Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 6, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Commercial forestry in US monuments (and their size) are in flux

December 6, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called on President Donald Trump to shrink a total of four national monuments—including Southern Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou—and change the way 10 others are managed. Elsewhere, Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters monument is to remain unchanged, while Native American leaders are filing lawsuits over the changes to Utah’s monument.

In other news, Mayor Bob Simpson says BC’s Site C dam puts biomass energy at risk; pressure by Northern Pulp prompted Coles book store to axe a signing event, while its author says Nova Scotia is the last place she believed she would feel oppressed. Elsewhere, the Spruce bark beetle is returning to Alaska, while the state’s last big timber mill (Viking) faces an uncertain future.

Finally, Interfor’s Rick Slaco [and paparazzi wannabe] caught a Barred Owl making a successful kill in downtown Vancouver.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Barred owl makes successful kill in downtown Vancouver

By Larry Pynn
The Vancouver Sun
December 5, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ric Slaco

A barred owl made a surprise appearance in broad daylight in downtown Vancouver this week, even stopping to show off its successful kill to passing pedestrians. Ric Slaco, vice-president and chief forester for Interfor, snapped a photo of the owl Monday at about 1 p.m. outside the Bentall IV building. It appeared to be clutching a pigeon in its talons. “There were a dozen crows squawking in the tree above,” he added. Although barred owls have been steadily expanding their range across western North America, it’s still unusual to see one hunting right in the middle of a big city — even though peregrine falcons do it. Robin Bown, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Tuesday that this is the time of year when owls born in the spring are dispersing in search of available habitat.

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Forestry

Lake Louise ski resort pleads guilty to cutting down endangered trees

By Bill Graveland
Canadian Post in National Post
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Calgary – A world-renowned ski resort in Alberta has admitted to cutting down a stand of endangered trees, although it hasn’t been decided yet how large of a fine will have to be paid. The Lake Louise resort in Banff National Park was charged after it came to light in 2013 that employees had cut down trees, including at least 39 whitebark pine, alongside a ski run. The resort was to go to trial on Monday, but a representative pleased guilty on two charges—one under the Species at Risk Act and the other under the Canada National Parks Act.

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Fighting for Rapattack base amenities

By Martha Wickett
BC Local News
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Salmon Arm Council isn’t giving up on retaining a Rapattack base with cooking facilities and accommodation in Salmon Arm. During the past year, council has had about a dozen meetings and discussions with representatives and staff of the Wildfire Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO). The meetings arose after FLNRO informed council in October 2016 that the room and board option at the base, which was established in the 1970s, was to be cancelled. …In the meantime, council authorized Harrison, Coun. Chad Eliason and the city’s chief administrative officer, Carl Bannister, to head to Victoria to speak directly with FLRNO Minister Doug Donaldson and staff…

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Workers in declining industries fed false hopes

By Ernie Niemi, president, Natural Resource Economics
The Register-Guard
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ernie Niemi

Try this thought experiment: Imagine you’re a laid-off Pennsylvania coal miner and have an opportunity to obtain retraining for jobs in another industry. …Many coal miners today reject retraining, because they believe those who say coal soon will again be what it once was. …For decades, we’ve seen something similar from timber workers who believed false hope manipulated by industry leaders and politicians. …Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Peter DeFazio have linked arms with Trump. Wyden says the Canadians have “flagrantly” subsidized lumber so they can “steal our markets.” … Any workers expecting such rhetoric to generate jobs will probably be disappointed, like their elders in Oregon and their counterparts in Pennsylvania. Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis predicts that the promised restrictions on Canadian lumber imports likely would have only “smallish” impacts on jobs and economic activity.

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Native American tribes sue over Trump’s decision to shrink Utah national monument

By Michelle L. Price and Brady McCombs
Chicago Tribune
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

D. Trump

President Donald Trump’s rare move to shrink two large national monuments in Utah triggered another round of outrage among Native American leaders who vowed to unite and take the fight to court to preserve protections for lands they consider sacred. Environmental and conservation groups and a coalition of tribes joined the battle Monday and began filing lawsuits that ensure that Trump’s announcement is far from the final chapter of the yearslong public lands battle. The court cases are likely to drag on for years, maybe even into a new presidency. …The moves earned him cheers from Republican leaders in Utah who lobbied him to undo protections they considered overly broad. Conservation groups called it the largest elimination of protected land in American history. …A lawsuit from the coalition of the Hopi, Ute Indian, Ute Mountain Ute, Zuni tribes and Navajo Nation was filed late Monday night.

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Timber industry expert talks about forest issues

By Michael Howell
Bitterroot Star
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gordy Sanders

The third and last talk in the recent lecture series being held at the North Valley Library in Stevensville featured Pyramid Mountain Lumber Resource Manager Gordy Sanders. …Sanders has earned an impressive set of awards over the years, some from the industry and some from conservation groups such as the Five Valleys Land Trust and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. …“We are still here!” said Sanders. “It’s kind of a miracle.” He said since 1991 thirty sawmills have closed in the state. What’s left is stretched out in a web across the state with about 100 miles between sawmills. Right now, Sanders said, the lumber market is “reasonable.” “We are doing OK, but we could do better,” said Sanders. He said the mill was only running a shift and a half. He noted other mills not working at full capacity. “The biggest problem in the industry is access to the resources,” he said.

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Spruce bark beetles returning on north peninsula

By Ben Boettger
Peninsula Clarion
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALASKA — After a string of warm summers, the Kenai Peninsula’s spruce bark beetles are now hitting their highest numbers since their last outbreak in the 1990s. “We’re seeing levels we haven’t seen for over a decade, since the late 90s,” said entomologist Matt Bowser of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S Forest Service and the Alaska Division of Forestry have run annual aerial surveys since the 1970s. This year’s survey found 405,000 acres of beetle damage — the most in a given year since 1997, according to Forest Health Program Manager Jason Moan of the Alaska Division of Forestry. About 95 percent of the statewide damage was in southcentral Alaska, Moan wrote in an email, with the majority in the Susitna Valley.

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Zinke reaffirms plan to shrink Cascade-Siskiyou monument

Associated Press in the Mail Tribune
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ryan Zinke

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday again called on President Donald Trump to shrink a total of four national monuments — including Southern Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou — and change the way 10 others are managed, a sweeping overhaul of how protected areas are maintained in the United States. …The Antiquities Act over time has done great things for our country, and it has protected some of our greatest treasures,” he said, adding that Trump was “absolutely right” to conduct the report because some of his predecessors had abused their authority. …Two groups, the Association of O&C Counties and the American Forest Resource Council, sued when then-President Barack Obama nearly doubled the monument’s size earlier this year. 

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Forest Service hears concerns over Ten Mile-South Helena forestry project

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
December 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Logging in roadless areas, restrictions on mountain biking and the appropriateness of mixing fire mitigation with trail development highlighted objections to a proposed forestry project south and west of Helena. On Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service held an official objection meeting for the Ten Mile-South Helena Project. The project area encompasses more than 60,000 acres and includes timber harvest and prescribed burning focused on wildfire protection, along with trail maintenance and construction. The Forest Service released a draft decision in August, which… received about 30 objections. …The project has seen significant support but also criticism from wildlife advocates, as well as concern about mechanized logging in inventoried roadless areas. 

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Trump’s interior secretary recommends against changes at Maine monument

By Nick Sambides Jr.
Bangor Daily News
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Ryan Zinke (left)

Maine’s national monument should not be shrunk in size or feature commercial forestry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday. Speaking publicly for the first time about his recommendations to President Donald Trump, Zinke confirmed a Washington Post-reported leakand said that he has advised Trump to keep Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument at present size. His 20-page report, released Tuesday, does not recommend commercial forestry for Maine’s monument, despite its featuring the words “active timber management,” which is typically part of commercial forestry. That spurred relief among Maine environmental groups that envision the monument as a way of limiting commercial activity in the region.

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Beetles are ravaging Europe’s oldest forest. Is logging the answer?

By Eric Stokstad
Science Magazine
December 5, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BIAŁOWIEŻA, POLAND …Białowieża (pronounced be-ah-wo-VE-zha) is the gateway to Europe’s most primeval forest, famous for its giant oaks, wild bison, wolves, and woodpeckers. The town is also the center of a battle about the future of the forest—a conflict that has sharply divided Poland and pitted foresters against ecologists and other researchers. …State Forests, the government organization that manages most Polish forests, claims that Białowieża Forest is in jeopardy from an outbreak of the spruce bark beetle, a voracious insect that kills weak spruce trees. It says logging is the only way to stop the threat. …Environmental groups and many ecologists say the ministry’s cure is far worse than the disease, and that nothing less than the future of Europe’s last ancient wilderness is at stake.

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Company & Business News

Author upset about cancellation of pulp mill protest book signing

By Francis Campbell
Truro Daily News
December 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Joan Baxter

Northern Pulp wants author Joan Baxter and her latest book placed squarely on the Christmas naughty list. Baxter was looking forward to signing copies …on Saturday afternoon. But the event was cancelled after an apparent attempt by the company that runs the Abercrombie Point Mill in Pictou County to scuttle the book-signing. …“I was very upset, I won’t hide that,” Baxter said of the cancellation. “This is Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2017. …they said they were worried about my safety. . . . They said the bookstore staff were really uncomfortable with it.” Baxter said the explanations for the …cancellation were vague. “Disruptions, protests, ‘somebody might destroy the book.’ I wanted to know what had led to the cancellation. I said if there had been threats serious enough to warrant the cancellation of the book-signing, then I felt they should have been given to the police.”

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Pressure prompts store to axe event featuring book critical of Northern Pulp

By Susan Bradley
CBC News
December 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia author and journalist Joan Baxter has worked in African countries run by brutal dictators, where journalists often fear for their lives. The last place she believed she would feel oppressed as a writer would be in her home province. But that’s what Baxter believes happened last week when a New Glasgow bookstore cancelled an event scheduled for Dec. 2 featuring her latest book, The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest. Coles, owned by Indigo Canada, told Baxter on Nov. 27 it couldn’t go ahead with the event. Supporters of Northern Pulp, the current owners of the mill featured in Baxter’s book, opposed her appearance, Baxter said Monday. There was a concern that both the Coles store and the Highland Square Mall, where it is located, might be targets of unspecified protests.

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Tongass in transition: An uncertain future for Alaska’s last big mill

By Elizabeth Jenkins
KTOO
December 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Bryce Dahlstrom

In the spring, the last sizable timber mill in Alaska considered turning off the saws for good. Viking Lumber on Prince of Wales Island cuts large trees like Sitka spruce and yellow cedar. It buys most of those old growth trees from timber sales in the Tongass National Forest. But those sales could become a thing of the past.  The timber industry in Southeast Alaska is a shadow of its former self. But looking around the lumberyard at Viking, you wouldn’t know it. The ground trembles with heavy machinery. …The mill produces around eight truckloads of lumber a day. It’s barged and then shipped to 40 states to be turned into door frames, crown molding and sound boards for pianos. …“If you took timber away from this place right now, the impact on this town would be huge,” Watson said.

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A cut above: Tupper Lake sawmill expanding

By Aaron Cerbone
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
December 6, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

TUPPER LAKE — This village would not exist without sawmills, and today, though the mills lining the shore of Raquette Pond are long gone, the “lumberjack” occupation carries on. … Today, the town has only one sawmill now, but as the only mill in the Adirondack Park and a major supplier of furnishings and boards across the globe, Tupper Lake Hardwoods is expanding. The sawmill opened in Tupper Lake in 1994 after moving from a site in Quebec and now takes logs from 25 suppliers within a 50 mile radius, processing around 85,000 a year. General Manager of the sawmill Chris Dewyea said though public perception might be that milling and timber are dwindling industries, hardwood lumber and boards always have a global demand which grows with the rest of the world.

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Siempelkamp received an order from Green River Panels

Lesprom Network
December 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

The Taiwanese Green River Panels placed an order with Siempelkamp for the supply and installation of particleboard plant. The new plant will be built close to Trang in South Thailand, the center of the Thai latex production with extensive rubber-wood plantations, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Green River Panels already operates two production lines for particleboard in Asia. The new Thai plant is intended to only process overaged plantation trees of which the latex return runs dry after 25 years. …From these ports Green River Panels will send its products all over the world. …Green River Panels is one of the leading wood-based products suppliers in Asia. Next to sawed timber from multi-year rubber-wood plantations, the company also offers particleboard made from the same type of wood.

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Forestry managed investment scheme ‘saga’ started with National Party

By Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review
December 5, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

The National Party was behind a policy that gave rise to the agribusiness managed investment schemes (MIS) that later collapsed, leaving some investors destitute. Those same investors are now clamouring for the banking royal commission – called by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after pressure from the Nationals – to consider their cases. It was in 1997 that former deputy prime minister and leader of the Nationals, John Anderson, who was then primary industries minister, announced a national goal of trebling commercial tree crops by 2020. He was responding to the decline of the local forestry industry and “the key tool for accomplishing this goal was MIS,” the National Farmers Federation would later argue as it tried to protect landholders hurt by the schemes.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Allowing Site C would put biomass energy and bioproducts profits at risk

By Bob Simpson, Mayor of Quesnel
The Province
December 5, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

As the deadline nears for the B.C. government’s decision on whether to proceed with the $9-billion (and counting) Site C dam, one aspect of the controversial B.C. Hydro project deserves more attention: What do rising hydro rates and a glut of power mean for the financial viability of numerous forest companies and the rural communities in which they operate? Contrary to what many British Columbians think, many forest companies produce more than just lumber, panels, pulp and pellets. Some also produce power that is sold to B.C. Hydro. Currently, 17 B.C. firms produce a combined 850 megawatts of “biomass” power — 77 per cent of the power equivalency of Site C should that dam be completed. …But with Site C’s potential to add another 1,100 megawatts of hydropower to a province already awash in electricity, questions must be asked.

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As sea levels rise, ‘ghost forests’ expand

By Sarah Kennedy
Yale Climate Connections
December 6, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

In the marsh lands of New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, you may stumble across a spooky sight: hundreds of dead Atlantic white cedars poking out of the water. Some people call these places “ghost forests”.  Able: “Locally, we refer to these as cedar cemeteries.” Ken Able directs the Rutgers University Marine Field Station. He says cedar trees need fresh water to live. As sea levels rise, salt water slowly creeps inland, killing trees and converting forest to marsh. Seas have been rising for a long time, and Able says some drowned trees have been around for centuries. But as climate change speeds up the process, trees are dying in larger numbers than ever before.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

NAWLA: Forest Forever Exhibit Engages New Generation

By Marc Saracco
Building Products Digest
December 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you have a good understanding of the forest products industry—our history, our processes, the practical use of wood products, sustainability, and the like. …You know that our products are incorporated across nearly every corner of homes and businesses from coast to coast. You may also be acutely aware of misconceptions that exist in the public around forest product production and the impacts we have across our industry, our country, and the world. …This year, NAWLA signed on as a 10-year supporting sponsor of a traveling children’s museum exhibit entitled “Forever Forest.” … intended to help families learn about the forest products lifecycle in a fun and interactive manner. 

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Handmade entry hopes to break into high-end ski market

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
December 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

George Gaines

George Gaines was a three- or four-times-a-year skier when he decided to rethink the whole recipe of ski design.  A lot of sawdust, a Kickstarter campaign and awards from the University of Montana’s Blackstone LaunchPad program later, his Chilton Bitterroot Buttersticks now await their first winter of heavy use. Gaines’ interest in wood has spread in numerous directions. … But that inspired an interest in forestry, which brought him to UM’s Franke School of Forestry and Conservation. Then he started turning out custom-made skateboard decks. That led to ski construction.  “What I saw was the vast majority of skis available were cranked out by robots in factories overseas,” Gaines said. “I felt strongly I wanted to build my own skis. But I found it was a more costly engineering challenge than skateboards were.”

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Southern Pine at International Builders Show

By Erin Graham
Southern Forest Products Association
December 6, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Thousands of homebuilders converge on Orlando next month for the 2018 edition of the International Builders’ Show (IBS). Like last year, Southern Pine lumber and American softwoods will be front and center before an expected crowd of 80,000 building professionals. …With funding support from the Softwood Lumber Board, SFPA is coordinating a wood association exhibit under the Wood, Naturally banner. Joining SFPA in the 20×30-foot space are the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, Western Wood Products Association, Western Red Cedar Lumber Association and the Western Wood Preservers Institute. …During the show, carpenter Mark Clement will conduct his “day of decks and wood” construction demos at another location on the show floor. 

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Wood from Rockefeller Christmas trees used in Newburgh homes

The Associated Press in the Times Herald-Record
December 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CITY OF NEWBURGH — Old Rockefeller Center Christmas trees never really die, they just get built into the wall frames and floor supports of affordable homes. For the past decade, the ornament-laden trees that have been lit up with glitz, songs and dancing Rockettes have gone on to be milled into lumber used in dozens of Habitat for Humanity homes from Philadelphia to Pascagoula, Mississippi. Each tree yields a truckload of 100 or more boards, all stamped with an image of the tree and the year it was on display. …The Rockefeller wood is more symbolic than structural. That’s because the big Norway spruces that tower over skaters each December at Rockefeller Center are show trees, not work trees, with wood often too knotty to support a lot of weight.

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