Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 16, 2016

Business & Politics

Softwood lumber dispute to get summer study at trade committee

by Laura Payton
CTV News
August 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The long-running softwood lumber dispute is set to get a special hearing in Ottawa as MPs on the trade committee plan to reconvene this week. … Conservative and New Democrat MPs on the trade committee sent the request for the meeting on Saturday, making Thursday the last possible day to hold a meeting. “Softwood lumber is an important part of Canada’s forest sector, and the country’s softwood lumber producers rely on the exports that they send to the United States,” Conservative MP Randy Hoback wrote in the letter requesting the meeting.

Read More

Hefler uses $1M line of credit to cover operational expenses during reprieve

Chronicle Herald
August 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Lumber giant Hefler Forest Products is using a $1-million line of credit to cover its operational expenses during a reprieve granted to it by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Earlier this month, Justice Glen G. McDougall gave Hefler until Sept. 22 to restructure its business, and the judge also ruled the company could borrow up to $1 million from Allen MacPhee during that period. “We requested a loan and got three offers,” Frank Gaetz, Hefler Forest Products’ president and co-owner, said in an interview Monday. “It’s like a line of credit. You take what you need.” The iconic company has been in business since the year before Confederation. It now owes more than $30 million to four secured creditors and another 30-40 unsecured creditors.

Read More

Weyerhaeuser’s Dividend Has Already Been Chopped Once

By The Valeuntum Team
Seeking Alpha
August 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser’s  acquisition of Plum Creek has created a REIT that is the largest private owner of timberland in the US. It owns more than 13 million acres of timberland and produces lumber and wood-fiber boards and expects annual cost savings to exceed $100 million. The firm’s 115+ year history speaks to a degree of resiliency in its business, and the recent sale agreement for its pulp mills for $2.2 billion should improve its balance sheet health. Targeting the extraction of maximum value from each acre owned will be par for the course moving forward.

Read More

Judge finds Weyerhaeuser discriminated against union official

The Longview News
August 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser Co. has declined to appeal a decision from a federal judge that found the timber company discriminated against a top union official for his labor organizing. An administrative law judge ruled in March that Weyerhaeuser demonstrated an “antiunion animus” when it abruptly revoked Greg Pallesen’s leave of absence in 2015 — after more than decade of service as vice president of Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers. AWPPW represents about 450 hourly employees at Weyerhaeuser’s Longview operations. Union leaders held off on announcing the ruling until last week because they wanted to see if the Weyerhaeuser would appeal the decision, Pallesen said Monday.

Read More

Four arrested for fire on Weyerhaeuser property

Pamplin Media Group
August 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Four people have been arrested in connection with a fire on Weyerhaeuser timber property in Scappoose. A fire broke out around 11:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 on timberland off Holaday Road near Pisgah Road, according to Oregon State Police. OSP investigated the fire.  On Friday, the Department of Forestry announced via news release that the fire was likely caused by an illegal campfire near an illegally built shack, that spread to several logging slash piles on the timber company’s property, which was closed to public access.

Read More

Community unable to fish, paddle Georgia’s Altamaha River near polluting pulp mill

Southern Environmental Law Center
August 15, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A decision is expected within 30 days of closing arguments presented last week in a state administrative hearing over a pulp mill’s visible, foul-smelling pollution of the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia. After years of operating under an outdated permit, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) renewed Rayonier Advanced Materials’ pollution discharge permit in December 2015. SELC along with GreenLaw and Stack & Associates filed a petition on behalf of Altamaha Riverkeeper, challenging that the permit does not go far enough to uphold state water quality standards for odor, color, and turbidity.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Build with Strength Video: The Evolution of Chicago’s Modern Architecture

PR Newsire
August 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, US West

CHICAGO,– Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), today released a new video looking back at Chicago’s construction development in the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the use of non-combustible materials in the city ever since. “We got into concrete very heavily [during the] late 19th century, early 20th century as a way to meet building codes that were put into place, frankly, after the Chicago fire…where the whole city that was stick built got wiped out,” said Jack Holland, Managing Director of Ameritas Investment Corp. Concrete does not burn or melt, and will retain its structural stability even at the highest
temperatures. Following the devastation of their city, Chicago’s design, build and code communities worked together to ensure such a catastrophe would never happen again.

Read More

Unbelievable: This Dubai hotel has a complete rain-forest inside

By Mir Adil Usman
Daily Pakistan
August 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The city of Dubai is already well known for having the tallest building in the world, some of the most exciting water parks and is home to some of the world’s best hotels. Having already pushed structural boundaries by building islands molded like palm trees, ski resorts in shopping centers and aquariums where you can swim WITH the dolphins, the city is set to become home to another first of its kind place. A hotel with the world’s first rainforest is at present in the planning stages. The 75,000-square foot man-made wilderness will highlight streams, lakes, full-sized trees and tropical plants and blooms. Visitors will even have the capacity to encounter the rush of flying through the trees on a zip line.

Read More

Apple Headquarters is finally complete and it’s an adorable treehouse

By Kristine Lofgren
Inhabitat
August 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Inside this Apple Headquarters, you won’t find any conference meetings or busy coders. Instead, there’s a pirate’s periscope and the perfect space to plot daring adventures and exciting exploits. Dreamed up by Anders Berensson Architects, the treetop headquarters in Sweden was built in the shape of an apple as homage to the dead tree that is its host. The treehouse was built out of interlocking plywood sheets to create the perfect escape for one lucky little client.

Read More

Kudos for Innovative Bridge build

By Craig Thomson
Glen Innes Examiner
August 15, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In a speech in the NSW Legislative Assembly, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall outlined how Glen Innes fabricator Weir Built and the Glen Innes Severn Council developed an innovative use of timber to rebuild its rural bridges at a fraction of the cost of using concrete. …Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services Keith Appleby used a locally-devised laminated timber bridge deck that has the same load rating and longevity as a concrete deck, and is modular for easy transport and installation. Most importantly, the laminated decks mean that old timber bridges can be rebuilt for less than half the cost of pouring a new concrete bridge.

Read More

Forestry

Board to audit Husby Forest Products in Haida Gwaii

BC Forest Practices Board
August 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the forestry activities of Husby Forest Products Ltd. on forest licence A16869 in the Haida Gwaii Resource District, during the week of August 22, 2016. Auditors will assess whether forest planning and practices carried out between August 2014 and August 2016, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, as well as the Haida Gwaii Land Use Objectives Order. The land use objectives order was a result of the 2007 Strategic Land Use Agreement between the BC and Federal governments and the Haida First Nation, to protect areas of critical significance and to establish forest management objectives for cultural, aquatic, biodiversity and wildlife values on Haida Gwaii.

Read More

Driver dead, highway closed after logging truck rollover

By Kendra Mangione
CTV News Vancouver
August 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A woman has died after a logging truck tipped over, causing a collision on a highway near Harrison Mills. Few details have been made available, but police said the crash occurred shortly after noon on Monday on the Lougheed Highway near East Mill Road. Mounties said it appears that a logging truck was driving along the highway when it tipped over onto a curb, sending logs rolling into the street. One of the logs struck a pickup truck, and the female driver died at the scene. The driver of the logging truck was uninjured in the crash.

Read More

Study needed in New Brunswick to decide how to respond to massive moth outbreak

The Canadian Press in CTV News
August 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON — Photos of budworm moths coating trees and roadways in northern New Brunswick may be creepy, but a senior federal scientist says further study is needed to see if the sudden migration warrants costly, targeted spraying. A senior insect ecologist with Natural Resources Canada says the swarms, featured in widely circulated images on social media, are the result of warm winds that carried the bugs from northern Quebec into the areas around Dalhousie and Campbellton in northern New Brunswick. However, Rob Johns says it’s too early to determine whether the arrival of the moths — considered to be Canada’s most destructive forest pest — will contribute to an outbreak in his province.

Read More

How is a New York beetle linked to wildfires in the West?

By Rob Hotakainen
McClatchyDC
August 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – In an odd twist of politics, Western lawmakers might soon benefit as a bright green beetle spreads across upstate New York, threatening the trees used to produce bats for Major League Baseball. The pest, called the emerald ash borer, is a particular headache for New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer. During a recent visit to the Rawlings Adirondack Bat Factory in Dolgeville, N.Y., Schumer said the infestation could kill millions of ash trees and that “America’s favorite pastime has also taken a hit.” He wants Congress to respond but complained that federal money to fight the beetle has been diverted to pay for the rising costs of fighting wildfires.

Read More

Moth infestation threatening trees in N.M. forest

By Uriel J. Garcia
Santa Fe New Mexican
August 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Over the past three years, moths have been feeding on the needles of Douglas firs across thousands of acres of forest land near Cañada de los Alamos, a community southeast of Santa Fe. The insect threatens to leave hundreds of dead trees in its wake. But the U.S. Forest Service has no plans to treat the infestation, according to a news release. Julie Anne Overton, a spokeswoman for the Santa Fe National Forest, said in a news release issued Friday that the population of the Douglas-fir tussock moth in the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District is now declining. Overton said a team conducting an annual aerial examination of the Santa Fe and Carson forests in late July noticed a red coloration to pine trees in the area, caused by defoliation. Another forest team then hiked to the area and confirmed that the moths had been feeding on the trees.

Read More

Finding a market for dead trees

Baker City Herald
August 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The timing was coincidental, but also revealing. Three months after the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest announced its plan to cut trees in the southwest corner of Baker County where tree-killing mountain pine beetles have reached epidemic levels, a fire, probably caused by human activities, started in that area. The Rail fire has burned more than 11,000 acres since it was reported July 31. Critics will accuse the Wallowa-Whitman of procrastination, of fiddling while Baker County burns, but this is not altogether fair. Forest officials aren’t responsible for whomever sparked the blaze. Absent that spark, the Rail salvage project might have started as planned in 2017, and the worst effects of the beetle epidemic dealt with before fire, as it inevitably will in lodgepole pine-dominated forests, cleaned the slate.

Read More

New blood pumped into national forest history museum

by KIM BRIGGEMAN
The Missoulian
August 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…A core of believers has been trying to create a physical manifestation of the National Museum of Forest Service History in Missoula for years. So far roughly $4 million of the $9.5 million needed to begin construction of a 30,000-square-foot museum has been raised, while across town more than 36,000 artifacts, photos and documents are stored at a Forest Service repository on South Catlin Street. Love, a retired forest ranger from Seeley Lake, was among more than a dozen invited guests who spent the morning trying to help jump-start the process. …Some were retired from the Forest Service. Others included current and former educators, a high school junior, a backcountry outfitter, a poet, a grant writer, the museum’s newly hired first executive director and the head of Destination Missoula. Google came to help.

Read More

In response to closure of mills

by John Mundinger
Helena Independent Record
August 15, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In response to the story about the closing of the Weyerhauser mills in Columbia Falls, some folks will be quick to blame the federal government for the chronic log supply shortage. However, it could well be that the mill capacity exceeds the available supply of timber. If so, revising national forest management to increase the supply of timber will only prolong the agony. ……Most of the standing crop of merchantable trees on those lands has already gone to the mill. A significant portion of those lands is no longer in timber production. Moreover, one of the industrial forest owners has converted from a forest products company to a real estate investment trust.

Read More

Disaster Around Corner as Foreign Owners Clean Out Forests

from New Zealand First Party
Scoop Independent News
August 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New Zealand First is warning again that the forestry industry is heading for disaster. “While New Zealand’s forests are being cleaned out mostly by foreign owners other nations, including China, are locking up their forests,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters. “One of our greatest former state assets – trees – are being felled too early, not enough new trees are being planted and raw logs are leaving ports when it is processed products we should be exporting.

Read More

Forester calls for polluter pays policy to encourage planting

Stuff.co.nz
August 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A forestry leader has taken a swipe at dairy farming, saying it was time to make polluters pay with a nitrogen tax and for farming to be included within an emissions trading scheme. President of the Forest Owners Association, Peter Clark, said people could not be expected to plant trees “when the current policies are sloping the playing field in favour of grass”. Speaking at the 25th anniversary of the New Zealand Forests Accord, Clark called on environmental groups to join with the forestry industry on climate change. The accord signed between forestry and environmental groups in 1991 signalled an end to native forest logging on private land.

Read More

Forest Fires

Man facing charges in relation to arson-caused wildfires near Stave Lake/Mission

The Castlegar Source
August 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

An investigation into a series of deliberately set fires near Stave Lake has resulted in arson charges against one Lower Mainland man. Christopher White, 35, has been charged with three counts of arson, damage to property under Section 434 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Mr. White is making his first court appearance today, Aug. 15, in Abbotsford Provincial Court. The charges come as a result of a joint investigation between the BC RCMP Forest Crimes unit and Mission RCMP, with assistance from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the BC Wildfire Service. …This investigation and the resulting charges demonstrate the effectiveness of a collaborative approach to wildfire investigations. Suspected cases of arson are taken very seriously as they can put communities, resources and infrastructure at risk.

Read More

Forest fires in N.S. now contained, travel ban in woods partially lifted

Canadian Press in CTV News
August 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia has lifted some restrictions on travel and activities in wooded areas after weekend rain that reduced the risk of wildfires. The province has announced the travel ban has been lifted in Cape Breton, but remains in place for the mainland until further notice. Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines says in a release that firefighters battling several major blazes across the province have made significant progress, and there are fewer new fires starting. The release says that the four largest fires, including one in Seven Mile Lake near Kejimkujik National Park, are 100 per cent contained and crews continue to work on putting the flames out completely.

Read More

Seven Mile Lake fire near Kejimkujik National Park contained

Travel restrictions into woods lifted in Cape Breton, but remain in mainland Nova Scotia
CBC News
August 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The forest fire at Seven Mile Lake in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis County is fully contained, officials said Monday. Crews have also fully contained the fires at Maitland Bridge in Annapolis County, Perch Lake in Pictou County and Ten Mile Lake in Queens County. The latter blaze continues to be difficult to fight because the area has had less rain than other areas around Kejimkujik National Park, the province said Monday morning. Crews at the scene said the fire has burned deep in places and they have to dig out the hot spots with hand tools or water to completely extinguish them.

Read More

P.E.I. sends forest firefighters to Nova Scotia

Firefighters expected to stay in Nova Scotia for one to two weeks
CBC News
August 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Five firefighters from P.E.I. are in Nova Scotia to help with a forest fire in the southern part of the province. “On Friday, five staff from the Department of Land and Environment left to assist with the Nova Scotia fires,” said Land and Environment Minister Robert Mitchell in a news release. The firefighters are assigned to the fire at Seven Mile Lake, which only Monday was declared to be contained, thanks in part to rain showers that fell on Sunday. Mitchell said the firefighters would likely be in Nova Scotia for one to two weeks, and stay at a campground in Caledonia.

Read More

The Latest: Blaze grows little, containment remains the same

Associated Press in The Helena Independent Record
August 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…A fire official says a blaze that destroyed more than 175 homes, businesses and other structures in a Northern California community grew very little Monday afternoon but firefighters are struggling to contain it. Cal Fire Incident Commander Barry Biermann says the blaze in Lower Lake about 90 miles north of San Francisco grew 50 acres away from homes and into an area scorched by a wildfire last year. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fast-moving wildfire was more than six square miles and just 5 percent contained Monday night.

Read More

Man arrested for arson blaze that decimated California town

By Sudhin Thanawala
Associated Press in ABC News
August 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A California man was arrested Monday on arson charges for allegedly sparking a wildfire that exploded over the weekend, destroying more than 175 homes, business and other structures in a Northern California town, authorities said. Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said Damin Anthony Pashilk, 40, of Clearlake was arrested Monday on 17 counts of arson and is in jail. He is suspected in numerous fires in Lake County over the past year. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott said the blaze in the town of Lower Lake has caused over $10 million in damages and left dozens of families homeless.

Read More

Burned: The Forest Service reacts to key findings

By Laura Gunderson
The Oregonian
August 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Oregonian/OregonLive spent a year reporting “Burned” and conducted numerous interviews with U.S. Forest Service leadership during that time. Last month, reporters Ted Sickinger and Laura Gunderson shared a summary of their findings with agency leaders. On Aug. 1, they spoke for 2.5 hours with Malheur National Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin and Fire Management Officer Roy Walker. Excerpts from multiple conversations and written statements are included in the main stories and reflected in these Forest Service responses.

Read More

Burned: Firestorm Poor planning and tactical errors fueled a wildfire catastrophe

by LAURA GUNDERSON & TED SICKINGER
The Oregonian
August 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


Weather forecasters were calling for abundant lightning and strong, gusty winds. Months of drought and record-breaking summer temperatures had left the eastern Oregon forest tinder dry. …Then, as if on cue, lightning strikes started a dozen fires on Aug. 12, 2015 — exactly a year ago. Within two days, gale-force winds fanned the two most substantial starts into a ferocious firestorm that raced through the Canyon Creek community south of John Day. …Managers with the U.S. Forest Service insist they did everything possible to contain the wildfires at Mason Spring and Berry Creek, which combined to create the Canyon Creek fire. …But an investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive has found systemic problems within the Forest Service that left the Malheur primed to burn. And a cascading set of tactical errors slowed the agency’s response and squandered its chances to extinguish the fire early.

Read More

Southwest Oregon fire danger jumps to ‘extreme’ this week

By Ryan Pfeil
Mail Tribune
August 15, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A week expected to end with multiple days of triple-digit temperatures and an already parched landscape has pushed the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire danger to its highest level. Starting at 8 a.m. today, the agency will raise the level to “extreme,” according to an agency news release. That means public use of power-driven and spark-emitting internal combustion engines is forbidden on the 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and U.S. Bureau of Land Management forest lands ODF protects. Under the new guidelines, use of chainsaws and the cutting, grinding or welding of metal is prohibited. Mowing dried and cured grass with power-driven equipment is also prohibited. The mowing of green lawns and commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops is still allowed.

Read More

Editorial: The monster wildfire that could have been tamed

The Oregonian
August 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


…Despite what might have seemed the perfect storm of tinderbox forest conditions and windy weather, however, the Canyon Creek fire should never have been a monster. In this deconstruction of the failed effort to battle the blaze by the U.S. Forest Service, Laura Gunderson and Ted Sickinger of The Oregonian/OregonLive document several management missteps. …Bungled communications among dispatchers and fire managers, and a tendency by fire managers to underestimate what the fire could become, are among the failures. Worse is the choice by Forest Service leadership to ignore its own written firefighting guidelines that require an adequate number of firefighting crews be present and ready to go.

Read More

Burned: Fallout Forest Service logging undercuts fire victims’ recovery efforts

by TED SICKINGER & LAURA GUNDERSON
The Oregonian
August 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Canyon Creek inferno wiped out decades of future timber harvests in eastern Oregon. But in the months afterward, private landowners could still salvage some of their charred logs, if they acted quickly.  Residents whose land and livelihoods were devastated by last year’s fire soon found themselves in a race against the U.S. Forest Service to get their wood into the area’s only remaining mill.  And the government won.  Looking to maximize the value of its burned timber, the Forest Service expedited its tree cutting after the fire. The glut swamped the Malheur Lumber Co. with millions of board feet of timber and further depressed a weak market for pine logs. By the spring, the government’s logging had frozen out private landowners. Now, with the mill still clogged, landowners are watching their remaining logs turn blue with a fungus that makes them virtually worthless on the wood market.

Read More

Portugal, Spain try to stamp out wildfires after deadly week

By Joseph Wilson
Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
August 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

BARCELONA, Spain – Firefighters in Portugal and Spain kept battling scores of wildfires Monday after a week of the worst fire destruction in years on the mountainous Iberian Peninsula. Stoked by winds and high temperatures, the wildfires have killed at least four people in Portugal and one in Spain over the last week and forced hundreds to flee their homes. On Monday, Portugal’s National Civil Protection Service said around 2,000 firefighters supported by over a dozen water-dumping aircraft were tackling more than 50 different fires throughout the country. One of the most stubborn blazes, however, had finally been brought under control a week after it started near the central town of Sao Pedro do Sol.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Companies revealed over “dodgy” carbon credits

Stuff.co.nz
August 16, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…A number of forestry companies are also identified as having bought fraudulent carbon credits from Ukraine and Russia. They include New Zealand Forest Leasing, Matariki Forests, Ngai Tahu Forest Estates and China Forestry Group NZ. New Zealand had the only emissions trading scheme (ETS) in the world that allowed the use of these units from 2013-2015, which represented no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The latest Morgan Foundation report follows one that was released in April. Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett admitted then the trading scheme was not perfect, and it was being reviewed.

Read More