Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 12, 2016

Business & Politics

Trump and the weak loonie make bad moment for end of softwood deal: Don Pittis

By Don Pittis
CBC News
October 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Even if Donald Trump’s chances for taking over the White House end on election day, his questionable comments about trade will go on to haunt us for years. One of those unforgettable declarations is that the U.S. is losing out on trade, something that will make hammering out a new Canada-U.S. softwood agreement even harder than usual. For those of us who have been covering Canadian trade policy for at least three decades, the revival of the softwood debate is like the return of an almost forgotten nightmare….According to the broad principles of free trade, the dispute should never have arisen, either now or 30 years ago.

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Merritt Mayor hopeful of action on Tolko shutdown.

CFJC Today
October 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MERRITT — The Mayor of Merritt says he’s hopeful a number of discussions with various groups will help find a transition for over 200 workers who will be out of work in just over two months at the Tolko sawmill. The company announced last month the mill will close permanently December 16th. Merritt Mayor Neil Menard says the city has had a number of meetings with forestry groups, cabinet ministers and First Nations about what can be done to ease the pain for those workers. He says a transition group went into the community almost immediately, but so far, there is nothing on the horizon that will lead to new work. He says that’s not for lack of trying, and he’s hoping something will pop soon.

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New softwood lumber trade war with US worries northern Ontario forest workers

Trade agreement struck in 2005 expires as of Oct. 12
CBC News
October 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


Mill workers and mill towns across northern Ontario are fearing the start of another trade war with the US over softwood lumber. That’s because the trade deal that helped stabilize the shaky wood business over the last decade expires as of today. “I think it’s very concerning and I wouldn’t want to underplay that,” says Kevin Edgson, the CEO of Eacom which operates mills in Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Gogama, Elk Lake and Nairn Centre. He says he has little doubt that duties on Canadian lumber headed to the U.S. market will be announced “immediately” after the end of the trade agreement and could be imposed in the next few months. “I think we are looking at a rather dire outlook and therefore we are doing all we can to strengthen our balance sheet,” says Edgson.

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Global Pulpwood Prices Rose in Q2, After 7 Consecutive Decreases

Floor Focus
October 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Seattle, WA—The wood fiber costs for the world’s pulp industry had trended downward for almost five years until this year when both the softwood and hardwood fiber price indices jumped in the second quarter of 2016, reports Wood Resource Quarterly. The two indices rose because price increases were seen for wood chips and pulplogs in practically every major market around the world. The Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up 2.3% from the Q1 2016 to $89.63/oven dry metric ton (ODMT) in the 2Q 2016, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). This was the first quarter-over-quarter increase since early 2014. A combination of a weaker US dollar and higher wood fiber prices in the local currencies in Western Canada, France, Brazil and Germany, were the main reasons for the higher SFPI this quarter.

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Timber industry upbeat despite challenges

By The New Zealand Timber Industry Federation
Scoop Independent News
October 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

“Challenges facing the NZ timber industry are real and significant but the industry is generally in a good demand cycle and sentiment is positive” says New Zealand Timber Industry Federation (NZTIF) president, John McVicar. “Domestic demand for timber is very strong at the moment” he said. “However the upside was tempered with a number of very real challenges facing the industry.” “Log supply shortages are chronic in some regions, such as Canterbury and Northland, and there doesn’t appear to be any change to this in the immediate future.

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Weyerhaeuser explores sale of Uruguay timber business

Reuters
October 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Real estate investment trust Weyerhaeuser Co (WY.N) said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, for its timberlands and manufacturing operations in Uruguay. Weyerhaeuser has been restructuring its business since it bought Plum Creek Timber Co Inc PCL.N in February, combining the two largest owners of timberland in the United States. Since then, Weyerhaeuser has said it would sell its pulp business to International Paper Co (IP.N) for $2.2 billion and its liquid packaging unit to Nippon Paper Industries Co Ltd (3863.T) for about $285 million. Weyerhaeuser said earlier this month it would sell its North Pacific paper unit to private company One Rock Capital Partners LLC.

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Forestry

Government of Canada invests in new genomic applications projects

By Genome Canada
Canada Newswire
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

VANCOUVER – Six new projects will use genomics to solve problems facing Canada’s forestry, health, agri-food and aquaculture sectors—Canadians feel the impact of global challenges like climate change, disease, and increasing competition to sell to export markets. Genomics delivers new knowledge, tools and innovations that can be used to address these challenges, fueling productivity, growth and medical breakthroughs benefitting Canadians. …Dr. Joerg Bohlmann of the University of British Columbia is working with the B.C. government to more rapidly breed western redcedar trees with high-value attributes that will protect this $1-billion industry from threats posed by climate change and pathogens.

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Cannabis, logging, ferries major issues at UBCM

Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Another high-profile resolution called for protection of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island, and there were also opportunities to talk about how forest management is being handled across B.C. SCRD director Mark Lebbell of Roberts Creek took in a special session on community consultation and engagement around forest policy decisions and an event with Forests Minister Steve Thomson organized by the Truck Loggers Association (TLA). The controversial logging in cutblock A87125 on Mount Elphinstone is happening within the area Lebbell represents. “Ministry staff heard loud and clear about the need for proactive community engagement to address issues of social licence,” Lebbell told Coast Reporter.

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Victorian poisoned after eating death cap mushrooms picked in a backyard

By John McKinley
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Island Health is warning recreational wild mushroom pickers to use extreme caution after what it is calling a serious poisoning. “Poisonous mushrooms such as the death cap do not just grow in the forest,” chief medical health Officer Dr. Richard Stanwick said. “They can be found anywhere, including urban areas.” Scientifically known as Amanita phalloides, the mushrooms are part of a fungus family thought responsible for about 95 per cent of mushroom deaths. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control issued a warning this summer connected to their proliferation.

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Opinion: Alberta’s caribou conservation plan is a visionary first step

by Mark Hebblewhite
Edmonton Journal
October 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In June of 2016, Premier Rachel Notley’s government released a bold conservation plan for one of Alberta’s most challenging environmental problems – woodland caribou. …Central to this plan is the creation 18,000 square kilometres of new protected areas in the boreal forest, habitat for some of the healthiest caribou populations in northwestern Alberta. This land would be a massive addition to the province’s protected areas (approximately 4.4 per cent), and help achieve Notley’s campaign promises of protecting 17 per cent of Alberta’s land as recommended by the International Union for Conservation in Nature….Predictable industry pushback and wishful thinking by wilderness advocates will not help recover caribou. Its time to get serious and take concrete steps, supported by the best available science. This caribou plan does just that.

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Environmental groups lose legal challenge to Ontario’s endangered species rules

By Liam Casey
Canadian Press in Bay Today
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — Ontario’s highest court has dismissed a challenge to the province’s endangered species regulations, a decision environmental groups say will leave many species without legal protection. The Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld a lower court decision that found the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry was within its rights to grant exemptions to industries such as forestry, oil and gas and mining under changes made in 2013 to the Endangered Species Act. The regulations provide 19 exemptions from the act. One exemption, for example, allows someone to kill or hurt caribou or damage or destroy the animal’s habitat if that person is conducting forest operations, provided the person has an approved management plan.

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No Proposals Yet As Deadline Approaches For Elliott State Forest In Oregon

Oregon Public Broadcasting
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There’s about one month remaining to submit proposals to buy Oregon’s Elliott State Forest. The Oregon Department of State Lands says so far, no one has expressed interest in the 82,000 acre property in southwest Oregon. The state values the land at $220 million and says whoever buys it would have to maintain public access on at least 50 percent of the site. The new owner would also have to preserve part of it for old-growth timber and protect fish habitat. But some conservation groups say those guidelines will be hard to enforce if private investors buy the land.

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Expansion gains momentum

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon’s Democratic U.S. senators have proposed a nearly doubling of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument as a way to better protect the unique biodiversity and habitats in the face of climate change. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have proposed expanding the 16-year-old monument by more than 66,500 acres inside a new, more than 100,000-acre footprint that stretches northwest past Dead Indian Memorial Road, west to Emigrant Lake, east into Klamath County and south into California near Iron Gate Reservoir.

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UM gets largest donation in history for College of Forestry and Conservation

by KEILA SZPALLER
The Missoulian
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The University of Montana may soon receive its largest donation ever – a $24 million pledge for the College of Forestry and Conservation and the Global Leadership Initiative – from airline magnate and investor Bill Franke and his family. Both programs would be renamed in honor of the Franke family. “This will become the largest single gift ever received by the University of Montana, pending Montana University System Board of Regents approval,” UM President Royce Engstrom said in a memo released Tuesday. It would be more than twice the largest single gift to date – a $10 million donation to the law school in 2015, according to the UM Foundation.

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Bark beetles ravage forests of Tuolumne County

Modesto Bee
October 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Four years into the drought, bark beetles did what was expected of them in the conifer woods of Tuolumne County. They bored into the trunks of moisture-stressed pines, cutting off the trees’ nutrient flow. Millions of dead trees mark the landscape, some of them in towns along Highways 108 and 120. “This is a nightmare,” said Steve Brink, vice president for public resources at the California Forestry Association. “Dead trees right next to power lines, right next to houses, right next to businesses.” …Tuolumne is near the northern edge of a scourge that started in the southern Sierra Nevada and has killed an estimated 66 million trees as of June.

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Lodgepole expected to return to Sheridan Fire site

No replanting needed at area of wildfire near Sunriver
The Bend Bulletin
October 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The downed, blackened trees lining the side of Forest Road 40 near Sunriver probably will end up as firewood, and new lodgepole pine trees will grow back at the site of this summer’s Sheridan Fire. The August blaze started near Forest Roads 40 and 45 and burned about 190 acres. Scorched trees now stand, stark and bare, back from the road through national forest land. Deschutes National Forest manages that area of mostly lodgepole pines with thinning, logging and prescribed burns. Following a fire, restoration work first focuses on the impacts left by fighting the fire, said Trevor Miller, fuels assistant fire management officer with Deschutes National Forest.

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Bark beetle outbreak may be signal of larger shift

Union Democrat
October 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A century’s worth of total fire suppression that has created unnatural tree density in California forests compounded by increasing global temperatures and prolonged drought periods will lead to big changes for the Sierra Nevada landscape in the coming decades. Despite current efforts to manage the latest bark beetle outbreak killing millions of trees throughout the state, experts say the beloved pines of the Sierra Nevada may be dominated more by oaks, cedars and other types of trees that are better adapted to survive a drier, warmer climate. “I know that we’re all attached to the way things look around us, but we need to be prepared for that to change,” said Tom Hofstra, a forestry and natural resources instructor at Columbia College. “There’s really not that much we can do about it at this point.”

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Grandy Lake Forest pays $10 million settlement in Washington mudslide

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

TACOMA, Wash. – A German-owned timber firm, Grandy Lake Forest Associates, will pay $10 million is its share of a $60 million settlement for a 2014 mudslide that killed 43 people in Oso, Washington. The State of Washington will pay $50 million. Neither party to the settlement admitted wrongdoing. “The Oso landslide represents one of the most tragic events in state history, and the sympathies of Washingtonians remain with those who lost so much,” said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson October 10. “Today’s settlement of the legal chapter of this tragedy represents a fair resolution for all parties.”

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A timber management history lesson

Letter by Thomas L. Swanson, regional manager for Green Crow. Corp.
Peninsula Daily News
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Those who blame log exports for the closure of three sawmills on the North Olympic Peninsula (“[Randy] Johnson critic,” Peninsula Voices, Oct. 4) need a history lesson. Timber harvest volumes from public lands — U.S. Forest Service and DNR [state Department of Natural Resources] trust lands — have never recovered from the dual endangered species shocks imparted first by the spotted owl (1990) and later the marbled murrelet (1997). Although the Northwest Forest Plan sought to find a balance of species protection and harvest, timber harvests from Olympic National Forest fell by 80 percent from 1988 to 1995 and have remained “barely measurable” since. Meanwhile the DNR Habitat Conservation Plan of the late 1990s sought a similar outcome, and has largely been successful outside Clallam and Jefferson counties.

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Call it the U.S. Fire Service

By Don Brunell
The Columbian
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The costs to fight wildfires have risen so high that a pair of Montana’s senators suggest the U.S. Forest Service should be renamed the “U.S. Fire Service.” U.S. Sens. Jon Tester, a Democrat, and Steve Daines, a Republican, told the Billings Gazette in late August that rising costs are crippling the agency’s essential non-fire related work. Fire suppression costs now consumer more than half of the Forest Service’s budget, compared to 16 percent 20 years ago. The lawmakers introduced legislation to appropriate $1.4 billion more to fight forest and range fires this year, but it died. Given our unfettered national debt and failure of federal revenue to keep pace with government spending, it is highly unlikely the Forests Service will see additional funds. It will continue to rob other programs to fight fires.

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Saving the last remaining oak savannas

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune
October 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CENTRAL POINT — Looking back 30 years after his assignment to the U.S. Army outpost of Fort Lane near Lower Table Rock in the 1850s, Gen. Joseph Lane remarked in his memoir how much the landscape had been changed by settlers’ habits of suppressing wildfires. … More than 130 years later, the larger Oregon white oaks that were well-established during Lane’s time are still here, but the brush and smaller oaks that now shroud them are ripe to fuel a wildfire that could destroy them.

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Bid to update forest plans met with skepticism about curbing access

Salt Lake Tribune
October 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Land-use plans for four of Utah’s five national forests are at least 30 years old, prompting federal land managers to revise them — but some state and local officials worry this is a cover for advancing an agenda to do away with grazing, close roads and designate wilderness. Forest managers — who’ve started with the far-flung Manti-La Sal and the Ashley — say that their process is open and transparent, and that the plans are in dire need of updating. Recent decades have seen the decline of aspen forests; beetle infestations that have left entire stands of spruce dead; historic shifts in the coal, timber and livestock industries; and the proliferation of motorized recreation.

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Forest trust lands help fund schools, fuel rural economy

by Jim McEntire. former member of the state Board of Natural Resources
The Seattle Times
October 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

EVERYONE should understand the vital role that state-owned forest and agricultural lands play in providing funds to K-12 education and in Washington’s rural economy. Washington citizens own 2.1 million acres of state-forest trust lands, and these lands are managed by the state Department of Natural Resources for the benefit of various trust beneficiaries, the largest of which is the state’s K-12 school system. Money from timber sales and agricultural land leases provide a substantial and dependable revenue stream to the Legislature and local school districts, greatly helping to fully fund basic education and school construction — more than $124 million in 2015 — plus more money in timber sales from lands held in trust for counties. State trust lands accounted for 45 percent of Washington’s total contribution to K-12 school construction in the 2007-2009 biennium.

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Logging myths fuel legislation

By George Wuerthner
East Oregonian
October 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The timber industry and its advocates continue to promote a number of myths designed to garner public support for increased logging. These myths are being repeated by many in Congress, including Oregon’s Greg Walden, who are advocating new legislation that would weaken environmental protections, reduce public review of Forest Service timber sales (called variously vegetation management, forest health restoration, fuels reduction, hazard tree reduction, salvage timber sale) and significantly increase money-losing logging on public lands. Myth: Restoration of our forests is needed to recreate historic conditions Truth: There is growing debate about whether most forest ecosystems need any restoration.

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Tasmanian logging moratorium under threat

by Matthew Denholm
The Australian
October 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania may rekindle its bitter forest wars by ending a moratorium on logging in 400,000 ha of native forests protected under a 2012 forestry peace deal. The Hodgman Liberal state government earlier today flagged the moratorium, in place until April 2020, may need to be prematurely scrapped to meet logging contracts. This would almost certainly spark a return to protests in the state’s long-disputed native forests, as well as market campaigns against a Tasmanian timber industry recovering from collapse. It would also make it fair less likely that the state-owned Forestry Tasmania would be successful in attempts to secure top-flight Forest Stewardship Council certification, seen as key to accessing premium markets.

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The importance of urban forests: why money really does grow on trees

by Amy Fleming
The Guardian
October 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The skyline along Manhattan’s Upper Fifth Avenue, where it flanks Central Park, is dominated by vast, verdant clouds of American elm trees. Their high-arched branches and luminous green canopies form – as historian Jill Jones puts it – “a beautiful cathedral of shade”. When she started researching her new book, Urban Forests, she’d have struggled to identify the species – but now, she says, “when I see one, I say ‘Oh my goodness, this is a rare survivor,’ and deeply appreciate the fact that it’s there.” The American elm was once America’s most beloved and abundant city tree. …. Now, however, most of the big, old elms have been wiped out by Dutch elm disease.

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Protected Tasmanian ‘peace deal’ forests could face logging earlier than expected

By Lucy Shannon
ABC News Australia
October 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government is considering opening up reserved forests to logging earlier than planned. After it was elected in 2014, the State Government repealed the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and at that time 400,000 hectares of forests were set aside from harvesting for six years. The moratorium on logging was designed to appease environmentalists. Forestry Minister Guy Barnett told Parliament he had advice from Forestry Tasmania suggesting the resource might be needed earlier to meet contractual obligations.

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Ikea subsidiary increases forest ownership

EUWID
October 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forest ownership in Europe by the Ikea subsidiary IRI Investments now totals 72,000 hectares and is to be expanded still further in the coming years. According to the company, roughly 47,000 hectares of that forest area are located in Rumania and a further 25,000 hectares in the Baltic States Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; a breakdown of the figures for the three Baltic countries has not been provided by IRI. Reports from Baltic and Scandinavian media, according to which IRI has purchased a further 38,000 hectares of forest in the Baltic States, have not been confirmed by a company spokesperson. (END of Story)

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Pulp mill to capture CO2 for Quebec greenhouse

Canadian Biomass Magazine
October 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

CO2 Solutions Inc. has sealed the deal on a $7.4 million carbon capture greenhouse project with Fibrek General Partnership, a subsidiary of Resolute Forest Products Inc., and Serres Toundra Inc. A CO2 Solutions carbon capture unit will be deployed at a pulp mill in the Saint-Félicien region of Quebec and the carbon dioxide will be put to commercial reuse in Serres Toundra’s adjacent vegetable greenhouse complex. CO2 Solutions, a Quebec City developer and manufacturer of enzyme-enabled carbon capture technology, said the project will collect up to 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day. After a six-month demonstration period, Serres Toundra has agreed to purchase the CO2 for 10 years.

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