Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 16, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Under fire

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 16, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US Forest Service’s proposed budget for 2018 has been under scrutiny with US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in the “hot seat” as it were. Senators were questioning Tidwell about the cuts ($800 million) asking hard questions. Sen. Maria Cantwell questioned how the proposed budget would “allow the Forest Service to fulfill its motto of caring for the land and serving the people“. Senator Ron Wyden said it “is a broken, common-sense-defying system” and “the costs of inaction are extraordinary“.

The state of Georgia enjoys being ranked first in the US for commercial timberland (two thirds of the state is forested) and it enjoys a lucrative export industry of wood pellets. But it still has trouble getting funding for new biomass projects due to competition from other renewables (wind, solar), fewer tax incentives and the ongoing debate about how carbon neutral biomass is. Difficult challenges for “a state so rich in forestry waste it exports it to other countries“.

If you see something, say something“. A simple but strong message from safety advocate Candace Carnahan, who was the keynote speaker at the Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s annual safety conference in Prince George this week. Speaking from experience, Candace lost her leg in a work place accident in a paper mill and is now a motivational speaker – saying to have a successful work place safety program requires participation from employees at all levels of an organization. 

— Heidi Walsh, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Community Forests Important Says Report

By Randy Morse
The BC Rural Centre
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An important report, Community Forests — Community Benefits: The Economic Contributions of Community Forest to Rural Communities, on the significant value of our province’s community forests, was released today. This timely effort is an economic analysis that quantifies the cumulative, historical economic contributions of community forests to rural communities in BC. The report was commissioned by the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition (SIBAC) with the cooperation and assistance of the BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA). The report demonstrates community forests in BC are playing a critical role in the economies of many of BC’s smaller rural communities. Against a pervasive trend of sawmill closures, forest sector job losses, and reduced municipal industrial tax revenues, community forests offer rural communities and First Nations an opportunity to directly benefit from the forest sector operations surrounding their communities.

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Timber harvest plans affect Kananaskis tourism

By Kevin Rushworth
High River Times
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


Black Diamond’s council will send a letter to the province supporting the review and reassessment of the proposed Kananaskis Country timber harvest, and how it would affect tourism in Highwood Junction. …n an earlier interview, Williams, a Black Diamond resident and hiking group spokesperson, said the Take a Stand for the Upper Highwood group is lobbying for their own interests, as well as other recreation enthusiasts. “We still understand we need the logs and wood products, but we want to have somewhat of a barrier when it comes to high traffic areas, like Highway 40 and 940 for tourism,” he said. …“We’d like to see some compromises when it comes to some of the trails and access, and the logging and harvesting that will be done along the (Highwood banks) and Etherington Creek,” Williams said.

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Winnipeg experiences ‘year of the caterpillar’ as three worm species wriggle across treetops

By Bartley Kives
CBC News
June 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Already infamous for its insects, Winnipeg is experiencing an arboreal infestation entomologists say they haven’t seen in decades: three different species of caterpillars crawling about the city’s treetops at once. Elm spanworms are infesting the inner-city tree canopy in neighbourhoods on either side of the Assiniboine River, from The Forks to Wolseley and Wellington Crescent. The emergence of a large population of the purplish-black worms follows an even larger, city-wide infestation of forest-tent caterpillars and a small emergence of cankerworms. Winnipeg insect-control branch superintendent Ken Nawolsky said he’s never seen all three species chow down on the city’s tree canopy at the same time.

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Forest Service to adopt LIDAR technology

By Jordan Glenn
White Mountain Independent
June 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PINETOP-LAKESIDE — In the years since the Rodeo-Chediski Fire in 2002, forest thinning and its effectiveness has been a hot topic among White Mountain residents. At the Firewise Fair on June 10 at the White Mountain Nature Center, Sue Sitko, of the Nature Conservancy in Northern Arizona, announced new technology called LIDAR that the U.S. Forest Service hopes to adopt in the near future to improve thinning efforts. LIDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, sends out pulses from a plane to the forest floor, which creates a scan that allows 3-D maps of the forest to be created. Using these maps, the U.S. Forest Service can evaluate a forests density and overall health. Based on that data, both general areas, as well as individual trees, can be marked for clearance by harvesters.

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JFAC gets update on Idaho forests

By Mary Malone
Bonner County Daily Bee
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SANDPOINT — The health of federal forests is the focus of the Good Neighbor Authority, which expanded to Idaho with the Farm Bill, passed by the United States Congress in 2014. David Groeschl, deputy director for the Idaho Department of Lands, updated Idaho’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this week on GNA, which is a federal law that enables the United States Forest Service to work with IDL on restoration and resilient landscape objectives. “It’s pretty exciting to see where we’ve come from, where we are at today and where this thing is going, because it’s growing at a pace that we were maybe hoping for — didn’t necessarily expect — but it’s growing leaps and bounds,” Groeschl said. JFAC made a stop in Sandpoint Tuesday during their spring tour, which hit the northern region for the first time in a few years, said committee co-chair, Sen. Shawn Keough.

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PacifiCorp buys 1,880 acres for elk habitat

By Allen Thomas
The Daily News
June 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COUGAR — PacifiCorp has purchased another 1,880 acres of wildlife habitat in the Marble Mountain area north of Swift Reservoir. The approximately $3.2-million purchase, from California Fruit Growers Supply, brings the utility’s holdings in the Swift-Marble area to almost 4,500 acres. The land is contiguous to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. “This forest land is crucial habitat for Roosevelt elk,’’ said Blake Henning, chief conservation officer for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. “It’s now forever protected and conserved in a region where designation of the Mount St. Helens National Monument restricts management options.’’ …“Conserving and managing this habitat on the southwest slopes of Mount St. Helens, where elk are threatened by forage loss from forest succession and habitat loss to development, is just a part of PacifiCorp’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship,’’ said Todd Olson, the company’s compliance director.

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Oregon senator emphasizes costs of Congressional inaction on wildfire funding

Curry Coastal Pilot
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today emphasized the costs of congressional inaction when it comes to fixing the broken system of wildfire funding, in a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this morning. …Wyden asked U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell what the costs of inaction on a long-term wildfire budgeting fix have been on forest management and wildfire over the last four years. …Tidwell told Wyden the cost of not having a long-term wildfire budget solution has prevented the Forest Service from managing millions of forest acres. The lack of forest management has exacerbated the severity and size of wildfires as the agency is forced to fund fire suppression by borrowing funds from forest management programs. “If you look at it over four years and you look at just the growth of the 10-year average, we could have easily been treating millions of more acres over the last four years.

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DNR boss to appoint forest panel; focus on marbled murrelet, 10-year sustainable harvest

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
June 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Natural Resources will assemble a panel of experts to help plan for the future of state forests, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said. Franz, who was elected as DNR’s top official last November, will appoint representatives of the forest industry, environmental community, trust beneficiaries and others to help address social, economic and environmental impacts of the final Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the marbled murrelet, agency officials said. That will affect the 10-year sustainable harvest calculation. “Obviously, we know this issue is extremely complicated and challenging,” Franz said at the state Board of Natural Resources meeting June 4. “I believe that if we draw this larger table, we can actually begin to put solutions on the table that get at all of the wins across those spectrums that we are not capable of doing within the smaller HCP process.”

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Copper King Fire salvage project OK’d

Daily Inter Lake
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Lolo National Forest announced last week it will proceed with a salvage-logging project on 1,761 acres within the burn area of last summer’s Copper King Fire. Forest Supervisor Timothy Garcia signed the decision June 6, authorizing timber salvage and roadside hazard-tree removal, along with about three miles of temporary road construction, 88 miles of road maintenance, 6,000 acres of tree planting and motorized use restrictions on five miles of trail. Road and watershed stabilization work will begin this month, with burned tree salvage beginning in July after timber sale contracts are awarded. The Copper King Fire started last summer on July 31, burning quickly across steep slopes in the Thompson River drainage approximately 5 miles east of Thompson Falls.

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Sen. Cantwell rips Trump administration’s wildfire fighting budget

By John Knicely
KIRO7
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfire season is upon us as was evident with a fire near the Chelan Airport Monday, where the Carlton Complex Fire devastated the area in 2015. On Thursday Sen. Maria Cantwell questioned the U.S. Forest Service Chief about wildfire fighting cuts the Trump Administration’s 2018 budget proposal. The proposal would cut $300 Million in funding for fire suppression or firefighting. “I don’t see how the President’s budget even begins to allow the Forest Service to fulfill its motto of caring for the land and serving the people,” Cantwell said to Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell. …Cantwell also expressed concerns of the proposal to reduce funding for volunteer fire departments by 23%. “If there’s one thing I’ve heard from communities across our state is (volunteer firefighters are) playing a key role because of the number of fire starts that are there,” Cantwell said.

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Murkowski: Forest Service Should Promote Healthy Forests, Prosperous Economies for Alaskan Communities

SitNews
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Washington, D. C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) chaired an oversight hearing held by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to examine the U.S. Forest Service’s $4.7 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018, which would be about $880 million less than the previous fiscal year. Murkowski opened the hearing by noting that when making tough funding decisions, Congress must ensure the Forest Service has the resources it needs to meet basic forest health needs before funding other programs. “I appreciate the Forest Service’s acknowledgement that its primary responsibility is to manage our national forests,” Murkowski said.

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Zinke might recommend Katahdin monument be national park

By Nick Sambides Jr.
Bangor Daily News
June 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TOWNSHIP 2, RANGE 8 ? Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said Thursday that he might recommend that Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument be upgraded to a national park. Asked on the second day of his fact-finding tour of northern Maine if he might advise Congress to transform the monument into the state’s second national park, Zinke replied, “Certainly.” “The executive [branch of the federal government] does not have the authority” to create a national park, “so the driver would have to be from Congress,” Zinke said at a breakfast with Katahdin area political and business leaders at River Driver’s Restaurant & Pub. Yet Zinke did not discuss the possibility of turning the monument into a national park when he met later Thursday in Augusta with the Maine Forest Products Council. To Roberta Scruggs, the council’s communications director, that meant Zinke was not seriously considering that option.

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Forest heroes: it begins with logging

By Bill Cook
Michigan State University Extension
June 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The extraction, processing, manufacturing and eventual disposal of raw materials and goods entails a complex web of economic activity and energy consumption. The full “life cycle” of a particular product describes the impacts of that product from its cradle to its grave. The impacts can have various measures, such as energy consumption, carbon balance or water use. Wood, by any measure, is the most environmentally-friendly raw material at our disposal. For these reasons, an environmentally-conscious person ought to be favoring wood use over other natural resources, within the sustainability limits of the forests, of course. Loggers are our allies in building a more sustainable society.

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Forest Fires

Most firefighters, equipment released from Blue Grouse wildfire in West Kelowna

By Adam Proskiw
Infotel News
June 15, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West


WEST KELOWNA – The Blue Grouse Mountain wildfire may not yet be contained, but the majority of equipment and firefighters have been released from the scene. The fire, which started two days ago near Traders Cove off Westside Road, is still roughly two hectares in size, but has not grown in the last 24 hours, according to B.C. Wildfire spokesperson Justine Hunse. “The status is still being held,” Hunse says. “It’s not yet under what we could term as being under control.” She says three firefighters will be on scene today, June 15, looking for hotspots and ensuring against flare ups. There will be no aircraft assistance and two relay tanks and one water tender were sent back to the West Kelowna fire hall yesterday.

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New Mexico fire prompts evacuation of as many as 200

By Susan Montoya Bryan
Associated Press in the Washington Post
June 15, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


A fast-moving wildfire burned at least 600 acres in northern New Mexico on Thursday, prompting the evacuation of as many as 200 people and led the governor to activate the state emergency operations center. The flames were spreading quickly through an area of the Jemez Mountains west of Los Alamos along New Mexico Highway 4. A towering plume of smoke could be seen from miles away. Santa Fe National Forest spokeswoman Julie Ann Overton said the fire was about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from Los Alamos and burn scars from previous fires in the area may keep it from hitting the city. About 100 firefighters along with three heavy air tankers, six engines and a helicopter were trying to prevent the flames from reaching about 300 structures that could possibly be at risk.

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State forestry battling two wildfires on Kenai Peninsula; one in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and one near Homer

Alaska Wildland Fire Information
June 15, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


The Alaska Division of Forestry is responding to two wildfires burning on the Kenai Peninsula. The East Fork Fire was reported at 6:25 p.m. and is burning in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 5-6 miles north of the Sterling Highway. The last size estimate on the fire was 150 acres and the fire is moving farther into the refuge, away from the highway. The fire is in a limited protection area and the Division of Forestry is coordinating with refuge personnel to determine what action to take on the fire. Smokejumpers are en route to the fire and will be working on the south and west flanks of the fire when they land in an effort to keep the fire north of the East Fork Moose River. A helitack crew from the Kenai/Kodiak Area forestry office will also be inserted to assist with suppression efforts on the ground. An air tanker will be making water drops to assist firefighters on the ground.

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Firefighters struggle to contain Highline Fire before a dangerous weekend

By Michele Nelson
Payson Roundup
June 16, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

More than 000 firefighters have spent the week trying to keep a potential monster wildfire trapped on the face of the Mogollon Rim. They can only pray they’ve done enough to contain the beast despite a perfect storm of superheated air, updrafts, downdrafts and fire plumes overtaking the region through the weekend. The conditions may mimic the weather that turned the Dude Fire 27 years ago and the Rodeo-Chediski Fire 15 years ago into lethal disasters. The roughly 912 members of the Type 1 Incident Team can only hope their carefully tiered approach and the gut-wrenching week of effort by firefighters will keep the monster caged with the hot winds on their way. Firefighters use back fires and hand tools to herd the Highline Fire along the face of the Rim between Forest Road 300 and the Highline Trail. Yet even with that strategy, the fire has spread to 1,300 acres this week.

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Bear, Highline fires merge – top 4,258 acres

Payson Roundup
June 15, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…Because the Highline Fire merged with the Bear Fire on Monday, they are now being managed as a single incident. Acres and percent containment are now reported as combined totals. According to infrared flight mapping last night the Highline Fire grew by 308 acres to 1,661 acres and the Bear Fire grew by 75 acres yesterday to 2,591 acres, for a total of 4,258 acres. Combined containment is now five percent. Containment achieved to date was on the Bear Fire. Last night the fire continued to burn east across upper Ellison Canyon where crews held it below the Rim with a strategic firing operation. As the fire progresses east into Ellison Canyon crews are working to stay in front of the main fire, burning out fuels below the 300 Road along the Rim. The fire backed slowly towards the Highline Trail on the south flank where crews successfully kept it north and above the trail.

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Company & Business News

U.S. imports 16 percent less lumber from Canada

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
June 15, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON D.C. – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. imported a total of 8.456m m³ of softwood lumber from Canada in the first quarter of this year, which equates to a reduction of 16 percent over last year. While January’s import volume was slightly higher year-over-year at 1.6 percent, February and March saw reductions of 30 percent and 15 percent respectively. The value of Canadian softwood lumber rose by 15 percent to $1.418 billion, and the value per unit rose to 36 percent to $167.7/m³. The Department of Agriculture also saw a reduction in U.S. softwood lumber exports for the first quarter.

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Canfor Pulp Workers Ratify Deal

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
June 15, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – Mmbers of three unions covering 900 workers at P.G. Pulp, Intercon and Northwood Pulp in Prince George, have voted in favour of a new contract. The vote, completed last night, was 68% in favour of the 4 year deal. Under the agreements, workers will get a 2% wage increase in each of the four years, a trdes adjustment in years one and three, and improvements to health benefits. “Negotiations are a long process” says PPWC Local 9 President Chuck LeBlanc “Both sides conducted respectful discussions and worked together to achieve an agreement that would be ratified by the membership.”

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Safety advocate addresses conference

By Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen
June 15, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you see something, say something. The message couldn’t be clearer for employees of any industry, working in any form of job site. Candace Carnahan wishes that had been clearer in her head when she was in her early 20s working at a New Brunswick paper mill. She might still have her leg. Carnahan is one of Canada’s leading safety advocates, but she would trade her international career many times over if she could get back her lower appendage and, most importantly of all, spare her family the anguish of her nearly fatal incident. Carnahan was in Prince George this week as a keynote speaker at the Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s annual safety conference. She told CEOs, managers, supervisors, safety personnel and regular employees that it was up to each of them to look out for one another and look out for yourself whenever you’re at work.

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Construction Planned for Next Spring for Arkadelphia Pulp Mill

Associated Press in the Arkansas Business
June 15, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

ARKADELPHIA — Construction is expected to begin in March for a planned $1 billion pulp mill in south Arkansas. Members of the Clark County Quorum Court were updated this week on the plans for the pulp mill, which will be built in Arkadelphia. Stephen Bell is president and CEO of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce. He told quorum court members that the mill will be built along U.S. 67 across from the Clark County Industrial Park. Bell says that work is now in the “pre-engineering permitting stage” with construction planned to begin next March.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

FPAC welcomes low-carbon economy fund announcement

By Forest Products Association of Canada
Wood Business
June 16, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) supports the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, and her government’s $2 billion dollars in federal funds over the next five years for the Low Carbon Economy Fund….“Canada’s forest products sector is a leader in the fight against climate change. We were the first major Canadian industry to launch a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon through our 30 X 30 Climate Change Challenge announced in May 2016,” said Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada. “Through our work in Canada’s forests, at our mills and by the products we make we are a sector that alone can help the federal government achieve 13 per cent of it carbon reduction goal by 2030.”

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How the Sierra Nevada could become a polluter

By Jason Alvarez
University of California
June 15, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

What if nature were to become a polluter, discharging millions of tons of planet-warming carbon into the atmosphere in much the same way as diesel-fueled trucks or coal-fired power plants? This nature-as-polluter scenario might seem far-fetched, but it’s well on its way to becoming reality, according to a recent study co-authored by UC Merced professor LeRoy Westerling. In a paper published recently in Scientific Reports — “Potential decline in carbon carrying capacity under projected climate-wildfire interactions in the Sierra Nevada” — Westerling and collaborators from the University of New Mexico and Penn State University used three climate models and data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to examine how rising global temperatures and increasingly severe wildfires will affect Sierra Nevada forests. Their conclusion: Changing conditions will turn today’s Sierra Nevada forests into tomorrow’s greenhouse gas emitters.

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Why biomass remains a challenge, even in timber-rich Georgia

Southeast Energy News
June 16, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A new biomass plant under construction in Georgia highlights the challenging economics of the technology, even in a state so rich in forestry waste it exports it to other countries. …Because Albany Green is situated in the midst of rich timber tracts, biomass harvesting will be restricted to a 100 mile radius, and will include forestry residues locally sourced that would otherwise have been left to decay, burn or dispose of in a landfill. …“This plant represents years of planning and deadline extensions in an effort to utilize pine trees and forest debris in generating electricity,” explains Tim Echols, vice-chair of the Georgia Public Service Commission. “It was no easy thing to bring about this biomass power plant.”

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