Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 14, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

That was easy: Trump-Trudeau meeting anticlimactic

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 14, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

A full news day on all fronts. Starting on a tragic note, the Castanet News reported that a “logger was killed by a tree” on BC’s south Coast—BC’s first harvesting fatality of 2017, according the BC Forest Safety Council. Our condolences go out to the family and co-workers of the deceased.

According to the Canadian Press, business leaders (including Derek Nighbor, FPAC CEO) “took comfort in the positive tone on trade struck by Trudeau and Trump”, as it relates to NAFTA. However, the lack of discussion on softwood lumber combined with “Trump’s America first trade agenda”, means “Canada should not be breathing a sigh of relief just yet” according to Ontario MP Charlie Angus. Others appear to agree, given a CBC report that “Ontario has joined Quebec in urging the federal government to set up a loan guarantee program for Canada’s softwood lumber producers”.

The government of Alberta plans to use its carbon tax revenues to sustain and grow its bioenergy industry, according to a report in Biomass Magazine. Through its Bioenergy Producer Program, the government awarded $60 million to 31 different companies withbioenergy projects that lead to greenhouse gas reductions”.

Finally, lots of wood awards and other positive wood stories to balance off the negative press about fire out of New Jersey, in particular the concrete industry’s push for “Legislative changes to make buildings more resistant to fires and natural disasters”.


Happy Valentines Day!
— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

The big issues that could be on the Trump – Trudeau agenda

By Aaron Hutchins
MacLeans
February 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

There’s plenty at stake when Trudeau heads for Washington on Monday for his first face-to-face meeting with President Trump. What will they chat about behind closed doors? Here are five issues of paramount importance to Canada that could come up. …It’s hard to imagine Trump unleashing a late-night tweetstorm about softwood lumber. What’s he going to write? “Canada’s wood deal with us is rotten. Make America chop again. Timber!!” Still, there is big money at play, and America could hit Canadians with a 32 per cent export duty, as the U.S. Department of Commerce did in 1996. That measure cost Canadian companies billions. “U.S. lumber groups have pursued this with the idea that if we restrict Canadian imports into the U.S., that’ll help boost the price of lumber,” says Harry Nelson, an assistant professor in the department of forest resources management at the University of British Columbia.

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America’s NAFTA nemesis: Canada, not Mexico

By Patrick Gillespie
CNN Money
February 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

NEW YORK — America and Canada have one of the world’s biggest trade relationships. …But since NAFTA’s inception in 1994, there have been 39 complaints brought against Canada, almost all by U.S. companies. Known in the industry as the investor state dispute settlements, it allows companies to resolve cases under a special panel of NAFTA judges instead of local courts in Mexico, Canada, or the U.S. There’s only been 23 complaints against Mexico. And increasingly, Canada is the target of American complaints. Since 2005, Canada has been hit with 70% of the NAFTA dispute claims, according to CCPA, a Canadian research firm. NAFTA isn’t the only sore area. In 2002, the U.S. slapped a roughly 30% tariff on Canadian lumber, alleging that Canada was “dumping” its wood on the U.S. market. Canada rejected the claim and argued the tariff cost its lumber companies 30,000 jobs.

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Corporate Canada takes comfort after Trump talks of ‘outstanding trade relationship’

By Ian Bickis
The Canadian Press in 680 News
February 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

CALGARY – The sigh from the C-Suite was one of relief as Canadian business leaders took comfort Monday in the positive tone on trade struck by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump. From the forestry industry to the automotive sector to the oilpatch, Corporate Canada kept a close eye on the first one-on-one meeting between the two leaders, parsing every word they uttered for clues on the future of trade between the two countries…. Derek Nighbor, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, said he was encouraged to hear Trump say he would only be “tweaking” NAFTA and is more focused on trade issues with Mexico. Nighbor said all industries in Canada are looking to remind the U.S. of the importance of the current trade relationship and he was pleased to see Trudeau deliver a similar message in Washington.

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Horgan says Clark “dropped the ball” on softwood lumber talks

By Glen Korstrom
Business in Vancouver
February 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Premier Christy Clark should have been more active urging a resolution of the Canada- U.S. softwood lumber agreement, according to NDP leader John Horgan, who addressed the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade February 10. “We had a year and a half to get on this and we dropped the ball – the province dropped the ball,” Horgan said after his speech to a media scrum. He also questioned Clark’s wisdom in suggesting earlier this week in a Facebook live interview that she planned to send an envoy to Washington to lobby for a resolution to the softwood lumber dispute. “I don’t know where a representative from B.C. is going to fit into the executive order processes that Mr. Trump is operating under,” he said….In Horgan’s speech, he said one solution to improving the health of the province’s forestry sector was to limit the export of raw logs.

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Major mill power failure looms in B.C.

By The Editorial Board
Business in Vancouver
February 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The industrial power costs sending shockwaves through B.C. resource communities are raising more questions over the wisdom of BC Hydro’s multibillion-dollar Site C investment and the Clean Energy Act’s requirement that the province be electricity self-sufficient. As detailed in “Soaring power bills threaten heavy industry, forestry in B.C.” (Business in Vancouver issue 1423; February 7-13), electricity is becoming an increasingly prohibitive operating expense for B.C.’s forest product mills. The annual PST bill alone for the power that Catalyst Paper uses is around $11 million, and that bill isn’t about to drop any time soon. Hydro’s rate for industrial customers, which has jumped close to 27% over the past four years, is set to rise another 9.4% over the next four. The collateral damage at ground level: permanent mill closures that take hundreds of high-paying jobs with them.

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Earnings up, debt down for Interfor

By Nelson Bennett
Business In Vancouver
February 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Interfor Corp. posted record earnings in 2016 and expects 2017 to be another good year, thanks to strong demand for lumber in the U.S. In its fourth quarter financial statements, Interfor – B.C.’s third largest forestry company by market cap – said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in 2016 was $200 million. “Adjusted EBITDA was a record $199.6 million, eclipsing the previous record set in 2014,” the company said in a press release. Its net earnings in the fourth quarter were $26.6 million, compared with $15.1 million in Q3 2016, and a net loss of $3.5 million in Q4 2015. Thanks to stronger revenue and U$20 million netted from the sale a mill in Tacoma, Washington, Interfor added $57.4 million to its debt reduction in 2016.

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Ontario urges Ottawa to set up loan guarantees for softwood producers

Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
February 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario has joined Quebec in urging the federal government to set up a loan guarantee program for Canada’s softwood lumber producers who face the threat of tariffs and restrictions on exports to the U.S. Provincial Forestry Minister Kathryn McGarry has sent a letter to federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, saying it’s likely softwood producers will be paying “unreasonably high duties” by May. In December, the U.S. government announced it’s launching investigations to determine whether softwood lumber imports from Canada were being dumped into the country and harmed the American forestry sector. …McGarry says Canadian softwood producers were forced to pay about $5 billion worth of duties during the last round of trade negotiations with the U.S., prior to an agreement in 2006.

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Ontario forestry minister asks feds for temporary loan program

CBC News
February 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry in Ontario is looking to her federal counterpart for help with the current uncertainty in the softwood lumber industry. Last week Kathryn McGarry wrote a letter to federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr asking for the creation of a temporary loan program to help forestry companies. It’s likely these softwood producers will be paying higher import duties at the American border starting this May. The dispute over the softwood lumber industry has caused one of the largest disputes between Canada and the US, with years of legal proceedings. The most recent trade deal expired in 2015. In 2016 the US government launched an investigation into whether softwood lumber imports from Canada are being sold for less than fair value.

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Still worries about lumber trade despite PM’s friendly meet with Trump: Angus

By Alan S. Hale
Timmins Press
February 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TIMMINS – Canada appears to be out of U.S. President Donald Trump’s cross-hairs when it comes to trade, at least if his words at a press conference held at the White House with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can be believed. But local MP Charlie Angus (NDP – Timmins-James Bay) said that Northeastern Ontario and the rest of Canada should not be breathing a sigh of relief just yet. Despite the conciliatory tone struck in Washington D.C. on Monday, the devil will be in the details, warned Angus. Forestry is one of Northeastern Ontario’s most important industries, and Angus said he has seen nothing that has convinced him it is no longer threatened by Trump’s “America first” trade agenda. “We have enormous concerns about the softwood lumber industry being targeted by U.S. lobbyists. That would could have a devastating impact on us. And that pressure is still on the table,” said Angus. 

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Robbins family aims to bring new biomass plant online next year

By Ben Holbrook
The Republican Journal
February 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Searsmont, Maine — Plans to construct a biomass plant on the Robbins Lumber Inc. property are moving forward with work already under way on some portions of the project. The 8.5-megawatt biomass plant, which has a net 7.5-megawatt generating capacity, will burn bark, wood chips and sawdust to power a steam turbine to generate electricity. Waste heat from the plant would be used to dry lumber and heat buildings at the sawmill. Sited to the south of the company’s existing office buildings and saw mill, the new plant will be constructed on an already developed area on the property. It is not expected to impact access to the property or internal traffic flow.

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The Global Forest Industry This Quarter

American Journal of Transportation
February 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

With a few exceptions, sawlog prices were lower throughout the world in the 4Q/16 than they were in the previous quarter. The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) fell 1.2% to US$69.82/m3 in the 4Q/16. The current GSPI is up 1.4% from a year ago but over 13% lower than in the same quarter two years ago. Sawlog prices in Europe have been trending downward the past three years from their record high levels in 2014… Softwood fiber prices were down in most of Europe and North America, while they increased in Latin America, Russia, Oceania and Asia in the 4Q/16. The biggest declines occurred in Canada, Sweden and Germany, where prices in US dollar terms were lower because of reduced prices in the local currencies and a stronger US dollar.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Cities looking at more deconstruction and salvaged materials

By Jean Sorensen
Journal of Commerce
February 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Vancouver (CoV) is pushing for more home deconstruction and salvaging of reusable materials such as first-growth wood and architectural features with its Green Demolition Bylaw in place and Habitat for Humanity has launched a deconstruction crew to pick up on the growing trend. …Cities want to reduce landfill materials, but many of these earlier homes contain quality wood and craftsmanship. “These buildings have old-growth wood and we want to save those materials as well as the architectural details such as the old style windows. We saw a lot of material that could be salvaged and recycled,” he said. The bylaw also aligns itself with heritage conservation values in the city.

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Six-Alarm Fire Reignites Edgewater’s AvalonBay Debate

By Cecilia Levine
Paramus Daily Voice
February 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

EDGEWATER, N.J. — A six-alarm fire that destroyed part of a Maplewood apartment complex is reigniting debate on the recently-approved Edgewater AvalonBay apartment complex that’s burned down twice before. The Maplewood complex , which went up in flames on Feb. 4, is made from the same lightweight, wood-framing that will soon make up the Edgewater building. The Edgewater Zoning Board recently approved AvalonBay to rebuild the twice-destroyed Edgewater Apartment complex – again using the same lightweight wood-frame construction — and has been deemed unsafe by building experts. This time, added fire safety features beyond the state building code minimum include an extensive fire sprinkler system, masonry firewalls, and storage space for fire ladders.

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Valmet unveils new online analyser for wood chip moisture measurement

Bioenergy Insight
February 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Finnish technology energy supplier Valmet has unveiled a new online analyser for wood chip and bark moisture measurement. According to the company, the Valmet Chip ‘n’ Bark Moisture Analyzer (Valmet CBA) offers pulp mills a new tool to advance productivity and efficiency. In a statement, the company said it continuously measures wood chip moisture to provide the means to accurately control cooking liquor to chip mass ratio for improved digester operation. When applied to monitor biomass moisture, better boiler efficiency is enabled by the continuous indication of heating value to optimise fuel feeding control and supplementary fuel use.

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Forestry

Illegal tree faller sought in Terrace, B.C.

By Margaret Speirs
Terrace Standard
February 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SOMEONE has been cutting down trees for apparently no reason on city and private property along the Skeena River adjacent to Timber Mart on Hwy16 and just north of the bridge crossing the river there, leaving a swath of fallen timber in what was a pretty parkland. And it’s come to the attention of the city’s bylaw officer who can issue fines and the police who can recommend charges if the illegal tree cutter is caught. Terrace bylaw officer Dwayne Sheppard said the illegal cutting has been going on since August 2016. “It is suspected the person has fallen more than 100 trees in the area,” said Sheppard. “This person is aware they are not permitted in the area so it has been difficult to capture the person in the act.” People at the Timber Mart have heard a chainsaw and called Sheppard but often the person is in and out quickly so by the time he gets there, the culprit is gone.

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Meet Campbell River’s Forestry Task Force

Campbell River Mirror
February 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As part of its 2017 goals, the City of Campbell River’s Forestry Task Force will review industrial tax rates in neighbouring municipalities and identify which potential incentives to attract or retain industrial properties in Campbell River. “This goal is one of a number of items the task force is undertaking this year to enhance the sustainability of the forest sector and support existing and new businesses,” says Coun. Charlie Cornfield, the task force’s chairperson and facilitator. …“This update is the first from the task force’s newly formed communications subcommittee,” says communications subcommittee chair Steve Lackey. “Our goal is to provide the community with factual, unbiased information on forestry-related issues to help people stay up to date and to make informed decisions on topical forest-industry issues and events.”

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Logger killed by tree

By David Wylie
Castanet
February 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A faller has been killed in a work-related accident on the southern B.C. coast. The BC Forest Safety Council says the fatal accident happened on Feb. 4 when a tree uphill from where the man was working uprooted and struck him. He was working in the Woods Lagoon area. “Our condolences go out to the family and co-workers of the deceased,” says the statement. It’s the first harvesting fatality of 2017. The BC Coroners Service and WorkSafeBC are investigating. While the exact details of what happened are still under investigation, the safety council is warning other fallers to be aware that red and yellow cedars in rocky areas with shallow or wet soils are likely to be unstable.

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All tree loss isn’t due to clear-cutting

February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Donna Crossland (Opinions, Jan. 14) has analyzed satellite images and suggests that forest loss in Nova Scotia is “more than government would have us believe.” The article and images are not an entirely accurate reflection of forest harvesting. It is implied that all forest loss is due to harvesting and clear-cutting. But in reality there are a number of factors that can contribute. Simply put, harvesting trees does not cause deforestation. Harvested areas regrow. An area with young trees is still a forest. The term “deforestation” refers to land that has been cleared of trees and permanently converted for another use. Canada’s deforestation rate is one of the lowest in the world and has, in fact, been declining for 20 years.

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Online timber brokerage finds ways to make its mark

The Chronicle Herald
February 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mahone Bay-based startup WoodsCamp Technologies is leveraging open data to reinvent — and reveal fresh insight into — Nova Scotia’s forestry industry. WoodsCamp Technologies is an online timber brokerage that uses free ‘open’ provincial government data to connect woodlot owners, loggers and sawmills in a way that increases both efficiency and sustainability. In other words, WoodsCamp gets timber to the right place at the right time, and at a price that works for everyone. The company had a great 2016, says Alastair Jarvis, who — along with Will Martin — launched WoodsCamp officially in May of that year. Specifically, WoodsCamp hired its first employees. The company was nominated for — and sometimes won — awards as far afield as Texas. And its website averaged almost 3,000 unique visitors each month.

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Managing forests not that easy

By Gary Saunders, retired Nova Scotia Dept. of Natural Resources extension forester
The Chronicle Herald
February 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

If only managing forests for the public good was as simple as critics like Mike Parker and Jim Harpell seem to think. At least Donna Crossland knows her forest ecology (Satellites reveal the clear-cut truth, Jan. 14). Yet they all, in their quest for easy culprits, oversimplify the clear-cutting issue. The only management option they recognize is selection forestry, where you cut one mature tree or several here and there over time. Unfortunately, this multi-species, multi-age method works only with species whose offspring can thrive in their parents’ shade till an opening occurs — trees like yellow birch, red spruce, beech, hemlock and sugar maple. But sun-loving types like white and black spruce, pine, white birch, aspen and larch — far more common here than shade-tolerants — can’t grow in shade.

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N.S. Crown land forests: who is managing them?

February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


Behind closed doors, Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources has quietly transferred the management of 1.4 million acres of Crown lands to WestFor, a consortium of 13 privately owned mills. Some of these mills are local companies with a long history in their communities (Turner, Ledwidge, Freeman. Others are decidedly international (Northern Pulp, Louisiana Pacific). All answer to their owners or stockholders, not to the public. They are managing our Crown land for their profit and the sustainability of their companies, nothing else. … Nova Scotians thought that these lands would be managed for the benefit of all citizens, not for the financial benefit of a few companies.

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Looking to the Finland model to find Nova Scotia’s forestry potential

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
February 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

When Harold Alexander walks through the woods in Digby County, he sees untapped potential. The veteran forester has managed woodlots in this area for more than 35 years with an eye on the future. But it’s his concerns today about the state of the industry that took Alexander and four other people to Finland in September to find ways to import that country’s industry successes here. For Alexander, the potential centres on small private woodlot owners, the management of their woods and finding access to markets. “We have a forest policy right now that I think, for the most part, doesn’t pay enough attention to the small private woodlot sector,” he said.

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Tree thinning effort continues

Payson Roundup
February 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The forest thinning 4-Forests Restoration Project continues to move forward, one timber sale at a time. The innovative effort to get a timber company to thin overgrown forests by processing the small trees at no cost to the taxpayers remains the best hope of restoring millions of acres in Northern Arizona, but has fallen years behind schedule. This week Timber and silviculture staff on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest begsn laying out two new timber sale projects south of Interstate 40 between Forest Road 141 near Bootlegger Crossing and Forest Road 62 in the Garland Prairie area. The areas to be harvested are part of the 3347-acre Beacon Hill and Mineral Springs timber sale projects, which have been designated as part of the ongoing Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) effort. Active forest restoration work will after the award of the contract sometime next year.

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Logging industry professionals want regulations eased

By Amber Sandhu
Record Searchlight
February 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ANDERSON — The Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference on Saturday attracted hundreds to the Shasta District Fair grounds where spectators had the chance to check out the newest industrial equipment and watch men compete in the World’s Strongest Logger Competition. Ted James, president of the 68th annual Forest Products & Construction Equipment Exposition, said seeing all the attendees was encouraging, especially for an industry that’s suffered its share of hardship with extensive government regulations. His hope is now that President Donald Trump is in office, regulations on the timber industry, especially logging on federal lands, will ease. “Federal lands also need to be a producer,” he said.

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Yraguen elected president of Associated Oregon Loggers

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
February 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jaime Yraguen, co-owner of Basco Logging, Inc. in Sutherlin, was elected president of the Associated Oregon Loggers Jan. 20 during the association’s 47th annual convention in Eugene, where he was recognized for his contributions to the association and the Douglas County community. The association represents more than 1,000 contract logging companies and other related businesses in the state. …Basco Logging, which specializes in timber management and land development, offers logging services and marketing for small woodland owners, as well as civil construction services, logging road construction and site development. As part of a 12-year commitment, the six AOL board members start as service representatives then move up to higher positions every two years. Now, it’s Yraguen’s time to serve as president in his ninth year on the board.

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Gov. Brown proposes new direction for Elliott State Forest

By Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
February 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown laid out a plan to keep the embattled Elliott State Forest in public ownership while also increasing logging, according to a news release issued Friday. The 82,500-acre forest near Coos Bay was created in 1930 to provide funding for the Common School Fund, but recently has lost money as timber harvests have declined. She’ll present the plan at a meeting at a State Land Board meeting on Feb. 14 in Salem….The Elliott would remain in public ownership, with either the state or tribes owning the land. …A $100 million bond proposal would be developed to protect high value habitat, including riparian areas, steep slopes and old growth stands. On the remainder of the forest — less pristine habitat — the focus would be sustainable timber harvest.

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Bark beetle studies yield surprising findings

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
February 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s just common sense. First you have a drought. Then you have hoards of hungry bark beetles. So the dead trees will burn like matchsticks. Ergo: Drought, leads to beetles, leads to wildfires. Seems obvious, but it’s also wrong. Turns out, even bark beetle outbreaks that leave behind millions of dead trees somehow don’t increase the odds of a wildfire in those areas, according to two surprising studies. In fact, bark beetles may reduce tree densities and so whittle away at the odds of a town-destroying crown fire like the Wallow or the Rodeo-Chediski — even in the midst of a drought, according to two of the most comprehensive studies of the interaction between bark beetles and wildfires ever undertaken. The findings could have an impact on the management of Arizona’s dense, drought-plagued, beetle-battered forests — all vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire.

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Touchdowns boost forest restoration

Payson Roundup
February 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thanks to the Arizona Cardinals scoring 51 touchdowns this season, Salt River Project will plant 5,100 trees to help restore National Forests in Arizona destroyed by fire through the SRP Trees for Touchdowns promotion. For the past four seasons, SRP has pledged to fund the planting of 100 Ponderosa Pine trees for every Cardinals’ touchdown scored during regular season play to help bring awareness to its Trees for Change program. The Trees for Change program is funded by SRP and its customers who have voluntarily pledged an additional $3 or more to their monthly bill. SRP matches customer dollars up to $200,000 annually. So far, more than 4,000 customers have joined the program.

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On the cutting edge

By Stephen Floyd
Herald and News
February 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Much of the logging industry has stayed the same during recent decades — and even centuries — between the basics of harvesting a forest to the balance between conservation and utilization. But logging companies and the equipment they depend on remain open to innovation and one local company has started using a new type of equipment designed for logging on hillsides. Green Diamond Resource Company has started using a “yoder,” which hauls logs uphill like a yarder and stacks them like a loader — hence the name. Andy Elsbree, Green Diamond vice president and general manager for Oregon operations, said yoders have been around for roughly the last three years and his company has the only one in operation that he knows of east of the Cascades.

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Wood markets play a critical role in wildfire prevention

February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Wildfires have devastated Western North Carolina in the past few months, only recently having been quelled by the work of hundreds of firefighters and well-timed rainfall. …Proactive forest management is incentivized by forest product sectors like the wood energy industry, which affixes new value to previously low-value thinned wood fiber. This makes thinning in more cases cost-effective. Through sustainable forest management techniques markets created, or bolstered by, forestry industry segments like wood energy, contribute to forests’ long term health. Wood energy is often sourced from wood fiber that is underutilized or has no other market in that region. The smaller trees thinned out support industry while at the same time reduce the occurrence and spread of wildfires.

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Dead trees harbor forest-killing pests

By Holly Ramer
Associated Press in Portland Press Herald
February 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CONCORD, N.H. — They may be down but they’re not out: Damaging insects can emerge from fallen trees and logs for several years after a major storm, according to a U.S. Forest Service study that reinforces longstanding warnings against moving firewood from place to place. Timber that gets blown down, broken or damaged by wind is often cut and used as firewood, which in turn can enable the spread of invasive, destructive insects that drain the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Such pests are projected to put 63 percent of the country’s forest at risk through 2027 and carry a cost of several billion dollars annually in dead tree removal, declining property values and timber industry losses, according to the peer-reviewed study last year in Ecological Applications.

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Copse and robbers: Burl bandits saw off native trees’ valuable gnarly knobs

By Darren Gray
The Age
February 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The thief had no need to tip-toe around. And they certainly didn’t operate in silence. In fact, one of the key tools they used during their burst of dastardly behaviour was a chainsaw. It is believed that the thief or thieves in question travelled more than 20 kilometres along bush tracks in the forest near Jamieson some time around Christmas and New Year, looking for trees they could rob. And when they found suitable trees, they stripped them of the valuable “burls” – or knobs – bulging from the side of their trunks. Forest workers from Forest Fire Management Victoria have discovered more than 50 trees have been damaged by the loppers, who cut more than 100 burls from native trees in the Upper Goulburn State Forest. Burls are gnarly growths bulging from the side of trees.

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Tarkeeth update: what chemicals will be used

By Alice Burnet
The Bellingen Shire Courier Sun
February 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Concerned locals have inquired what chemicals NSW Forestry Corporation will be using as part of their weed management strategy. The long-awaited answer is here. A spokesperson for NSW Forestry Corporation told the Bellingen Shire Courier-Sun: “Weed control is almost complete in Gladstone State Forest in preparation for restocking the plantations with 198,000 seedlings over the next couple of months. “In line with community feedback, steps were taken to minimise herbicide use by using a chopper roller to crush large weeds and a tractor was used to apply a diluted solution of standard agricultural herbicides including 2.7 litres of Weedmaster ARGO per hectare, 30 grams of Associate per hectare, 1.8 litres of Starane Advanced per hectare and 0.8 litres of Pulse per hectare.

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As Victoria weighs forestry’s future, report says national park could be jobs boon

By Adam Morton and Josh Gordon
West Coast Sentinel
February 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The creation of a long-mooted national park on Melbourne’s fringe could create hundreds of jobs by turning the area into an eco-tourism centre, an analysis has found. Commissioned by environment groups, the report by consultants the Nous Group estimates the proposed Great Forest National Park could bring hundreds of thousands of extra visitors to the central highlands each year. It comes as the Andrews government appears to be moving away from supporting a park as it faces warnings that hundreds of forestry jobs will be lost unless it reverses a recent decision to cut the amount of mountain ash available for logging.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Alberta awards $60 million to 31 bioenergy companies

By Anna Simet
Biomass Magazine
February 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Through its Bioenergy Producer Program, the government of Alberta has awarded $60 million to 31 different companies that have built or are in the process of constructing in-province bioenergy projects that lead to greenhouse gas reductions when compared to a conventional alternative. Out of a total of 36 projects, two are ethanol, two are biodiesel, 15 are power, 13 are heat and four are wood pellets. Grant amounts range from $11,000 up to $4.8 million, sums determined by how much bioenergy each company generates.

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Global warming hampers post-fire forest regrowth in Colorado

Summit County Citizens Voice
February 11, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Global warming is likely one of the main factors that’s preventing some Colorado forests from regenerating after wildfires. When they started studying eight wildfire sites that burned across 162,000 acres of low-elevation forests along the Front Range, University of Colorado Boulder researchers said they expected to see young trees popping up all over the place, but that’s not what they found. There were no seedlings at all in 59 percent of the study plots and 83 percent showed a very low density of seedlings. Future warming and associated drought may hinder significant further recovery, the researchers concluded. Only 2 to 38 percent of plots surveyed, depending on the fire site, were considered stocked, or on their way to recovery.

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Here’s an early look at how Maine’s biomass bailout money is being spent

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
February 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — In January, two biomass generators tallied their first payments under a state subsidy program, taking in more than $241,000 from a $13.4 million pool of taxpayer dollars. The Maine Public Utilities Commission last week published its first status report on disbursements from the fund that will go to ReEnergy’s Ashland and Fort Fairfield biomass generators and to the West Enfield and Jonesboro generators that Stored Solar has restarted after purchasing the facilities from Covanta last year. At full capacity, the four biomass plants would run through the subsidy by next summer, but the first month of data shows they’re not running quite at that clip.

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General

All tree loss isn’t due to clear-cutting

February 14, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

Donna Crossland (Opinions, Jan. 14) has analyzed satellite images and suggests that forest loss in Nova Scotia is “more than government would have us believe.” The article and images are not an entirely accurate reflection of forest harvesting. It is implied that all forest loss is due to harvesting and clear-cutting. But in reality there are a number of factors that can contribute. Simply put, harvesting trees does not cause deforestation. Harvested areas regrow. An area with young trees is still a forest. The term “deforestation” refers to land that has been cleared of trees and permanently converted for another use. Canada’s deforestation rate is one of the lowest in the world and has, in fact, been declining for 20 years.

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N.S. Crown land forests: who is managing them?

February 14, 2017
Category: Uncategorized


Behind closed doors, Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources has quietly transferred the management of 1.4 million acres of Crown lands to WestFor, a consortium of 13 privately owned mills. Some of these mills are local companies with a long history in their communities (Turner, Ledwidge, Freeman. Others are decidedly international (Northern Pulp, Louisiana Pacific). All answer to their owners or stockholders, not to the public. They are managing our Crown land for their profit and the sustainability of their companies, nothing else. … Nova Scotians thought that these lands would be managed for the benefit of all citizens, not for the financial benefit of a few companies.

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