Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 11, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

America First policy may hurt Americans most

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 11, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The impact of protectionist trade policies [proposed on pulp] will hurt Americans most because it will “drastically raise the price of newsprint and threaten jobs in the newspaper industry“, according to the editorial board of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. NAHB economist Paul Emrath—writing in Builder Online—says lumber is a case in point. “What comes as a near-term win for a finite number of US producers could actually come back around to haunt them.” Meanwhile, the CBC reports that President Trump continues to defend his protectionist policies with “questionable statistics about international trade“.

In Forestry news: the New York Times editorial board calls Trump’s move on national monuments “the looting of America’s public lands“; an Arizona professor says “to live better with fire, we need to adapt to fire“; BC mayors educate the Premier on their fibre needs; central Canada is being ravaged by the emerald ash borer; and Ontario takes action to save Lake Superior caribou.

Finally, Norway is about to become home to the world’s tallest timber building at 81 meters, 28 meters taller that Vancouver’s Brock Commons.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Pair of ‘mouse control technicians’ to lose their jobs when Ontario closes tree seed plant

by Jake Edmiston
The National Post
December 8, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sammy or Pepper

ANGUS, Ont. — At a government compound in rural Ontario, there are stockpiles of tree seeds, billions of them, all catalogued and tested and waiting to be planted. The threat inherent for this factory and its pine cones, acorns, fruit and seed is the vermin. So the provincial government has employed two cats. Pepper and Sammy are paid by the taxpayers of Ontario in room, board and veterinary care. These “mice-control technicians,” as one bureaucrat called them, are the reason there is no rodent problem at the Ontario Tree Seed Plant in Angus, Ont., about 120 kilometres north of Toronto. The cats are soon to be fired, however. The government will shutter the plant next September. 

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Business & Politics

US vote against Canadian softwood ‘without merit’, says BC trade council

Xinhau in Global Times
December 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The vote by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) this week to label Canadian softwood imports as harmful to American interests is “completely without merit”, the British Columbia Lumber Trade Council has said. …The NAFTA dispute panel is expected to make its ruling by next fall… The WTO process could take years. …Duties against Canada collected so far by US authorities have been kept in a 500-million dollars bond. Canadian exporters will now have to pay the tariffs out of that bond, said trade expert John Ries at the UBC in Vancouver. “Going forward, (more) duties will be collected as well,” he told Xinhua… “This isn’ t a surprise. There was a preliminary determination on injury long before, and Canada is taking the dispute to both a NAFTA panel and a WTO panel. This is a lot like the last dispute in the early part of the 2000’s where it got to the same point.”

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Trump says Trudeau left out lumber, energy while talking trade numbers

The Canadian Press in CBC News
December 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. President Donald Trump regaled a rally of supporters Friday night with a story about a disagreement with Canada’s prime minister, then sprinkled his tale with some questionable statistics about international trade. Trump told a partisan crowd in Florida that he and Justin Trudeau had a closed-door debate about trade balances. …”(Trudeau) said, ‘I’m telling you that Canada has a deficit with the United States.’ …He said his staff found Trudeau left out some key details, pertaining to trade in goods: “(Trudeau) was right. Except he forgot two categories: Lumber timber; and energy. Other than that, he was right. When you add them all together, we actually have a $17 billion deficit with Canada.” That’s not what his own government’s stats say.

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Coulson Aviation joins aerial fight against California fires

By Susie Quinn
Alberni Valley News
December 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coulson Aviation of Port Alberni has sent two of its aerial firefighting C-130 tankers to California to help fight fires that have been raging out of control in the Santa Ana winds this week. One of Coulson’s tankers is working out of the Santa Maria air tanker base, and the other is in San Bernardino, Coulson Aviation owner Wayne Coulson said. “I got a call (Tuesday) morning from the chief from Cal Fire,” he said. Coulson tankers flew 160 straight days with Cal Fire this past season. “We called back the first tanker, which was in Arizona; we pulled it out of maintenance and got it going,” Coulson said. The second tanker was being loaded to head to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, but Coulson instead diverted it to Santa Maria, California.

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Northern Pulp: with public money comes accountability

By Dan Leger
The Chronicle Herald
December 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

It says something about Nova Scotia’s economic insecurity when a company that owes its existence to public funding can forget that it answers to the people who help keep the lights on. One such company, Northern Pulp, was deemed “too big to fail” because of its impact on rural employment. . …The public money meant the mill’s owners acquired an expensive asset at a deep discount. It’s currently owned by Paper Excellence Canada, which is based in British Columbia but controlled by Indonesian interests. Given all that, shouldn’t Northern Pulp respect both the letter and spirit of environmental laws? Shouldn’t it be forthright with citizens and the public, including indigenous communities? …As for Northern Pulp, you’d think it would understand by now the importance of public accountability. Instead, it’s involved in a ham-fisted attempt to muzzle criticism by stirring up opposition to an unauthorized biography of the plant.

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Pictou Lodge loses booking after GM criticizes Northern Pulp mill over environmental concerns

By Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
December 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wes Surrett

The Pictou Lodge has been penalized for not toeing Northern Pulp’s party line, says the resort’s general manager. “I stood up in front of a large crowd and I spoke to the poor record that our local pulp mill has when it comes to environmental standards and their record of non-compliance,” Wes Surrett said of his comments at a Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia summit in Halifax in late November. “It didn’t take any time and my phone was ringing with a representative from the mill, that it had heard that I had made disparaging remarks about the mill in public and that was not OK with them,” Surrett said. “He demanded a letter of apology or else they’d be cancelling their Christmas party with us. I just said, ‘Well, I guess you’re cancelling your Christmas party. “

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Record high prices for softwood lumber in North America in the 3Q/17 and rising lumber export prices in Sweden, Finland and Russia as lumber demand picks up in key markets

Hakan Ekstrom
Wood Resources International
December 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Demand for imported softwood lumber to the US has fallen by six percent during the first nine months of 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016. In contrast, Chinese import volumes have been up 21% year-over-year. The lumber trade in Europe has also picked up in 2017 with the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Spain having increased imports the most so far in 2017. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa, also known as the MENA countries, have sharply reduced consumption of lumber this year, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). In the first eight months of 2017, Egypt and Algeria (the two biggest lumber consumers in the region) have decreased their imports by 24% and 39% respectively as compared to the first eight months of 2016.

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Lumber liquidated: Sudden Impact

Hohn McManus
Builder Online
December 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Nothing happens in a vacuum, and nowhere is this evident than in the residential construction business, where, it seems, everything connects. …National Association of Home Builders economist Paul Emrath deconstructs a direct ripple series of consequences resulting from newly legislated duties of roughly 21% on Canadian lumber shipping into the U.S., first on costs down to the board foot. Emrath flows analysis through to increased prices builders pay for Canadian softwood, and finally domino-ing as effects on overall spending, tax revenue creation, and net macroeconomic impact. What may come as a near-term win for a finite number of U.S.-based softwood lumber producers could actually come back around to haunt them. …Everything connects. America first can potentially hurt Americans most.

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What protectionism really looks like

By the Editorial Board
Richmond Times-Dispatch
December 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

President Trump favors protectionist trade policies that, supposedly, protect American workers and companies from hostile economic forces abroad. That’s the theory, anyway. The practice looks a whole lot different. Case in point: a Department of Commerce investigation into supposed “dumping” of newsprint and other paper products by Canada. “Dumping” happens when someone sells something at an especially low price. That’s great for buyers — stores usually call it a “sale” — but not so great for some competitors. The investigation began as the result of a single complaint from a single company that has a single paper mill in Longview, Washington. The company is owned by a hedge fund. Pretty much the rest of the paper industry in the U.S. is on the other side of the issue, including the American Forest and Paper Association.

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Canadian subsidies hurt U.S. timber

Letter by Dale Riddle
The Register-Guard
December 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Dale Riddle

Before retiring, I spent 35 years working for the Seneca family of companies. I served as legal chair of the U.S. Lumber Coalition, defending the softwood lumber industry against unfair subsidies provided by the Canadian government. Ernie Niemi’s Dec. 5 guest viewpoint (“Workers in declining industries fed false hopes”) is insulting and grossly mischaracterizes a highly competitive wood products industry here in Oregon. Every president since Ronald Reagan has found that Canada subsidizes its lumber production, harming U.S. lumber mills and tree farmers across the country. These Canadian subsidies are a flagrant abuse of U.S. trade law, and we depend on our leaders in government, like Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden, to take strong action to hold foreign governments responsible for their illegal actions. 

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Australian forestry company gears up for NZ expansion with multi-million fund

By Gerard Hutching
New Zealand Stuff
December 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Australian forestry company New Forests has a war chest of up to $500 million set aside for investing in New Zealand forestry. Managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Mark Rogers, said the money had been recently raised from mainly European investors. “We raised $873 million and we need to spend a big slab of it here, at least $400-500m for trees and infrastructure, but not trucking and harvesting because the locals to do that.” “Pre-election we were thinking it might be quite difficult [to operate] but post-election it’s clear both sides understand that if foreign capital dried up in forestry, New Zealand would have a smaller sector.” The Forest Owners Association said the Government would be keen to tap into these funds as well as other overseas investment for forestry, partly for environmental reasons.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

5 Ways Architectural Design Is Going Green

By Lara O’Keefe
Forbes
December 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Sustainability has been at the forefront of building construction and design for years. As Americans become more conscious of climate change and environmental issues, building owners are pushing for improved green building strategies that will help reduce the carbon footprint. …Check out five materials architects and developers are using to make projects more sustainable. Timber has been engineered to be stronger than ever, which means the potential to build eco-friendly skyscrapers is now a real possibility for architects. Cross-laminated timber… is strong and can be used to create massive structures. These can also be prefabricated in a factory and made into any shape, Dezeen reports. Timber is not only lighter than steel and concrete, it is also significantly better for the environment. Trees soak up carbon and lock it away, while steel and concrete materials emit carbon into the environment.

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2017 Best of Design Awards for Office & Retail

By Daisy Alioto
The Architect’s Newspaper
December 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Albina Yard—Architect: LEVER Architecture, Location: Portland, OregonAlbina Yard is the first building in the United States made from domestically fabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT). This new 16,000-square-foot speculative office building utilizes mass timber construction, with a glue-laminated timber frame and CLT panels manufactured and prefabricated in Riddle, Oregon. The project’s primary goal was to utilize domestic CLT in a market-rate office building that would pave the way for broader adoption of renewable mass timber construction technologies in Oregon and the United States.

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Gov. Brown and University of Oregon reach possible deal for $40 million in state bonds for Knight science campus

By Saul Hubbard
The Register-Guard
December 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Kate Brown

Gov. Kate Brown and ­leaders of the University of Oregon have reached a mutually ­beneficial agreement that could result in an extra $40 million in state bonds in February for the UO’s new Knight science campus project. Brown endorsed the UO’s ­financial ask in a letter to state lawmakers on Dec. 4, ­after the UO agreed to incorporate at least 20,000 board feet of cross-laminated timber in the first Knight campus buildings. Brown has aggressively promoted cross-laminated timber, a wood product used in building construction, as a possible job creator in rural Oregon. The product — a timber industry favorite — still is emerging, however, and has faced headwinds in being accepted in building codes as a substitute for steel or concrete in certain applications.

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Legislature fiddles until next apartment fire

By the Editorial Board
NorthJersey.com
December 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Call it the “miracle near the Hudson,” the Jan. 21, 2015, fire at the Avalon apartment complex in Edgewater. A fire caused by workers tore through 240 units. …In the wake of the fire, there was a call from firefighters and some public officials to rewrite the state’s building codes. Almost three years later, nothing has changed. That is irresponsible. As Nicholas Pugliese reports, the Legislature is unlikely to act during the lame-duck session. ….His bill would require more robust sprinkler systems in large wood-frame apartment buildings. It would also limit the height of buildings using so-called lightweight wood timber, which has been favored by New Jersey developers.  Critics of the bill say it doesn’t go far enough. Maybe so. But it’s not going anywhere and that is far worse.

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Norway’s tallest timber tower another step towards the plyscraper era

By Cameron Jewell
The Fifth Estate
December 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Norway is set to become home to the world’s tallest timber building – an 81-metre, 18-storey mixed-use development featuring apartments, office space, restaurants and a hotel. Built by Norwegian company Moelve, and known as Mjøstårnet, the building, located in Brumunddal, is being constructed without a concrete core, unlike many other engineered timber buildings. Investor and contracting client Arthur Buchardt said the building set new standards for timber construction. “The building is the closest we come to a skyscraper in timber,” Mr Buchardt said. Construction is going ahead at speed, with the building due to be completed in December 2018. “The assembly and construction of the Mjøstårnet is nothing short of world-class engineering, and will be managed without external scaffolding, despite the complexity of working at heights,” Mr Buchardt said. 

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Forestry

Horgan meets with locals mayors, regional districts

The Prince George Citizen
December 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Local mayors and regional district staff met this weekend with Premier John Horgan in Prince George to discuss such issues as lumber markets and softwood duties; timber supply in the wake of last summer’s wildfires and increasing beetle infestations; and the pending legalization of marijuana. …In co-ordinating the meeting, Simpson focused specifically on Prince George, Quesnel and Mackenzie – the three pulp mill locations – and the areas which provide fibre for those mills. “With the whole issue of the changing timber supply, what can we do to avoid what happened on the coast, where the manufacturing sector collapsed because the governments of the day didn’t start answering the questions of what kinds of investments do we need in the manufacturing centre to match the changes that are happening on the land base?” said Simpson.

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Forestry research nets College of New Caledonia grad national prize

By Stuart Neatby
The Prince George Citizen
December 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ed Morrice

College of New Caledonia graduate Alex Tranq received high praise for his recent research focused on forestry and climate change, but his good fortune began with a game of rock-paper-scissors. Tranq’s research topic, for which he took home second place in the Applied Research and Technology Report contest of the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board on Friday, was decided through the game of chance. His topic, which focused on evaluating western larch trees as a future crop in the rapidly warming climate of Prince George, was one of four ideas initially presented to a group of students by instructor Ed Morrice. …Morrice, who supervised Tranq’s research, believes that the questions raised in Tranq’s paper have practical implications for the region’s forestry industry.

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‘It’s as bad as it sounds:’ Ash borer beetle makes first appearance in the West

Canadian Press in the Victoria Times Colonist
December 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WINNIPEG — An invasive beetle that has already ravaged millions of trees in Central Canada and the U.S. has made its first appearance in the West. The emerald ash borer, a highly efficient killer of ash trees, has been confirmed in a tree in a Winnipeg neighbourhood. “At this point, we have to assume it’s as bad as it sounds,” said Krista Ryall of the Canadian Forest Service. Ash borers, originally from China, are already so prevalent in Ontario, Quebec and the eastern U.S. that scientists fear some species of ash may be wiped out. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has said the toll may eventually reach eight billion trees. “All of our North American ash species are vulnerable,” Ryall said.

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Timber companies have had their day in the sun

Letter by Nick Chatten
BC Local News
December 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Regarding the logging in watersheds, I advise everyone to have a look at the Google maps with the satellite view. Pan around the West Kootenays to areas like Nancy Greene park and you will see a lot of harvest. These guys have had their day in the sun and now they want to tip toe through people’s back yards. When I was in the Selkirk College Forestry program in 1986 we learned of the fall-down effect. Slocan Forest Products (remember them?) learned this effect and now they are a memory. Eventually, the mature timber that can be put through a sawmill diminishes because they are logging so hard. I have to laugh that the government considers we are logging in a sustainable fashion: utter hogwash! We are harvesting fiber faster than it can grow back.

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On Haida Gwaii, logging plans expose rift in reconciliation

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
December 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is “pursuing profit over culture and community” by selling logging rights on Haida Gwaii without permission, the president of the Council of the Haida Nation says. Kil tlaats ‘gaa, whose English name is Peter Lantin, compared the current mood among Haida people to 1985, when members of the Haida nation erected blockades to prevent the harvest of old-growth forests on Lyell Island. “The pent-up frustration on Haida Gwaii has built up to the place where it’s going to blow out,” he said. Kil tlaats’gaa said the province’s actions underscore deeper divisions over the future of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off B.C.’s west coast whose physical beauty draws tourists from around the globe but whose economy is also heavily reliant on a decreasing number of forestry jobs.

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The mad rush to destroy forest ecosystems

Letter by Brian L. Horejsi BSF, PhD
Victoria Times Colonist
December 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian L. Horejsi

Re: “Huge salvage job ahead in B.C. forests,” column, Nov. 16. Outside of “public” servants and privileged corporations who have been so deeply embedded in the exploitation of B.C. forests for the past 50 years they can no longer think beyond “get as much as you can, as fast as you can,” I can’t imagine any rational or knowledgeable observer believing forest management has been “done right” in this province. But hold on. Columnist Les Leyne apparently likes what he sees. “Rushing in to extract” value is something he admires. And if there were such things as scientific standards, conservation or protection of old-growth and biodiversity, and a regulatory permitting decision process, he parrots the corporate timber industry and thinks we should “overturn” those standards.

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Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says action being taken to save Lake Superior caribou

CBC News
December 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s minister of Natural Resources and Forestry says the province is taking steps to save the southernmost caribou herd in the country from extinction. It’s on Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior, where they were reintroduced in the early 1980s. The population grew to over 700 at one point, but has been cut down after wolves walked across the ice a few years ago. It’s since declined to under 100 caribou. On Thursday, the minister released a statement about the province’s plan to take action. Kathryn McGarry says her ministry has been working with Michipicoten First Nation Chief Patricia Tangie to come up with a solution. “We will be transporting a suitable portion of the caribou population to the Slate Islands to ensure the continued viability of this important species on an island free from predators,” she said in statement.

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Forest industry answers caribou policies critic

Letter by Kate Lindsay, VP, Forest Products Association of Canada
The Chronicle Journal
December 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Kate Lindsay

On behalf of Canada’s forestry sector and its workers, I wanted to take the opportunity to respond to the op-ed in The Chronicle-Journal Nov. 27 – Boreal Caribou: Scientists refute forestry claims.  Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and our members have been involved in caribou research, adaptive management practices for caribou, as well as working collaboratively with First Nations, local communities and partners for many years, and for some companies, multiple decades.  Actively managing our forests is complex work that includes fire suppression and pest management. This work also supports many values, including, watershed protection, wetland stewardship, and species at risk. In the boreal forest alone, our workers manage not just for caribou, but for hundreds of mammals, birds, and fish that call the forest home. …The misrepresentation of the purpose and content of our informational website at www.cariboufacts.ca is unfortunate.

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The Looting of America’s Public Lands

By the Editorial Board
The New York Times
December 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The protections put in place over the last half-century by both political parties to guarantee Americans clean air, clean water and bountiful open space have been coming apart at the seams since President Trump took office. The last few weeks have been particularly brutal for conservationists and, indeed, anyone who believes that big chunks of America’s public lands, however rich they may be in commercial resources, are best left in their natural state. ..But none of these annoying facts can erode Mr. Trump’s belief that, in the continuing tug-of-war between commercial development and environmental protection, the environment has too often gotten the best of it, and the time has come to rebalance the scales. This mind-set is shared by all of Mr. Trump’s appointees who have anything to do with the environment, and it is a virtual copy of the thinking that prevailed among George W. Bush’s policymakers 15 years ago, many of whom have emerged like creatures from the crypt to occupy key positions in the Trump administration.

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The modern wildfire situation

By Christopher Jones, University of Arizona extension professor
Payson Roundup
December 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Christopher Jones

“To live better with fire, we need to adapt to fire” is a thought paradigm many fire community leaders and people have or are adopting to address their wildland-urban interface issues. The 2017 wildfire season again demonstrated the urgency in which communities need to adapt to fire in order to live better in the communities we call home.  …Nearly all forests and woodlands in the western states evolved with wildfire as a crucial part of their ecology. Twentieth-century forest management, however, centered on a fire suppression policy (in response to uncontrollable wildfire events during the late 19th and early 20th centuries). …To tie this back to the modern wildfire situation, western wildfires have gotten to such an environmental point that the technological advances of the 20th century that made wildfire suppression so successful for so long have been overwhelmed.

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Conservationists boost logging to restore national forests near Grand Canyon

By Brandon Loomis
AZCentral.com
December 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WILLIAMS — There was never enough wood. Despite all the ponderosa pines clogging northern Arizona’s forests with fire hazards, and despite all the cries for the government to remove enough of those trees to restore natural conditions, too few trucks dumped too few logs at a Williams sawmill after it opened in 2014. “We have lost millions of dollars here in three years,” said Rohit Tripathi, owner of Grand Canyon Forest Products, formerly Newpac Fibre. Twenty employees lacked the promise of steady, year-round work. The mill’s struggles reflect the U.S. Forest Service’s larger, lurching efforts to attract the private industry necessary to affordably thin pines that a century of fire suppression has allowed to grow thicker by the hundreds-per-acre. But Tripathi isn’t despairing — he’s investing.

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Senator: Bill will protect public use of public lands

By Senator Steve Daines
Daily Inter Lake
December 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Steve Daines

In 1977, President Carter signed a law that required the Forest Service to study 973,000 acres in Montana to determine if they were suitable for wilderness. The findings were to be reported in five years and Congress was to take action afterward. The Forest Service completed the study and determined that several of the study areas in Montana were not suitable for wilderness in its final plan. Thirty-five years later – we’re still waiting for D.C. to get its job done and release the study areas. I’ve introduced the Protect Public Use of Public Lands Act, which will take action on five study areas included in the Forest Service’s recommendation from decades ago. …Public lands that are only accessible to a few are not public at all, and I am committed to keeping public lands in public hands.

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Improving the health of our forests

By Jessica Kutz
Telluride Daily Planet
December 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Upper San Miguel Basin Forest Health Landscape Assessment team will unveil a tool … created to show current and projected forest conditions in the area. …The tool, called the “Forest in Flux” map, is an interactive series of story maps that visualize “current forest conditions and projected forest conditions” by utilizing climate models, according to Elizabeth Stuffings, program coordinator for the assessment. As one example, the maps show a significant decline in aspen populations in 2060, with the tree projected to die out in “much of its current range,” as the map indicates. “It is a pretty strong visual,” Stuffings said, “and with our use of climate modeling there is a lot of uncertainty … but there is a potential for significant change.”

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Fight to save Alaska’s big-tree forests

By Brendan Jones commercial fisher, teacher at University of Alaska
The Seattle Times
December 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Brendan Jones

…Just before the holidays, the Senate will vote on whether or not to harvest old-growth stands such as this one from the Tongass National Forest. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has attached what Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, has called a “poison-pill rider” that rescinds our timber-management plan here in Alaska — the result of years of roundtable work by local tribe members, conservationists and timber executives. It comes as little surprise. Murkowski, who grew up in Ketchikan, has long been in the thrall of those black and white photos of loggers posing victorious over felled trees.  …In the gauzy philosophy of “Make America Great Again,” Sen. Murkowski saw an opening. Rather than supporting local loggers, working on sustainable young-growth cuts, she proposed that the Tongass management plan be pushed aside, opening up the last vestiges of old growth for harvest.

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Judge halts clearing of rare forest targeted for Walmart

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
December 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Bulldozers downing trees on a property targeted for a Walmart-anchored shopping center were ordered to stop work after a federal judge issued an emergency injunction sought by environmentalists fighting to save the vanishing forest. The judge issued the injunction Friday, hours after the Center for Biological Diversity and three other groups sued to overturn a decision earlier this week that cleared the way for the mall, 900 apartments and a parking lot. The land near Zoo Miami had long been targeted for conservation and is part of what was once one of the largest tracks of pine rockland, a globally imperiled forest, outside Everglades National Park. In her ruling, Judge Ursula Ungaro said the plaintiffs showed a likelihood of winning their case and that ongoing work could cause irreparable harm.

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Should the Forestry Corporation pay council rates?

The Northern Star
December 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

KYOGLE Council looks set to join the fight to make state-owned forestry plantations pay rates, providing the council with much-needed revenue for bridge and road repairs. At tonight’s Kyogle Council meeting, a mayoral minute will be debated on the issue. It calls for a Kyogle councillor to be appointed to the Local Government of NSW Working Party for Unrateable Forestry Plantation Land and Forestry Road Infrastructure Contributions in Local Government. …It also wants the government to “introduce a system for transport infrastructure contributions by forestry corporations to address the ongoing infrastructure maintenance, upgrade and renewal needs of council roads”. …”The Forestry Corporation of NSW, a state owned corporation, manages over 2000 square kilometres of pine plantation in NSW, but does not pay any rates on these land holdings.

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New study: Gorillas fare better in logged forests than chimps

By John Cannon
Mongabay
December 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As timber companies move into Central Africa’s forests, apes increasingly have to find ways to survive in the altered forests they call home. Scientists still don’t know the full impact of logging on many animals, but now a new study suggests that gorillas stand a better chance of adapting to thinned-out forests than chimpanzees. The research, published Nov. 26 in the journal Biological Conservation, finds that logging initially drives out both western lowland gorillas and central chimpanzees. But later on, the unique ways in which each species reacts leads to a divergence in their responses. “Because gorillas aren’t territorial, they’ll slip right back into those areas and groups will feed relatively close to each other,” Dave Morgan, a biologist with the Lincoln Park Zoo and an author of the study, said in an interview.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Lake Babine Nation’s biomass project shelved

BC Local News
December 9, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lake Babine Nation’s (LNB) plan to build a biomass plant is being shelved while the nation concentrates on other projects. According to project manager Bernard Patrick, LBN made this decision after federal funding to start phase two of the project was denied. However, Patrick hopes the project won’t be shelved for “too long.” …Lake Babine Nation hopes the construction of this biomass plant will provide clean energy to its members and create a steady revenue stream. The plant would burn wood chips to sell heat to government organizations, private homes in Woyenne and community buildings in Fort Babine. The project is expected to create five full-time and eight part-time permanent jobs.

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Norway cuts payments to Brazil after Amazon forest losses rise

Reuters
December 8, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

OSLO – Norway has slashed its annual payments to Brazil to protect the Amazon rainforest by 60 percent to $42 million after a rise in forest destruction in 2016, but welcomed signs that losses have slowed this year, Norway’s Environment Ministry said on Friday. Norway makes annual payments to Brazil as part of a long-term billion-dollar program to curb the loss of Amazon rainforest to slow global warming. Forests are a giant store of carbon dioxide, the main man-made greenhouse gas, but are being cut down for logging and to make way for farms. Norway paid 350 million crowns ($42.16 million) for Brazil’s performance in 2016, the ministry said. The payments were down about 60 percent from an average 925 million crowns in the period from 2009-16.

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