Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 21, 2016

Business & Politics

Trudeau sounds pro-trade note at close of APEC summit amid cloudy future

By Jordan Press
Globe and Mail
November 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leaders from Asian and Pacific nations – so eager to cement free trade in the region – are leaving an annual summit facing an uncertain future about the movement of goods, people and services across borders. That uncertainty has been created with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump and his anti-trade rhetoric set to take over the White House, potentially leaving a leadership vacuum on the world stage. …But the prime minister is leaving Peru without a commitment from U.S. President Barack Obama on the ongoing softwood lumber dispute – “the American lumber industry has a large say in how this is going to unfold. Indeed they have a veto over what the administration might propose,” Trudeau said. Trudeau also didn’t say whether he would lobby Trump to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which the president-elect has spoken of fondly.

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Dear Canada: The U.S. election wasn’t about you

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
November 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canada should get on with building its own oil pipeline, worry more about president-elect Donald Trump’s disdain for currency manipulators and less about softwood lumber – and watch more hockey. That was some of the advice given by ambassadors to and from the U.S. at a sold-out talk Friday, November 18 – entitled President Trump: What it Means for Canada – hosted by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. As the former American ambassador to Canada, Gordon Giffin gets asked a lot these days what a Donald Trump administration will mean for Canada. “I respond by saying this election was not about you,” he said. “So move on. Once we figure out what it means for us, we’ll get back to you. “My advice is to take a deep breath, change the channel and watch some hockey.”

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How will Trump’s “America First” policy impact BC’s softwood lumber industry?

by Christopher Wilson
The Rebel
November 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States


…Presently the two countries are without a deal as the previous softwood lumber deal expired in October and the US has indicated it will allow unfettered access for BC lumber for the next year. But after that with a new fairly protectionist and certainly an America first Trump administration, we really can’t be sure how a new deal will shape up for this crucial industry to BC. In her statement to reporters, Clark showed why she’s such an effective leader and public speaker, outlining why she doesn’t think President-elect Trump and his new admin will want to risk a prolonged dispute with Canada over softwood lumber.

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Trump and trade deals: Softwood lumber worries increase

by ANDREA GUNN
Chronicle Herald
November 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States


Critics are concerned about the fate of Canada’s softwood lumber industry and pushing for a new deal before Donald Trump officially becomes president in the new year. The last softwood lumber agreement expired in the fall of 2015, and the mandated one-year period where American producers were prevented from challenging Canadian exports was up in October, however U.S. industry has yet to file a complaint. Warren Everson, senior vice-president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s largest business organization, said industry is “super concerned about the file. …When it comes to lumber, Atlantic Canada has more to lose than most jurisdictions.

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Canada threw US a bone by agreeing to re-open NAFTA, Santorum says

By Ainslie Cruickshank
iPolitics.ca
November 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have put Canada in a comprised position by signalling Canada’s willingness to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told CTV’s Question Period. While U.S. President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly criticized the trade agreement during his campaign, Santorum said Trump wasn’t talking about Canada. “I guarantee you he wasn’t thinking Canadian workers and Canadian trade, the fact is Canada has a trade deficit with the United States,” Santorum said, speaking to CTV’s Evan Solomon. …Both softwood lumber and livestock have been cited as two major Canadian issues potentially up for review. Bains said those “very important” files are a priority for the Canadian government.

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Former diplomats urge Canadians to calm down, accept U.S. elections results

by Ian Bailey
Globe and Mail
November 18, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canadians need to calm down and focus on making Canada-U.S. relations work during a Donald Trump presidency, a pair of former ambassadors say. Gary Doer, a former Canadian ambassador to the United States, and Gordon Giffin, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada appointed by Bill Clinton, urged Canadians to accept the election results during a joint presentation to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade on Friday. Mr. Doer, who spent six years as an ambassador, suggested that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have to emphasize possible points of co-operation with Mr. Trump on border issues and global-security matters. “I would suggest to [Mr. Trudeau] that you don’t ask for things when you are first meeting with the president. You offer to co-operate together.”

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Sawmill workers ‘wait and see’ how Trump handles softwood issue

by Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
November 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mill workers are taking a wait and see approach, when it comes to Donald Trump. Unifor spokesman Steve Boon says Hillary Clinton had more of a track record for them to follow. “With Trump right now, he’s a little bit on the erratic side,” Boon said. “So, you’re not sure. He’s come out with so many anti-trade statements that you’re not really sure where his priorities will be, in terms of picking a fight.” Residents of the northwest are watching closely, following the Nov. 8 vote, in order to see how the president-elect will govern. “He targeted NAFTA, and softwood lumber was never covered under NAFTA. So, it’s definitely concerning, and there’s a lot of uncertainty, in terms of what his position is going to be and how aggressive he’s going to be, in terms of picking fights.”

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Hardwoods Notified of US Trade Investigation Against Chinese Import Plywood

from Hardwoods Distribution Inc.
Canada Newswire press release
November 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

LANGLEY, BC, – Hardwoods Distribution Inc. (“Hardwoods” or the “Company”) today announced that on November 18, 2016 a trade petition was filed in the United States with respect to imported hardwood plywood from China (the “Petition”). The action was filed by a group of U.S. manufacturers of hardwood and decorative plywood (the “Petitioners”). The Petition, filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleges that imports of Chinese manufactured hardwood plywood are sold in the United States at prices below cost, and are subsidized by the Government of China.

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Mining, timber execs hoping Trump helps

By Steve Cameron
Coeur d’Alene Press
November 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

No one is willing to stray too far out on a limb, but executives within North Idaho’s mining and timber industries are hopeful that the coming administration of President-elect Donald Trump will produce some useful change. “I think the proper phrase would be ‘cautious optimism,’” said Ben Davenport, executive director of the Idaho Mining Association. “The election result was a pleasant surprise, but now we have to see if a lot of the things (Trump) has mentioned about helping businesses will translate into action that benefits our industry.” …Boeh said the timber industry’s unhappiness with what he called “fringe environmental groups” stems from the fact that anyone can hire an attorney and sue to halt a project — but without proposing any alternative to the industry’s plan. “We like to see legislation put in place that establishes a ‘baseball arbitration’ system,” Boeh said. “Let both sides present their solution to an arbitrator, make their case and get an up-or-down decision.

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Demand for timber is exceeding supply so forestry is worth a look

Leinster Express
November 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

With demand for Irish timber greatly exceeding supply and with the anticipated growth in the requirement for woody biomass from the renewable sector the continued expansion of the private forest estate through new afforestation is the cornerstone to fulfilling this demand. Forestry plays a significant role in contributing environmentally, economically and socially to rural Ireland and accordingly has the continued support and confidence of the Irish Government through state aid and tax relief. Indeed the role forest expansion can play in allowing Ireland offset our excess carbon emissions, particularly from within the Agri sector, has been acknowledged in agreements recently reached in the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Stolen fencing fuels demand for weathered wood in a case of highway robbery

By Glenda Luymes
Vancouver Sun
November 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A home decor trend appears to be fuelling a series of “highway robberies” in the B.C. Interior. The B.C. Cattlemen’s Association has had six reports of stolen fencing along Highway 5 this fall, general manager Kevin Boon told Postmedia News. It is believed the weathered wood is being sold to Lower Mainland homeowners eager to add a “rustic touch” to their living spaces. Although wood rustling sounds like the plot of a particularly bad Western novel, the theft of $50,000 worth of fencing could create a dangerous situation as cattle return home from the range this fall. The wood has been stolen from the sides of highway underpasses that allow cows to cross beneath the Coquihalla, explained Boon. “Imagine 200 head of cattle trying to funnel through (when) they find a break in the fence. They could end up on the highway.”

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Town Talk: Architect foresees wooden towers higher than the tallest trees.

by Malcolm Parry
The Vancouver Sun
November 17, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

THE NEW FIFTY: Editor Anicka Quin introduced Vancouver magazine’s annual “Power 50” citizens at a Vancouver Club reception recently. …Of the 21 present, and making his first appearance on the list, city-based architect Michael Green is nominated for bigger recognition. It’s a much-coveted 2017 Marcus Wallenberg Prize for scientific breakthroughs in forestry that, being made in Sweden, is sometimes compared to Nobel Prizes. It’s worth watching Green’s address at the prize ceremony’s recent symposium in Stockholm (http://mwp.org/symposium/symposium-2016/ and scroll down). In it, he envisaged a mass-wood tower matching the Empire State Building, proposed a global resource for all parties to wood-construction projects, and reported on an international competition for such buildings’ designers.

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Construction workers file suit in fatal Wake Tech pedestrian bridge collapse

By Thomasi McDonald
The News & Observer
November 18, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

RALEIGH- A Raleigh attorney has filed a lawsuit on behalf of construction workers who were killed or injured while pouring concrete onto the span of an unfinished pedestrian bridge that collapsed on Wake Tech’s Northern Wake Campus two years ago this month. The complaint, filed in Wake County District Court, seeks financial damages in excess of $250,000 from two companies involved in the project: architectural and engineering firm Clark Nexsen and Structurlam Products Limited, a Canadian company that provided the laminated wood timbers for the bridge. Others named include Clark Nexsen structural engineer and architect Don Kranbuehl and Kris Spickler, a structural engineer with The Heavy Timber Group, a subsidiary of Structurlam Products.

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Lendlease opens Yarrabilba Sales and Information Centre made entirely of CLT

Architecture and Design
November 21, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Lendlease has opened a new sales and information centre for its upcoming community development in South East Queensland, Yarrabilba made from Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). The project continues a recent spate of development within Australia using the low carbon material, including the recently topped-out six-storey International House Sydney at Barangaroo and a three tower residential CLT project at Macarthur Gardens in Sydney which also well underway and is already the largest CLT project ever to be undertaken in Australia. An innovative building material used as an alternative to concrete and steel, CLT has a low carbon footprint, with the timbers sourced from certified sustainably managed forests and the production process producing zero waste.

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Forestry

New scenic and visual quality objectives for Sea to Sky

Government of BC
November 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective Nov. 17, 2016, new scenic area and visual quality objectives have been established, under the Forest and Range Practices Act, in the Shannon Creek watershed portion of the Sea to Sky Natural Resource District. The visual quality objective in one area was changed from ‘retention’ to ‘partial retention’ and in another area from ‘partial retention’ to ‘retention’ so that viewscapes from the recently opened Sea to Sky Gondola are not affected by forestry operations. The ministry announced the intent to amend visual quality objectives in the Shannon Creek area in June 2016. Members of the public, forest licensees, First Nations, recreational stakeholders, BC Parks and the District of Squamish were given an opportunity to share their comments and provide input into the final decision.

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Logging looms over the Kootenays’ old-growth forests, says filmmaker

CBC News
November 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A pristine old growth forest in B.C.’s Kootenay region is at risk of being logged, according to documentary filmmaker Damien Gillis. The forest is tucked away within the Selkirk mountains and runs along the Incomappleux river. It is home to trees that are up to 1,800 years old and that could legally be cut down, according to activist groups in the region that worked alongside the filmmaker. “[The Incomappleux forest] is under tree lot licenses that are held by Interfor, so it could be logged at any time,” Gillis told host Sheryl MacKay on CBC’s North by Northwest. Logging of the forest has been contested by activists for decades. The Valhalla Wilderness Society is one of several organizations that have fought to protect the area.

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Trappers blast clear cutting

by Kate Bouey
Castanet
November 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Trappers with lines in the Okanagan and Shuswap say clear-cut logging is leading to the decimation of some species and devastation of massive swathes of forest. While the practice has gone on for years, there is concern that several areas have been overlogged. “These are large cut blocks with no wildlife corridors and beside areas that were fairly recently logged, probably 15 years ago or so,” said Ron Lancour, who traps in November and December on the backside of Big White and near Graystokes Provincial Park. Lancour pointed the finger at BC Timber Sales as well as logging companies. “They don’t seem to have a plan. They seem to find a block of mature timber, put a boundary around it and sell it.

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Appeal to be heard over fines in Cherryville landslide

By Charlotte Helston
Infotel News
November 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

NORTH OKANAGAN – An appeal will be heard in early 2017 into a pair of fines imposed against Tolko Industries and Weyerhaeuser for involvement in a Cherryville landslide. The slide happened four years ago in a logging area called Cherry Ridge, and resulted in debris landing close to a home. Following the slide, local residents and politicians pressured the provincial government to release its findings on the cause of the slide. Those reports were finally released last summer after Freedom of Information requests were filed by West Coast Environmental Law, on behalf of Cherryville residents. Revealed in the documents was a finding by the Ministry of Forests that a lack of properly placed drainage structures directly contributed to the slide.

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BC Forest Policy Killing Jobs in Small Communities, Say Critics

By Andrew MacLeod
TheTyee.ca
November 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government’s management of publicly owned forests has made small communities “collateral damage” and threatened their economic sustainability, according to a municipality in the province’s northeast. “The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality… is experiencing firsthand the downside of B.C.’s forest tenure system,” said the municipality in a Nov. 15 release. The municipality, which includes Fort Nelson, said the regional economy is already suffering from the downturn in the oil and gas sector and the government is standing in the way of efforts to generate more jobs from local forests.

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Ips beetle poses problems for local spruce trees

By James Chilton
Wyoming Tribune
November 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CHEYENNE – The city’s Urban Forestry division is warning residents that a new pest has set up shop in Cheyenne, and could be threatening area spruce trees for the next several years. The ips beetle has been showing up recently in some local Colorado blue spruce trees, encouraged in part by recent weather including a 2014 drought, some damaging hailstorms and a drier-than-average 2016 that has weakened the health of some local trees. Though they are not as devastating to tree populations as the more aggressive mountain pine beetle, ips beetles are opportunistic and do take advantage of trees that have been stressed in recent years. They work slow, taking two to three years to completely kill a tree, with earliest symptoms being the death of the upper limbs of an affected tree.

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That’s a wrap: Four decades and a year later, Rene Eustace retires from fighting fire

By PERRY BACKUS
Ravalli Republic
November 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


…Rene Eustace is one of those meticulous types that nearly anyone who has lived a life worth living wishes he could be. In tiny notebooks the size of a postcard, Eustace carefully preserved the memories each and every day of wildfire and the men and women he served with over the course four decades. Beyond that, he captured life on the front lines with photographs and on film. Last week, Eustace officially retired from his post with the Bitterroot National Forest after a 41-year career that began in the lookout tower at Medicine Point. Ask and he’ll tell you that he put in exactly 17,880.75 hours of overtime and flew 173 air patrol flights over the Bitterroot Forest searching for smoke. “I estimate that I flew 60,550 miles over the forest,” Eustace said.

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Trust lands advisory panel says ‘no’ to reconveyance to Clallam County

by Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
November 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Trust Lands Advisory Committee has reaffirmed its position on the reconveyance of state-managed forest trust lands: don’t try it. The ad hoc committee voted 9-3 Friday against a recommendation to reconvey 92,525 acres of state Department of Natural Resources timberland back to the county for management. The same committee voted 14-1 against reconveyance in June, but that action was determined to be invalid because the item was not posted on an agenda. Instead of recommending reconveyance to the three county commissioners, the trust lands panel will make a series of recommendations to the board. The recommendations will provide “guidance to ensure continual engagement with the Department of Natural Resources on how it’s promptly and adequately fulfilling its trust land objectives to Clallam County, its taxing districts and citizenry,” according to its charge.

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Massive forest death continues in California

Latest survey tallies more than 100 milion dead trees
Summit County Citizens Voice
November 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s long-term drought has claimed another 36 million trees, the U.S. Forest Service said this week, announcing the results of a new aerial survey. Since 2010, more than 100 million trees have died across 7.7 million acres, the agency said. …Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said a broken budget for the Forest Service sees an increasing amount of resources going to firefighting while less is invested in restoration and forest health. “These dead and dying trees continue to elevate the risk of wildfire, complicate our efforts to respond safely and effectively to fires when they do occur, and pose a host of threats to life and property across California,” said Vilsack.

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Government takes harder look at how roads may harm bull trout

Associated Press in The Oregonian
November 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho – Federal officials are reconsidering how roads and motorized trails in part of the Sawtooth National Forest could harm threatened bull trout following a lawsuit by an environmental group. As a result, a federal judge on Wednesday put a lawsuit by WildEarth Guardians on hold until Feb. 14 while the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service analyze how motorized travel and climate change could harm critical habitat for bull trout, a torpedo-shaped fish that needs clear, cold water to survive. Environmentalists say bull trout can be harmed by roads that block off sections of streams and isolate populations. Roads can also be a source of sediment entering streams.

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Another crisis for Trump: What to do about all the dead trees piling up in California

By Michael Doyle
Idaho Statesman
November 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON More than 102 million dead trees now litter California’s drought-flayed forests, according to the latest aerial survey, a finding likely to fuel a heated public-lands debate during the incoming Trump administration. The new number marks an increase of 36 million dead trees since the last Forest Service survey in May. “That’s a hell of a lot of wood,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an interview Friday. Vilsack, whose department includes the Forest Service, cited the sobering new survey as one more reason to reform the agency’s wildlands firefighting budget. A dramatic increase in forest fires has consumed a growing share of the Forest Service’s overall spending.

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Forest Service releases new alternative for Ten Mile-South Helena project

by TOM KUGLIN
Helena Independent Record
November 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest has released a new alternative for public comment for a major forestry project south and west of Helena. The Ten Mile-South Helena Project encompasses a more a more than 60,000-acre area from Helena’s South Hills to the Continental Divide. The project proposes timber harvest and prescribed burning with the goal of aiding wildland firefighters, improving trail maintenance and protecting infrastructure for Helena’s water supply and communities such as Unionville and Rimini from wildfire. The city of Helena convened a collaborative to analyze and comment on the project and it has also drawn interest from a number of conservation groups and area residents.

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6 groups want change in Grand Canyon monument proposal

Associated Press in Washington Post
November 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Six hunting and fishing groups are pushing for a compromise in the event the Obama administration designates a national monument around Grand Canyon National Park, a heated issue in the Southwest. They want a stretch of Forest Service land north of the Grand Canyon removed from a potential monument designation, allowing them to continue to hunt and fish on the land, reported the Arizona Daily Sun. Their proposal drew mixed reactions from monument supporters and opponents. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, introduced the monument legislation in October 2015.

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Regents Approve Renaming Forestry School In Honor Of UM’s Biggest Gift Ever

By Eric Whitney
Montana Public Radio
November 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Today the state board of regents approved re-naming a school and an academic program at the University of Montana in honor of a major financial contributor. University of Montana President Royce Engstrom: “Earlier this fall, Bill and Carolyn Franke and their family pledged $24 million to support the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation and the Global Leadership Initiative,” Engstrom said. “This gift is the largest single pledge in the University’s 123-year history, and we are deeply grateful for their generosity.”

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When timber’s threatened in Burney, ‘What other industry do you have left up here?’

By Alayna Shulman
Redding Record Searchlight
November 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…”We only have one housing facility here in town, one veterinarian,” the Burney Chamber of Commerce’s Jen Luck said. “There’s just one of everything, really.” But there’s at least one industry that has a bigger presence in the tiny alpine town — for now: timber, the same source of jobs Manuel saw leave Happy Camp and, in turn, forever change the Siskiyou County hamlet. Since 1990, there were at least 16 such closures or curtailments of wood mills in Shasta and Siskiyou counties alone, according to a Record Searchlight analysis of data from the Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council. That translates to nearly 1,700 lost jobs, per the council’s numbers.

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Land transfer agenda threatens public lands, state budgets

Chris Saeger, director of Western Values Project
Helena Independent Record
November 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Folks in the West love our public lands, and for many reasons; the ample places to hunt, fish, camp, hike, ride and otherwise enjoy the great outdoors are a significant reason they choose to live, work and raise our families where we do. …Let’s also hope that the leaders of the American Lands Council — the principal lobby group supporting land seizure — and its current CEO, Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, who recently published an opinion in this newspaper, follow his lead in this respect. ……In their pie-in-the-sky scenario, more revenue can be culled from our public lands through more aggressive logging, mining, grazing and development of these lands for direct revenue generation. This, they say, will leave counties and states flush with cash.

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Courts refuse to halt collaborative effort to manage Colville timber sale

Spokesman Review
November 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals has wisely allowed work to continue on the A to Z timber sale in the Colville National Forest, an innovative effort to preserve jobs in Colville and Usk while improving forest health. The ruling was significant because the same court has recently halted timber cutting in several Western Montana forests, including one sale east of Libby reservoir that had earlier passed judicial review. …But collaboration may be the best way to head off those who want the feds out of the forests. The Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, which includes representatives from the timber industry, local government and environmental groups, had worked on the A to Z plan for more than a decade.

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Logging effort above Route 56 in Lower Burrell a labor of love

By Mary Ann Thomas
Tribune-Review
November 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A succession of loud snaps from crashing limbs are followed by a final thud as a crew of Amish loggers cut century-old hardwood above Route 56 in Lower Burrell. Although youth football fans who regularly line Flyers Field might not consider the surrounding hillside a forest, to a forester, the heavily wooded area certainly qualifies. And the mature hardwood trees are ripe for select cutting. It’s a common practice, as Pennsylvania is the largest producer of hardwood lumber in the nation, according to the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry. The commonwealth’s $20 billion per year forest products industry employs about 100,000 Pennsylvanians.

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Geneticists on cutting edge of effort to save ash trees

by Jeff Mulhollem
Phys.org
November 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

When Kim Steiner created an ash plantation on the edge of Penn State’s University Park campus in 1978, few Americans thought about “climate change,” no one had heard of the emerald ash borer, and the Yankees beat the Dodgers in the World Series, swinging primarily bats made from ash. For ash trees, those surely were the good old days. …It turns out that the little-known ash plantation off of Porter Road near the University’s Swine Research Facility—the largest collection of green ash germplasm in one location in the world—likely will play a significant role in saving the species, which is being decimated by an insect from Asia. In Penn State’s ash plantation, in forests across Pennsylvania and in a growing portion of the East, the emerald ash borer is killing nearly all ash trees.

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Tree-killing beetle found in southwestern Ohio wildlife area

Associated Press in The Daily Progress
November 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

COLUMBUS, Ohio — State officials say trees infested with the Asian longhorned beetle have been found in a wildlife area in southwestern Ohio. The Ohio Department of Agriculture says the center of the newly discovered infestation is in a portion of the East Fork Wildlife Area in Clermont County. Officials say tree inspection crews are surveying to determine the extent of the infestation and any infested trees will be removed. The bullet-shaped, white-spotted black beetle was first identified in the state in 2011 and has led to removal of thousands of infested or high-risk trees in southwest Ohio. The beetle kills maples and many other hardwood tree species.

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Area wildfires getting closer to containment

WTVC
November 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — For weeks, a smoky haze hung over downtown Chattanooga and the surrounding area. Growing wildfires threatened homes, livelihoods and health. Sunday marked a new chapter in the fight against the three fires raging in Hamilton County. Anthony Petellat, Incident Commander with the Florida Forest Service, told NewsChannel 9 “the Flipper Bend Fire is 100% contained, the Poe Road Fire is 95% contained, and the Mowbray Mountain is 90% contained.” Blue skies and sunshine supported those figures.The five percent increase in containment came as a surprise after a 24 hour period of 15-25 mile per hour wind gusts.

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Forest fires burn 119,000 acres in 8 Southeastern states

by Steve Ahillen
USA Today
November 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Forest fires that have burned more than 119,000 acres in eight states and have people from Asheville to Atlanta smelling smoke continue to rage through most of the Southeast. More than 6,300 firefighters, some from as far as Alaska, are fighting fires that range from just a few acres to one in the Cohutta Wilderness in northern Georgia that has burned 27,000. That fire has burned more than a month and is just 20 percent contained. A total of 74 aircraft, including Black Hawk helicopters and BAE tanker jets, have been used. …“It has been quite a while since we had had this number of large fires at this many locations,” he said. “The last time it was comparable was in 2001 and even then it wasn’t this busy.”

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North Georgia fires grow; Villa Rica blaze underway

by Lauren Foreman
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Firefighting crews added hundreds of people from across the country and prepared for the long haul last week. The largest active fire, in Rough Ridge, was 55 percent contained Sunday night, and it probably won’t be completely contained until November 30, according to a report from the National Interagency Coordination Center, which helps coordinate efforts between multiple agencies. The Rough Ridge fire has burned about 27,870 acres in the Cohutta Wilderness area of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Fannin County, said Mary Stuever, a New Mexico fire official serving as a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman. She joined a team of about 258 people from several agencies who are helping fight the Rough Ridge fire.

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Firefighters brace for strong winds as blazes expected to burn through Thanksgiving

by Lauren Foreman Raisa Habersham
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 18, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Strong winds forecast for Saturday could spell more trouble for firefighters battling growing fires that torched more than 3,600 acres in the North Georgia mountains since Thursday. The smoke that has covered parts of the metro area for almost two weeks drifted away Friday, but expect winds reaching 30 mph to shift wildfire smoke back to the region Saturday. “We’ve taken precautionary steps to accommodate for the weather forecast,” Georgia Forestry Commission spokeswoman Wendy Burnett said. “(We’re) asking our personnel across the state to ensure that all of our county offices are either staffed through the weekend, or that personnel have their fire equipment with them so that they can respond to wildfires faster.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Congress must break logjam over biomass

November 21, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Washingtonians take climate change seriously. Our laws reflect that, by counting renewable biomass energy from our forests as climate-friendly in part because we sustain our working forests. But gridlock in the other Washington threatens to cripple investments essential to our state’s climate policy. Congress could change this. Until recently our federal government treated biomass energy as carbon-neutral, reflecting a well-established body of peer-reviewed science. Then in 2010, against the predominant view of science, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would regulate biomass the same as fossil fuels. Congressional opposition and the science community’s concerns led to the policy’s suspension pending revision by 2014. As of today, EPA hasn’t acted.

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Biomass plant shut down in midst of dead tree crisis

By Guy McCarthy
The Union-Democrat
November 18, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A Chinese Camp area plant that burns wood to make electricity has been shut down in the midst of a statewide tree mortality crisis. Operators of the 20-megawatt biomass plant called Chinese Station shut down Nov. 1 with no contract to provide electricity to a power company. Instead, the business is in the midst of what they call a “major refurbishment maintenance outage” and they expect to reopen in early spring, a director of operations says. “We are also in the process of purchasing fuel derived from tree mortality recovery efforts for at least the next five years. It is our plan to continue operations at Chinese Station for at least another five years,” said Rick Spurlock with IHI Power Services Corp., an owner of Chinese Station.

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