Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: December 2016

Business & Politics

These Are The Provinces Most At Risk From A Trump Presidency

By Daniel Tencer
Huffington Post
December 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Donald Trump’s anti-trade agenda could prove to be a problem for Canada, but the risks aren’t spread evenly, TD Bank says in a new report — some parts of Canada are much more exposed to Trump’s potential policies than others. “Based on export intensity, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. stand to be most negatively impacted by protectionist measures undertaken in the United States,” economists Beata Caranci, Michael Dolega and Dina Ignjatovic wrote. …Canada and the U.S. have been involved in a dispute over trade in softwood lumber since this summer. A previous agreement on lumber exports expired last year. …The TD Bank report, which said British Columbia and Quebec have the most at stake in the lumber dispute, called it “the first test of the Trump administration’s stance on trade with Canada.”

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Freeland touts trade ties to Trump team

by Mike Blanchfield
Canadian Pressin the Orangeville Banner
December 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Donald Trump has pledged to fix a lot of broken things when he becomes U.S. president. But Canada’s trade minister says the world-leading trade relationship between Canada and the United States need not be on the president-elect’s to-do list. “I think the reality is the trading relationship with Canada is the farthest possible thing from being broken. It is very balanced and mutually beneficial,” Chrystia Freeland told The Canadian Press in an interview Wednesday. …She made no attempt to minimize the ongoing effort to reach a new agreement on softwood lumber. Teams of negotiators are meeting this week, but Freeland said she needs a crystal ball to predict whether the two sides can strike a deal by Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The ongoing softwood saga predates Trump’s arrival in politics.

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City wants PST chopped for forest sector

by Richard Rolke
Vernon Morning Star
December 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vernon politicians are joining a B.C. chorus to have taxes reduced for the forestry sector. Council decided Monday to demand that the provincial sales tax on electricity be eliminated to improve the competitiveness of the forestry industry and protect jobs. “It enables businesses, and especially energy-intensive businesses, to operate efficiently,” said Coun. Scott Anderson. Mayor Akbal Mund says Vernon-based Tolko Industries spends about $500,000 a year on PST, while the other local firm impacted is DCT Chambers. “This would obviously save them money,” he said.

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Local Conservative MP believes softwood lumber talks could get worse

by Kyle Balzer
My PG Now
December 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Trade issues around softwood lumber between Canada and the United States still haven’t been resolved. The American-side has said it will begin investigating whether Canadian practices result in an unfair advantage over their lumber producers. Bob Zimmer, Conservative MP for Prince George, Peace River, and the Northern Rockies, says previous American actions have led to big concerns. “It’s going to affect our area in the Northeast of the province dramatically and it’ll be concerns with what the future will bring for the forest industry in Canada. I know some of our lumber producers are going to be okay, but it’s the small producers that I’m concerned about.”

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Softwood war, beetle battle, loggers laid low

By Gordon Hamilton – 8 things that mattered in forestry
Business in Vancouver
December 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West


Great Bear Rainforest Agreement: On February 1, the B.C. government signed off on a landmark agreement that ended 20 years of environmental conflict over logging on B.C.’s central coast. U.S. housing market recovery:  After almost a decade of decline, stagnation and false beginnings, the annualized rate of U.S. housing starts hit a nine-year high in October of 1.32 million. Low Canadian dollar:  The dollar remained low in 2016, boosting revenues for B.C. forest companies at critical time in the U.S. housing cycle. B.C. Softwood lumber war: After a 10-year hiatus, U.S. producers launched the fifth softwood dispute with Canada in late November by filing a petition seeking countervailing and anti-dumping duties.

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Stillwater tops Powell River Regional District agendas

By Chris Bolster
Powel River Peak
December 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stillwater land-use issues figured prominently last week at Powell River Regional District meetings. Nanaimo-based forestry company Island Timberlands owns District Lot 3040, the 48-hectare parcel of land that includes Stillwater Bluffs and other industrial lands around Stillwater Bay. Conservationists and outdoor recreation advocates have long pushed for the purchase of the land to protect the area. Stillwater Bluffs is listed as one of the regional district’s top five sites for protection. Stillwater School Road resident Abby McLennan appeared before the regional district planning committee… the current proposed beach access in Island Timberlands’ preliminary approved subdivision plan would not be usable to residents, but with some course alterations it could be.

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J.D. Irving, Limited Forecasts Hiring Over 8,600 between 2017 and 2019

JD Irving
December 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Over the next three years, we are forecasting over 8,600 hires across our operations in Canada and the U.S. The forecast is the result of retirements, anticipated business growth, and normal workforce turnover. 89% of jobs in Atlantic Canada “When we look at our three-year forecast from 2017-2019, 89% of the jobs we need to fill are in the Atlantic provinces,” said Jeff Green, Director, Talent Recruitment with JDI. “70% of those jobs are in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia alone.” Across our organization, the operations with the highest number of job opportunities include retail business, manufacturing shipbuilding, shipping, supply chain and logistics, and engineering. 

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Current Use ruling sets dangerous precedent for landowners, experts say

By Emma Lamberton
Vermont Watchdog
December 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Foresters say Weyerhaeuser Co.’s recent loss at the Vermont Supreme Court will affect large and small property owners alike and set a dangerous precedent of courts deferring to government agencies. In September, the high court ruled that Plum Creek, recently bought by Weyerhaeuser, violated state Current Use guidelines on a small section of its enrolled property. As a result, the company’s 50,000 acres may be removed from Vermont’s tax deduction program, resulting in a charge of over $1 million. While the state targeted Vermont’s largest landowner, Jonathan Wood, a private forester and former secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, says the case has implications for others.

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VicForests extended AFS certification to its western forestry operations in Australia

Lesprom Network
December 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

VicForests has successfully extended its certification to the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) to include community forestry operations in western Victoria, Australia, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Nathan Trushell, Acting CEO VicForests, said that this is the first time VicForests has sought certification for its community forestry operations. There are nine criteria that forest managers must meet to receive certification including the need to protect biodiversity, maintain forest health, protect soil and water and to maintain and enhance social and economic benefits. VicForests is audited every nine months by accredited auditors in order to maintain its certification.

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Forestry NSW gets official caution following investigation

Northern Rivers Echo
December 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

THE Forestry Corporation NSW has been issued with an Official Caution following an investigation into its harvesting operation in the Cherry Tree State Forest near Casino. The NSW Environment Protection Authority completed its second stage of investigations and identified a number of concerns including inadequate drainage along haulage tracks and failure to retain an appropriate number of habitat trees in harvested areas. … “We have made it explicitly clear to Forestry Corporation NSW that, given the thoroughness of the investigations, any failure to improve performance will result in the EPA escalating its response through additional, stronger enforcement actions,” Mr Hood said.

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Valutec to supply new timber kiln to Glennon Brothers’ sawmill in Troon, Scotland

Lesprom Network
December 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Glennon Brothers’ sawmill Adam Wilson has invested in a new timber kiln from Valutec. The equipment to be delivered will be one of the first modern continuous kilns in the British Isles, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The mill is located in Troon, Ayrshire. The Irish sawmill group Glennon Brothers purchased the sawmill three years ago and initiated an overhaul of the kilns. The kiln is an OTC continuous kiln and has a capacity of approximately 50,000 cubic metres per year. It is equipped with a heat recovery system, pressure frames and Valutec’s Valmatics control system. It will be used to dry boards and planks to a target moisture content of 20%.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Former Hearst student recognized for wood research

Northern Ontario Business
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

A former Hearst resident is the recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the Canadian Wood Council (CWC) for his studies in wood. Daniel Lacroix was born and raised in Hearst, but is completing his doctoral research at the University of Ottawa. According to the CWC, Lacroix’s work “investigates the behaviour of glulam beam and column structural elements subjected to simulated blast loading and potential glulam reinforcement options.”… Established 13 years ago, the memorial scholarship is awarded yearly to graduate students whose wood research exemplifies the same level of passion that Catherine Lalonde championed relentlessly for the wood/wood products industry as a professional engineer and president of the CWC. 

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Daniel Lacroix humbled by Canadian Wood Council scholarship

by Patricia Williams
Daily Commerical News
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Growing up in northern Ontario, University of Ottawa graduate student and recent Canadian Wood Council (CWC) scholarship recipient Daniel Lacroix has long had an interest in wood as a construction material. …. “I realized the full potential of wood structures while working on the course project, which consisted of designing a mid-rise wood hybrid structure.” …Lacroix, who plans to complete his PhD by next September, said he was honoured to receive the Catherine Lalonde Memorial Scholarship from the CWC. Established 13 years ago, the scholarship is awarded annually to graduate students whose wood research exemplifies the same level of passion that Lalonde championed for the wood and wood products industry as a professional engineer and CWC president.

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Weyerhaeuser contributes to Clemson Wood Utilization and Design Institute

By Denise Attaway
Clemson Newsstand
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CLEMSON — The Clemson University Wood Utilization and Design Institute continues to add to its cadre of founding partners and has received a $50,000 boost to help support the advancement of the South Carolina wood industry. The gift comes from the Weyerhaeuser Company. The money will be used to help fund the institute, which brings together foresters, architects, engineers, constructors and building industry stakeholders to design advances in wood-based products through education and training, product research and development, as well as development of technical and design solutions. “This gift will be used to support our institute as we go forward,” said Pat Layton, director of the Wood Utilization and Design Institute. A Weyerhaeuser representative will serve on the institute’s advisory board and will work with other board members to shape the direction of the institute.”

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4 lumber defects that could lead to roof frame failures

By Charles C. Roberts
PropertyCasualty360
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Wood used in roof framing is not a homogeneous material. Various defects are present depending on the grade and method of cutting: plain sawn, quarter sawn and rift sawn. Plain sawn (also known as flat sawn) is the type of cut most commonly found in lumber and the least expensive way to turn logs into lumber. The rings comprise 30 degrees or less of the board face. In quarter sawn wood, the rings in the wood intersect at a 60 to 90-degree angle, creating an intersecting design in the wood.

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Extend Wood Pole Life

Transmission and Distribution World
December 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

…Rovakaira considers the failure of wood poles from ground rot a major problem, as it is more likely to occur during the severe winter conditions because of excessive ice loading and trees falling on overhead line conductors. The average life of wood poles in Finland is more than 50 years. Current utility practice is to replace overhead lines supported by time-expired wood poles with underground cables or, in some instances, with new overhead lines constructed adjacent to roads for ease of access… Based on the research, it was evident to Rovakaira that using additional protection against decay on the vulnerable ground line section of the pole would help to reduce outages from pole failures while significantly extending pole life, resulting in excellent cost savings.

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Forestry

Wood Business – Editor’s Picks 2016

Wood Business
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Introducing the top 10 Editor’s Picks of Canadian Forest Industries stories from 2016!  

  1. Top 10 Under 40 – From a logging operations supervisor in Nova Scotia to an accountant in Vancouver
  2. DEMO International – Thousands converged in Maple Ridge, BC
  3. Made in the grade – The original Gorman Bros. office after 60 years
  4. Canada’s 2015 wildfire season burned over three million hectares 
  5. Port Alice family perseveres in face of tragedy 
  6. Carrot River Optimized: Saskatchewan sawmill gets $25M upgrade
  7. Contractors share views (survey results)
  8. Weathering the softwood storm – the softwood lumber war 
  9. Optimized for change: Teal Jones’ new trimmer optimizer
  10. Boisaco sawmill’s journey to success after three bankruptcies

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Great Fire of 1886 gave birth to 2016’s tallest Vancouver tree

by Kent Spencer
The Vancouver Sun
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver was razed to the ground during the Great Fire of 1886, but the city and its people came back stronger than ever. So has Mother Nature. A Douglas fir, spawned in the charred remains of Stanley Park about 129 years ago, is now the city’s tallest tree at 63 metres (206 feet), outpacing nearby giants which are at least 300 years older. “I was stunned when I heard. It’s pretty neat,” said Paul Lawson, director of the UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge. “Fire is nature’s way of cleaning. The soil is sterilized and diseases removed. It’s a rejuvenating force.” The fir is part of a tall, thin stand south of Beaver Lake which has shot upward to capture as much of the sun’s energy as possible. The city’s highest tree was identified by Ira Sutherland, a research forest employee who fancies himself an evergreen enthusiast and big tree hunter.

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Cranbrook property protected as part of $1-million conservation commitment

Boundary Sentinel
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Cranbrook area property home to a wide variety of wildlife has been acquired by the Province, thanks to a partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). The property consists of: 0.6 hectares at Elizabeth Lake Conservation area near Cranbrook, which includes a bird sanctuary, hiking trails and wetland and shoreline habitat. It is among four ecologically-sensitive properties the Province recently assumed ownership of through the partnership with the NCC. These properties all contain diverse habitats. “It was important that the Province stepped in with the funds to ensure that Elizabeth Lake remains undeveloped,” said Bill Bennett, MLA Kootenay East.

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New regulations enact historic Great Bear Rainforest legislation

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2017, following the enactment of regulations that bring the act into force and fulfill government’s commitment to ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest. The Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order was finalized in February 2016, and the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act received Royal Assent in May 2016. The regulations announced today bring the act into effect and meet government’s commitment to full implementation of ecosystem-based management in the area. Special forest management areas are areas where commercial timber harvesting is not allowed.

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Where the Road Begins: Second-growth forests all connected by ecology of Powell River area

By Erin Innes
Powell River Peak
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Just up the road from me this week, an excavator and a feller-buncher are chewing their way through a new cutblock. According to BC Timber Sales, it is an age class 6 forest, meaning trees of 100 to 120 years of age, which is older than feller-bunchers and chemically managed replanting schemes. It might be second growth, but it’s still old enough to actually be called a forest. A modern tree plantation is as different from a natural forest as a suburban lawn is different from a wild meadow. BC Timber Sales will tell you that there is an old-growth management area in the north-eastern corner of this block, extending into the protected area around the Sunshine Coast Trail to the north. They will also be quick to point out that it is only a five-hectare block, so it does really mean much.

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Canada-B.C. partnership to train British Columbians for local jobs in Pemberton

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
BC Government
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Up to 36 British Columbians from Pemberton, Mount Currie and surrounding areas are receiving the training they need for jobs in their communities, thanks to the federal-provincial partnership under the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement. Approximately $429,000 has been allocated to Stillwater Consulting Ltd. to deliver the Silviculture and Wildland Firefighting Essentials training. This project includes classroom and field instruction, and will prepare participants for jobs such as wildland firefighters as well as forestry field workers with specialized skills in silviculture. To deliver the training, Stillwater Consulting has partnered with several local employers including Timber West, Lil’wat Forestry Ventures, Hedberg and Associates and Tsain-Ko Forestry.

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Powell River community forest to increase harvest

by Chris Bolster
Powell River Peak
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The amount of timber coming out of Powell River’s community forest is slated to increase by almost half after the BC government signed off on its latest management plan this summer. City of Powell River’s committee of the whole received a letter from Powell River Community Forest president Greg Hemphill at its meeting on Tuesday, December 13. The letter states that in July, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations approved the community forest board’s latest management plan for the 7,100-hectare forestland located east of the city and the Duck Lake Protected Area. Powell River Community Forest is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the city.

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Stephen Hume: Books that tell the stories of BC, Part 2

By Stephen Hume
Vancouver Sun
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan – If B.C. is the most environmentally aware and active province in Canada, it’s partly because of the unpardonable beauty and diversity of its landscape, flora and fauna. This is a province of superlatives. …McTaggart Cowan has been called the “father of Canadian ecology.” That’s a simplification, of course. Comox naturalist Mack Laing, a mentor of McTaggart Cowan’s and Campbell River writer Roderick Haig-Brown both exemplify that claim, too. …The Sustainability Dilemma: Essays on British Columbia Forest and Environmental History – “The War in the Woods” raged across B.C. from the boreal forests of the north to the rain forests of Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island. Protests against logging practices in Clayoquot Sound resulted in the largest mass trials for civil disobedience in Canadian history.

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The crisis condition on national forests

Helena Independent Record
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Dale Bosworth and Jack Blackwell correctly stated the crisis condition that exists on many of our national forests. They recommended that Congress should provide USFS with more support to implement scientific forest management to solve the problem. However, Bosworth and Blackwell failed to state that, with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act, USFS already has the tools it needs to address the crisis. In fact, USFS has had at least 50 years to use those tools and employ scientific management to prevent the development of what was a predictable crisis. Instead of advocating scientific management, foresters like Bosworth and Blackwell used NEPA and NFMA to perpetuate single use management and fire suppression. 

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Nominations are open for the Hawaii ‘Big Tree Competition’ for 2017

By Hawaii Big Tree Program
Hawaii 24/7
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

HONOLULU – As the year comes to a close, American Forests has announced their new line of champion trees for the 2016 Big Tree registry. Five Hawai‘i trees stand among the 64 newly crowned champions across the nation. Participation from local communities has helped the Hawai‘i Big Tree program locate some of the biggest trees of various species. This now increases Hawai‘i’s Big Tree count to 12 champion trees from Hawai‘i, Moloka?i, and O‘ahu. Hawai‘i Island holds the record for champion trees, contributing ten of the 12 national champions. In particular, Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, now holds over half of the national champion trees.

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In Eastern Oregon, A Quieter Battle Over Federal Land Is Unfolding

by Andrew Selsky
Associated Press in the Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


On a recent wintry evening, members of the Grant County Public Forest Commission walked into the warmth of a rustic diner and took seats at their customary table for their bimonthly meeting. They voiced anger and frustration. At this meeting, they were officially a non-entity. A judge this fall dissolved the commission at the behest of a former county supervisor who worried it was becoming a risk, citing the takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in a neighboring county. …But now, the forest commissioners say, the government is tightening access to the same natural resources by closing roads and curtailing logging and other industries that allowed previous generations to be self-sufficient. The commissioners feel they lost, by the stroke of a judge’s pen, a tool voters gave them to fight back.

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Is the forest service supplying enough Tongass timber?

By Elizabeth Jenkins
KTOO
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service wears a lot of hats. The agency oversees federal lands, repairs salmon streams, and auctions off trees. In Alaska, timber sales are intended to stimulate the local economy, but industry groups say that through the years the forest service hasn’t made enough logs available to keep the industry alive. Now, with changes to federal regulations, even less old growth is slated for market. …Although the Tongass is large, what the forest service has set aside for market is relatively small — somewhere between 6 to 8 percent. First the agency has to figure out where a sale would be viable. Then, Harris says the timber sale goes through a lengthy process that includes environmental assessments and an objection period. “There’s a lot of steps,” Harris said.

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Logging complaints: Forest Service hears feedback on Fryingpan timber plan

By Elizabeth Stewart-Severy
Aspen Public Radio
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service has a plan to clear cut some sections of the Upper Fryingpan Valley, beyond Ruedi Reservoir. The first round of public comment has ended, and some people are not happy about logging operations in this recreational area. John Swomley’s family has owned a cabin in the Upper Fryingpan Valley, near Meredith, since the early ‘60s. He and family enjoy fly fishing, mountain biking and running in the White River National Forest, far from the bustle of city life in Boston, where Swomley is a lawyer. “I’m not just speaking of the distraction of tractor trailers running, with noise and dust billowing and echoing through the valley,” Swomley wrote in his letter to the Forest Service. “I’m speaking of the heartache of having to look at the scarred countryside.”

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One year after refuge takeover, quieter land battle unfolds

By Andrew Selsky
Associated Press in Columbia Basin Herald
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JOHN DAY, Ore. — On a recent wintry evening, members of the Grant County Public Forest Commission walked into the warmth of a rustic diner and took seats at their customary table for their bimonthly meeting. They voiced anger and frustration. At this meeting, they were officially a non-entity. A judge this fall dissolved the commission at the behest of a former county supervisor who worried it was becoming a risk, citing the takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in a neighboring county.

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My Turn: After a long wait, breakthrough in the Tongass

by Rand Hagenstein, Alaska state director for The Nature Conservancy & Christine Woll, Southeast Alaska program director for The Nature Conservancy.
The Juneau Empire
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After decades of wrangling over the future of timber on the Tongass National Forest, a group of people from all walks of life came together in 2014 to find a new way forward. Appointed by the U.S. Forest Service, the committee included representatives from the timber industry, Native corporations, tribes, commercial fisheries, conservation groups and other forest users. …When the U.S. Forest Service released its updated plan for managing the future of the Tongass timber harvest earlier this month, we were heartened to see the agency adopt the Tongass Advisory Committee’s hard-won recommendations. It’s a breakthrough for Southeast Alaska because it ends the logjam that has plagued decision-making in the forest for far too long.

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Wild Lands: The Missing Piece in Maine’s Land Conservation Mosaic

By Mark K Anderson, School of Economics, UMaine
Bangor Daily News
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Mainers are proud of our forest heritage and we often claim to be the “most forested” state in the Union. Those forest lands are best thought of as a mosaic of uses and ownership types. We have industrial forest lands owned by corporations, families, and various investment schemes like Real Estate Investment Trusts. Some lands are in so-called kingdom lots, large parcels owned by wealthy individuals who use them as private play grounds. There are lands in Federal ownership like Acadia National Park and a small portion of the White Mountain National Forest located in Western Maine. 

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Cottonwood Decision Harms Commonsense Forest Management Projects

Mineral Independent
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. CONGRESS —U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke underscored the urgency in reversing the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. U.S. Forest Service by introducing bipartisan bicameral legislation to do just that. The bill seeks to codify the Obama administration’s position that federal agencies are not required to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service at a programmatic level when new critical habitat is designated or a new species is listed. “Congress needs to take urgent action to reverse the disastrous activist court ruling for the sake of forest health, recreation, and watershed and habitat protection,” Daines stated.

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California Forests Failing to Regrow After Intense Wildfires

By Bob Berwyn
InsideClimate News
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


There are warning signs that some forests in the western U.S. may have a hard time recovering from the large and intense wildfires that have become more common as the climate warms. After studying 14 burned areas across 10 national forests in California, scientists from UC Davis and the U.S. Forest Service said recent fires have killed so many mature, seed-producing trees across such large areas that the forests can’t re-seed themselves. And because of increasingly warm temperatures, burned areas are quickly overgrown by shrubs, which can prevent trees from taking root.

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Editorial: Don’t sell bonds for the Elliott State Forest

Bend Bulletin
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Now, faced with actual willing buyers, a partnership between a timber company and Indian tribe, and vociferous opposition from a slew of environmental groups, the land board is waffling, and doing so badly. Thus, meeting Dec. 13, the board agreed to continue to work on the current sale proposal but to also consider selling $100 million in state bonds to buy the Elliott out of any obligation to the Common School Fund. It’s a terrible idea. Selling bonds will raise money for schools, to be sure, but the state will continue to spend money on the Elliott to keep it healthy. The current sale offer, meanwhile, includes both a guarantee of public access to the land and protection for old-growth timber. Moreover, the state’s take from the sale is more than double what the bond sale would bring.

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Slow timber sales lead to wood piling up for area loggers

By Rick Olivo
Ashland Daily Press
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A soft market for timber is causing many loggers to either postpone cutting or to leave logs piled up at landings until they can find buyers for their wood. According to Ashland County Forest Administrator Chris Hoffman, the slowdown has already had an impact on Ashland County stumpage sales. “We opened bids here three weeks ago and the money that we are getting in, the stumpage we are selling is less than it was last year at this time, but the loggers are still producing wood,” he said. Hoffman said markets for timber cut in Wisconsin’s north woods has become “extremely soft.”

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Wildfire burns in central Oklahoma but no structures lost

Associated Press in Washington Post
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SHAWNEE, Okla. — Dry conditions plus blown-down trees from a tornado several years ago in central Oklahoma are fueling a wildfire that continues to burn Wednesday morning. No structures have been lost and no one has been hurt. Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker says the fire was about 60 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. It’s burning near Shawnee, or about 30 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. So far, the fire has burned about 140 acres in the area. Finch-Walker says officials are still investigating what sparked the blaze, but it appears to be “human-caused” because there were no signs of natural causes, such as a lightning strike.

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Logging a change in the landscape

by John Gilbey
The Guardian
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…Working outwards from the old track that loops sinuously across the hillside, heavy machinery was quickly and efficiently removing the trees, leaving the profile of the hill oddly rebalanced. Within a week or so the familiar dull orange of autumn foliage was gone, leaving a briefly scarred residue from which the woodland will regenerate or be replanted.  I will miss the warm evening light rolling across the trees on the skyline. But while the larch added welcome colour to the autumn scenery, large blocks of single species have brought an almost industrial look to many areas of the Welsh hills. By restocking these woodlands with a wider range of species, we have the opportunity to develop a more ecologically valuable landscape.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Seeing the Forest for the Trees, Part Five

Editorial By Bill Hudson
Pagosa Daily Post
December 22, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…Over the past 20 years, forestry science has been formulating new theories about the connection between fire and forest health. Some experts feel that, by suppressing wildfire in our Western forests, we have created unhealthy — and dangerous — conditions that will, if left treated, inevitably lead to ever-more-disastrous wildfires. When Pagosa businessman J.R Ford began assembling the partnership that eventually named itself Renewable Forest Energy LLC, he had a very different view of forestry resources from what had been exhibited by New Mexico Lumber Company and Pagosa Lumber Company a hundred years earlier. Rather than viewing the Archuleta County wilderness as a place to extract a valuable building material, Renewable Forest Energy looked at the vast Ponderosa forest as a sick patient in serious need of treatment.

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How Much Biofuel Do Santa’s Reindeer Need?

By Michael McDonald
Oil Price.com
December 22, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Each Christmas, around the world billions of children sit quietly in their beds at night pondering one of life’s biggest mysteries about a fat man in a red suit; ‘what are the propulsion specs on Santa’s sleigh and what is the relative level of its fuel economy?’… Now that Santa is focused on going green though, it’s time to consider how much biofuel the reindeer need. Or more precisely, how much biofuel could be created through the biomass ingested by Santa’s reindeer? And what is the cost of all that biomass?… Since Santa has 9 reindeer including newcomer Rudolph, he needs 1 billion pounds or about 500,000 tons of switchgrass. That 500,000 tons of switchgrass could have been used to produce about 10 million gallons of ethanol. Santa’s furry helpers require food from 67,000 acres of North Pole land at a cost of $2.0 million total. What a bargain!

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