Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 14, 2016

Business & Politics

If Donald Trump kills NAFTA, Canada could benefit: Walkom

By Thomas Walkom
Toronto Star
November 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

We’d still have free trade. But U.S. corporations would no longer have the right to override Canadian law. Donald Trump says he’ll tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement if he can’t renegotiate a better deal. That has spooked Canadians. We should relax. We should take a deep breath. Depending on how it’s done, getting rid of NAFTA could work for us. …Good luck on that one. The original FTA was supposed to clean up the softwood lumber mess. It didn’t. Neither did NAFTA. America’s politically connected lumber producers have successfully scuppered free trade in this commodity. They are not likely to give up. More to the point, a renegotiated NAFTA is likely to go badly for Canada. Trump has campaigned and won on a promise to deliver trade deals that better protect American workers. If he pays any attention at all to Canada (and with luck he won’t) he will want visible gains from this country in any renegotiated deal.

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Expect the US to get tough on softwood lumber with Trump in the White House

by John Ackermann and Richard Dettman
News 1130
November 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States


VICTORIA – With Donald Trump headed to the White House, observers on this side of the border are wondering what that will mean for trade between the United States and Canada. …“With Mr. Trump, we’ve got a President-elect who has specifically targeted [trade], whether it’s the North American Free Trade Agreement, there’s the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, there’s a number of trade agreements,” explains Michael Prince, a political scientist at the University of Victoria. …However, some aren’t sure just how engaged Trump will be with the softwood lumber file once he takes office.

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Trump presidency could devastate Canada-U.S. trade: expert

by Cindy E. Harnett , Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
November 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Donald Trump’s threats to rip up trade agreements could be devastating to Canada, but could also send more tourists, professionals and students north, say business leaders. His platform promises, including ripping up the North American Free Trade Agreement, which governs trade among the U.S., Canada and Mexico, hang in the air. Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, said the Trump presidency could be devastating for Canada’s trade with the U.S. Klein said soon after Trump takes office in January, he would expect the negotiating climate on trade files to take on a much darker tone — “our way or the highway.”

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Sale of Tolko mill complete

by David Larkins
Winnipeg Sun
November 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A paper mill that serves as a key economic driver in northern Manitoba has received an 11th hour rescue, less than a month before it was slated to be shut down. Tolko Industries announced Thursday it has completed a sale of its pulp, paper and saw mill in The Pas to Canadian Kraft Paper Industries, a move that will spare more than 300 jobs. Swampy Cree Holdings, an economic conglomeration of eight First Nation communities, was also pivotal in the joint agreement, which avoids a scheduled Dec. 2 shutdown of the mill.  As part of the deal, workers agreed to a 10% wage rollback for five years and a three-year relief on pension solvency payments.

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Trump & softwood lumber

By Wayne Moore
Castanet Kelowna
November 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tuesday night’s election of Donald Trump as president-elect of the United States could have disastrous consequences for softwood lumber exports from B.C. The softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the U.S. ran out more than a year ago, and negotiations to come up with a new deal have yet to be successful. Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing President Barack Obama vowed to get a deal done. …Thomson said there’s still time to get a deal done with the current administration, but that it has been a challenge. “We still have an opportunity to do that, but it takes engagement and it takes a willing partner at the table in terms of negotiations. We are continuing to push for that.

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Media Statement from the BC Lumber Trade Council on the U.S. Election

BC Lumber Trade Council
November 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council (BCLTC) issued a statement today: “BC lumber producers greatly appreciate the leadership of the Prime Minister, Minister Chrystia Freeland, Premier Christy Clark and Minister Steve Thomson on making softwood lumber a priority issue with the U.S. We don’t expect the results of the U.S. election to change this priority. Access to the U.S. market for Canadian softwood lumber has been the subject of trade talks and litigation between the governments of Canada and the U.S. spanning generations, and both Republican and Democratic administrations in the United States. Canada is an important supplier of lumber products to the U.S. With the U.S. economy growing, and housing and construction starts on the rise, the U.S. lumber industry alone cannot meet the needs of its domestic consumers and relies on Canadian lumber products.  

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Trump’s presidential victory brings optimism to Oregon’s timber industry, worry to environmental groups

By Dylan Darling
The Register-Guard
November 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

When he visited Eugene last spring, Donald Trump promised to revive Oregon’s timber industry, which for decades has been hamstrung by severe curbs against logging in federal forests west of the ­Cascades summit. “Timber jobs (in Oregon) have been cut in half since 1990,” he said during his May 6 stump speech to a revved-up crowd at the Lane Events Center. “We are going to bring them up, folks, we are going to do it really right, we are going to bring them up, OK?” Trump didn’t offer specifics as to how — or how much — he would revive logging and milling, but he alluded to ­loosening federal restrictions. Now, Trump supporters and critics in Oregon will see if he can live up to his promise.

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Crumbling timber industry puts rural Idahoans at crossroads

By Elaine Williams
Idaho Statesman
November 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

OROFINO, IDAHO – David Bartlett stopped frequently to chat with friends as he made inquiries with employers at a recent Idaho Department of Labor job fair in Orofino. The nonchalance of the former Tri-Pro Forest Products employee and father of five children disguised very real stress. “My last paycheck is coming up,” said Bartlett, of Kooskia. “After that, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I hope I find something.” …Clearwater County’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in September, the most recent month for which numbers are available. That figure doesn’t fully describe how tough Clearwater County’s job market is. It doesn’t account for the jobs lost at Tri-Pro, which continued a trend that started in 2000 when Potlatch closed its Pierce plywood mill.

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Maine companies hope to begin exporting wood chips to Europe

Associated Press in Washington Times
November 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine  – Maine will begin shipping wood chips to Europe next year if plans remain on track for two methods of treating the wood with heat to kill pests. In Eastport, the port authority has been working with others to develop a system of heating the wood after it’s loaded into the hulls of chip carriers. Another company in Stockton Springs is moving forward with facility to treat wood.

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Investors build wood-pellet plant in Arkansas, possible spur for northern Minnesota economy

By Adam Belz
Star Tribune
November 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A group of International Falls businessmen will open a brand-new $230 million wood-pellet plant in Arkansas next week that could offer a blueprint for economic development in northern Minnesota. Highland Pellets will begin churning out 600,000 metric tons of pellets per year for a wood-fired power plant in England. The company is run by, among others, Dennis Wagner, the president of Wagner Construction, and Marty Goulet, its chief financial officer. A Thursday ribbon-cutting for the factory in Pine Bluff, Ark., will be attended by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. 

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Buyers of North Woods lands hopeful about future of Maine forest products

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
November 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — The private family trust buying up massive tracts of Maine’s North Woods views the acquisitions as long-term investments in the evolution of the state’s forest products industry. Gary Bahlkow, a forestry consultant managing more than 290,000 acres purchased by the Tall Timber Trust, said the land would largely remain working forest, though the family trust has split off specific parcels in transactions with the Nature Conservancy.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Lark expansion set to break ground Monday

By Eric Dietrich
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
November 13, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A 29-room, four-story expansion to the Lark Hotel is set to break ground Monday, backers said this week — though much of the building will actually be assembled offsite thanks to cutting-edge building materials. In contrast to the steel or masonry framing more common with larger buildings in Bozeman, the Lark expansion’s frame will be built from cross-laminated timber, or chemically treated wood panels, backers said.

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Forestry

Canada’s Choosing A National Bird (And It’s Surprisingly Suspenseful)

By Jeff Wells, Senior Scientist, International Boreal Conservation Campaign
Huffington Post Canada
November 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Ask any American what their national bird is and they’ll be sure to tell you it’s the Bald Eagle. Ask a Canadian the same question and they’re likely to shift the conversation to the weather or last night’s hockey game. Why? Because Canada doesn’t have a national bird. That’s about to change. And unlike in the United States, everyday Canadians are playing a role in the selection. Canadians cast their votes in a recent public poll asking which bird would best represent the nation. On November 16th, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society will announce their official recommendation for the national bird, based on the public poll, an expert panel and other input.

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Inspections report reveals 60 per cent non-compliance rate under BC environmental law

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
November 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sixty per cent of operations inspected across B.C. in 2015 failed to comply with a key provincial environmental law, a new Ministry of Environment report reveals. Of 632 inspections under the Environmental Management Act — undertaken in sectors ranging from mining and forestry to sewage and hazardous waste management — only 40 per cent were deemed to be compliant, while 55 per cent required a low-level response such as an advisory or warning. Stronger action was required for the remaining five per cent, ranging from orders to rectify environmental problems, violation tickets and penalties, restorative justice forums, and court action in the most serious cases involving threats to the environment or human health and safety. …Wood processing, ranging from log sorting to furniture manufacturing, was the focus of 18 per cent of compliance investigations, while residential waste management, which includes municipal sewage operations, ranked third at 13 per cent.

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In the Garden: Forest bathing among top trends for 2017

By Steve Whysall
Vancouver Sun
November 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest bathing, growing herbs in the kitchen, making your garden tidier, and showing more appreciation for trees, particularly for their ability to provide cool, restful shade. These are a few of the top trends predicted to dominate the garden world in North America in 2017 according to the Pennsylvania-based Garden Media Group, one of the top trend-spotting agencies in the U.S. …Forest bathing is expected to become as popular as yoga was 30 year ago, says GMG, with more people finding rest and relaxation by “bathing” — immersing themselves in the calming, leafy greenery of a woodland/forest environment — to relieve tension and stress and to experience a more heightened sense of well-being. 

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Comment: Tla-o-qui-aht demand protection of ancient forest

By Tsimka Martin and Gisele Martin – on behalf of Tla-o-qui-aht Initiative for Interconnected Community Health
Victoria Times Colonist
November 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nuu-chah-nulth people, since time immemorial, have always maintained respectful relationships with ancestral lands and waters. These relationships are the foundation of Nuu-chah-nulth cultural life — ways carefully nurtured according to ancient teachings, for the benefit of all generations and all forms of life. The forest ecosystem was tended as a garden. It still is recognized as a living entity, with its own set of complex relationships among its many inhabitants, including people who continue to rely upon it for life. Countless generations of Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations people have maintained abundant economies and ecosystems, until this way of life was interrupted by Canada’s colonialism, which introduced unrestrained resource extraction, commodification and exploitation of nature. This was accompanied by cultural genocide, widespread environmental devastation and severe impacts to First Nation economies that continue today.

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Fire dropping everywhere’: Red Cross funds study into how Fort McMurray blaze devastated indigenous people

Canadian Press in National Post
November 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Melanie Dene still remembers the harrowing ordeal of driving through fiery hell during the evacuation of Fort McMurray six months ago with her two young daughters. The chaos of traffic-choked roads, the thick smoke from the massive northern Alberta wildfire and flames so hot that her car stalled — its engine on fire — are all still fresh in her mind. …She and others are now the subject of a research study into how the wildfire affected First Nation and Metis communities in and around the Fort McMurray region. The Canadian Red Cross is funding research, which involves talking to people whose homes were destroyed in the city, who faced food shortages in outlying communities and those who can no longer hunt, trap or pick berries because of the charred terrain.

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BC premier sees Buckingham Palace visit as chance to expand trade with UK

By Richard Zussman
CBC News
November 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Queen is set to mark, in person, the addition of the Great Bear Rainforest to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. Premier Christy Clark will be at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday alongside Queen Elizabeth to recognize the 6.4-million-hectare forest on B.C.’s coast. “This is the first time in 40 years that British Columbia has been invited to be part of an official ceremony at Buckingham Palace. I am going to be accepting an award on behalf of British Columbians for the work we have been doing on the Great Bear rainforest,” said Premier Christy Clark. …”This is our moment,” said Clark. “If the British are out there looking for new friendships and growing trading relationships, we want it to be with British Columbia. We already do lots of trade with them. On tourism obviously, but also on lumber. We have more to do on aerospace and high tech. They are big places of growth for us potentially.”

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Premier to talk trade, meet Queen, on visit to London

By Rob Shaw
Vancouver Sun
November 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — B.C.’s premier will get an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace this week, as part of trip the United Kingdom to honour the Great Bear Rainforest that could also potentially boost provincial trade with Great Britain. …The Queen will formally induct B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest into the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a program that promotes the conservation of indigenous forests for future generations. …Trade between the U.K. and B.C. is relatively small, compared to the U.S. and China. Tourism remains perhaps the largest economic link. Lumber and fuel wood make up the bulk of B.C.’s almost $400 million in commodity exports to the U.K. in 2015.

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Why Ontario needs more forest fires

by Katherine Martinko
TreeHugger
November 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forest fires seem scary, but they’re not always a bad thing. The Environmental Commissioner explains why they’re desperately needed in Ontario’s boreal north. Forest fires are not always a bad thing. In fact, the constant suppression and fighting of forest fires have created problems in the boreal forest of northern Ontario that worry the province’s Environmental Commissioner. In her annual report, Commissioner Diane Saxe recommended that Ontario let natural forest fires burn longer before put them out and that the province light more controlled fires. Such advice may sound counterintuitive, but it’s important to realize that fire plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy, resilient forests.

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Subcontractor pleads guilty in Long Lake clearcutting

by JORDAN PARKER
Chronicle Herald
November 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The subcontractor charged with clearcutting a portion of Long Lake Provincial Park has pled guilty. Resourcestec Inc. entered the plea in court Thursday, while co-accused Dexter Construction Company Ltd. and Scott and Stewart Forestry Consultants Ltd. had their charges dropped. A source close to the court proceedings informed the Chronicle Herald of the verdict. The charges stemmed from a violation of the Crown Lands Act, which does not permit cutting and damaging Crown lands. “There was a complaint received regarding timber being cut on Crown land. Dexter was working close by on an adjacent lot, and had subcontracted the work,” said the source.

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Kissing our ash goodbye

Letter by Fredrick Johnson
Chronicle Journal
November 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The spread of the emerald ash borer was facilitated by the overuse of green ash to replace elms that had died in the central United States. Unfortunately for us, in Thunder Bay green ash represents about 25 per cent of city trees whereas it has been suggested not more than 7 per cent is the ideal percentage to ensure tree diversity. It only makes sense to reduce the percentage by cutting down infected ash trees and replacing them with less vulnerable species. Since millions of dollars have been spent by our neighbours to the south without any real success, why does this city feel we can succeed where others have failed?

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Asian Long-Horned Beetle Genome Sequenced

GenomeWeb
November 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

NEW YORK – A team reporting in Genome Biology today has sequenced the genome of the Asian long-horned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, uncovering genes suspected of contributing to the insect’s destructive wood-feeding ways. …The Asian long-horned beetle is getting more and more attention for its ability to spread to sites around the world, the team noted. As they systematically bore and tunnel into wood from ornamental, orchard, and forest trees, the beetles leave huge economic losses behind them, in the US and beyond. In an effort to better understand how beetles feed on — and derive nutrition from — woody plants, the researchers used the Illumina HiSeq 2000 to sequence DNA from female Asian long-horned beetle larvae with libraries containing four insert sizes.

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This land is your land? The battle over a state-owned forest

by SAPHARA HARRELL
Coos Bay World
November 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ELLIOTT STATE FOREST — Mist wisps through the Douglas firs and evaporates along the hillsides as Joe Metzler and Elizabeth Roberts drive down the gravel roads that wind through the Elliott State Forest. The unmarked roads and frequent forks could prove difficult for someone who has never set foot in the forest, but the pair knows the area well. Metzler, the wiry retired Coast Guard rescue swimmer, has been coming to the Elliott for three decades. Behind the wheel, Roberts discusses potential alternatives to the pending sale of the state land. “That’s way over my head,” Metzler retorts, “I’m just a guy who likes to go in the forest.” In December, the Oregon State Land Board will meet to announce the fate of the Elliott State Forest after public testimony.

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Flathead National Forest Management Plan Revisions

By Dan Roper
Flathead Beacon
November 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Let me begin by stating that I am not a Montanan. I wasn’t born there, haven’t made it my home, yet the Flathead National Forest is dear to my heart. It was there that I learned to work a crosscut saw, to fall a tree with an axe, and to build trails with a shovel and pulaski. … I want to see a Flathead National Forest management plan that conserves key fish and wildlife habitat, improves habitat connectivity, and recommends substantial wilderness additions. I also hope this plan restores fire-resistant forests, reduces wildfire risks in the wildland-urban interface, and limits motorized travel when it conflicts with wildlife and non-motorized recreation opportunities.

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Forest fires

Letter by Don Adair, Boise
Idaho Statesman
November 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The results of the Pioneer Fire this year point an accusing finger at current wildfire management practice. And Pioneer is not an isolated instance, as we all know. The modern idea seems to be that fires are good for the forest and that we should have more rather than fewer of them. And when a really big fire gets going the blame of course lands squarely on fire suppression practices of the past. Those were years when Idaho’s forests were considered more valuable for the products they supplied than for justifying the hire of thousands of bodies and machines and toasting marshmallows. …It is unfortunate in my opinion that the modern idea seems to be to burn (hooray) rather than use (boo) our forests. What arrogance.

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Manage forests for future generations

Roman Zylawy, Mineral County commissioner and Jim Arney, Ph.D in forestry
The Missoulian
November 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Regarding the Oct. 12 opinion written by Paul Edwards of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, we would like to respond. We all enjoy Montana for its forests, rivers and wildlife. So when one speaks of defending our remaining forests and preserving it for the entire population of this country, I have to remind everyone that forests don’t stay preserved forever. …I believe it’s unfair to categorize forest management as “an extractive industry” because that implies removing something from the earth forever. Trees don’t last forever and can’t ever be preserved as they are; they can only be groomed, thinned and managed. Many environmentalists dislike waste and they advocate habits to help conserve, like recycling. Why not apply that premise towards our beautiful forests and stop wasting them?

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Forest health concepts out of date

By George Wuerthner – ecologist and author of 38 books, including “Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy.”
Helena Independent Record
November 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In a recent IR editorial, former Forest Service foresters, Dale Bosworth and Jack Blackwell, promoted numerous out-of-date concepts and paradigms about forest health and management. Their editorial demonstrated that they are unfamiliar with the latest science regarding the ecological value of large wildfires, bark beetles and other natural ecological disturbance processes. Ecologists view large mixed to high severity fires, bark beetles, and other natural processes as critical to maintaining healthy forest ecosystems. The dead snags and down wood produced by such events are vital to many wildlife and plants. Indeed, some 2/3 of all wildlife species depend on dead trees at some point in their lives.

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Opinion: Expansion planning excluded county officials

By Colleen Roberts – a Jackson County commissioner
Mail Tribune
November 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There is a recent push to garner support for an expansion to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument; not simply an expansion, but a doubling of its size. There are many concerns regarding this proposal: the process of the plan, the plan itself and the reasoning behind the proposal. The planning process to consider such an increase to the existing monument is flawed. First of all, most of this expansion lies in Jackson County, and yet, Jackson County has not been included in the planning process. Instead, legislators have written letters behind the backs of your local elected representatives to the secretary of the interior, circumventing the inclusion and authority of your local government.

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Hundreds of acres to be thinned for elk habitat near Mount St. Helens

Longview Daily News
November 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thanks to $40,000 from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the state will thin hundreds of acres in the Mount St. Helens Wilderness for elk habitat preservation beginning in the spring. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s $80,000 project will thin between 300 and 500 acres in the Hoffstadt and Mudflow units of the Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area, helping turn what had been a tree farm into a diverse wildlife habitat. Trees and shrubs have also been planted along three miles of Bear Creek in the Mudflow area to help prevent erosion.

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Forest fires blaze across Southeast: What is feeding the flames?

By Christina Beck
Christian Science Monitor
November 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Residents of several Southern states are encountering an unusual natural phenomenon this week as forests in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, among others, catch ablaze. The main culprit this year appears to be an exceptional drought that has parched the Southeastern United States throughout the summer and continued unabated into the fall, after the burn season generally ends. While wildfires are certainly not unheard of in the region, experts say the extent and severity of this year’s fires set it apart from previous years and that the region may well have to adjust to severe drought conditions like this season’s for the future.

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The Latest: Bentley Offers $5K Reward for Wildfire Arsonist

Associated Press in ABC News
November 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has announced a $5,000 reward for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever’s responsible for setting wildfires. Bentley, in a news release Friday, said the reward is being offered to try to identify anyone who is deliberately setting the blazes. Because of drought, all 67 counties in Alabama are under an emergency order banning all outside fires, including campfires, bonfires and trash fires. The “no burn” order will remain in effect until rescinded by the state forester. According to the Alabama Forestry Commission there have been more than 1,400 wildfires in Alabama since Oct. 1, destroying more than 15,000 acres.

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Alabama Forestry Commission cuts affect forest fire coverage

by Olivia Steen
WHNT
November 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – The Alabama Forestry Commission says they haven’t seen a wildfire season like this one in about three or four years.The recent budget cuts that were made have affected their performance this year. “We were relying on some resources from South Alabama, but now that they’re under the drought emergency there too… we were having to put a lot of those resources back into their home counties in South Alabama,” Terry Ezzell, North Regional Forester of the Alabama Forestry Commission. With man power cut, their response time to fires has taken more time and causes more damage.

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Southerners donning masks as suspected arsons lead to dozens of wildfires

CBS News
November 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


ATLANTA – Wildfires near the Georgia-North Carolina line are spewing smoke so thick that residents are being urged to wear special masks if they must do outdoor activities. The fires – many of them suspected arsons – have prompted evacuations in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee in recent days. The largest of dozens of ongoing wildfires in the South has now burned 13,300 acres, more than a third of the vast Cohutta Wilderness area, in the north Georgia mountains just south of the Tennessee line. Fire managers said Saturday that the blaze, believed to have ignited from a lightning strike in mid-October, was only 20 percent contained. …More than 1,000 firefighters are now battling the wildfires that have burned more than 23,000 acres in western North Carolina, officials said Saturday afternoon.

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Old-growth lands, islands donated to WV land trust

By Rick Steelhammer
Charleston Gazette-Mail
November 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Two islands in the Ohio River and a 200-acre tract of wooded land in Doddridge County encompassing a rare, 15-acre stand of old growth forest have been donated to the West Virginia Land Trust for use as public nature preserves. Gallipolis Island was donated to the Land Trust by its former owners, the City of Gallipolis, Ohio, and private landowner Michael Hoeft of Milton. While the 5-acre island lies a short distance off the Gallipolis shoreline, it remains a part of West Virginia, which owns the river to the low-water points along the Ohio shore. The narrow, wooded island once included 80 acres of land, and in the 1840s was the site of a park with picnic tables, beaches and a playground.

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Landowners learn of rich returns from mature hardwood

by Joe Dermody
Irish Examiner
November 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…“We’re encouraging people to grow quality trees. The first two or three thinnings are just firewood, but as the crop gets larger, people can see the greater value they can get from the quality tree market,” said Mr Kelly. Of the 6,000 to 6,500 hectares of land being added to forestry each year, 20% to 30% is going to hardwood planting. In recent years, a lot of new growers have opted for conifers, which can mature in 30 to 40 years; i.e. reach the 25 diameter breast height required by industry. Hardwoods take longer. Ash and sycamore can take 50-70 years to mature; beech, 80-100 years; oak, more than 100 years. While the quality markets are accessed closer to full maturity, forests deliver revenue right through their cycle.

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Outsourcing of contentious Tasmanian forest logging could spark community backlash, sawmiller warns

By Pablo Vinales
ABC News, Australia
November 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International


A Tasmanian sawmiller fears Government plans to outsource felling in contentious forestry reserves could spark anti-logging protests. The Tasmanian Government intends to contract out logging to private companies, hoping it will improve the chances of a bid by its state-owned company Forestry Tasmania (FT) to get Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification FSC is a world-recognised branding that the timber has been sourced sustainably. …Timber Company owner Matthew Torenius said the changes would be contentious, especially in areas of the currently quarantined forests. “I think it’s unlikely you’re going to get all parties together on that one,” he said.

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World’s Tallest Tropical Trees Discovered

By Kevin McLean
National Geographic
November 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The tallest tropical tree in the world is right where we thought it was—in a protected forest reserve in the state of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. But it’s not the one we thought. Greg Asner of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) revealed the new record holder this week in his keynote speech at the 2016 International Heart of Borneo Conference. … However, concurrent laser scanning in May 2016 across a broad swath of Sabah’s forests conducted by Asner shows that one behemoth tree on a hillside in Danum Valley, another protected reserve, measures 94.1 meters (308.7 feet), surpassing the Maliau specimen for the honor of the world’s tallest tropical tree.

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Forestry industry at loggerheads

by SALLY GLAETZER
The Mercury
November 14, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…Gay is pale and clearly fatigued late on this Friday afternoon when we meet as planned in the company’s tiny, bare-walled conference room. Gone is the bolshie businessman I spoke with earlier in the week by phone when he told me – with good humour – he had no desire to participate in a profile article for TasWeekend. “If you lose a grand final, that’s it,” Gay had said. “You can’t go back and play it again.” This is Gay’s admission that the other side has won, referring to what he calls “the extreme green groups” who undermined his plans for a pulp mill and – he says – manoeuvred behind the scenes to have him ousted from Gunns, the once-mighty timber giant he ran for nearly four decades. He similarly blames outside forces for his criminal conviction for insider trading in 2013.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Letter: EPA needs to fix admitted error so biomass can advance

by Bruce Daucsavage, president of Ochoco Lumber Co.
The Bend Bulletin
November 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West


… But the inaction of the EPA is holding up further investment in biomass energy. More than six years after the agency acknowledged that it had mistakenly adopted policy treating biomass as a fossil fuel, the EPA has yet to correct the record. This is problematic because the state of Oregon, European Commission, United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and scientists around the world have all recognized biomass as a vital renewable energy source. To end this uncertainty and provide states like Oregon clarity to move forward, a group of bipartisan members of Congress is proposing legislation to end the uncertainty on federal policy recognizing the carbon benefits of many forms of biomass.

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