Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 7, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Border control stops the nematode and mummified dog found in tree

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 7, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

We have an interesting mix of headlines today. Inspectors in Shanghai have intercepted pine wood nematodes in shipments arriving from Britain. Swiss inspectors determined that over 40% of wood products companies incorrectly identified the type and origin of wood in their products – despite legal requirements! And loggers in Georgia got the surprise of a lifetime when they found a mummified dog 28 feet up inside a hollow chestnut oak tree!

Fire on the Mountain: Rethinking Forest Management in the Sierra Nevada: a new report published by the Little Hoover Commission has people talking.  The California Forestry Commission supports the findings, urging all landowners to work together because “drought, disease and wildfire, have no boundaries”. Editors at the Modesto Bee are more forthright, claiming, “the Sierra Nevada forests are being mismanaged in ways that hurt every Californian.”

CLT: The Eastern Washington University is building the state’s first CLT office building; and featured by The Fifth Estate, Australia is building a 52 metre engineered wood tower, the tallest in the country. It will also “hold the [world] title for the largest gross floor area for an engineered timber building”.

— Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Mummified dog found inside a tree trunk 20 years after it got wedged in while ‘chasing a raccoon’

By Gemma Mullin
The Sun
February 6, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

A MUMMIFIED dog has been found inside a tree trunk 20 years after it got wedged in while “chasing a raccoon”. The hunting dog, aptly named Stuckie, was discovered in a hollow stretch 28ft up by loggers chopping up the chestnut oak in Georgia, US, in 1980. …Instead of sending the tree off to the sawmill, the workers from Kraft Corporation donated it to Forest World – a tree museum in Waycross Georgia. Staff at the museum reckon the dog’s body mummified because an upward draft through the hollow tree created a chimney effect – carrying away the scent of the dead animal, which would usually attract insects and other organisms. The tree also provided relatively dry conditions, whilst the oak’s tannic acid – a natural substance that absorbs moisture and dries out its surroundings – helped to harden the animal skin.

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Business & Politics

Province confirms mercury at Dryden, Ont. mill site

CBC News
February 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s environment ministry has confirmed elevated levels of mercury in the soil at a mill site in Dryden, Ont., upstream from Indigenous communities where residents have suffered mercury poisoning for decades. In a report dated December 2017, the province said soil testing was done at 24 spots at the site. While most of the areas tested showed mercury concentrations at or below the typical Ontario background concentration, two of the locations — in an area called the Gordon Road site, in the property’s northeast corner — showed elevated mercury levels in the soil. The report was independently reviewed by CBC News. “We heard of it, we suspected it,” Grassy Narrows chief Simon Fobister told CBC News. “It’s very troubling, very troubling.”

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First Nation-owned sawmill receives funding to ensure quality management

By Tamar Atik
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
February 6, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (BNA) First Nation’s Sawmill Manager Project is receiving $57,746 from the Ontario government to ensure the BNA has a qualified manager to run sawmill operations. Papasay Value-Added Wood Products is a First Nation-owned sawmill located in the Lake Nipigon Forest, about 180km northwest of Thunder Bay. The company’s goal is to provide long-term sustainable employment opportunities for BNA Band Members and workers from the region by utilizing the natural resources available in the area to produce rough sawn lumber including birch, cedar, poplar and SPF, as well as value-added products such as columns and posts. [end]

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Asia Pulp and Paper’s sustainability progress ‘not sufficient’ say NGOs

By Robin Hicks
Eco-Business
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) has not lived up to the sustainability commitments it made five years ago, a coalition of non-government organisations (NGOs) has claimed on the anniversary of the controversial paper company’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP). The Indonesia-headquartered firm committed to stop clearing natural forest on 5 February 2013, following years of campaigning by green groups. At the time, the announcement was seen as a sustainability milestone for the company. …To mark five years since the launch of the FCP, a group of 10 NGOs, including World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Indonesia-based Hutan Kita Institute and British advocacy group Forest Peoples Program, has issued a joint statement claiming that APP is “not yet on a sustainable track” and the progress it has made has “not been sufficient.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Eastern Washington University makes moves to bring programs Spokane’s University District

KREM2
February 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash.—Avista Development revealed plans for a new building in Spokane’s University District Tuesday, and with it some new tenants. The Catalyst Building will be primarily occupied by Eastern Washington University’s Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Visual Communication Design programs, according to Avista authorities. …Avista representatives said the 150,000 square-foot building will be the first office building in the state constructed out of environmentally friendly cross-laminated timber, and will be connected to an energy resource sharing eco-district planned for the development.

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Cross-laminated timber earns its place in the mainstream

By Sandra Edmunds
The Fifth Estate Australia
February 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a viable and cost-effective alternative for mass market commercial buildings and provides radical opportunities to slash construction timeframes and waste, according to Bates Smart director Philip Vivian. The firm is the design team behind 25 King Street in the Brisbane Showgrounds redevelopment in Fortitude Valley. The 52-metre-high tower is set to be the tallest engineered timber building in Australia and will also hold the title for the largest gross floor area for an engineered timber office building in the world. “I think the cutting-edge element is to show the industry that you can build quite cost effectively,” Mr Vivian told The Fifth Estate. “What we’ve done is shown that it can be built efficiently with flexible floor plates using the CLT in a large and tall construction for the CBD fringe.” 

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Looking for Finland’s future in its forests

By Sam Lemonick
Chemical & Engineering News
February 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Thick stands of pine, spruce, and birch cover three-quarters of Finland, Europe’s most forested nation. …What might be a surprise is that today only 20% of Finland’s exports come from its forests—down from 80% in the early 20th century. The world’s been changing. Newspapers are closing their doors, taking with them the demand for paper. …That might have spelled disaster for Finland. But the forested nation had seen the writing on the wall for a long time. …The philosophy underlying what’s happening in Finland right now is that, given the structural complexity and properties of the molecules that make up wood, scientists can do better than black liquor and wood pulp. …Other intriguing possibilities in wood are… carbon fiber made from or reinforced with cellulose and lignin… flexible, transparent films that could be used in displays or conductive, wood-based polymers for electronics.

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Pine wood nematodes intercepted in British imports

By Mu Xuequan
xinhuanet.com
February 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SHANGHAI — Inspection and quarantine authorities in Shanghai have intercepted pine wood nematodes, a species of roundworm, in the wooden packaging of imports from Britain. It is the first time that authorities have intercepted the pests in British imports, according to the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. The imported items were 719.6-kg car wheel hubs and tailgates valued at 11,400 U.S. dollars. The wooden packaging, which tested positive for the nematodes, has been destroyed. Pine wood nematodes originate in North America. They can infect pine trees and cause pine wilt disease.

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Wood not labelled properly in Switzerland

Swiss Info
February 6, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Five out of six Swiss companies selling wood or wooden products fail to declare the type and origin of the wood correctly – despite a legal requirement that has been in place since 2012.  As the Federal Consumer Affairs Bureauexternal link announced on Tuesday, it conducted 120 inspections last year and found that only 17% of the audited companies had declared their products correctly. About a third of the wood and wooden products featured partially correct declaration labels. Yet over 40% of the companies hadn’t managed to label any of the inspected products properly.

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Forestry

Challenge brewing to forest thinning plan

By Ben Neary
Sante Fe New Mexican
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Santa Fe National Forest officials say they will make a final decision in coming weeks on plans to start thinning out more than 1,800 acres of trees near Hyde Park this summer. The Hyde Park project is the first phase of a larger thinning program intended to reduce fire danger on 107,000 acres across the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in coming years. …. Some prominent environmental groups say they disagree with the Forest Service’s plan to proceed with the thinning work without undertaking a full environmental study. The concerned groups say cutting and burning the trees on site could harm endangered species and roadless areas. They promise a legal challenge if the federal agency doesn’t undertake a more detailed environmental analysis of the work at Hyde Park and elsewhere.

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Alberta’s natural ecosystems shrinking faster than Amazon rainforest: report

By Bob Weber
Canadian Press in CBC News
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s ecosystems and the natural beauty they create are still largely intact but parts are disappearing at rates that exceed deforestation in the Amazon rain forest. “We continue to lose ecosystems,” said researcher Jahan Kariyeva. “That we can definitely see.” Kariyeva, a University of Alberta geographer, is lead author on the latest report from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, an arm’s-length research body overseen by industry, government and non-governmental organizations.  …At the turn of the century, just over one-quarter of Alberta was disturbed by agriculture, communities, forestry, energy and other developments. Now, the total is almost 30 per cent. That’s an area equal to 3 1/2 times the size of Banff National Park. Most of that disturbance comes from logging.

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Painter Barclay residents upset over logging activity at old mill site

By Mike Davies
BC Local News
February 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some residents of the Painter Barclay area of Campbell River are concerned about logging activity that began this week on the old Elk Falls Mill site, currently owned by Rockyview Resources, Inc. …Many residents expressed their concern to the city, wondering why the logging is being allowed to happen, but were told it’s not the city’s jurisdiction. Chris White is one of those residents. “I do not want a clearcut in front of my house and I’m sure others don’t either,” White says. …But the city says logging activity on private property is overseen by the Managed Forest Council, an independent provincial agency.

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Determining stability of harvesting equipment on steep slopes

FPInnovations Blog
February 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An increase in ground-based steep-slope harvesting brings the need for a greater understanding of how machines can operate safely and efficiently on steep terrain. FPInnovations, as part of its Steep Slope Initiative, recently conducted a study to investigate the sensitivity of different operating positions for non-tilting and tilting machines, and to propose a methodology for determining safe operating parameters. The objectives of the study were to determine the expected operability range of both a non-tilting and tilting feller-buncher for a range of conditions based on stability, and to evaluate the influence of traction line orientation on machine stability.

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Republicans Advance Three Bills Attacking Forests, Public Lands

Center for Biological Diversity
February 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON— The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will consider legislation Wednesday that would weaken environmental safeguards on, or outright give away, more than 630,000 acres of national forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands, clearing the way for private developers. “These bills are shameless giveaways to private companies that want to make a buck off pristine public lands,” said Randi Spivak, public lands program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These lawmakers are completely out of touch with the vast majority of Americans, who have said repeatedly that they oppose this continued assault on our public lands.”

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New tool helps California land managers predict tree mortality

USDA Forest Service
February 5, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

From 2006 through 2016, more than 100 million trees died in California due to the combined impacts of drought and bark beetles.  …The USDA Forest Service has played an important role in helping land managers anticipate the risk of tree mortality through the 2017 Bark Beetle Forecast for California (link is external). This tool, which analyzes historical aerial survey data and variables such as precipitation and stand density, can determine the most likely location of bark beetles causing tree mortality. …Haiganoush Preisler from the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station is one of the tool’s creators. According to Preisler, this is the first instance that a map featuring ranges of likely outcomes based on historic aerial survey data has been produced to forecast tree mortality in the Western U.S.

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Multnomah County pulls out of timber county group, cites Cascade Siskiyou Monument lawsuit

By Andrew Theen
The Oregonian
February 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Multnomah County withdrew from an association of Oregon timber counties last month, saying it no longer wanted to be affiliated with the organization because of its lawsuit seeking to reverse a 48,000-acre expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Deborah Kafoury, the county’s chair, sent a letter Jan. 26 to the executive director of the Association of O&C Counties to formally withdraw the state’s most populous county from the timber association. Kafoury asked to pull the county’s name off the group’s website and remove any references from legal documents. Last February, the association of counties filed a lawsuit challenging then-President Barack Obama’s decision to expand the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon. …In her letter to the group’s executive director, Rocky McVay, Kafoury said the association “did not consult or notify” the county when it considered the lawsuit.

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Wildfires aren’t all that is killing the Sierra’s forests

By the Editorial Board
The Modesto Bee
February 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires are costly. They are expensive to extinguish, they destroy billions in property, and the damage they do to our air and water resources is nearly impossible to compute. We can accept those costs and admit they’re only going to get higher as climate change compounds our problems, or we can try to do something about it. The place to start is in our forests. There are hundreds of millions of trees in the Sierra Nevada. A report issued Monday by the governmental watchdog Little Hoover Commission sounds the alarm on the condition of those forests. Simply put, the Sierra Nevada forests are being mismanaged in ways that hurt every Californian. Our approach to managing the forests must change.

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California Forestry Association responds to Little Hoover Commission report on forest health

Lake County News
February 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Rich Gordon

SACRAMENTO – The California Forestry Association on Monday responded to a new report on forest health from the Little Hoover Commission. The report, “Fire on the Mountain: Rethinking Forest Management in the Sierra Nevada,” can be found at here. The Little Hoover Commission’s report makes a number of recommendations that the state should take to increase forest health, including engaging in landscape-level forest management for long-term forest resiliency, better educating Californians about the suite of benefits healthy forests provide to the state, urging the California Air Resources Board, land managers and other stakeholders to work to find ways to increase prescribed burning, among a host of other suggestions. “We support the findings that forest health is paramount to all Californians, said Rich Gordon, president and CEO of the Association.

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Extinctions are worse than we think; chestnut trees are an example

By Patrick Simons
Delmarva Daily Times
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Few who delve into the annals of American biological history have not lamented over the loss of the American chestnut (Castanae dentata). For 40 million years these stately trees ran the gamut of the Appalachians — veritable monuments to nature’s bounty. The American chestnut was a bonafide jack of all trades, supporting a major timber industry, a thriving nut-crop economy and even the American leather industry (as the main source of tannins for leather tanning).  …By 1950, the USDA declared the American chestnut functionally extinct. Today, out of an original 4 billion, less than a few thousand American chestnuts remain. …In the 40 years of drastic American chestnut decline, more was lost than just trees: three species of moth went extinct without the chestnuts to complete their life cycle.

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February is great time to hug a tree

By Sara Swida, director, Keep Liberty Beautiful
Coastal Courier
February 6, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Have you thanked a tree lately for all of the good stuff it does for us? February is a good time to do so if you have been taking our trees for granted. Georgia’s Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Friday of February each year. So take a few moments this month to be thankful for the many benefits we receive from trees — or better yet, take a few minutes to plant a tree to increase our tree canopy. Each year, Keep Liberty Beautiful has a tree giveaway on the weekend of Arbor Day to encourage local citizens to grow trees. …Why do trees matter? Let me share several reasons why you should plant trees: Trees clean the air. Trees give off oxygen, so we can breathe. Be thankful for that. …Trees reduce stress. …Trees reduce violence. Yes, really. Tree lined streets have lower crime rates.

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Coillte revelations have ‘damaged’ forestry: Doyle

By John Downing and Louise Hogan
Irish Independent
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Andrew Doyle

Forestry Minister Andrew Doyle has challenged Coillte to undo the “damage” done to the confidence of farmers and other potential tree growers. Mr Doyle said the revelations of the past week over payment delays and a lack of contact by Coillte in long-established forestry partnership schemes had damaged ongoing efforts to promote forestry in Ireland. “There is no doubt that damage has been done and there were serious legacy problems with Coillte. “The big challenge now for the organisation is to resolve these problems as quickly as possible and that will be the ultimate test of them,” Mr Doyle told the Farming Independent. His comments come as the Government is to offer higher grants and premium rates for planting trees in a drive to increase afforestation rates to help achieve targets on climate change emissions.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Brock Smith introduces carbon sequestration legislation

By David Brock Smith
The World Link
February 6, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

David Brock Smith

SALEM – Representative David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) Smith… has introduced a bipartisan bicameral bill that will protect the health of our most vulnerable, grow family wage jobs in our rural Oregon communities, build healthier forests and sequester carbon emissions for generations. Unlike the proposed carbon tax, modelled after California’s extremely expensive and punitive program, Brock Smith’s HB 4109 is a bicameral and bipartisan piece of legislation that looks to our amazing, renewable forests. …“Data supports that our public forests are overgrown and unhealthy. Regardless of what side of the climate argument you are on, the landscape is changing and we must adapt the forest management practices to address the changing conditions,” said Brock Smith.

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Health & Safety

Make Logging Safer

By Budd Phillips
OHS Canada
February 6, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

On October 18, 2017, a logger was killed in a tragic incident near Mackenzie in northern British Columbia. The operator was using a feller buncher to cut timber on a slope when the machine tipped over backwards, cutting off his escape route when the machine caught fire. The logger’s death was devastating for his family, his community and his co-workers. While the cause of the incident is still under investigation by WorkSafeBC, the question arises: What can we do now to try to prevent this from happening again? That was one of the key issues discussed when WorkSafeBC’s Forest Industry Advisory Group met in November 2017 to talk about concrete steps that employers can take to make remote mechanized logging safer.

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Fire crews respond to fire at Alberni Pacific Division mill

By Susie Quinn
Alberni Valley News
February 6, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire crews from Port Alberni, Beaver Creek, Sproat Lake and Cherry Creek fire departments responded to a fire inside Alberni Pacific Division (APD) Mill in Port Alberni late Tuesday night (Feb. 6). The fire started near the conveyors that drop chips from the hog fuel into a bin, Port Alberni Fire Chief Kelly Gilday said. “It started in that bin. It had been smouldering in the sawdust before we arrived,” he added. “Access was a little difficult to get to it.” The fire created smoke visible to homes and onlookers driving around South Port but the blaze was quickly contained, Gilday said. A small crew from the PAFD was still mopping up hot spots at 11 p.m., but other crews had been released from the scene. “No estimate on damage yet, but from what we’ve seen the mill should be operational in the morning,” he added.

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Concerns raised about illegal use of Canfor Hauling Road

By Erica Fisher
My Grande Prairie Now
February 6, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some drivers have started using the Canfor Hauling Road as a way to avoid traffic on Highway 40, a shortcut that’s causing concerns. Senior director of Canfor corporate affairs Corinne Stavness stresses the one-way, private road next to 108 Street is only meant for loaded logging trucks to access the mill in Grande Prairie. “Public users have begun to use this private road – often in the wrong direction – as a quicker route through the city. However, this is creating a serious safety issue as this is a road intended for one-way industrial traffic only, and cannot safely accommodate two-way traffic.” …Enforcement Services Manager Chris Manuel warns there are dangers that come with using the road, including logging trucks not expecting passenger vehicles coming towards them.

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration Fines N.C. Firm $50K After Fatal Dust Explosion

Powder & Bulk Solids
February 6, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

A Mount Gilead, N.C. wood products plant received penalties totaling $50,125 last fall from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after a worker was killed in a May 2017 dust explosion, according to an agency document recently reviewed by Powder & Bulk Solids. The May 16, 2017 explosion at the Unilin North America LLC plant  occurred as two workers were blowing down combustible wood fibers and dust from an area surrounding reversing belt, according to a OSHA summary of the incident. EMS crews transported the two injured workers to area hospitals, and one later died of their injuries.

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