Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 10, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

COFI conference wraps while forest fire season kicks-off

Tree Frog Forestry News
April 10, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Leading off today’s news is a wrap of COFI’s successful conference held in Vancouver last week. In her summary, CEO Susan Yurkovich walks us through all the speakers and panels in sequence and sums up the proceeding saying “this industry has a proud history and a bright future” and “although we have our challenges, I am incredibly optimistic about the opportunities ahead”


Not surprisingly, media coverage focused on the softwood discussions and in particular comments made by Canada’s chief negotiator Kirsten Hillman, BC Envoy David Emerson and BC Premier Christy Clark. Hillman stated that the stage is set for
“a period of pain for Canadian forestry workers and communities”, but that because “the US is not able to supply their own market, conditions are good to get a strong deal”. Emerson was blunt saying that “it’s about greed not timber pricing”, while Clark was more hopeful for a deal under Trump than Obama given his “background in construction and understanding of the impact the cost of materials has on a finished product”. 

Although it seems like Spring hasn’t arrived in many part of the continent, the number of forest fire stories suggests that’s not ubiquitous. Forest fires broke out in eastern Kentucky and mandatory evacuations were required just outside of Orlando (Chuluota) as crews battled a 30-acre wildfire. Also, a collection of essays is being published, “
telling the many stories of evacuation and re-entry during last year’s devastating wildfire in Fort Murray”.

Finally, the BC government announced the formation of a Wood Secretariat to help grow the value-added sector under the co-leadership of Ken Kalesnikoff, CEO of Kalesnikoff Lumber.

Read More

Special Feature

Softwood dispute to spell pain for Canada, chief trade negotiator warns

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
April 7, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lumber prices have surged in anticipation of U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood exports, setting the stage for what Canada’s chief trade negotiator worries will be a period of pain for forestry workers and communities across the country. Kirsten Hillman described looming preliminary duties expected to be imposed by the United States as “artificial barriers” intended to reduce Canada’s lumber shipments south of the border. “They’re not able to supply their own market. Their demand for lumber is never going to be satisfied by their own supply,” said Ms. Hillman, assistant deputy minister of trade policy at Canada’s Department of Global Affairs. She made the comments on Friday to delegates at the annual conference of the Council of Forest Industries, which represents producers in the B.C. Interior.

Read More

Softwood lumber talks have waned under Trump, says Canada’s chief negotiator

Canadian Press in the Globe and Mail
April 8, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada’s top negotiator in the softwood lumber trade dispute with the United States says discussions around the disagreement have waned since President Donald Trump took office. Kirsten Hillman, assistant deputy minister at Global Affairs Canada, says the matter doesn’t appear to be front of mind thanks to the new U.S. administration, which has yet to put in place some of the key players to work on the file. Hillman says reaching a stable, predictable and fair agreement is one of the Canadian government’s top priorities.

Read More

Softwood Lumber Update At COFI

CKPG TV
April 7, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canada’s Chief Softwood Lumber negotiator and BC Trade Envoy to the US made presentations to the Council of Forest Industries’ annual convention, providing an update on talks. “We’re confident that we are giving this file all the necessary attention. It’s a top priority for the Government of Canada, the Prime Minister, the Minister Cynthia Freeland, Minister Jim Carr,” says Kirsten Hillman, Assistant Deputy Minister, Trade Policy and Negotiation. “We have a situation where the US has always relied on our imports of lumber to fill the gap between domestic production capacity and the demand in their market for softwood. So, they need what we have to sell and I think that those are good conditions to get a strong deal. But we’re not going to get any deal; we’re going to make sure that we get one that works for Canada.”

Read More

B.C. premier more hopeful for softwood lumber deal under Trump than Obama

By Gordon Omand
Canadian Press in CTV News
April 7, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Canada is more likely to reach a lasting solution for the softwood lumber trade dispute with the United States now that President Donald Trump is in power instead of Barack Obama, says British Columbia Premier Christy Clark. Speaking to a forestry conference in Vancouver on Friday, Clark said the new president has a background in construction and understands the impact the cost of materials has on a finished product. It would have been hard to do any worse than the previous president when it comes to softwood lumber, she added. “My experience has been that the Obama administration was not particularly interested in getting a softwood deal,” Clark told reporters after delivering her keynote address.

Read More

Business & Politics

Coastal communities and the forest industry sign landmark MOU addressing communication

Truck Loggers Association
April 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Campbell River – The Truck Loggers Association commends the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) and the Coast Forest Products Association (CFPA) for signing a landmark memorandum of understanding today that will improve communication and strengthen the relationship between forestry companies and forestry dependent communities.  “The TLA understands the importance of good communication between the forest industry and coastal communities because our members straddle both groups,” explained David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “Our members live and work in BC’s rural communities. They run small to medium-sized businesses that create steady, well-paying jobs within the forest industry. And they understand the importance of good communication at the local level.”

Read More

Brandt purchase of world-class Saskatoon manufacturing facility finalized

By Brandt Tractor Ltd.
Edmonton Journal
April 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

SASKATOON – The Brandt Group of Companies has successfully concluded its purchase from Prestige Equipment and Hilco Global of the former Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Canada Ltd. (MHPSC) facility in Saskatoon. The entire 22-acre parcel, along with its 208,000sq/ft. manufacturing facility and all of its highly specialized equipment has made the transition to local ownership for an undisclosed sum. The plant features the largest machining and fabrication equipment in Canada and has produced power generation equipment for customers around the world, including SaskPower.

Read More

Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and Coast Forest Products Association Sign Landmark MOU

Coast Forest Products Association
April 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Campbell River: The Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) and the Coast Forest Products Association (Coast Forest) signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today in a move that will further strengthen the close ties between the forest sector and the coastal communities that depend on it. The MOU was initiated after the findings of a forestry survey conducted by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) were released in 2016. The survey results pointed out communication and engagement gaps which remained between communities and forestry in British Columbia. To address these gaps, collaborative discussions followed and the MOU was drafted. “We are very pleased to be signing this Memorandum of Understanding with Coast Forest Products Association today,” said AVICC President Barbara Price. 

Read More

Domtar Mill odour complaints triple in 2016

By Vanessa Ybarra
CFJC Today Kamloops
April 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Odour complaints may be up but Domtar Mill officials say emissions at the pulp mill have decreased significantly. A report presented to city council earlier this week shows Domtar received 42 complaints in 2016, nearly triple the amount from 2015. In the report, officials state ‘One possible explanation is that when it comes to the human perception of odour, it is the presence of odour, rather than the magnitude of odour, that is the determining factor.’

Read More

Innovative Everett timber firm ships ‘canned’ logs to Asia

By Jim Davis
Everett Herald-Net
April 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

EVERETT — Other companies have done it. Forest Marketing Enterprises even has dabbled in it since 2002. But the Everett-based timber company made it a big part of its business model last year and is now getting recognized for the effort. Forest Marketing, better known as Formark, started exporting millions of board feet of logs to Asia in shipping containers. Usually, logs get transported overseas in bulk ships. Formark is packing logs into containers and putting them on container ships. “I think the thought was Del Monte green beans in one end and canned green beans out the other,” said Eric Warren, president and CEO of Formark. “We’re just doing it with logs. Shipping containers come from Asia filled with goods and then are typically shipped back empty.

Read More

Loggers disagree with LePage over biomass contract changes

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
April 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States


PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s logging industry association has come out against changing a biomass subsidy program, opposing the request of one company and Gov. Paul LePage. Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, wrote that any changes to the terms of a $13.4 million taxpayer-funded biomass subsidy “would seriously undermine the intent and the integrity of the process that produced it.” “It’s like changing the rules of the game after the game has already started,” Doran wrote. Doran’s letter, dated Wednesday and made public Thursday, came in response to biomass generator Stored Solar’s request to change its contract with Central Maine Power Co. The request followed allegations from loggers in Doran’s organization that Stored Solar didn’t pay them for more than a month.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

B.C. invests $7.7 million to advance wood use and grow global markets

By The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Government of British Columbia
April 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Government of British Columbia is investing $7.7 million to promote the use of B.C. wood, advance wood building systems and products, and expand global markets, Premier Christy Clark announced at the Council of Forest Industries annual convention today. Premier Christy Clark made the announcement in her keynote speech, which spoke to government’s actions on the softwood lumber file. Diversifying markets and reducing reliance on the United States market continues to be a key part of government’s strategy to keep B.C.’s forest sector strong. “Forestry will always play a crucial role in communities throughout B.C.,” said Premier Clark. “By growing international demand, we are decreasing our reliance on a single market, creating more opportunity, and supporting the tens of thousands of British Columbians who rely on forestry.” 

Read More

B.C. government announces Wood Secretariat

By The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Government of British Columbia
April 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Acting on commitments under Strong Past, Bright Future: A Competitiveness Agenda for B.C.’s Forest Sector and the Value-added Sector Action Plan, a Wood Secretariat has been formed, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today. Growing the value-added sector is a key component of B.C.’s Forest Sector Competitiveness Agenda and a critical component in meeting the B.C. government’s strategic goal of maximizing value derived from the province’s forest resources and enhancing employment. The products and business structure of the value-added sector help develop a more innovative and diversified industry and they currently employ over 12,000 workers across 589 value-added businesses. …The Wood Secretariat is co-chaired by a representative from government and a representative from industry. Ken Kalesnikoff, president and CEO of Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd., a specialty value-added facility located in Thrums, was selected as industry’s co-lead by the value-added specialty wood manufacturing associations.

Read More

Grade 7 students get a taste of the trades

By Barbara Latkowski
The Prince George Citizen
April 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hammers were busily banging at the John A. Brink Technology Centre at CNC on Friday. Holding them were Grade 7 students from six local schools: Harwin, Ron Brent, Edgewood, Lac des Bois, Spruceland and Westwood. The students were participating in the Canfor Elementary Trades Program, where they had an opportunity to receive hands-on learning while developing skills and knowledge in various trade programs including carpentry, heavy duty/auto mechanics, millwrighting, and cooking. The goal of the program is to encourage an interest in trades related careers and provide opportunities for student achievement.

Read More

Tall wood construction gets boost from CECOBOIS

By Claude Roy
Woodworking Network
April 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Centre for expertise in the wood construction of commercial and Industrial buildings (“CECOBOIS”) is an organization with the main mission of supporting and facilitating the increase of use of wood construction in the non-residential sectors in Québec. …The Origine project innovates in many ways. This new condo building is built with cross laminated lumber known as CLT and will be thirteen stories high. This project will become a showcase for building durable and innovative projects with Québec developed wood products. Origine will be the tallest “all wood” condo tower in North America. CECOBOIS, an organization building knowhow! 

Read More

Bills Would Strengthen Building Codes to Prevent Fires

By Brenda Flanagan
NJTV News – New Jersey
April 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

“When the first flames popped out, one of the building officials looked at me and said, ‘Mike, this is going to burn to the ground,’” said Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland. Edgewater’s mayor vividly remembers when firefighters first responded to the Avalon apartment complex. “It really didn’t look like the place was ready to burn down. There was a lot of smoke. And the firemen were looking for where the fire was because they couldn’t find it. It was in the walls,” he said. …“We call this ‘toothpick construction.’ Why? Because it’s so light that a fire will burn through it in two to three minutes,” said Rich Silvia, president of the State Fire Prevention and Protection Association and chief fire marshal in Saddle River.

Read More

Construction code changes overdue

By the Editorial Board
The North Jersey Record
April 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The massive fire at the Avalon apartment complex in Edgewater in January 2015 should have been an instant wake-up call for public officials across New Jersey. …The Edgewater building was constructed to state code, and therein lies the rub. Lightweight wood construction is used in many high-density apartment structures in the state. A similar condominium project in Maplewood was partially destroyed by fire just this February. Because the building was not completed, there were no fire suppression systems in place. But the fire served again as reminder of how easily certain kinds of building materials burn. …There must be a practical balance between the perfect and the affordable for a developer. But there is no price on human life. The 2015 Edgewater fire should have spurred quick changes to the state’s construction codes, and it didn’t. Legislators were listening to the wrong people. It should not have taken two years to get this far.

Read More

Forestry

Interior Health — Time to talk ticks

April 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the temperature begins to rise, so will the number of tick bites said Interior Health in a media release Friday. The increase in bites generally comes as people begin spending more time outdoors in tall grass or wooded areas. “Ticks are small bugs that feed on the blood of humans and animals and can sometimes transmit disease,” the media release said. “Ticks are most often found in tall grass and wooded areas, so covering up before you head outdoors and checking for ticks on yourself, your children, and your pets after being outdoors, are simple things that go a long way to prevent tick bites.” Interior Health said the most common tick species in our region is the Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni), which is not known to carry the Lyme disease bacteria. “The Wood Tick can carry other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, although it is very rare.

Read More

Forestry training, traditional ecological knowledge project coming to Lake Babine Nation

By The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations
Government of British Columbia
April 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Members of Lake Babine Nation will benefit from forestry skills training and traditional ecological knowledge development that helps advance Lake Babine’s participation in the forest sector, made possible through $210,000 in funding from the Province. Approximately $110,000 will support Lake Babine Nation members in gaining the skills and training needed to enter forest sector occupations. This forestry training may also help the nation fill roles in the newly launched, community-owned forest company Lake Babine Forestry Services Ltd. The forestry training will be available to community members from all Lake Babine communities and is expected to be delivered between April 2017 and March 2018.

Read More

Environmental groups ask Ottawa to step into logging dispute

By Western Canada Wilderness Committee
Clearwater Times
April 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Today, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna received a legal application for an emergency order to block clearcut logging in caribou habitat, outside Wells Gray Provincial Park north of Kamloops. The logging by Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor) was approved by the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and could begin as early as May 2017. B.C. admits the caribou are “critically imperilled” but says Canfor is responsible for deciding whether to protect habitat on this provincial crown land.

Read More

Logging Lantzville: Small town fights to save local forest

By Jon Hernandez
CBC News
April 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Every day, Ted Gullison,of Lantzville, B.C. walks his dog in the woods near his small town on Vancouver Island. The forest is carved with paths that many of the town’s residents use for hiking, horse back riding, and even dirt biking Gullison, an ecologist, often marvels at some of the “veteran” trees that rule the woods. The only problem — the forest is regularly logged, and the conservationist fears that the towering coastal Douglas fir trees could soon be lost forever. And he’s not the only one who’s concerned. Dozens of community members have banded together, spawning the Save Lantzville Forest movement. The group is calling on the provincial government to conserve part of the woods. But the requests have fallen on deaf ears.

Read More

Early start to Sask. wildfire season expected

Canadian Press in CBC News
April 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Provincial Wildfire Centre in Saskatchewan is expecting an early start to wildfire activity in some areas of the province. The west side of the province is drier than the east, but the director of the centre says there are a lot of crops left out on the east side, and farmers may burn them off. The wildfire season in Saskatchewan runs from April 1 to Oct. 31. So far, there have only been two reported fires in the province this year. The overall amount dedicated to wildfire management in Saskatchewan went down in the 2017-2018 provincial budget, released last month, from $73,887 to $67,534.

Read More

Interior Health — Time to talk ticks

April 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the temperature begins to rise, so will the number of tick bites said Interior Health in a media release Friday. The increase in bites generally comes as people begin spending more time outdoors in tall grass or wooded areas. “Ticks are small bugs that feed on the blood of humans and animals and can sometimes transmit disease,” the media release said. “Ticks are most often found in tall grass and wooded areas, so covering up before you head outdoors and checking for ticks on yourself, your children, and your pets after being outdoors, are simple things that go a long way to prevent tick bites.” Interior Health said the most common tick species in our region is the Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni), which is not known to carry the Lyme disease bacteria. “The Wood Tick can carry other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, although it is very rare.

Read More

B.C. increases investment in Cariboo grassland and forest restoration

By The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations
Government of British Columbia
April 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Province has awarded $60,000 to the Fraser Basin Council to help restore ecosystems in the Cariboo, Coralee Oakes, MLA for Cariboo North, and Donna Barnett, MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin, announced today on behalf of Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. The funding is an increase from last year’s $52,000 grant and will support the work of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Ecosystems Restoration Steering Committee as it oversees, promotes and supports the restoration of grasslands in the region.  Ecosystem restoration involves logging, thinning and slashing excess trees from grassland and open forest sites. Once the trees are removed, the area is carefully burned, which replicates natural wildfire and creates the environmental conditions that encourage the growth of native grasses and shrubs.

Read More

Islanders asked for feedback on community forest shared with BC Timber Sales

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
April 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If local control falls in a community forest, is it still a sound idea? Islands loggers, sawmill owners, and community leaders debated that question last week while discussing the latest plan for a Haida Gwaii Community Forest. It’s not formal yet, but as early as April or May, the B.C. Ministry of Forests could offer Haida Gwaii villages an area-based forestry tenure of 80,000 cubic metres per year. Spread over six units that include the Drizzle/Watt/Loon Lakes area and smaller areas near Tlell, Queen Charlotte, Skidegate Lake, Peel Inlet, and Tasu, it could generate roughly $200,000 to $500,000 a year for community benefits.

Read More

Quebec Cree’s campaign to save ancestral forest goes global

By Les Perreaux
The Globe and Mail
April 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A northern Quebec Cree nation has gone global with the struggle to preserve one of the province’s last pristine forests and the strategy appears to be paying early dividends. The Quebec government sent the Waswanipi Cree nation a letter last month inviting leaders to set out their expectations for protecting a remaining slice of their ancestral hunting ground in the Broadback Forest, according to Deputy Chief Mandy Gull. The forest in the James Bay area is full of mature trees and is a key habitat for the endangered Woodland Caribou. Talks with the government had been dormant for nearly two years, Ms. Gull said.

Read More

Reducing fuel loads among a host of preservation tools

By Gordon Cruickshank, Valley County commissioner.
Idaho Statesman
April 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Readers should beware of ideological or political statements based on “overwhelming science” when the writer doesn’t provide responsible sources. A good example is Brett Haverstick’s March 24 guest opinion that claims science doesn’t support the management and restoration of forests in the face of catastrophic wildfire, insects and disease. There is plenty of peer-reviewed research that strongly supports the role of active management in improving and maintaining the health and resiliency of our forests. …In 2012, the Science-Based Risk Analysis Report, available at forestsandrangelands.gov, determined that “experience with fuels treatment projects has demonstrated the value of fuels reduction to reduce wildfire suppression costs and protect land and resources.” 

Read More

Teton-to-Snake faces competing objections

By Mike Koshmrl
Jackson Hole News & Guide
April 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bridger-Teton National Forest officials are being pulled hard in two directions as they try to finalize plans to thin and burn wildlands abutting the west side of Jackson Hole. Tugging on one side of the issue are the Wyoming State Forestry Division and a band of non-Teton County commissioners, who have formally objected to plans to keep chainsaws out of the Palisades until its in-limbo status as proposed wilderness is resolved by Congress. Conservationists and biologists, meanwhile, are yanking in the other direction, asking federal officials to complete a review of the region’s baseline wilderness suitability and better study the effects on wildlife and vegetation.

Read More

NW Wyoming forest plan receives competing criticism

Billings Gazette
April 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JACKSON, Wyo. — Plans by the Bridger-Teton National Forest to thin and burn wildlands in northwest Wyoming have attracted competing arguments over tree cutting and other issues. The Wyoming State Forestry Division and some area government leaders have formally objected to prohibiting tree cutting in a proposed Palisades wilderness area abutting the west side of Jackson Hole. Meanwhile conservationists and some biologists are urging review of the region’s baseline wilderness suitability and more thorough study.

Read More

Bruce Ward: Colorado’s Forest Crisis…The Wisdom of Recreation

By Jim Petersen
Evergreen Magazine
April 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bruce Ward is the Founder and President of Choose Outdoors, a Colorado-based coalition of outdoor recreation enthusiasts who work to increase public support for all forms of outdoor recreation, especially activities that frequently occur in National Forests: hiking, camping, backpacking, bicycling, skiing, snowmobiling hunting, fishing and recreational vehicle touring. He has worked closely with the U.S. Forest Service on the nearly 50- year tradition of bringing the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington, DC, at the request of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. … He is also an executive producer of America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell, airing on Oregon Public Broadcasting in April. … The series focuses on stories that demonstrate how important forests are to the well-being and economic health of communities across the country

Read More

What’s up with wood piles?

By Michele Nelson
Payson Roundup
April 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Many in Rim Country wonder why wood piles created by thinning efforts litter the forest for years before the Forest Service burns them. On top of that, they don’t understand why the Forest Service creates more piles before burning old piles. Hellsgate Fire Chief John Wisner asked these questions at the annual County Collaborative Fire Meeting in late March. “What is the official word about piles in their community?” said Wisner. Jeremy Plain, Forest Service fire management officer, explained that disposing of piles is a complicated formula that includes years of curing, a perfect storm of weather conditions and money.

Read More

California’s huge tree die-off expected to slow after wet winter

By Kurtis Alexander
San Francisco Chronicle
April 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s extraordinarily wet winter didn’t just end the drought. It’s likely to mean a turnaround for the state’s dying forests. After five years of dry weather unleashed unparalleled havoc on trees from Yosemite to the Central Coast — leaving vast stands of pine too parched to fight pests and reducing entire mountainsides to browning wastelands — a forecast by the U.S. Forest Service suggests the die-off will slow this year. The projection, made public earlier this year, is short on specifics. But it mirrors the opinion of many forestry experts who say fewer trees will perish as rainy weather helps California’s woodlands regain their natural defenses against the ravenous bark beetle. “When we’ve had huge precipitation years, the mortality declines in the same or next year,” said Sheri Smith, a regional entomologist for the Forest Service. “It’s not like there isn’t going to be any new mortality, but we’re going to see a tremendous drop.”

Read More

Mandatory evacuations as crews battling 30-acre wildfire near Chuluota

By Christal Hayes and Michael Williams
Orlando Sentinel
April 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A rapidly growing wildfire near Chuluota Saturday led to at least 100 people being evacuated and more than a dozen buildings being destroyed. The blaze started about 3 p.m. in a wooded area near County Road 419 in Seminole County. Plumes of smoke billowed into the sky, which could be spotted from as far away as downtown Orlando. As of about 8:30 p.m. it had spread across 165 acres and was 25 percent contained. Crews worked to contain the blaze using bulldozers and helicopters that dumped hundreds of gallons of water on the blaze, which continued to inch close to homes along several roads in the Live Oak Reserve subdivision Saturday afternoon.

Read More

Support for Community Forestry

By the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Government of Maine
April 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA – Project Canopy, the Maine Forest Service’s community forestry program, recently awarded $116,939 in grants to local governments and municipalities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations that support community efforts to develop and maintain long-term community forestry programs. In all, seventeen awards were made for planning/Education and planting/maintenance. The Project Canopy grants are funded by the U.S. Forest Service. “These awards support community forestry programs growing trees that both enhance quality of life and that have multiple uses in the Maine economy,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “Urban forestry can also help raise awareness of professional forest practices being practiced on a larger scale throughout Maine.

Read More

Timber production, wildlife habitat can go together

By John Bartlett
Go Erie
April 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Tom Erdman spent 32 years hiking by invitation and with purpose the privately owned woodlands in Erie County. Until his retirement a year ago, Erdman was the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources service forester for Erie County. His job was to help landowners practice sustainable forestry and understand and meet their objectives. He saw a lot — some good and some not. His core advice for a woodland owner: “Talk to a forester before selling any timber.” …Erdman said for most landowners he worked with, timber production was a secondary concern. Their primary objective was an abundance of wildlife. But one is not exclusive of the other. “You can have both,” he said. And it doesn’t require large swaths of land. The average size parcel Erdman worked with was only about 30 acres.

Read More

Surgoinsville couple’s property certified as Stewardship Forest

The Rogersville Review
April 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SURGOINSVILLE — The Alan and Jean Soucy property near Surgoinsville was recently certified as a Stewardship Forest by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry. Tennessee’s Forest Stewardship Program is designed to help landowners manage their forestland in ways to help meet desired objectives that they wish to receive from their land and to encourage practices that promote the overall health of the forest. The Division of Forestry provides written management plans to landowners at no cost to help them manage their property to achieve objectives such as: increasing timber production, promoting wildlife habitat, taking care of forest health concerns, improving forest recreation and aesthetics, and ensuring good water quality among other goals that they may have.

Read More

MP calls on Government to revise logging plan ahead of crucial Upper House vote

By Georgie Burgess
ABC News Australia
April 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As a crucial vote looms on the Government’s new forestry bill, one MP is calling for a rethink and more detail. The Legislative Council will begin debating the Forestry (Unlocking Productive Forests) Bill when it sits next week, with the vote expected to go down to the wire. If the bill passes, 356,000 hectares of forest will become available for logging two years earlier than originally planned. But independent MP Tania Rattray, who has been a backer of the forest industry, called on the Government to provide MLCs with more information on the forests they intend to open up to logging from next year. Ms Rattray said she had been briefed that less than 50,000 of the 356,000 hectares could actually be logged.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

A growing problem: Europe’s use of Georgia’s wood is not ‘green’

By J. Winston Porter, Ph.D., national energy and environmental consultant
The Augusta Chronicle
April 8, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

U.S. environmental groups shower praise on European climate control policies and beg for comparable American actions. But governmental mandates in Europe to reduce carbon emissions have shown remarkably ineffective results. Interestingly, Georgia is playing a notable role in European energy folly. The Europeans have decided to include the burning of biomass – mostly wood – in their renewable energy standards. Here’s the logic behind their decision: Trees naturally die and degrade, releasing carbon dioxide. So, if you burn wood but replace what is burned with newly planted vegetation, it’s carbon-neutral and renewable. If this sounds too good to be true, you’re right.

Read More

University of Vermont Study Looks at Carbon Storage of Forests

By Joshua Brown, University of Vermont
VT Digger
April 7, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

New results from a fifteen-year study on Mount Mansfield and at the University of Vermont’s research forest come to a surprising conclusion: imitating old-growth forests enhances carbon storage in managed forestland far better than conventional forestry techniques. As the planet warms, carbon markets are getting hot too. Forest landowners have been looking for ways to enter these markets, making money from their commercial timberland not just by selling logs—but also by demonstrating that their land is absorbing climate-warming carbon dioxide from the air. The more carbon an acre of trees holds, the more valuable it will be in these new carbon markets—whether in the California “cap and trade” market, international voluntary markets, or others that have been sprouting up across the U.S. and Canada.

Read More

Satellites map carbon sequestered by forests, with accuracy of up to 10 meters

By VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
EurekAlert!
April 8, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the EU North State project has developed a new method of using satellite images to evaluate the forest carbon balance. The carbon balance indicates how much carbon is sequestered or released by forests each year. This enables the carbon balance to be displayed on digital maps, with an accuracy of up to ten metres. The technique involves mapping the key features of forest areas and forests — such as the location, main tree species, height and biomass — from images provided by the European Sentinel satellites. These digital images are fed into a model, alongside climate data. The result is carbon sequestration maps. Such maps reveal which areas are carbon sinks or carbon sources. This information can be used for activities such as planning forest management and assessing climate impacts.

Read More