Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 24, 2016

Froggy Foibles

Smokey the Bear Has Nothing on These Forgotten Forest Mascots

By Cara Giaimo
Atlas Obscura
August 17, 2016
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Meet The Guberif, Johnny Horizon, Howdy The Good Outdoor Manners Raccoon, and more! …But Smokey wasn’t always alone in his publicly fire-hating ways. Since the 1940s, American organizations have marshaled a whole menagerie of spokesflora and fauna to guilt, tempt and cajole us into giving a darn about the environment. (The Forest History Society’s blog, Peeling Back the Bark, has a running series profiling many of them.) Although all were eventually defeated by Smokey and his sidekick, Woodsy Owl, they still have things to teach us. Below are six of the country’s lost forest protectors, from Woody the Log to Johnny Horizon to Howdy the Good Outdoor Manners Raccoon.

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Business & Politics

Canada’s Chief Lumber Negotiator Says Industry Is Gearing Up For Litigation

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World Trade Online (Subscription)
August 24, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s chief negotiator in the softwood lumber talks with the United States last week cast doubt on the chances that the two sides can reach a deal by the end of a litigation standstill in October, reiterating that the Canadian industry is willing to walk away from a “bad deal” and gearing up for possible U.S. trade remedy cases. “Industry made it clear that they are not prepared to accept the deal at any cost; rather stakeholders urged the federal government to prepare for U.S. trade remedy action and litigation in parallel with negotiations,” Martin Moen testified during an Aug. 18 House of Commons hearing on the progress of the lumber talks. “Canadian stakeholders continue to tell us very clearly that no deal is better than a bad deal,” he added. “So we need to be prepared for the possibility that a new agreement may not be concluded, and that Canada will be forced back — potentially, this is a risk — into a trade remedy investigation.”

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Feds and province mum on helping Tolko mill in The Pas

CBC News
August 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Manitoba and federal governments say they’re committed to creating jobs in the province’s north, but it appears neither is committing to keeping the Tolko Industries mill in The Pas open. The announcement on Monday by the B.C.-based forestry products company to close the mill in December shocked residents in the area, where Tolko currently employs 332 people. Cliff Cullen, Manitoba’s minister of growth, enterprise and trade, said on Tuesday that he hopes the mill won’t sit empty after Tolko ceases operations. “We’re obviously optimistic that there are some opportunities there for future development. Obviously, we’re going to have a conversation with Tolko,” he said. “It is their asset, they can do with that asset what they want, so we don’t know whether they’re going to be selling that asset or looking at other options going forward.”

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Northern Manitoba receives another body blow as Tolko announces it will close operations in The Pas

The Thompson Citizen
August 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries announced Aug. 22 that it will close its Manitoba kraft paper and sawmill operations in The Pas on Dec. 2, putting 332 people out of work. “This is not a decision we have entered into lightly,” said Tolko president and CEO Brad Thorlakson in a press release. “Over the 19 years we have been in the community, a great deal of work has been done, both internally and externally, to improve the mill’s competitive position. Unfortunately, despite years of continued effort to improve the cost structure and business results of the operations, the business is not financially sustainable. This is a business decision that is in the best long-term interest of the company and our employees.” Tolko purchased the paper and sawmill operations in 1997. “We have valued our time in The Pas and have great respect for the community and our employees who have been with us on every step of this journey,” said Thorlakson.

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Union says layoffs at Manitoba paper mill Tolko ‘deer-in-headlights stuff’

Canadian Press in 570 News
August 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

THE PAS, Man. – A spokesman for Canada’s largest private-sector union says word that a big northern Manitoba forest products plant is shutting down has left staff at the mill stunned and feeling “pretty gutted.” Tolko Industries has announced that the plant near the town of The Pas will close Dec. 2, putting 332 employees out of work. Paul McKie, the national representative for Unifor, says employees were not expecting such harsh news from Tolko, which bought the Manitoba Kraft Paper and Sawmill Operations in 1997. …“Tolko pays property and other taxes to the town, which it uses to pay its own staff and provide services. I would suggest the impact on the community will be significant,” said McKie.

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Tolko workers ‘devastated’ about plant’s closure

By Joyanne Pursaga
Winnipeg Sun
August 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A mill shutdown set to cost The Pas 332 jobs won’t trigger a “short-term bailout” from the province, but other assistance hasn’t been specifically ruled out. Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen revealed Tolko Industries raised concerns about its operations with the province before announcing its mill will close Dec. 2. That Monday announcement has been deemed a “major body blow” to the local economy by the community’s mayor. Cullen declined to specifically reveal the content of the discussions with the largest employer in The Pas, a community of about 5,500 people. When asked if the company sought provincial funding, the minister would only reveal “a lot of different issues” were discussed.

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Following Columbia Falls Closures, Eight Mills Remain in Montana

By Dillon Tabish
Flathead Beacon
August 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SEELEY LAKE — Days before the final logs rolled through the Weyerhaeuser Company’s plywood plant and lumber mill in Columbia Falls, the pending closure cast a pall over the stacks of freshly cut pine and fir at Pyramid Mountain Lumber. Family owned and operated since 1949 with a staff of 150, the largest employer in Seeley Lake is now one of eight remaining mills in a state historically tied to the timber trade. “It’s like a death in the family when you lose another mill,” Loren Rose, chief operating officer at Pyramid Lumber, said.

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Carbon price comparison shows B.C. is not a laggard

By Nelson Bennet
Business in Vancouver
August 24, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, Canada, Canada West

Even with a price freeze, province’s carbon tax still higher than Ontario’s, Quebec’s. When it comes to carbon pricing, it’s easy to fixate on the price rather than its value as a carbon reduction tool, and recently the Pembina Institute has taken a cynical view of B.C.’s commitment to battling climate change… In June, the Pembina Institute labelled B.C. “a climate laggard when compared to Canada’s other most populous provinces,” based on the carbon tax freeze and the fact that B.C. will not meet its 2020 greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction targets. But is B.C. truly a climate change laggard? Not according to the Ecofiscal Commission, which recently compared carbon pricing in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec – the only provinces to either have a price on carbon or plans to introduce one.

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EU timber industry drawing on log quota to a greater degree

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
August 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Companies in the timber industries in the countries of the EU are drawing on the quota under which Russian softwood logs can be imported into the EU at reduced rate of customs duty to a greater degree than last year. According to information from the EU Directorate General for Trade, the appropriate authorities had issued permits for a total of 1.813m m³ by 5 August; this equates to growth of 63%. Traditional importers were given approval for imports of 951,114 m³ of pine logs in the first half-year; the total approved volume is 171% higher than that of last year.

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Forestry industry must remain vigilant

Scoop.co.nz
August 24, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

WorkSafe New Zealand says the latest forestry death in Hawkes Bay is a sad reminder to the industry of the need to remain vigilant about health and safety. Monday’s death follows three earlier confirmed forestry fatalities so far this year, and is the second death in the Pohakura Forest. “It is obviously concerning to see two deaths in the one forest within a matter of months. Any deaths are a tragedy for family, friends and co-workers and the wider community,” says WorkSafe’s chief executive Gordon MacDonald. WorkSafe is investigating both deaths in the Pohakura Forest.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Forest Stewardship and Education Centre is a lesson in green building

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
August 24, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Southern Ontario used to be covered by giant pines, all cleared to build British ships and to create farmland. Some of it has been reforested, notably the York Regional Forest, just north of Toronto, considered now to be “one of the most successful regenerations of a degraded landscape in North America.” DIALOG designed the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre and explains its purpose: It is conceived as a powerful teaching tool and living laboratory. The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre will facilitate engagement opportunities and visibly integrate nature and innovative sustainable building practice into comprehensive education programming. Being in a forest, it makes sense that it is a great demonstration of modern wood construction. [this story is a slide show, click the arrows at the top right to read all nine pages].

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Sandy Springs bars wood framing in mid-rise construction

By David Abata
Atlanta Journal Constitution
August 24, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Over the objections of the wood products industry, the Sandy Springs City Council has approved a building code change to prohibit wood-framed construction for future buildings taller than three stories and larger than 100,000 square feet. The city noted it had asked the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to review the ordinance amendment; the state said it had no comments on the proposal and that it was a local decision to adopt the change. Supporters of the change cited safety issues, as well as matters of quality, durability and longevity of buildings in turning to steel and masonry. But the American Wood Council and Georgia Forestry Association objected, saying wood construction was more sustainable and that adoption of the ordinance could hurt the industry.

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Sandy Springs adopts ‘higher-quality’ apartment materials requirement

By John Ruch
Reporter Newspapers
August 24, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Sandy Springs City Council on Aug. 16 adopted a “higher-quality” code that requires more apartment buildings to be built with steel and masonry rather than wood. The unanimous approval came over objections from development and wood industry advocates that left city officials—including Mayor Rusty Paul, whose family is in the tree-farming business—protesting that they are “not discriminating against wood.” The code change requires apartment buildings over three stories tall or over 100,000 square feet in size to be constructed with steel and masonry rather than wood framing. Previous code—which also includes hotels and condos—allows wood-framing up to four stories, or five stories if the building has a fire sprinkler system, and steel and masonry for taller structures.

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Lendlease has appetite for more apartments in Sydney’s Barangaroo

By Mercedes Ruehl
Financial Review (Australia)
August 24, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Global developer Lendlease is considering more apartments at the $9 billion Barangaroo South project in Sydney as fresh interest rate cuts reignite the city’s booming property market. One of two low-rise buildings planned on Hickson Road, known simply as “C1”, is being strongly examined for residential development, sources told The Australian Financial Review… C1’s neighbouring building C2 will definitely be a commercial office building and the first in Australia made completely from timber. The six-storey building will be made from engineered wood – cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam (glue laminated timber). “Given the strong interest we have received in the use of CLT for International House Sydney (C2) we are exploring the feasibility of C1 also being a timber building,” Mr Wilson said.

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Forestry

Burns Lake Community Forest Ltd. pursuing FSC Certification

Burns Lake Community Forest
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNS LAKE – The General Manager of Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF), Frank Varga, announced today that the community forest is on the road to seeking Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification with Ecotrust Canada, a national non-profit organization. Certification is a condition of the BLCF’s license with a target of March 2017. There are a number of certification systems in Canada, yet FSC certification has the most rigorous forest management standards in the world. The FSC Forest Management certification is a voluntary market-based system available to forestry organizations who want to demonstrate responsible forest management by having their planning and practices independently reviewed by third party auditors.

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Province delivers moose-tracking smartphone app

By Jill Slattery
Global News
August 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province of B.C. has developed a moose-tracking smartphone app to help monitor moose populations… There are currently between 120,000 and 200,000 moose in B.C. According to a handout from the Ministry of Environment, hundreds of moose die each year after getting hit by cars and trains, and illegal poaching and legal hunting by First Nations is a major concern. Legal hunting of moose is regulated, and the new app will help to educate hunters on the appropriate rules and licensing. “The province is committed to ensuring sustainable wildlife populations throughout B.C. and informs its management decisions with the best available scientific research,” said Steve Thomson, Minster of Forests, Lands ad Natural Resource Operations, in a release. 

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Can Urban Forest Settings Influence How Well Children with Autism Manage?

By Zo? Hoyle
USDA Southern Research Station
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

U.S. Forest Service researchers collaborate on unique grant program. In late July, USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the four recipients of the 2016 USDA Forest Service’s National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge grants. One of the four, the winning proposal from Georgia State University (GSU), investigates the impact of natural environments such as urban and community forests on symptom expression in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). …“Research results showing the positive effects of managed natural environments such as urban parks and forests on human general and mental health have grown exponentially over the last decade,” said Barger. “Yet no studies to date have explored the effects of these environments on the expression of core and associated symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders.”

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Science in the Wild: The Legacy Of the U.S. National Park System

By Jim Robbins
Yale 360
August 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

As the National Park Service marks its centennial this month, the parks are being celebrated for their natural beauty and priceless recreational opportunities. But they also provide a less recognized benefit: the parks serve as a living laboratory for critical scientific research. …Far less appreciated though is the critical role that the U.S.’s 59 national parks and hundreds of other park service units play in scientific research, providing unspoiled, protected, and accessible landscapes that host research that can be done few other places. In fact, with a long history of data and field study on everything from wildlife to wildfires, the national parks offer scientists an incredibly rare living outdoor lab. And the high profile of the parks in the American imagination often provides an avenue for conveying that research to the public. Science and scientific education have long been a key part of the National Park Service’s mission.

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Lawsuit over fireline seeks to curb forest firefighting tactics

By Lynda V. Maples
Seattle Times
August 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An environmental group has filed a federal lawsuit in response to a 50-mile fireline cut through timber and critical fish and wildlife habitat to fight a fire that never came close last year in North Central Washington. The rush by the U.S. Forest Service to cut a fireline through critical fish and wildlife habitat to fight a fire that never came anywhere near has spurred a lawsuit in federal court. Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, a Eugene, Ore.-based nonprofit, filed the lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in Spokane. It seeks to rescind a 2008 regulation that allows the Forest Service to suspend all environmental laws when it fights fire, if fire managers declare a state of emergency. The suit also would require a review of the agency’s firefighting program to assess the effectiveness of its tactics and their effect on people and the environment.

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Legacy Washington launches profile on former U.S. Rep. Jolene Unsoeld

Chinook Observer
August 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA — A biography of Olympia’s Jolene Unsoeld, the former state legislator and member of Congress for Southwest Washington who championed open government and the environmental movement, has just been published as part of Legacy Washington’s new “Who are we?” project… Unsoeld made a lot of enemies — and allies — during the spotted owl wars by insisting that overcutting, raw log exports and automation were the real culprits. She also advocated for retraining dollars and championed early-childhood education. She was the driving force behind the international ban on high-seas driftnet fishing. Though her great-grandfather, grandfather and influential Republican father were lumbermen, Unsoeld’s unflinching environmentalism during the controversy over the Northern Spotted Owl was a major factor in her defeat after three tumultuous terms as the representative of the state’s 3rd Congressional District.

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Inslee Blames Climate Change For Washington’s Sudden And Severe Fires

By Emily Stewing
Oregon Pubic Broadcasting
August 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday declared a state of emergency in 20 counties mostly on the dry side of the Cascades, an area vulnerable to wildfire. Resources are stretched thin in the battle to save homes and property. Inslee’s declaration came after a flyover of two active wildfires on either side of Spokane. Dozens of homes and out buildings have burned. Farmers have lost fields and livestock are displaced. Inslee pointed to climate change as a contributing factor. “Wildlands are in explosive conditions right now,” Inslee said. “A combination of dead and dying trees [and] climate change is changing the significance of temperatures and drought.”

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U.S. Forest Service’s Beth Lund at the top of her game

By Scott Logan
KBOI-TV
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

IDAHO CITY, Idaho — There are 16 Type 1 incident commanders in the U.S. Forest Service: only two are women and Beth Lund is one of them. “It’s true,” said Lund. “There aren’t that many women who feel inclined towards this business. A lot of things come into play there. Personal choices.” Lund is essentially the top fire boss on the 100,000-acre Pioneer Blaze, now in its sixth week. She’s in control of all aspects of this complicated struggle and her strategy is simple, but serious. “Our first and foremost goal is what we call life first,”she said. “And that’s keeping the public and firefighters safe.” This is her second rotation in command of the Pioneer Fire and she definitely knows the terrain. “I personally am familiar with this ground,” Lund said. “I spent about 26 years on the Boise National Forest.”

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Inside the search for a better way to fight wildfires

By Carter Evans
CBS News
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Montana — Hundreds of square miles in California have been overcome by wildfires this summer, in part fueled by a prolonged drought. And while firefighters in Southern California work around the clock to control the flames, scientists hundreds of miles away are waging a different sort of battle – the one to fully understand how these blazes spread. “There is an expression that everyone uses here in the U.S., ‘spreads like wildfire,’ yet we don’t even know how wildfires spread,” said Mark Finney, a scientist with the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service’s Fire Lab in Missoula, Montana, houses a burn chamber to designed specifically to answer that question. Researchers are dissecting a wildfire by measuring how fast pine needles burn and how a fire can propel itself, even without wind.

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Swiss needle cast fungal disease damages growing number of Oregon Douglas-fir trees

The Register-Guard
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An increasing number of Douglas fir trees in the Oregon Coast Range are suffering from a fungal disease known as Swiss needle cast, which is stunting the growth of the trees by about 50 percent and causing an annual economic loss of $128 million, a new study has found. A survey conducted by the Swiss Needle Cast Cooperative of Oregon State University determined that the disease currently affects more than 590,000 acres of trees in the Coast Range — an area more than four times larger than was found when surveying began in 1996. The disease remains the most significant threat to Douglas fir plantations in Western Oregon. The spread of the disease may in part be caused by climate change, experts said.

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Future wildfire and forest productivity depend on active management

By Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager, Associated Oregon Loggers
Oregon Live.com
August 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There’s a common thread to the heartbreaking stories in The Oregonian’s investigative account of the Canyon Complex fire (“Burned”; Aug. 14). Our system of federal forest management is broken, beginning with the government’s failure to proactively thin and harvest the overcrowded and combustible forests where the conflagration ignited and spread to nearby communities. Among the lessons to be learned are the consequences of rural Oregon losing vital forest infrastructure, including sawmills, loggers, truck drivers, over the past three decades. These consequences are made clear in “fallout,” in which residents unexpectedly found themselves in competition with the Forest Service to salvage charred timber. Victims seeking to recover some of their losses faced a limited log market because, as Iron Triangle’s King Williams noted, “there’s simply not enough (sawmills) in eastern Oregon to process all the wood.” 

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Audit: Large Wildfire Seasons Take Toll On Oregon’s Forestry Department

By Chris Lehman
Oregon Pubic Broadcasting
August 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A series of intense wildfire seasons has taken a toll on the Oregon Department of Forestry. That’s according to an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office. Three consecutive summers of severe wildfires have stretched the resources of the state’s agency dedicated to forest management. The audit found that fighting those fires has caused stress and fatigue for agency employees who spend an increasing amount of time away from home. The agency is also falling behind on applying for reimbursements for the costs of fighting those fires. That means the state is paying interest on money it’s borrowed to finance those costs in the short-term.

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This lethal beetle could be on its way to Indiana

By Cara Anthony
IndyStar
August 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Hoosiers encouraged to be on the lookout for the invasive Asian longhorned beetle. It’s too early to panic. But if you see a black bug with white spots and bluish feet that is the size of your thumb, don’t ignore it. You could be looking at an Asian longhorned beetle. This invasive bug recently destroyed more than 20,000 trees in New York, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. And closer to home, the lethal beetle is killing trees in Chicago and Cincinnati. Those invasions have placed the Hoosier state in the middle of what could a major problem if the bug breeds here, said Purdue University entomologist Clifford Sadof.

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Administration’s refusal to cooperate on forestry product work is absurd

BDN Editorial Board
Bangor Daily News
August 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The headline on the news release could have read: “Lawmaker asks state official to do his job.” The dispute involves an absurd situation: The state’s advocate for the forest product industry refused to meet with a federal team that came to Maine at the request of the state’s congressional delegation precisely to find ways to help Maine’s forest products industry. Rosaire Pelletier, the governor’s liaison to the forest products industry, told the Morning Sentinel that he was only interested in working with the federal team if it focused on bringing new investment to the industry. Neither he nor any other state official met with the team during its time in Maine last week, prompting House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe to send out a news release pointing out the obvious — state officials should cooperate with the federal team.

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All aflutter: Extreme weather threatens Mexico’s monarchs

By Natalie Schachar and Alizeh Kohari
Reuters Africa
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MEXICO CITY  – Heavy storms earlier this year hammered the forests that North America’s monarch butterflies migrate to in central Mexico, a study showed on Tuesday, fueling fears the habitat could eventually become untenable. Conservationists said storms and strong winds in March uprooted more than 20,000 trees in Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, which lies west of the capital on the border of the states of Mexico and Michoacan. Nearly 54 hectares (135 acres) of the core of the reserve were hit, the most significant impact since storms during the 2009-10 season ravaged more than 100 hectares (250 acres), said Omar Vidal, director-general of the Mexican arm of the World Wildlife Fund.

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Endangered Species Prompt China to Plan Four New National Parks

By Talia Avakian
Travel and Leisure
August 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

China’s endangered giant pandas, Tibetan antelopes, Asian elephants, Siberian tigers, and Amur leopards may get new parks to call home. The country is considering creating four new national parks dedicated to protecting these endangered species, as part of a larger plan to introduce new national parks to its terrain, according to Lonely Planet. According to Yao Sidan, head of Sichuan’s provincial forestry department, the panda park will be located in the Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces, and will target the panda’s native habitat while hosting nature reserves, parks and scenic areas.

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Forest Fires

The US Forest Service is being overwhelmed by all the fires it must fight

By T.J. Raphael
Public Radio International
August 23, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

Wildfires are scorching tens of thousands of acres out west — there are currently six fires in Yellowstone National Park, and nearly a dozen fires are actively burning in the state of California. The Blue Cut Fire outside of Los Angeles is now more than 80 percent contained, and the 82,000 people who were displaced by the blaze can now return home. The US Forest Service, which is part of the US Department of Agriculture, was established to manage America’s 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. However, in recent years, a large amount of effort and money has gone into fighting fires, not preserving the land. According to a 2015 fire budget report from the USDA, as wildfires increased over the last two decades, cost diversions have taken a toll on recreation, restoration and other activities.

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Logger loses equipment in fire as employee helps save residents

By Tyler Bergen
NBC Montana
August 23, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

THOMPSON FALLS, Mont. – The Copper King Fire in the Thompson Falls area has now reached over 21,000 acres, and as each day passes, more people are being affected. Mike Newton works for Weyerhauser as a logger out of Kalispell. He operates Newton Logging Inc. in the Thompson Falls area. “I assumed if there was danger,” said Newton, “then someone would have alerted the company I work for, and I would have known about it. I could have got my machines out easily if I would have known, but there were no calls whatsoever.” He says that if it weren’t for his employee, Allen Bryson, some might not have made it out alive.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

BC VIEWS: B.C. fails to save the planet

By Tom Fletcher
Campbell River Mirror
August 24, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. Liberal operative was out with the online spin hours before Premier Christy Clark confirmed the much-leaked news in a Friday afternoon announcement at an obscure location in Richmond. The, er, freeze is continuing for B.C.’s ground-breaking, world-saving carbon tax, which hasn’t changed since before Clark was elected in 2013… We’ve just come off another El Nino year, like the hot year of 1998. Regular readers will recall the last time I discussed this topic was this spring, where I questioned the premier’s dire warnings of another horrendous forest fire season. What followed has been one of the slowest forest fire seasons in the last decade, although dry conditions have finally emerged this month. Climate predictions, like next week’s weather forecast, are less than consistent. I am regularly sent messages calling me a “climate change denier,” the nonsense term that continues to be used by federal Environment Minister Catharine McKenna among many others. I know of no one who denies that climate is always changing, at times dramatically… 

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Uprooted: how climate change may kick off an artificial migration of trees

By Alessandra Potenza
The Verge
August 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Whitebark pines are majestic trees with a whitish, often wind-curled trunk that grow up high in the Rocky and Sierra Mountains, in the Western US. They’re icons of Yellowstone National Park, where they provide high-calorie seeds for many animals, including grizzly bears that eat the seeds before hibernating. Some whitebark pines manage to live for a thousand years, but many of them are now dying. The reason? Climate change. …”The problem with trees is they can migrate only very slowly,” says Sally Aitken, the director of the Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics at the University of British Columbia. “They really can’t move quickly enough to keep up on their own.”

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Statement on the Climate Leadership Plan

By The Coast Forest Products Association
Coast Forest Products Association
August 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coast Forest Products Association supports the August 2016 Climate Leadership Plan announced by the Province of British Columbia. The Plan outlines a balanced, science-based approach to mitigate BC’s impact on climate change in the years ahead. It correctly acknowledges forestry as a foundational industry which will aid in combating climate change through a multifaceted approach that addresses environmental, social and economic factors. Through the Forest Carbon Initiative, Coast Forest is glad to see that the Climate Leadership Plan identifies the importance of carbon storage in long-lived wood products from BC used in climate friendly construction.

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State seeks way to solve ‘a big biomass problem’

By Christine Souza
AgAlert.com
August 24, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Across California, tens of millions of trees are dead, intense wildfires burn, and orchard and forest waste piles up, as more plants that convert wood waste into electricity close due to expiring contracts with utility companies. “Nothing has been done to adjust the utility rates at the California Public Utilities Commission to account for the value that biomass has; they are not keeping track of all of the avoided pollution that it affords,” said Allan Krauter, senior administrative analyst for Kern County. “Unless and until the state is willing to make up the difference between the market price and the break-even price, they are going to continue to have a big biomass problem.” 

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Study: Trees may worsen Southeastern pollution

By James Bruggers
Courier Journal
August 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Ronald Reagan once sloughed off the need for tougher clean-air rules, blaming vegetation for pollution. That simplistic notion was rebuffed by scientists who noted that trees help make overall air quality better by taking up pollution and they also help to cool off urban areas, which also can translate into less pollution. So the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends trees for cities dealing with the kind of pollution that’s challenged Louisville for decades, including this summer. But trees do emit a chemical that can add to ground-level ozone. And a new study from Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that climate change could exacerbate that and extend the ozone season across the American Southeast.

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