Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 1, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Softwood lumber prices climb to record highs. Good news or bad news?

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 1, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Softwood lumber prices are now at record highs, which is bad news according to the National Association of Home Builders. However, Stock analyst Charles Gross says rising prices will lift profits for producers. And given capacity limits, Gross expects lumber prices to peak above $520 per thousand in today’s dollars by 2021, up 27% from a 2017 average of $410.

In other Business news: a Catholic News Service Bishop speaks out against the US tariff on newsprint; Canada’s Freeland says she’s optimistic about NAFTA; Greenpeace ask a US court to toss out Resolute’s [amended] defamation lawsuit; Fred Chinn departs Catalyst; and Yves Laflamme succeeds Richard Garneau as Resolute CEO.

In Forestry news: Pro and con stories on the Republican’s bill to “grease the skids for more work in the woods”, IKEA acquires 25,000 acres of forest in Alabama; and Indonesia’s deforestation rate falls dramatically due to the establishment of “production forests”.

Finally, smart drones may fix humanity’s deforestation problem by planting trees cheaper and more efficiently.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

National Nail Announces Finals of CAMO® Screw Off!

ForexTV
January 31, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Grand Rapids, MI — National Nail’s CAMO Screw Off! in which hundreds of contractors competed in a deck fastening speed competitions at lumberyards in New England and New Jersey in 2017, will hold the finals at the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA) LBM Expo in Providence, Rhode Island on Feb. 14, 2018.  … The “Elite 8” Finalists compete for the Grand Prize of a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle … along with cash prizes.  

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Business & Politics

Catholic papers feel squeezed by U.S.-Canada newsprint tariff fight

By Mark Pattison
The Catholic Philly
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

David Zubic

WASHINGTON — A 10 percent tariff slapped on imports of Canadian newsprint by the United States is playing havoc with newspaper budgets across the United States, and Catholic newspapers are no exception. Press groups, one U.S. senator — and now a bishop — have appealed to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to get rid of the tariff, which took effect Jan. 11. “They already passed a 6.6 percent increase on to us,” said Carmella Weismantle, operations manager and director of advertising for the Pittsburgh Catholic, the diocesan newspaper. After experiencing no newsprint price hikes last year, Weismantle said in a Jan. 25 telephone interview with Catholic News Service, the increase comes to about $6,700, based on the newspaper’s typical press run, page output and publication schedule. Before the day was out, Weismantle got an email from her printer notifying her of a second price increase.

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Canada’s Freeland Says She’s Optimistic on Nafta Talks

By Josh Wingrove
Bloomberg Politics
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland

It’s possible the U.S., Canada and Mexico can rework Nafta to the benefit of all parties, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, adding to recent positive signs for the 24-year old trade pact. …“I was cautiously optimistic” following the end of a round of talks earlier this week in Montreal, Freeland said. Freeland’s comments come one day after U.S. President Donald Trump sidestepped Nafta in his State of the Union speech, saying only the U.S. has “turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals” — and two days after the sixth round of talks ended with some progress and a U.S. demand to speed things up. …The best solution… for a separate trade spat [softwood lumber] is a negotiated settlement, Freeland said.

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Housing, Lumber to Build on Millennials

By Charles Gross
Morningstar
January 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Charles Gross

Housing demand has been abysmal in the wake of the financial crisis but should accelerate as millennials, the largest generation in U.S. history, enter their 30s. Rising wages and gradually improving loan availability should catalyze improving demand. …We expect starts to peak at nearly 2 million units per year in 2021, nearly on par with 2005, before fading as the demographic boom draws to a close. …We expect total demand to surpass 70 billion board feet in the early 2020s, up 17% from today. As rising lumber demand presses existing capacity to the limit, we expect lumber prices to peak above $520 per thousand board feet in today’s dollars by 2021, up 27% from a 2017 average of $410. Rising lumber prices will lift profits for Canfor and West Fraser, given the companies’ higher degrees of operating leverage and relatively low-cost assets. 

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Weyerhaeuser Company vs. Patrick Industries: Breaking Down the Lumber, Wood Production Industry’s Two Hottest Stocks

By Ramona Zimmerman
Stock News Gazette
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Weyerhaeuser Company shares are up more than 4.34% this year and recently decreased -0.76% or -$0.28 to settle at $36.79. Patrick Industries, on the other hand, is down -3.74% year to date as of 01/30/2018… Weyerhaeuser and Patrick Industries are the two most active stocks in the Lumber, Wood Production industry based on today’s trading volumes. Investors are clearly interested in the two names, but is one a better choice than the other? The ability to consistently grow earnings at a high compound rate is a defining characteristic of the best companies for long-term investment. Analysts expect WY to grow earnings at a 5.00% annual rate over the next 5 years. Comparatively, PATK is expected to grow at a 13.30% annual rate.

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Softwood Lumber Prices Climb to Record Highs

NAHB Now
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

There’s news about wood, and it ain’t good. Largely as the result of the tariffs imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department — and related negotiations among the U.S., Canada and Mexico grinding to a halt — prices for softwood lumber imports have skyrocketed 30% since Hurricane Harvey hit last summer. “This was the highest week-end futures price we have on record, dating back to January 1995,” said David Logan, director of NAHB’s tax and trade policy analysis. “There was a short reprieve for price increases following the hurricane, but prices have risen sharply this month.” Unlike lumber, OSB prices had been steadily declining in recent months. However, those declines came to an end last week when prices jumped 6%. The good news is that those increases are expected to be short-lived.

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Fred Chinn announces departure from Catalyst

By David Brindle
Powell River Peak
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fred Chinn

Catalyst Paper Corporation Powell River Division vice president and general manager Fred Chinn has left the Richmond-based company. In a bulletin to staff on January 18, Chinn said he regretted to announce his departure to pursue a career opportunity outside the company. …Catalyst director of communications Eduarda Hodgins confirmed that Chinn has left the company and Walter Tarnowsky, vice president and general manager of the Port Alberni mill, has been named acting vice president and Powell River mill manager. Chinn took charge of the Powell River operation in 2014 during challenging times and launched a revitalization program.

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City looks to offset losses from Tolko shutdown

By Michael Potestio
The Merritt Herald
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Merritt is facing a $400,000 hit to its tax base in 2018 due to the loss of the Tolko sawmill, but growth in other assessment classes is absorbing most of the impact. Tolko Industries shut down at the end of 2016, and has since applied to the BC Assessments Office for a shutdown allowance, a move which will shrink the industrial tax base for the municipality in 2018. Despite the loss, the financial impact on the tax base hasn’t been as severe as first anticipated for the municipality thanks to increases in sectors such as business and residential property values, Thiessen told the Herald. “You automatically assume when you lose a major employer that your housing values are going to go down, but they actually went up,” said Sheila Thiessen, financial director for the City of Merritt.

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Enviros ask court to toss Resolute Forest Products defamation lawsuit

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

CALIFORNIA – Greenpeace and other environmental groups urged a California federal court to dismiss a complaint by Resolute Forest Products, which alleges defamation and racketeering arising from an environmentalist anti-logging campaign, says Law360. Greenpeace and environmental group STAND said that even though Resolute’s amended complaint is longer than the original, it fails to support its claim that the activists made maliciously false statements in their campaign “Resolute: Forest Destroyer.” …Resolute says that the campaign cost them millions of dollars and damaged its reputation. The company claims the anti-logging campaign’s purpose was to spread false claims regarding its effect on Canadian forests, indigenous people, and fabricated evidence about climate change. “False statements made with malice have never been protected speech under our law,” Resolute attorney Michael J. Bowe told Law360. 

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Resolute Announces Appointment of Yves Laflamme as President and CEO, Succeeding Richard Garneau

Cision Newswire
February 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Yves Laflamme

MONTRÉAL – Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced the selection and appointment of Yves Laflamme as Resolute’s new president and chief executive officer, and a member of the Board of Directors, succeeding Richard Garneau. The announcement of Mr. Garneau’s retirement today coincides with the announcement of the company’s fourth quarter and 2017 annual results. “The Resolute Board of Directors enthusiastically supports Yves Laflamme’s selection, recognizing his good judgment and strong business acumen. Yves has a strong reputation in the industry, a well-refined focus on costs, and built teams that consistently deliver results. There is no better person to lead Resolute into the future,” stated Bradley P. Martin, chairman of the Board of Directors. “The choice of an internal candidate to succeed Richard Garneau is a credit to the internal talent developed by the company. Yves’ appointment is also a reaffirmation of our strategic direction.”

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Former Old Town mill property sold again

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
January 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A Maine-based group announced Wednesday that it has purchased the former Old Town pulp mill property with plans to use it as a “wood fiber-based complex” with multiple tenants. OTM Holdings LLC, which identified itself as a “group of companies committed to the revitalization of Maine’s forest based industry,” purchased the mill complex from MFGR, LLC, the same liquidation firm that bought the shuttered Lincoln paper mill, according to a news release. …“The acquisition saves this important asset from the demolition recently experienced at other shuttered mills and the innovative redevelopment program for the mill will have broad economic impacts for the region, provide jobs and support to Maine’s forest industry,” said MFGR, LLC partners Bob Maroney.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Building science expert says we should prepare for the coming Stucco-Pocalypse

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
January 31, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Stucco is wonderful stuff, and has been used for thousands of years in hot, dry countries; Roman stucco is still visible in Pompeii. Stucco is also cheap; in Vancouver, British Columbia, it was used on thousands of condos built in the nineties, where it caused the Leaky Condo Crisis. …Usually, people who write about such things as building science are dry and technical, but then there is Joseph Lstiburek of Building Science Corporation. He looks at the problem of using stucco on wood, which is still being done. He says we are heading for another stucco-pocalypse. …Traditional stucco was permeable to moisture, so if a wall got wet, it would dry out. Then they added acrylics and binders to it that turns it into a skin on the outside of the building, so the OSB board rotted and the insulation got soaked.

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2017 Wood Design & Building Award winners announced

Canadian Architect
January 31, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Audain Art Museum

Recipients have been announced for the 2017 Wood Design Awards program. Presented by Wood Design & Building magazine in partnership with the Canadian Wood Council, the Wood Design Awards program offers an opportunity to showcase exceptional wood buildings and serves to inspire designers to push the boundaries of what they think is possible for wood in construction. “The Wood Design & Building Awards program has been in existence for over 30 years,” explains Etienne Lalonde, Vice-President of Market Development for the Canadian Wood Council. “We’ve been continually impressed with the quality of submissions each year, and it’s a testament to the sophistication of wood products, due to improvements in technology and advancements in applications.”

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NYC’s first new brick-and-beam buildings in a century are on the rise in Brooklyn

By Tanay Warerkar
Curbed NY
January 31, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

New York City’s first new mass timber buildings in nearly a century are on the rise in Williamsburg, and the first of the two buildings is expected to wrap in June this year, according to 6sqft. …The project, which is developed and designed by Flank, was first announced in November last year. …For the project, Flank is using nail-laminated timber that is made from Canadian black spruce trees, according to the Commercial Observer. This particular timber is specially created and treated so that it’s fire-resistent and more dense. Once the wooden frames are complete, the building will be clad in brick, to make it blend in better with the commercial and industrial buildings in the neighborhood.

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Forestry

Technology serving forest managers accelerating rapidly

forestTECHX
February 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – With the speed of technology devices and software applications improving faster than ever, the need for professional foresters and operations managers to keep pace with the changes is greater now too. A new international forest management technology conference is set to bring all of the latest inventory and harvest planning technologies from around the world to British Columbia in March 2018. “The pace of changes in LiDAR applications and log value measurement is accelerating – that’s why we’ve got the technical leaders forestry metrics for our new conference, ForestTECHX in March 2018,” says conference organizer, Anthony Robinson, associate publisher of Logging & Sawmilling Journal (LSJ). “From Europe and across the Asia Pacific, emerging technologies in forest measurement and management are bringing big advantages to big and small companies,” says Robinson.

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Community concerned about logging in Glade watershed

By Claire Paradis
The Nelson Daily
February 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Plans for logging in the Glade watershed are being met with resistance in the community of 300 people on the east side of Kootenay River. The Glade Watershed Protection Society (GWPS) is concerned that the proposed logging will affect the quality of the water and could result in expensive treatment systems being needed. Society member Heather McSwan said the Province should be doing more to preserve watersheds. “I would say there’s absolutely no protection and that’s the problem,” McSwan told The Nelson Daily. Kalesnikoff Woodlands Manager Tyler Hodgkinson agrees that there’s no Provincial protection of watersheds, but that doesn’t mean it’s a logging free-for-all.

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Tech and Natural Resources a Great Fit

By Cody Battershill
Business in Calgary
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cody Battershill

Whether you live and work in Alberta or another resource-rich Canadian province, you may not realize just how closely resource jobs are related to our high-tech economy. …the relationship between the energy and high-tech sectors is absolutely crucial to an understanding of either sector’s continuing success. Now look west to B.C., where you can easily make a similar analogy: the B.C. forest sector makes a giant contribution to that province’s economy, supporting more than 140,000 total jobs in the province (direct, indirect and induced) and almost $13 billion in GDP. Looked at another way, B.C.’s forest sector has generated fully one in 17 jobs in the province, while roughly one in four provincial manufacturing jobs comes from the manufacturing sectors of the B.C. forest industry. Forestry has, since the very beginning of the high-tech industry, been one of the key consumers of B.C.’s high technology.

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Campbell Riverites playing prominent role in Truck Loggers Association executive

By Alistair Taylor
Campbell River Mirror
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Campbell River has a prominent presence on the executive of the Truck Loggers Association. Mike Richardson was elected President by the Truck Loggers Association membership at their AGM Jan. 17-19 and Bill Nelson was elected vice president. With 42 years of experience in the forest industry, Richardson will represent TLA member interests to both government and industry. He is currently a partner in Tsibass Construction Ltd., a stump-to-dump logging contactor based out of Campbell River. However, he spent 14 years of his career working for both a major licensee and a First Nations licensee. …The TLA’s new Vice President, Bill Nelson, also lives in Campbell River. Nelson is partner in Holbrook Dyson Logging based in Campbell River.

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Tree metabolite identification combats beetle devastation

By Ryan De Vooght-Johnson
spectroscopyNOW
February 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Across the USA and Canada, ash trees are being wiped out by a small green beetle, the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis). …Rapid diagnosis of emerald ash borer infestation is important but beetle attack is not obvious in its initial stages. Trent University researchers devised a method to detect emerald ash borers by examining the metabolites present in the leaf. Sampling leaves is a rapid method of diagnosing a large number of trees, without the lengthy task of searching for larvae in the bark. …Following the chemometric results, 13 metabolites were shown to be appropriate biomarkers for the presence or absence of beetle attack. …The new method will speed up identification of this harmful pest since it only requires leaf samples, rather than a careful examination of the tree bark. Confirmatory detection of the beetle can then be carried out when positive results are obtained. 

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He speaks for the trees

By Bennett Hall
Corvallis Gazette Times
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Paul Ries

Paul Ries believes Oregon’s trees have stories to tell. And since they can’t speak for themselves, he speaks for them. Ries heads up the graduate certificate program in urban forestry at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, where he has also served as an instructor and Extension agent, but in the mid-1990s he was working for the Oregon Department of Forestry. That’s when he and others were recruited by legendary big-tree hunter Maynard Drawson to help preserve some of state’s most magnificent specimens. …Last year the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee honored Ries with it highest distinction, the Maynard C. Drawson Memorial Award. …“These are the trees that tie us to our historical roots. They’re silent witnesses to the people and places and events that make Oregon unique,” Ries recited.

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House Republicans Push For Easier Approval of Forest Projects

By Liam Moriarty
Jefferson Public Radio
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Last year’s intense fire season led to calls for more “treatment” of federal forests to remove excess fuel that can make for bigger, hotter wildfires. In November, House Republicans — including Oregon’s Second District Representative Greg Walden — passed a bill to grease the skids for more work in the woods. The bill now awaits action in the Republican–controlled Senate. But while there’s broad bipartisan agreement that more needs to be done to promote forest health,  the opposing sides can have very different pictures of what that looks like on the ground. Nick Smith says the need for more active management of public forests is great, and urgent. Smith is executive director of the industry-affiliated non-profit group Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities. He says decades of fire suppression and unwise logging practices — as well as climate change and drought — have resulted in forests that are dangerously overstocked and fire-prone.

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Forest ‘restoration’ rule is ruse to increase logging

By Chad Hanson
San Francisco Chronicle
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service recently proposed a sweeping effort to identify aspects of environmental analysis and public participation to be “reduced” or “eliminated” regarding commercial logging projects in our national forests, with initial public comments due Friday. The Trump administration is attempting to spin this as an effort to promote “increased efficiency” for the expansion of forest “restoration,” but these are just euphemisms for more destructive logging. Last summer, the Trump administration endorsed the Resilient Federal Forests Act, an extreme bill that would dramatically curtail environmental analysis and restrict public participation to increase logging of old forests and post-fire clear-cutting in our national forests.

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Forestry handling degree classes start at Southern Arkansas University Tech in fall 2018

Magnolia Reporter
February 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Southern Arkansas University Tech has been authorized to offer a degree in forestry handling. Approval of the new degree was made last week by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. The college has been working on preparations for the program for almost two years. The demand for employees to fill positions in the logging and forestry processing industry in South Arkansas was the driving force behind the development of the new program. Arkansas State Sen. Trent Garner said, “It is great news for south Arkansas that the new forestry technician program will be at SAU Tech. The program will provide opportunities for careers in one the largest industries in our area.” …“SAU Tech’s Forest Harvesting Technician degree will allow men and women to come into the forest industry with the skills to succeed,” Matt Stone said.

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IKEA Group Acquires 25,000 Acre Forest in Alabama

IKEA Group
Cision Newswire
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — IKEA Group acquired its first U.S. forest property, covering approximately 25,000 acres in Lowndes County, Alabama. The investment in forestry is part of a broader strategy to invest in the sustainable production of resources that IKEA Group consumes directly, such as energy, or indirectly through its products (wood raw material, recycled materials, etc.). IKEA Group also owns more than 250,000 acres of forest land in Europe, located in Romania and the Baltic States. …This new acquisition is in addition to several other significant investments IKEA Group has recently made in the U.S., where they currently operate 47 stores and seven distribution centers.

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Drones can fix our forest problem by planting 100,000 trees a day

By Chris Smith
BGR
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…smart drones could fix humanity’s major deforestation problem by planting trees cheaper and more efficiently than humans. These tree-planting drone armies could plant as many as 100,000 trees every day, even in remote locations that aren’t easily accessible. …hand planting is slow and expensive. BioCarbon Engineering … has devised technology that would allow drone to map out an area to plan an efficient planting pattern. Think of it as …a flying drone looking at the earth beneath it to determine an efficient tree-planting pattern. Then, a second drone is loaded with germinated seedpods which can be dropped at a rate of 1 per second, for a maximum of 100,000 units a day. 60 drones could plant 1 billion trees every year. A drone has a maximum capacity of 300 seedpods and covers a hectare in about 19 minutes.

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Brazil to host dynamic forestry fair

Timberbiz
February 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

More than 220 companies are confirmed exhibitors at Expoforest 2018. The fourth edition of the fair takes place in April, in a 200-hectare eucalyptus forest in the Ribeirão Preto area. The Brazilian forestry market is one of the few segments that do not directly reflect the country’s economic situation. Even with the threat of recession and political scandals abounding, the forestry sector exported over US$7.7 billion in 2017 alone – and that is only counting pulp, paper and plywood. This figure represents an 11% growth from the previous year. …The fourth edition of this dynamic forestry fair in 2018 takes place 11-13 April in Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, a town within the greater Ribeirão Preto area in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The event will be held in 200-hectare cloned eucalyptus forest belonging to International Paper.

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Rural communities fed up of being a ‘forestry sacrifice zone’

By Sean McMahon
The Anglo-Celt
February 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…hundreds of farmers gathered from all over Leitrim, West Cavan and beyond to take a stand against the rapid expansion of forestry locally. Local MEP Marian Harkin relayed that a person in the European Commission, had said “Leitrim is a national sacrifice zone for sitka spruce”, so at least they are aware of it “and perhaps we will be able to do something about it”. This meeting was organised by the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association, who now intend to establish a stakeholders group. …Edwina Guckian claimed that Leitrim is being sold off to pension funds, tax off-setters, hedge funds and multi-national companies. To rapturous applause Ms Guckian said: “The Department of Agriculture is turning a blind eye to the fact that Leitrim is being sacrificed to meet carbon emission targets. This needs to stop immediately, or County Leitrim will cease to exist.

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Is a plantation a forest? Indonesia says yes, as it touts a drop in deforestation

By Hans Nicholas
Mongabay
January 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has reported a second straight annual decline in the country’s deforestation rate… The Ministry of Environment and Forestry recorded 4,790 square kilometers of deforestation in 2017. That’s down 24 percent from the 2016 figure, which in turn represented a 42 percent reduction from 2015, when record-breaking fires contributed to a total of 10,900 square kilometers of deforestation across the archipelago. Of the total deforestation that occurred last year, 3,080 square kilometers were recorded in forest areas, while the rest were in “other-use areas,” known as APL and which include oil palm plantations and infrastructure development sites. …Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar credited the decline to “efforts from multiple policies” being put in place. In particular she pointed to so-called production forests, which are typically leased for pulpwood and timber plantations.

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