Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 22, 2016

Today’s Takeaway

Things That Mattered in 2016

Tree Frog Forestry News
December 22, 2016
Category: Today's Takeaway

In today’s news, veteran journalist Gordon Hamilton reveals his pick of top stories impacting the BC forest sector in 2016. Although we trust Gordon’s judgement on “what matters most”, we cross referenced his top-eight list with the number of stories we carried on each topic. Suffice to say, story frequency and story import don’t exactly align:

1. Great Bear Rainforest Agreement (80 stories)
2. US housing market recovery (20 stories)
3. Low Canadian dollar (30 stories)
4. Softwood lumber war (300+)
5. Mountain pine beetle (15)
6. Tall wood buildings (110)
7. Loggers face economic crisis (10)
8. Old-growth logging (150+)

The Huffington Post featured a story about which provinces were “Most at Risk From a Trump Presidency” based on their share of exports exposed. Although Nova Scotia, Ontario and PEI are the most exposed overall, BC was on top when considering forestry products only.

Finally, a special welcome and thank-you to our newest sponsor – BC Wood – the voice of the value-added wood products industry in BC. For more on BC Wood click here.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. has ‘social conversation’ with Trump

By Katharine Starr
CBC News
December 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

You never know who you might run into at a football game. For Canada’s ambassador to the United States, that run-in was with president-elect Donald Trump at the annual Army-Navy game in Baltimore….”I congratulated him, he said to say ‘Hi’ to the prime minister, [that he] looks forward to working with me, but there wasn’t anything substantive,” he added. …The ambassador also weighed in on key economic files between Canada and the United States, including the ongoing softwood lumber dispute — a conflict he said is “not at all” on the back burner until after Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. “We’ve been engaged in discussions with the U.S. Commerce Department, we’ve put forth our case…we continue to work towards finding a solution to this irritant,” MacNaughton said.

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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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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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Regional politicians keep talking to Tolko

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

North Okanagan politicians want to keep talking with a forestry giant. Regional District of North Okanagan directors have discussed a recent presentation from Tolko Industries. “We want to continue the dialogue,” said director Mike Macnabb. Previously, some elected officials across the province have suggested that they feel ignored by the forest industry. In his recent presentation, Tom Hoffman, Tolko’s manager of external and stakeholder relations, acknowledged the concerns. “We’re here to rectify this situation,” he said, adding that he wants to have further discussions with RDNO.

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Asia imports up as U.S. targets B.C. lumber

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
December 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The U.S. Commerce Department has announced it will investigate allegations of unfair imports of Canadian lumber, half of which comes from B.C… In a year-end interview, Premier Christy Clark said is confident Canada and B.C. can get an agreement with the new U.S. administration. “Donald Trump is a builder by profession,” Clark said. “He says he wants four per cent economic growth. He knows that the fastest way to move the American economy is through construction of residential housing. “Our argument for him is going to be, you need Canadian softwood in order to get that residential housing market really booming.”… Lumber prices and the international export market have expanded in 2016, as demand has increased in the U.S. and China.

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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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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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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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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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Judge upholds sawmill expansion

Bonner County Daily Bee
December 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SANDPOINT — A district judge is rejecting allegations that Bonner County acted illegally in approving the controversial expansion of a sawmill in the Selle Valley. The Bonner County Planning & Zoning Commission approved the Alpine Cedar mill’s expansion in 2015, but curtailed its hours of operation in acknowledgment of ongoing complaints from neighboring landowners who said noise and traffic from the mill was destroying the rural ambiance of the bucolic valley. Bonner County’s board of commissioners overturned P&Z ruling and loosened the hours of operations at the mill, which manufactures grilling planks, wraps and smoking chips for Wildwood Grilling. The board ruled that P&Z overstepped its authority and produced a decision which was not supported by the public record.

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Positive outlook for forest industry with strong domestic and export demand

By David Porter
New Zealand Herald
December 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The outlook for forestry is looking significantly better than a year ago, when high log inventories in the key China market were raising concerns. China exports have picked up again and forestry volumes are growing, with some early harvesting taking place to take advantage of strong domestic and export demand, say industry observers. “At the moment, our members wouldn’t want to be in there saying all is rosy and we’re quite confident,” said New Zealand Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes. “But there’s nothing on the horizon that suggests it’s not a good healthy market we can expect to be maintained.”

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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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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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Wood, Paper & Green Building

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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Cell wall ‘glue’ could make wooden skyscrapers possible

By Brooks Hays
United Press International
December 21, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

CAMBRIDGE, England — Scientists have discovered the secret to the strength of cell walls and the adhesive qualities of cellulose and xylan, two of nature’s largest molecules. The discovery could inspire wooden skyscrapers and more sustainable paper production processes. Cellulose and xylan are large, long molecules that give wood and straw their strength. They’re also very hard to digest. Scientists knew the two molecules stick together inside the cell walls of plants, but had, until now, failed to figure out how. …The discovery could help scientists make wood strong enough to support skyscrapers. The research could also help break down the two molecules. “One of the biggest barriers to ‘digesting’ plants — whether that’s for use as biofuels or as animal feed, for example — has been breaking down the tough cellular walls,” Paul Dupree said.

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Forestry

Great Bear Rainforest protection takes effect Jan. 1

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Regulations to introduce “ecosystem-based management” of a huge area of B.C.’s north and central coastal forest have been announced, setting annual logging limits and imposing protected areas. Of the 6.4 million hectares now known internationally as the Great Bear Rainforest, one third is off limits to commercial logging, and the rest allows low-impact resource development including forestry, tourism and hydroelectric projects that support the people living in the region. The North Coast, Mid-Coast, Kingcome and Strathcona timber supply areas are replaced by Great Bear Rainforest North, Great Bear Rainforest South and North Island timber supply areas. The annual allowable cut for the entire region is set at 2.5 million cubic metres per year for the next 10 years.

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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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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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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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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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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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Dal AC student recipient of special award

Christian Francis presented with Skills Award for Aboriginal Youth at Ottawa ceremony
Truro Daily News
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – A keen interest in forestry and leadership efforts with aboriginal youth has earned special recognition for a student at the Dalhousie Agricultural Faculty in Bible Hill. Christian Francis, 29, of Pictou Landing, a third-year student in the four-year Environmental Science program, was recently flown to Ottawa by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) to receive the Skills Award for Aboriginal Youth. “It was a really cool experience, I really liked it,” Francis said, of his visit to the nation’s capital. … “FPAC could sense his enthusiasm and dedication to the forest industry in his letter of application,” association CEO Derek Nighbor said of Francis. “We were also very impressed by his desire to create economic opportunities for his home First Nation community.”

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Wasaga to cull 1,000 ash trees in 2017

by By Ian Adams
Simcoe.com
December 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An invasive species has bored a $300,000 hole into Wasaga Beach’s 2017 budget. That’s how much the town expects to spend in preventing the spread of the emerald ash borer, a wood-boring beetle native to eastern Asia that has killed millions of ash trees in North America since 2002. Parks and recreation manager Gerry Reinders told council’s committee of the whole during a public presentation of the budget that the town will be taking down 1,000 ash trees in 2017, out of the total population of 5,400 ash trees on municipal property. The rest will be removed over the next four years, leaving only 20 ash trees on municipal property that will be treated in an effort to preserve the species.

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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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As Aid Dries Up, Some Oregon Counties Glad To Be Off ‘The Federal Dole’

by Jeff Mapes
Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For 15 years, Congress wrote more than $3 billion in subsidy checks to Oregon counties that had experienced big drops in federal timber harvests. That program stopped earlier this year. But many county officials are actually not so sad the federal help expired. Timber once drove the Oregon economy. In the 70s, the industry employed as many as 80,000 workers. In many western Oregon timber communities, local government operated largely on their share of the revenue from logging federal lands. Then came one shock after another that slashed at jobs. A deep recession in the early 80s. More efficient mills. And in 1990, federal authorities listed the northern spotted owl as a threatened species. That led to dramatic reductions of timber harvests on public lands.

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Settlement reached in Port Ludlow timber harvest issue

By Cydney McFarland
Peninsula Daily News
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT LUDLOW — After months of negotiations, Jefferson County and Port Ludlow Associates have approved a settlement agreement for contested timber harvests inside the Port Ludlow Master Planned Resort. The agreement is the culmination of a mediation between county officials and the Port Ludlow Associates (PLA) concerning tree harvests in 2015. County commissioners unanimously approved it Monday. Diana Smeland, the PLA president, also signed the agreement, according to County Administrator Philip Morley. She was not available for comment Tuesday.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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National Family Forests Education Award goes to University of Tennessee extension’s David Mercker

By University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
EurekAlert
December 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A multi-partner program coordinated by UT Extension forestry specialist David Mercker has been awarded the 2016 Family Forests Education Award by two national forest-focused organizations. The honor was bestowed by the National Woodland Owners Association and the National Association of University Forest Resources Program. The award recognizes an outstanding university-based Extension or outreach program. The award honors Mercker’s coordination of the Tennessee Healthy Hardwoods program. The program has delivered high-quality, hand-on experiential field days where landowners benefit from field observation in Tennessee state and UT forests. 

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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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Kerala forests stare at wildfire threat

By Sam Paul A
The New Indian Express
December 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

KOCHI: The threat of wildfire is looming large over Kerala forests in the coming summer season, thanks to the poor rainfall that has caused drying up of the forests, making them prone to conflagration. According to data available with the Forest Survey of India (FSI), an organisation under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, at least 370 major forest fires were recorded in the State between 2014 and 2016 – 114 in 2014, 91 in 2015 and 165 in 2016. The most number of blazes were recorded in the Wayanad and Idukki districts, with both reporting 71 major fires each.

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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

Wood pellet trade has doubled due to biomass-fueled power generation

By Bill Esler
Woodworking Network
December 21, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International


BOSTON — Wood pellets are playing a key role in decarbonizing electric power generation, as the world works to replace fossil fuels. Global trade in pellets has doubled since 2012, with U.S., Canadian, and European producers all playing a roles, according to a new study by RISI. European nations, in particular, have invested heavily in pellets for both heating and electricity generation. To supply this increased demand, the pellets supply stream is evovling, and is the focus of RISI’s “European Pellet Supply and Cost Analysis” research report.

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