Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 2, 2016

Business & Politics

Catalyst Paper Announces Execution of a Support Agreement with Principal Noteholders for Recapitalization

Catalyst News
October 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, (BC) – Catalyst Paper Corporation today announced that it has entered into a support agreement with securityholders representing about 70% of the Company’s outstanding common shares and 87% of its 11% PIK Toggle Senior Secured Notes in respect of the previously announced alternative recapitalization plan. …The completion of the alternative recapitalization plan is subject to certain conditions including the maturity extension of the existing credit facilities of Catalyst, and securityholder, regulatory, TSX and court approvals. There can be no assurance that these will be satisfied, or that this or any other proposed transaction or plan will be approved or consummated, and if so on what additional or amended terms to those described herein.

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Wood pellet exports from U.S. South peak, but still under 3 percent of usage

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
November 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

SEATTLE – Wood pellet fuel imports to the United Kingdom, the world’s largest buyer, have gone up dramatically the past five years and should reach an all-time-high in 2016, says the North American Wood Fiber Review. The U.S. South, the main supplying region, saw shipments rise eight-fold since 2012.  That trend could make North American panel manufacturers nervous, who have historically seen competition for wood fiber from energy companies as a threat to their business, and a factor likely to drive up costs. That fear could also be fed by official U.S. statistics showing timber harvests were practically the same in 2015 as in 2011, coming in at 355 million cubic meters.

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Weyerhaeuser Boosts Core Business with North Pacific Sale

Zacks.com
November 2, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Forest product manufacturer and supplier Weyerhaeuser Company (WY – Free Report) recently announced that it has successfully completed the sale of its printing papers company, North Pacific Paper Company to One Rock Capital Partners, LLC. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. As revealed, Weyerhaeuser’s divested assets included its Longview, WA-based papers mill, which it operated in collaboration with Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. …Weyerhaeuser’s divestment of its printing papers business marks the end of the strategic review of its previous business segment, Cellulose Fibers, now treated as a discontinued item. …We believe that the above-mentioned dispositions will enable Weyerhaeuser to concentrate on its core timber, land, and forest products business and hence, improve its profitability in the quarters ahead.

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Weyerhaeuser awards grant to Habitat for Humanity

By Seaborn Larson
Daily Inter Lake
November 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Habitat for Humanity got a $10,000 boost last week from its new neighbors in Columbia Falls, who have picked up where Habitat’s past boosters left off. Weyerhaeuser awarded a $10,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday, which will help fund the Spring Creek Estates project in Kalispell. Habitat is working to construct five single-family homes in the west Kalispell area at affordable rates. Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director Erin Falcon said Plum Creek used to be one of Habitat’s benefactors, donating lumber studs to the nonprofit’s homebuilding projects. Weyerhaeuser, which acquired Plum Creek in February, has now continued the timber industry’s work with the community.

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Crews continue to fight fire at lumber plant in Braxton County

WSAZ News 3
November 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BRAXTON COUNTY, W.Va. — Crews continue late Tuesday night to battle a fire at at the Weyerhaeuser Lumber Plant in Heaters. The fire, which was mostly contained by 6 p.m., has been burning for nearly 13 hours. The plant is home to 163 jobs. One man was hurt when the fire ignited, but company officials say his injuries were minor. He was taken to the hospital but has since been released. Crews say the fire has been challenging because of walk-in areas called dryers that are full of flammable wood products. 

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Hawesville Mill (Domtar) Named Kentucky Manufacturer Of The Year

Domtar press release
Business Wire press release
October 31, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

HAWESVILLE, Ky. — Domtar Hawesville Mill was recognized by the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) as the Kentucky Manufacturer of the Year in the large business category. The award was announced and presented by Governor Matt Bevin at KAM’s annual awards luncheon in Louisville on Friday. Created to focus attention on the important contributions manufacturers and industry make to their employees, customers and communities, this award showcases entrepreneurial spirt, community leadership, and policy contributions made by manufacturers in the Commonwealth to enhance sustainable and long-term prosperity in the state

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Verso to lay off 190 workers in Jay, one-third of workforce

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
November 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — Verso Corp. will lay off 190 workers from its Jay mill early next year as it idles another paper machine, cutting total production capacity almost in half. The layoff represents about one-third of the Androscoggin Mill’s workforce of roughly 560, which was dealt a cut of 300 positions last year. The company announced that the latest rounds of layoffs are temporary, but they could become permanent if the mill does not find sufficient customers for products coming off the No. 3 machine, which produces coated paper used in magazines and other glossy publications. “Verso anticipates that if the machine is not restarted, the capacity reduction will result in the elimination of those jobs,” the company said in its release.

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Demand for Australian paper is increasing, forestry needs to grow

By Cassandra Steeth
ABC News Australia
November 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Australia’s paper industry is seeing more than a 12 per cent hike in demand for Australian produced packaging paper, and pine plantations need to expand as a result. That is according to Industry Edge, a market and trade consulting firm who conducts a strategic review of the industry each year. Managing director of the company, Tim Woods said the significant increase for 2015-16 was down to more food being produced and packaged with corrugated paper. “There’s no doubt that the very significant spike in demand over the last year for packaging papers has come about because corrugated box production has grown,” he said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Mass Plywood Panel Designed for Tall Wood Structures

Lumber Building Materials Journal
November 1, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LYONS, ORE. — Freres Lumber Co., Inc. of Lyons, Ore. announces the development of a new-to-market innovative wood product, Mass Plywood Panel (MPP). Freres Lumber developed MPP, a veneer-based engineered wood product currently being tested and refined through a partnership with Oregon State University (OSU). Patents are pending. MPP is a massive, large scale plywood panel with maximum finished panel dimensions up to 12? wide by 48? long and up to 24? thick. …Studies conducted at Oregon State University show that by using veneer as a raw material for a Mass Timber Panel, we can potentially achieve the same structural attributes of a CLT panel with 20 to 30 percent less wood,” says Tyler Freres

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Bennetts Associates’ King’s Cross sports hall in for planning

By Greg Pitcher
Architects Journal UK
November 1, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Plans have been submitted by Bennetts Associates for a new sports hall near King’s Cross station in north London. Backed dy developer Argent, the scheme will sit on the north east corner of the wider King’s Cross development, on the so-called Q2 site in York Way. …Cross-laminated timber soldier walls and slabs have been paired with glulam columns and beams for the project in an effort to keep weight down. Much of the timber will be exposed inside the building, which Vukotic said would ensure the building was ‘true to itself’ and offered a ‘great atmosphere’.

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Young architects worldwide create solutions for urbanisation in the “City Above the City” competition

By MetsaWood
MetsaWood
November 1, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Metsä Wood’s competition has inspired architects worldwide to design wooden extensions to city centres. Entries from 40 countries proposed wooden solutions to the challenges of urbanization. Winning designs were made to New York, Shanghai and Tampere, Finland. Architects from 40 countries created their Plan B for urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed for 69 cities worldwide, including Sidney, Shanghai, New York, Berlin, Paris and London. The competition was organised by Metsä Wood. ?“Construction must become sustainable and cities must stay liveable. I am happy that so many architects share this view, especially the younger generation,” says Michael Green from MGA architects and DBR Design Build Research, who chairs the jury. “The entries were innovative and added value to both the building and the community.”

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Forestry

FSC Canada Welcomes Haida Nation, Ontario Nature, ALPAC and Unifor to the Board of Directors

Forest Stewardship Council Canada
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

It is with great pleasure that we announce the new FSC Canada Board of Directors for 2016-2018. We are so pleased to welcome Haida Nation, Ontario Nautre, ALPAC and Unifor to the Board. “FSC Canada’s Board of Directors are fundamental to the organization providing diverse Aboriginal, Economic, Social and Environmental interests, and bringing integrity and resilience to the FSC system. With a strong and chamber balanced Board of Directors FSC Canada will be able to continue to move the organization in the right direction” says Francois Dufresne, President of FSC Canada.

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Comment: Wildwood sale would betray Wilkinson’s legacy

by Grace Richard, former wife of Mervyn Wilkinson
Victoria Times Colonist
November 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Having purposely refrained from becoming involved in the seemingly endless discussions around what should happen to the Wildwood property since my former husband, Mervyn Wilkinson, died in 2011, I now feel compelled to speak out. …Merv had a dream. He believed that Wildwood could be logged in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. …Now, to my dismay, this vision is under serious threat. The TLC over-extended its reach, went into creditor protection and, in order to reduce debt and with some seemingly marvellous sleight of hand, TLC directors have approved the sale of Wildwood to the private sector. ..It appears that Merv’s and my worst nightmares about the property being sold into the private sector are about to come true.

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Logging company destroying historic trails

Letter by Wes Klassen
Victoria Times Colonist
November 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The logging giant Island Timberlands is destroying the historic CPR trail that has led hikers and explorers up from Cameron Lake to Mount Arrowsmith for a more than a century. Several trails have been logged, including the lower Rosseau trail from the back of Cathedral Grove, the Judges Route, Lost Gully, Judy’s Meadows, Mount Moriarty and Labour Day Lake trails. Island Timberlands seems to be sending a message to the communities within the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve that their only interest is leaving clearcuts behind and that they are not interested in the future recreation and tourism opportunities that this mountain is known for.

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Science says BC’s grizzly bears are doing fine Merritt Herald

By Othmar Vohringer
Merritt Herald
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia has a good reputation for its world-class grizzly bear conservation and management program and has taken steps to improve it even more. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has commissioned an independent scientific review of the grizzly bear harvest management system in B.C. The review found that the province has a “very high level of rigour and adequate safeguards in place to ensure the long-term stability of grizzly populations.” It is also noted that BC has “produced more DNA-based population estimates for grizzly bears than any other similar jurisdiction in the world.”

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Is the Beast still burning? Fort McMurray wildfire may smoulder through winter

By Wallis Snowdon
CBC News
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Beast could still be burning. The fire which devastated much of Fort McMurray in May may still be smouldering, deep underground. At its peak, the fire was moving 30 to 40 metres per minute, creating its own weather pattern of wind and lighting. It crowned high in the trees, raining down ash and cinders as it raced north, jumping the Athabasca River, and wrapping itself around the northern Alberta city like a noose. Even then, smouldering ash underground grew into powerful infernos, making the fire an unpredictable foe for firefighters. In the end the Beast covered 589,552 hectares and devoured 2,400 structures.

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Watchdog report sheds light on 2014 slide near Enderby

By Megan Turcato
Global News
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In May of 2014, a torrent of debris swept down Cooke Creek east of Enderby. It washed out a bridge leaving people stranded and caused significant damage to a nearby salmon hatchery and interpretive centre. Now a report from the Forest Practices Board, which bills itself as the province’s independent watchdog for sound forest practices, has detailed problems with the way infrastructure in the area was inspected and maintained in the years leading up to the slide. The report says the failure of two culverts at an upstream lake caused the debris flood and that the province had received complaints about the culverts before the slide but on two occasions didn’t adequately respond.

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Fight against Dutch elm disease continues in Charlottetown

By Gail Harding
CBC News
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Over the next three weeks, close to 100 elm trees will be cut down as the City of Charlottetown continues its fight against Dutch elm disease. In total, 96 trees on both public and private property will be cut down as part of the Dutch elm disease management program says Beth Hoar, parkland conservationist with the city. It is the second year of the management program and $95,000 will be spent cutting down and removing the trees. In the first year, 350 trees were cut down. …Once the trees are cut down, the wood is buried to protect against any chance of the infection spreading.

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Souba named state forester

By Lee Bergquist
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday named Fred Souba Jr., a veteran paper industry executive, to the post of chief state forester. Souba, 66, is a currently a forestry industry consultant and has been chairman of the Wisconsin Council on Forestry, which advises the DNR and state officials on forestry issues. He was formerly vice president of wood supply and sustainability for NewPage Corp., which during his tenure had paper and pulp mills in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Maine, Maryland, Kentucky and Nova Scotia. He previously was vice president of wood supply for Stora Enso North America.

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Teaming up to revive an old industry: Meet Tenakee Springs’ last loggers

By Liz Raines
KTA.com
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE – When Gordon Chew first moved to Tenakee Springs with his family 17 years ago, he hadn’t planned to go into logging. But over time, he said he saw the need for a niche — harvesting wood locally from the Tongass National Forest in an eco-friendly way. Now, Chew operates Tenakee Logging Company with his 26-year-old son, Sterling. The business is based out of Tenakee Springs, a small Southeast community with just 60 full-time residents. Flying into town, you can still see the scars left on the hillside by clear-cutting during Tenakee’s old logging ventures. Tenakee Springs used to be a town where families settled for steady work in the woods. But now, industry’s footprint has faded. Most logging operations shut down more than a decade ago. Just over three miles across Tenakee Inlet at Corner Bay, Tenakee Logging Company is starting up.

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Nature Conservancy buys virgin forest tract near Finland from Will Steger

By John Myers
Duluth News Tribune
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Global adventurer Will Steger was hiking the North Shore ridge in 1996, at a vista along the Superior Hiking Trail, when he noticed something in the distance, off to the northwest. …He found giant sugar maples, white cedar, yellow birch and white spruce that were somehow spared from lumberjacks’ axes and saws over the past 150 years. …He first found 80 acres for sale where the big trees were standing, took out a loan and bought the land. Later he found another 160 acres for sale in the same area and, with another loan, bought that, too. …Enter the Nature Conservancy, which is announcing today it has purchased the 240 acres from Steger and will forever keep it undeveloped and open to the public. 

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Department of Forestry proposes rule changes for stream buffers to protect fish

By Emily Hoard
The News Review
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The colder the water, the healthier the fish. Oregon Department of Forestry has proposed changes in its rulemaking to increase stream buffers by 10 feet and approximately double the standards of trees left after harvest in order to protect salmon, steelhead and bull trout. “The goal is to make the streams cooler than what they have been in the past,” said Jay Morey, stewardship forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Roseburg office. “The stream buffers will be wider and there will be more trees left in the buffers, providing more shade and potentially cooler temperatures.”

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Forest Service begins 4FRI thinning south of Williams

By Wendy Howell
Williams News
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Heavy machinery and a smoldering fire have done little to deter recreationists from using forest road 108 south of Williams. Campers, hunters and ATV enthusiasts are interspersed with loggers who have just begun clearing a new unit of the USFS Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI). Tree removal has begun on a 3,571-acre project on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest associated with the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. The McCracken Task Order area is located about six miles south of Williams in the vicinity of Coleman Lake and McCracken Knolls. Good Earth has recently started harvesting operations off of forest roads 108 and 728.

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Johnson discusses wolves, broadband, timber at Rhinelander roundtable

By Evan Verploegh
The Lakeland Times
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With less than two weeks remaining before voters decide his future in Congress, U.S. Sen Ron Johnson made a campaign stop at Rhinelander’s Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association Saturday to discuss the growing wolf population, increased broadband access and regulation of timber production. Accompanying Johnson was Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, who shared her knowledge of rural issues. Prior to a scheduled roundtable meeting, which included State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) and members of Northwoods businesses and organizations affiliated the subjects of discussion, Sen. Johnson and Sen. Ernst took time to speak with the local media. 

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Wood Supply Study Opens Door for Forest Product Industry Development

Prescott eNews
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Completion of an analysis of Yavapai County’s wood resource brings the Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition (URVRPC) and its partners one step closer to meeting their shared goal to support reinvigoration of a forest products’ industry in the region. Results of the feedstock analysis, completed by TSS Consultants, were presented to the UVRWPC Executive Board during its scheduled public meeting on Wednesday, October 26. Tad Mason, company CEO, with more than three decades of experience working in the arena of forest restoration, told board members that the Yavapai County woody biomass utilization market is wide open with potential in several areas. He recommended that multiple industry sectors for biomass utilization be pursued.

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Walton Lake thinning plan halts, for now

By Hilary Corrigan
The Bend Bulletin
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ochoco National Forest will do a fuller environmental analysis of its plan to thin trees around popular Walton Lake, a move that follows a lawsuit and a court order that would have halted much of the work pending the case’s resolution. The U.S. Forest Service had approved its Walton Lake Restoration Project in 2015 to do thinning, replanting ponderosa pine and other work on about 176 acres in the recreation area at Walton Lake on the Lookout Mountain Ranger District of Ochoco National Forest. According to that proposal, mixed conifer stands around the lake are infested with laminated root disease that spreads through tree roots and decays the roots and base of infected trees. The trees can then fall, creating habitat for wildlife and improving the soil, but posing safety risks in areas where people recreate.

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Wilderness Collaborations: Better Late Than Never

By Pat Williams
Flathead Beacon
November 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I have read the Beacon’s story (Oct. 19: “Family Trees”) about the possible collaborations concerning timber harvest and wilderness in the Libby area and I suppose “better late than never” is an appropriate kick start to the same collaborative efforts that were both tried and destroyed in Libby during the years I served as Montana’s U.S. congressman. Thirty years ago a group of Montanans on both sides of the timber/wilderness issue in Libby designed a compromise agreement and presented it to the Montana congressional delegation for consideration. ….What happened? The timber industry and their paid spokesman, Bruce Vincent, fully and completely opposed not only the Accords but also any collaboration to assure both harvest and wilderness.

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Critics: Monument plan would nix logging, grazing

By Tim Hearden
Capital Press
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Cattle and timber industry representatives say the proposed expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument will lead to lost grazing lands and timber production and injure the area’s economy. In October, Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, both Democrats, asked the U.S. Department of the Interior to expand the monument’s border by about 50,000 acres, much of which would involve Bureau of Land Management lands. …The designation would be “potentially devastating” to the timber industry, taking “a lot of volume off the table,” said Travis Joseph, president of the American Forest Resource Council. Existing timber sales on the land “could be grandfathered in,” he said, “but we’ve seen with other monument proposals that timber sales that are grandfathered in don’t actually get implemented.”

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Nearly $424K of Douglas County timber sold to Eugene company, benefits O&C counties

KVAL
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

REEDSPORT, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management sold nearly $424K worth of timber to the Seneca Sawmill Company of Eugene during an oral auction. 1.4 million board feet of timber was sold on Friday. The timber is located on Oregon and California Railroad Grant lands in Douglas County just north of Reedsport. 18 western counties in Oregon that contain these O&C lands will share receipts from the timber sold. “Everything that we are able to sell is direct funding that goes into Coos, Curry, and Douglas counties in the area, and they are able to use that money as part of their general fund that goes towards law enforcement and other community services,” BLM’s Megan Harper said.

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Mountain pine beetles here to stay

by Frank Carroll
Rapid City Journal
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Long have we waited for Dr. Russell Graham’s magnum opus on the post mortem of the wily mountain pine beetles, now entering their 35 millionth year in pine forests. It felt like Russ and his crew of Forest Service scientists have been working half that long trying to understand them. Well, for a decade or more, anyway. We needed his report ten years ago but he couldn’t have done it then, of course, because we are only wise in hindsight. There was no manual, and there is no manual, to help us much with mountain pine beetles. So, we did the best we could Dr. Graham concluded in his 193-page report titled, ponderously, “Mountain Pine Beetles: A Century of Knowledge, Control Attempts, and Impacts Central to the Black Hills,” an old-school title for an excellent summary of our experience for the past 115 years.

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Florida Forest Service Alerts Public to Heightened Wildfire Danger

Southeast AgNet
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Forest Service are urging the public to use caution with all outdoor fires due to increased wildfire danger levels throughout the state. Dry conditions have sparked wildfires in many areas of the state recently and have threatened 20 homes within the last three weeks. “Florida’s wildland firefighters will likely battle additional wildfires in the coming weeks due to continued dry conditions,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Citizens can do their part to stop preventable wildfires by using extreme caution with outdoor fires.”

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Recreating wildfires

By Erika Ebsworth-Goold
Washington University in St. Louis
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Wildfires, such as California’s summer-long Soberanes Fire, are being recreated in a third-floor aerosols laboratory in Brauer Hall on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis by a team from the School of Engineering & Applied Science. The Soberanes, which raged for months across the Big Sur region, cost more than $200 million to battle from the air and ground, making it the most expensive firefight in U.S. history. Such forest fires make an enormous impact on both climate change and human health in the United States and across the globe, which is why Washington University engineers have worked over the summer and into the fall to try to better understand the particulate matter emitted during these increasingly more frequent natural disasters.

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First Guyanese forest FSC-certified

Timber Trade Journal
November 1, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Guyanese greenheart trade has been boosted with the first FSC forest certification in the country. The news of certification of the 3,710km2 Iwokrama forest comes as the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) and the country’s authorities have been stepping up their lobbying against the UK Environment Agency’s (EA) ban on Guyanese greenheart. An EA briefing note issued last year stipulated that Guyanese greenheart had insufficient evidence of coming from sustainably-managed forests so would not be accepted for its projects.

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Making forestry safer and more productive

By Forest Industry Engineering Association
New Zealand Scoop
November 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Health and safety thought leaders set for summit. Industry safety champions in both New Zealand and Australia have come forward to show their safety leadership by becoming Principal Partners to the 3rd FIEA Forest Industry Safety Summit. This conference series sold out in 2013 and 2015, and is running again in March 2017 in Rotorua and Melbourne. “Our principal partners include McFall Fuel in New Zealand and VicForests in Australia. Both are recognised as early adopters of positive safety practices. Forest company leaders and contractors in our industry will be keen to see what they’ve achieved in safety,” says event director John Stulen.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The extreme unwisdom of burning forests for fuel

by Jane Maslow Cohen, law professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Cindy E. Morris,senior scientist at the French National Agricultural Research Institute
The Hill
November 1, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Congress is pressing hard to advance a dangerously destructive environmental policy. It would require the Environmental Protection Agency to define biomass—energy obtained from wood– as a carbon-neutral, renewable fuel, like solar power and wind. The EPA and its Science Advisory Board are opposed. They should be. …If this move becomes national policy, it will displace decades of international efforts to reduce forest loss from the use of wood for fuel, inviting emulation world-wide. Biomass combustion has been a source of serious atmospheric pollution. It releases 150 percent more greenhouse gases per unit of electricity than coal; and 400 times more than natural gas.

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AXE NOT….what you can do for your forest

By Stephanie Haugen
Portland Tribune
November 1, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Small, private forestland owners can now make money simply by letting their trees grow. A recently announced project could promote the health of 21,000 acres of Pacific Northwest trees while combating greenhouse gases and making landowners money. Studies show that trees in healthy, well-managed stands collect more carbon from the air and store larger amounts over time than scraggly trees from overgrown, unkempt forestland. That’s why forest owners in northwest Oregon and western Washington are champing at the bit to take advantage of the project, which helps landowners manage their forests to soak up as much carbon as possible and reduce greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.

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Ghost Forests: How Rising Seas Are Killing Southern U.S. Woodlands

By Roger Real Drouin
Yale 360
November 1, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A steady increase in sea levels is pushing saltwater into U.S. wetlands, killing trees from Florida to as far north as New Jersey. But with sea level projected to rise by as much as six feet this century, the destruction of coastal forests is expected to become a worsening problem worldwide. On a recent afternoon, University of Florida watershed ecologist David Kaplan and Ph.D. candidate Katie Glodzik hiked through the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve, on the Big Bend coast of northwestern Florida. Not long ago, red cedar, live oaks, and cabbage palms grew in profusion on the raised “hammock island” forests set amid the preserve’s wetlands. But as the researchers walked through thigh-high marsh grass, the barren trunks of dead cedars were silhouetted against passing clouds. 

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Study: Climate, not bark beetle damage, to blame for increased wildfire risk

By Jane Salerno
Clark University News Hub
November 1, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

For the first time, new research has compared the impact of bark beetle outbreaks versus climate on the occurrence of large wildfires across the entire western United States. The Clark University study points to climate, not beetles, as the main culprit, suggesting new approaches to managing forests and preventing wildfires. Extensive outbreaks of bark beetles have killed trees across millions of acres of forests in western North America. …Even as outbreaks have been getting larger, climate continues to have the dominant effect on wildfires. The study went on to examine the occurrence of large wildfires in the wildland-urban interface, where homes, communities and human life are especially at risk. In these critical areas, wildfires were also primarily caused by climate and not by beetle outbreaks.

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Nearly $1 billion in forest carbon finance committed in 2015

by Mike Gaworecki
Mongabay
November 1, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…Last year, governments and companies around the world committed a record $888 million in new funding to projects aimed at keeping forests and other carbon-absorbing landscapes intact, according to a new report released by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace initiative. Those funds will remove the equivalent of 87.9 million metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, roughly equal to the annual emissions of Chile, the Washington, D.C.-based NGO said in a statement accompanying the release of the report. Not all of those funds went directly through REDD+ programs, however.

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New Zealand uses pine forests, creative accounting to dodge carbon cuts

By Karl Mathiesen
Climate Home
November 1, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International


New Zealand has been accused of manipulating its carbon accounts to avoid tough climate action, in a wheeze hinging on vast pine plantations established in the 1990s. In New Zealand’s submission to the Paris climate agreement, the country proposed a simplification of forestry accounting rules. Currently, the commercial forests are subject to a complex, fluctuating system of carbon credits and deficits as trees grow and are cut down. The government is proposing to treat these plantations like continually standing forest, with the carbon storage averaged over time. What might sound like common sense is in fact a cynical attempt to cook the books, according to a report from charity the Morgan Foundation on Wednesday.

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