hot, dry winds and low humidity fueled the fire’s growth Saturday, causing some firefighters to withdraw, Michelle Fidler, Fuller Fire spokeswoman for the National Forest Service, said.

Read More

The rising intensity of wildfires in the West (4 letters)

The Denver Post
July 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Four letters to the editor from Phil Nelson, Molly Pitts (Rocky Mountain States director of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities), Martin Allen, and Rex Shaw. Excerpt from Pitts letter: Allison Linville seems to suggest nothing can be done to mitigate or prevent the extreme, catastrophic wildfires we are experiencing. Even if wildfire modeling is an inexact science, we know what is fueling these fires, and what we can do to influence their behavior. Drought and climate change are contributing factors to catastrophic wildfire. So are beetle infestations and unnaturally overstocked forest stands. Active forest management — whether through timber harvest, thinning or prescribed fire — is proven to help reduce fuel loads and lessen the severity of fire.

Read More

Crews work to keep blaze from highway near the Grand Canyon

Associated Press in The Washington Post
July 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A blaze is threatening a highway in the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, while weather conditions in Colorado drove a wildfire burning in a tiny Colorado town that has forced the evacuation of 140 homes. Here’s a look at fires in the U.S. West: ARIZONA A growing wildfire in Arizona could potentially threaten a highway serving an area of the Grand Canyon. Strong winds and low humidity have fueled the growth of a wildfire, threatening the highway serving the lodge, restaurant and main campgrounds on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Fire officials say weather conditions Friday have caused a 2-week-old wildfire to char 5.7 square miles.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Nearly Twenty Canadian Companies Sign On to Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition

World Bank Group
July 15, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Nearly twenty Canadian companies signed on today to join the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), which brings together governments, businesses and civil society groups to identify and address the key challenges to successfully using carbon pricing as a way to combat climate change. Canada’s Minister of Environment Catherine McKenna personally worked with the companies to draw their attention to the costs – and potential opportunities – of putting a price on carbon pollution. …British Columbia, which established a carbon tax in 2008, levies a tax of $21 per ton of CO2e emissions. The province is now home to a growing clean technology sector, with more than 200 companies generating an estimated $1.7 billion in revenues annually.

Read More

Biomass plants make pitch for dead trees to produce electricity

Dead trees could add life to local biomass plants
The Fresno Bee
July 15, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Trees are dying in the Sierra at modern-day unprecedented rates, posing elevated fire danger and creating health, water and air quality concerns, but a possible solution to rid the forest of dead and dying trees is getting short shrift, officials say. California’s biomass industry is set up regionally to turn agricultural waste into electricity while eliminating open burning. But many local biomass plants have closed or are closing soon because it costs less to produce electricity with solar and wind, which get subsidies that are not available to biomass. …Environmentalists say biomass plants pollute the air and aren’t sorry to see them go.

Read More

Professional Logging Contractors of Maine applauds House passage of biomass carbon neutrality language

Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
July 15, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine commends the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to preserve language affirming the carbon neutral status of woody forest biomass as a renewable fuel in the federal appropriations bill passed Thursday, July 14. The PLC strongly supports the continued use of forest biomass as a renewable energy source to support Maine logging jobs by making markets available for the low value woody debris, limbs, and tops that are a byproduct of timber harvests while also improving forest health, reducing insect and disease infestations, and lowering the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

Read More

Wood fuel not as bad for the environment as previously thought

New research shows that wood fuel is just one of multiple drivers of deforestation, and highlights the need for a holistic reappraisal of what is deemed sustainable
CIFOR Forests News
July 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Felling trees for firewood is an eons-old practice that in recent history has come under criticism by conservationists. But according to new research conducted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the true environmental impact of wood fuel needs to be better understood before sustainability policies can be properly formulated. “The sweeping conclusion that wood fuel is a chief cause of deforestation, needs to be revisited as the situation is more complex than that,” said ICRAF scientist Phosiso Sola, who participated in the research. …“In fact, there are suggestions that agricultural expansion is a much bigger factor, although intricately associated with the subsequent sale of wood fuel resultant thereof,” Sola said.

Read More

USDA GAIN report highlights Russian pellet potential

By Katie Fletcher
Biomass Magazine
July 15, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A report recently filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network provided an overview of the Russian federation’s biofuels industry, including data on likely growth with wood pellet production and exports. As Russia is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of oil and gas, the report stated that biofuels have had an insignificant share (1.2 percent) in the overall energy production mix, and biomass accounting for less than 1 percent. Its estimated biofuels make up 5 percent of Russia’s heating energy and 1 percent of its electrical power, although there are no official statistics on these measures.

Read More