Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 13, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

To intervene or not to intervene, that is the question

Tree Frog News
January 13, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

With apologies to Shakespeare, the age-old question of “Whether ’tis nobler in the [forest] to suffer or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles”, is top of mind in a Canadian Press story on Alberta’s caribou maternity ward plan. The author of a new report (Gilbert Proulx) is against intervention in the form of “penning off a large tract of forest” because “it would only produce ‘naïve’ calves that wouldn’t survive outside the fence”. Government biologists disagree claiming that “the herd needs major help”.

Siding with proactive management, Ducks Unlimited Canada and industry leaders have agreed to collaborate on how best to integrate wetland and waterfowl conservation into “ongoing forest management planning and field operations”. In this case, “it’s a win-win”.

Also in the news, The Intelligence of Trees (part 2), PFI (the wood pellets standards program) and three more softwood lumber stories.

Finally, January is support the Tree Frog News Month (ok – we made that up), but like Wikipedia, the Frog depends 100% on the generous donations of our sponsors and individual supporters. This year, we’re asking individuals (not otherwise covered by a sponsor) to consider a donation of $50, $100 or whatever they can to protect and sustain the News. Click here for more information http://www.treefrogcreative.ca/news/donations

Many thanks in advance.
–Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

Scientists identify the real king of the forest: fungus

By Ivan Semeniuk
The Globe and Mail
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

To a casual hiker, one bit of North American forest may seem like any other. But look more closely and a mysterious patchwork of diversity emerges. Some stands of forest are clearly dominated by a single kind of tree. Others are a diverse mix of species. Now, a multiyear effort to understand these differences has uncovered a surprising answer. What controls forest diversity is not the trees but the fungi that interact with them, typically at microscopic scales, below ground and out of sight. The result offers a new window on the complex interactions that underlie some of the most familiar ecosystems on the continent and could lead to improved forest-management practices. “I find it quite amazing that these organisms that we can’t see can have such a profound effect,” said John Klironomos, a plant ecologist at the University of British Columbia who led the effort.

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Ducks Unlimited Canada and forestry leaders launch innovative collaboration on boreal forest wetland conservation

By Ducks Unlimited Canada
Canada Newswire
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

EDMONTON – Wetlands and waterfowl in Canada’s boreal forest will be the beneficiaries of a new program launched by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and forestry sector leaders. The partnership is a visionary approach to sharing knowledge and resources to advance sustainable forest management and wetland stewardship in the boreal forest, an area that offers one of the greatest conservation opportunities in the world. Under the ‘Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship Initiative’, the partners will work collaboratively on priority projects that integrate wetland and waterfowl conservation into ongoing forest management planning and field operations. …Partners in the three-year initiative include Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Canfor, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Millar Western, Tolko Industries Ltd., West Fraser and Weyerhaeuser Company.

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The Intelligence of Trees – Part 2 of 4

By Ray Grigg
Campbell River Mirror
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A different scale of time accounts for one of the reasons we have difficulty understanding the intelligence of trees. We interpret events with reference to our human sense of normal. Comparatively, trees seem to respond slowly, their life cycles sometimes approaching millennia — in the words of the German forester, Peter Wholleben, they “exceed the human attention span.” They feed on the raw material we call dirt and produce their energy by the perplexing process of photosynthesis. As very different creatures, it’s not surprising we haven’t been able to understand them.

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Feds finalize polar bear conservation plan

Summit County Citizens Voice
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A federal recovery plan for endangered polar bears won’t halt the threat of climate change, but it could help dwindling populations of the great Arctic predators persist in the small patches of habitat that will remain after global warming melts most of the polar sea ice. The plan, released Jan. 9, calls for reducing human-bear conflicts, collaboratively managing subsistence harvest, protecting denning habitat, and minimizing the risk of contamination from oil spills. Most of these actions are already underway, in partnership with Alaska Native communities, nonprofit groups, and industry representatives who participated in the plan’s creation. The plan also calls for increased monitoring and research.

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Salvage begins on Dog Mountain

By Karly Blats
Alberni Valley News
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Hupacasath First Nation is hoping to make Dog Mountain green again after a forest fire in the summer of 2015 razed much of the mountain. The Hupacasath has been approved for salvage operations on the fire-damaged land. Dog Mountain on Sproat Lake was struck by fire in early July 2015 that consumed about 425 hectares of the landscape, affecting almost 100 per cent of the peninsula. The fire was mainly ground based and consumed almost all of the existing understory vegetation, woody debris and organic soil layers, leaving exposed mineral soils and scorched tree stems throughout much of the area.

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Alberta’s caribou maternity ward plan attacked in science journal

By Bob Weber
Canadian Press in CBC News
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Alberta’s plan to restore a dwindling caribou herd by penning off a large tract of forest for pregnant cows would only produce “naive” calves that wouldn’t survive outside the fence, says a scientific paper. The paper, published recently in the journal Animals, also says the government has overstated how much protected land the Little Smoky herd — nearly wiped out by the effects of industry — will need to survive. “If we start with habitat conservation and restoration, the caribou will take care of themselves,” said study author Gilbert Proulx. The attack is the latest on a plan that has already been criticized by environmental groups and biologists.

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No to value-added

Letter by Mark Stevlingson
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As our extremely hard-working MP Gord Johns pointed out, raw log exports are up 10 times over any previous year, sustainability and environmental concerns be darned. Well blow me down, pardon the pun. Is this a “no” to light industrial jobs and value-added B.C. forest products? Possibly a nod to real estate developers? I also have to question how much will be skimmed off and put into general revenue, something I believe the B.C. Liberals have been very fond of doing over the years. It creates a real budgetary surplus, but one achieved by nefarious means. I’ve been uneasy for decades about forestry practices in B.C. I see the wholesale handing over of natural resources in their raw form as a wasted opportunity; forget the usual excuses made by successive B.C. governments. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

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Otter says feds aren’t the enemy, embraces Good Neighbor plan

By Rocky Barker
Idaho Statesman
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has come a long way from his sagebrush rebel days. If you were looking to pick a fight with the federal government over public land management, Otter was ready to join your posse. He acknowledged as much when he talked last fall at the second workshop of the Western Governors’ National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative. “I always thought they were the enemy,” he told a crowd of ranchers, timber company executives, loggers, conservation groups and federal land managers in October. His description of his own transformation shows how, when we engage with people who don’t necessarily share our opinion or experiences, we can change for the better.

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Trees killed in Roaring Lion Fire fetch higher than expected price

By Perry Backus
The Missoulian
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Work could begin as soon as next week on cleaning up trees killed in the Roaring Lion Fire around three popular trailheads. Tricon Timber was high bidder on the 45-acre Roaring Lion Salvage Sale that’s expected to produce about 100 truckloads of timber for the St. Regis mill. Darby District Ranger Eric Winthers said two mills bid on the sale in a competitive process that brought a higher sale price than expected. “We were a little surprised at the price,” Winthers said. “There was a lot of interest. It was definitely bid up.”

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Clatsop County opts out of timber suit

By Jack Heffernan
The Daily Astorian
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A $1.4 billion lawsuit pitting Oregon timber counties against the state will no longer include Clatsop County. The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 Wednesday night to opt out of the class-action suit that included 15 counties throughout Oregon. The suit claims the state Department of Forestry has not maximized revenue from timber harvests on land the counties turned over to the state to manage. “The overwhelming message from public testimony has been in favor of balanced forest management and against the Linn County lawsuit,” Scott Lee, the board’s chairman, said.

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Boring in: Destructive tree beetle doing damage in Blacksburg

By Robby Korth
Roanoke Times
January 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BLACKSBURG — Michael Webb said he kept an alien invader in a plastic bag while he took his urban management and forestry final exam in May. Webb had found a tiny green beetle on the bark of an ash tree near Norris Hall on the Virginia Tech campus and he thought it would be best to show it to his professor Eric Wiseman. Webb finished his exam before several of his classmates and he said he sat outside the room until the last student was done. He then showed the bug to Wiseman. The pair agreed it was likely the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that’s killed millions of ash trees across the country. The Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Insect Identification Lab at Virginia Tech has since confirmed that it’s the first case of the insect’s presence in the New River Valley.

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Our forests’ future

By Joe Fox, Arkansas state forester
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Many Arkansans rightfully take pride in the forests of our state. Arkansas is 56 percent forested, covered by a multitude of tree species ranging from the iconic shortleaf pine to our oak, maple and hickory hardwoods. …However, there’s one thing most people don’t know: 81 percent of Arkansas’ forests are privately owned and just over two-thirds are owned by families. . … New data released recently from the U.S. Forest Service in the National Woodland Owners Survey show that the majority of private forest owners in our state, as well as across the country, say their primary reasons for owning forestland are aesthetics, wildlife habitat and nature protection. However, due to taxes and the cost of ongoing management, most say they also must have a return on their investment in those forests in order to keep them on the landscape for generations. This is where the second key to forest sustainability comes in–strong markets for forest products.

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Company & Business News

Let U.S. home builders work on Canada’s behalf

By Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo Chilcotin for the past 40 years
Williams Lake Tribune
January 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

U.S. lumber manufactures want restrictions on Canadian lumber so they can make more profits. American home owners and industries involved in building houses want fair lumber prices which include Canadian lumber. An article in the Globe and Mail this fall is already out of date because of some recent events but does a good job of showing the futility of the ongoing battle over imports of Canadian lumber. Author Barrie McKenna describes how every shipment of lumber rumbling across the border today does so under a cloud of uncertainty. Producers could later be forced to pay steep duties on those sales, rendering them uneconomic. The U.S. lumber industry has long argued that Canadian provinces unfairly subsidize lumber exports, mainly by charging lumber companies too little to log on Crown land.

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Canada’s softwood lumber industry faces uncertain future as Trump era looms

By Josh O’Kane
Globe and Mail
January 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Faced with ongoing investigations by the U.S. International Trade Commission and a protectionist president-elect heading to the Oval Office in a matter of days, Canada’s oft-embattled softwood lumber sector could soon face a rough-and-tumble future that looks a lot like the past. Donald Trump has long shown interest in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement upon taking office, leaving trade partners in limbo… “I don’t want to project a number in what a duty might be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we were slapped with a penalty that could have significant impact on export volumes to the U.S.,” said Paul Whittaker, chief executive of the Alberta Forest Products Association, of softwood lumber. Nearly 7 per cent of total Canadian exports came from the forest industry in 2015, totalling at $32.7-billion, according to Natural Resources Canada.

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Biofuel timber decision coming soon, says Exploits MHA

By David Newell
CBC News
January 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

There should be news soon for a company hoping to set up a sawmill and biofuel manufacturing business in the Botwood area. Liberal MHA, Jerry Dean, who represents the Exploits district in the House of Assembly, says a decision regarding an allocation of timber for the project will be made by the Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods. “In my previous conversations with Minister [Steve] Crocker, we were sort of looking at a timeline of seven to 10 days, we’re about eight days into that,” Dean said. “That was a rough timeline and that has to do with what government is preparing to present to that particular company in terms of the wood fiber request and how we go about getting there.

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‘It’s a chance to control our own destiny’ Local non-profit buys closed mill

By Rachel McCubbin
WCSH6.com
January 13, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

MILLINOCKET, Maine  — A homegrown non-profit is the new owner of the Great Northern Paper Mill site in Millinocket. “It’s the one chance this town of Millinocket has had to control their own destiny, since the time Great Northern was built,” said Mike Madore, Chairman of Millinocket Town Council. Our Katahdin, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, bought the site of the former mill for $1 at 8:45 Thursday morning. Then Thursday night, the Millinocket Town Council voted unanimously to grant a six month waiver on the mill’s back taxes. …Chairman Madore says they are specifically looking at the wood forest industry and data processing businesses. He says they are in talks with the University of Maine as well, so the mill site and it’s resources can be available to the university for their ongoing projects.

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Foresters, feds unveil strategy to boost beleaguered industry

By Nick McCrea
Bangor Daily News
January 12, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

BELFAST, Maine — Maine’s foresters will have to get creative in finding new uses for their wood and new places to send it if the industry wants to recover from years of mill shutterings and economic upheaval, according to a report issued this week. The Maine Forest Economy Growth Initiative’s report follows on the heels of a visit last summer by a team of federal economic development experts with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. …The administration responded by deploying an Economic Development Assessment Team and revealed plans to invest more than $4 million in economic development projects in the state, including about $1.5 million dedicated to the beleaguered forest products industry.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Touting the green machine

By Lindsay Kelly
Northern Ontario Business
January 12, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

When it comes to popularizing the use of biomass as an alternative fuel, public education should be the industry’s number one priority, says Dutch Dresser. Dresser, a founding director of Maine Energy Systems in Bethel, Maine, has been visiting communities to spread word of biomass’s environmental and economic advantages. But because most outside the industry have little experience with the medium, it’s an uphill climb. …Despite the challenges, there are companies in Canada that are making headway. Viessmann has been manufacturing heating systems out of its Waterloo location for 30 years. A highlight of its work is its Enderby, B.C., project, where in recent years it’s installed a district heating project that’s privately owned but serves commercial and residential clients.

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Appalachian Wood Pellets qualifies for PFI Standards Program

By Pellet Fuels Institute
Biomass Magazine
January 12, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The Pellet Fuels Institute recently announced the qualification of pellet fuel manufacturer Appalachian Wood Pellets of Kingwood, West Virginia, into the Pellet Fuels Institute Standards Program. The PFI Standards Program is a third-party accreditation program providing specifications for residential and commercial-grade pellet fuel, now representing 18 pellet manufacturing companies, among them 30 facilities. “With 30 qualified facilities, it is now becoming more likely than not that a pellet fuels customer is purchasing pellets from a qualified producer,” said Chris Amey, chairman of the PFI board of directors. 

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Maine Voices: Is biomass energy carbon neutral? Not when you look at the facts

By Mitch Lansky, founder of the Maine Low-Impact Forestry Project.
Portland Press Herald
January 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

WYTOPITLOCK — Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have proposed an amendment to the Senate clean energy bill that would officially classify biomass energy as “carbon neutral.” The science, however, does not support such congressional designation. Indeed, 65 scientists with backgrounds in energy, soils, forest ecosystems and climate change sent a letter to the Senate arguing that it is not a good idea to declare all biomass energy as “carbon neutral.” “Legislating scientific facts,” they wrote, “is never a good idea, but is especially bad when the ‘facts’ are incorrect.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The Wood Design & Construction Solutions Conference

Canadian Wood Council
January 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Wood Design & Construction Solutions Conference is dedicated to design and construction with wood products and systems, including mass timber, and replaces the Wood Solutions Fair and International Wood Symposium. This two-day educational event will showcase wood uses in commercial, institutional, industrial and multi-unit residential construction through specifically designed seminar streams, new and current topics and an interactive trade show. Insights into wood – and ideas for you! The Wood Design & Construction Solutions Conference is tailored for architects, engineers, builders, contractors, building officials, technologists, planners and developers. 

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Mawson Kerr uses oak, cedar and slate for rural music centre in Cumbria

By Eleanor Gibson
Dezeen
January 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Cedar shingles, slate and oak were all used to build this rural music centre in Cumbria, England, designed by Newcastle-based studio Mawson Kerr for a charity offering musical therapy. Mawson Kerr designed the 600-square-metre building for the Sunbeams Music Trust charity, which offers musical therapy for disabled children and adults. The architects opted for locally sourced, natural materials wherever possible, to suit the building’s rural setting overlooking Ullswater, the second-largest lake in the Lake District. Oak clads the front walls, while slat covers a wall at the rear. Glue-laminated timber, known as glulam, was used to build used for the main structure. Manufactured by layering up multiple slices of wood and gluing them together, this engineered wood is significantly stronger than regular wood, allowing for large spans and irregular shapes.

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Cross-laminated timber and clay dominate this sustainable holiday home in Belgium

By Lidija Grozdanic
Inhabitat
January 12, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

This sustainable holiday home, designed by m u r m u u r architecten, is nestled within a hilly landscape of the Flemish Ardennes in Belgium. Partially concealed by a grassy hill, the house, named Buikberglos, is built entirely using cross-laminated timber covered with clay panels and light green tiles. The house was carefully placed in between existing mature trees in the old garden, with facade openings placed at places that offer best views of the surroundings. The architects built the house in CLT-panels and clad the façade in black clay paneling above a light green tiled skirting board.

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