Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 27, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Greenpeace International withdraws from FSC, says its a tool for timber extraction

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 27, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Greenpeace International is withdrawing from the Forest Stewardship Council saying it is “failing to protect natural forests from exploitation“, however each national branch will make their own decisions about continuing with FSC. In other news: the Nova Scotia forestry review isn’t broad enough for some; Minnesota’s logging industry is in limbo due to energy plant closures; and South Dakota appears to have turned the corner on its pine beetle epidemic.

In Business news: BC firms revolt over government plans to shift medical costs to them; the US News Media Alliance says Canadian newsprint is not the enemy – tariffs are; and the Bangor Daily News says Governor LePage “may have opened up a Pandora’s box”. Companies in the news include:

  • Provincial tax relief helped Tolko re-open its High Prairie mill
  • Rail car shortages have created a backlog at Canfor and other BC mills
  • Settlement in a US paper tariff may see duties refunded to Irving et al
  • A lumber and chip truck collision results in a fatality near Dunkley mill
  • Backcountry access through Island Timberlands‘ lands is multi-faceted

Finally, Al Thorlakson is recognized for his business leadership, and a smoking elephant seeks charcoal for its toxin-binding and laxative properties. 

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

‘Smoking’ elephant in India baffles experts

BBC News
March 27, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A video of a wild elephant in India blowing out ash from a fire has baffled wildlife experts around the world. [Scientist] Vinay Kumar…filmed the 48-second video during a work trip to Nagarhole forest in Karnataka state in April 2016. …”What we saw that day almost appeared as though the elephant was smoking – she would draw up a trunk full of ash close to her mouth and blow it out in a puff of smoke!” Mr Kumar said.  Elephant biologist Varun R Goswami, …believes that “the elephant was trying to ingest wood charcoal… blowing away the ash that came along with it in her trunk, and consuming the rest”. “Charcoal has well recognised toxin-binding properties… wild animals may be attracted to it for this medicinal value,” he said. “It can also serve as a laxative, thereby doubling its utility for animals that consume it after forest fires…

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Business & Politics

Canadian Newsprint is Not The Enemy — Tariffs Are

By David Chavern
The Long Island Press
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Every day at the News Media Alliance headquarters, a stack of newspapers arrives for myself and the staff. But with the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission currently considering tariffs on Canadian newsprint, those days of screen-free reading could be coming to an end. The fact that newsprint is being threatened is the work of one newsprint mill in the Pacific Northwest, NORPAC. …The buying and selling of newsprint has always been regional without regard for the border. …The printers who typically utilize Canadian newsprint are those in the northeast and Midwest, where there are currently no U.S. mills operating. …If the tariffs on Canadian newsprint are allowed to stand, we’re not only risking a centuries-old relationship with our neighbors to the north, but we’re putting our own U.S. news industry in jeopardy.

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Business tax revolt brewing in B.C.

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
March 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government’s plan to shift the burden of medical insurance premiums onto employers has sparked what is starting to look and sound like a tax revolt. …the new employer health tax has drawn the most fire from businesses in B.C., in no small part because it was unexpected and contrary to the recommendations of the government’s own task force. …Because the new payroll tax will be imposed one year before MSP premiums are phased out, those businesses that currently cover their employees’ MSP premiums will pay double. …Teal-Jones Group, a Surrey-based lumber mill, estimates the new payroll tax will cost the company $500,000 to $600,000 in the first year of implementation, and about $200,000 annually once the MSP has been eliminated. For a medium-sized manufacturer like Westeck Windows and Doors in Chilliwack, which has a head count of 240, the new payroll tax will add $322,000 annually to the company’s costs, according to Chilliwack Liberal MLA John Martin.

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Thorlakson named in top 10 exceptional Okanagan business leaders

The Kelowna Daily Courier
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Al Thorlakson

Here are our editorial staff’s choices for 10 exceptional business leaders in the Okanagan Valley. …Al Thorlakson quietly heads up Tolko Industries, the Vernon-based family-owned forestry company that has 14 mills across Western Canada, employs 3,000 and has annual revenues in excess of $2 billion. He retired as CEO of Tolko in 2009, but has remained active in the leadership of the company as executive chairman. He joined Tolko, which has been family-owned for nearly 60 years, in 1972 as president and was promoted to CEO in 1981, Tolko is a big player in the lumber, plywood, veneer, oriented strand board and kraft paper sectors. Its mills include a lumber, plywood and veneer operation in Armstrong; lumber, plywood and Oriented strand board plant in Kelowna, lumber mill in Lavington; and lumber finishing operation in Lake Country.

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Instilling passion: recruiting youth a top priority for BC Saw Filers Association

By Tamar Atik
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West
In a group of 13 saw filing employees at Interfor’s Adam’s Lake lumber division, only three are under 55. That’s a pretty clear statistic showing that this highly skilled and technical trade of saw filing desperately needs new faces. The rapidly aging workforce is retiring faster than new recruits are coming in and more young people entering the trade may be the key to its survival. “We haven’t pushed hard enough to get more filers in the training, to make it attractive, to bring the young people in,” explains Martin Vatkin, president of the BC Saw Filers Association and head filer at Adam’s Lake. …The association’s membership numbers are currently sitting at around 235, and Vatkin says that’s a static figure as many members are retiring.

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Tolko thanks government for tax relief to re-open

By Richard Froese
The South Peace News
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries in High Prairie acknowledged a provincial tax credit that helped the company re-open the local plant. Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous visited the plant March 26 to discuss the benefits of the Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC). …Tolko received conditional approval of a $4.03-million tax credit to re-start its oriented strand board mill in High Prairie and enhance its product offering by upgrading and modernizing two of its existing mills near Slave Lake and High Level. …Tolko re-opened the local mill Jan. 2, 2018 under full operation after being closed in 2008.

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Rail car shortage creating backlog at pulp mills

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Local pulp mills are having trouble getting enough rail cars to get their product to market. It’s been piling up in the parking lots at Canfor’s Intercon and Prince George pulp mills as Canadian National struggles on several fronts to meet demand, particularly from grain farmers. “Yes, we are certainly dealing with an inventory build owing to transportation challenges,” Canfor Pulp spokewoman Corinne Stavness confirmed in an email. “There has been a lot of coverage related to the railway, particularly with regard to to grain but everyone is impacted. “We are working closely with CN on plans to clear the backlog.” …Both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific have said they have faced challenges due to a larger-than-expected grain crop and extreme winter weather.

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Forestry industry in Saskatchewan generates nearly $1.2B in sales

By Thomas Miller
Global News
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government says Saskatchewan’s forestry industry generated sales of nearly $1.2 billion in 2017. This growth for the sector translates into a 21 per cent increase over 2016 and the highest value of forestry product sales in over a decade. Seven of the 10 large primary facilities in the province are currently in operation. Over 170 smaller businesses are also producing a variety of forest products. “Forestry is one of northern Saskatchewan’s largest industries, second only to mining,” Saskatchewan Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said in a press release. “There are emerging opportunities in this sector for further expansion and increased employment, thanks to favourable conditions for continued development in terms of productivity and export markets.”

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Irving reaches deal in tariff dispute over paper shipped to U.S.

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick’s largest forestry company could soon be shipping specialty paper into the United States tariff-free. J.D. Irving Ltd. and another paper company in Nova Scotia have agreed to a settlement in a U.S. trade case against Canadian supercalendered paper, a glossy product used to print magazines and flyers. Irving manufactures the paper at its Saint John paper mill. If the settlement is approved by the U.S. Commerce Department, Irving will receive refunds on duties it has been paying since 2015. Part of the money would be paid to Verso Corp., the U.S. paper-maker whose complaint led to the tariffs. The company says in regulatory filings that it represents “substantially all” of the U.S. production of supercalendered paper.

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With logging dustup, LePage may have opened Pandora’s box

The Bangor Daily News
March 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Paul LePage

If Gov. Paul LePage has nothing to hide, he sure isn’t acting like it. The Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee sent a request for information to LePage’s conservation commissioner last week, and the governor came utterly unglued. The committee is asking about the decision to withhold timber shipments from several Maine sawmills whose owners criticized LePage’s effort to end Canadian softwood tariffs. …LePage penned an over-the-top letter to the committee, calling the information request “offensive,” “outrageous,” “shameful,” “a disgrace,” “unfounded,” “scandalous,” and “scurrilous.”  All in one short letter. He then made a rare appearance before the ACF Committee. For nearly an hour, LePage berated the committee… Not the kind of performance you’d expect from someone with a clear conscience.

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Forestry reforms on the table as budget deadline nears

By Pete Demola
The Sun Community News
March 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ALBANY — Stakeholders are making a final push for reform of a state program to give private forest owners tax breaks and other incentives to broaden sustainable forestry practices in the Adirondacks. The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is a leading advocate of the Empire Forest for the Future Initiative (EFFI). DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos called the initiative “a milestone effort to protect and conserve the state’s vast forest resources held by more than 700,000 forest owners across New York.” “EFFI will provide great benefits to the public,” Seggos said, “including sequestering carbon, reducing the impacts of flooding, preserving wildlife habitat and helping the forest products industry grow sustainably in our state.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Cities to meet, plan how to stop state bill eliminating wood-frame apartment restrictions

By Dyana Bagby
Reporter Newspapers
March 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Several cities affected by the state legislature’s recent passage of a bill that would erase restrictions on wood-frame apartments are set to meet Wednesday to determine ways, including a potential lawsuit, to stop the bill from going into effect, according to Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal. …“It’s a meeting with mayors to discuss [House Bill] 876,” Shortal said. “We’re going to discuss coming up with a common plan … to seek out what we think we can do and possibly what we can’t do” to stop the bill. “In a nutshell, it is wrong and unfair to the citizens of Dunwoody and to the producers of lumber to mischaracterize wood and lumber as being inferior, unsafe and not suitable for very good, safe and long-term structures above three stories,” Sibert said. In a brief interview, Sibert said he was not a lobbyist and was speaking out on his own accord.

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Hotel in Switzerland built of gorgeous prefab modular timber mini-rooms

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
March 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Cross-Laminated Timber is popular these days because it is strong, it has a low carbon footprint and it is easy to work with. But there is also something wonderful about its aesthetic properties, something lovely about living in wood. Years ago, skiiers used to pile into tiny wood ski chalets, and now Carlos Martinez Achitekten have recaptured that feeling in the Revier Mountain Lodge, Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The architect says that the rooms are supposed to “follow the image of a VW bus: you park directly on the lake, works on the tail and feels free.” But I think the old chalet or mountain cabin image is stronger.

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Forestry

University of Alberta student’s research could give boost to oilsands reclamation

By Gordon Kent
Edmonton Journal
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prem Pokharel

A University of Alberta graduate student might have found a way to speed up the long, expensive process of reclaiming land torn up for oilsands extraction. Prem Pokharel’s master’s thesis showed that loading jack pine and trembling aspen seedlings with extra nitrogen and other nutrients before they were put in the ground at two former northern Alberta mining sites meant the trees grew more quickly. “The plants (usually) grow very slowly. Because of that, the whole process of remediation and restoration is occurring very slowly,” he said Monday. …Scott Chang, a professor in the U of A’s department of renewable resources and Pokharel’s thesis supervisor, said the tiny trees initially don’t have good root systems and must battle weeds in disturbed soil that’s often poorly nourished, so they need all the help they can get.

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Vancouver Island residents talk backcountry access

By Mike Youds
Alberni Valley News
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Anne Skpsey

Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser knew he’d hit a raw nerve when he held a press conference… to talk about backcountry access. His intent was to address representatives of groups and rally widespread support for improved public access through privately held forest lands. Increasingly over the last few years, backcountry users have found themselves barred, locked out, from much of the wilderness on eastern Vancouver Island. …He held a similar gathering recently with forest industry stakeholders. Some of the suggestions that emerged include an access agreement of broader scope; a trail patrol program similar to a citizens’ patrol; improved education on safe access; registration of vehicles; disposal of all gates; and revisions to the Private Forest Management Land Act. …The law is unclear on whether it still applies to Weyerhaeuser’s successor, Island Timberlands.

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Wildfire mitigation funding distributed across the region

By Trevor Crawley
Cranbrook Daily Townsman
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The ʔaq̓am community is getting some support from the Columbia Basin Trust, which doled out nearly $1 million in funding to reduce wildfire risks in the region. The First Nations community near Cranbrook will receive funding for wildfire mitigation efforts such as tree felling, pruning and thinning over 64 hectares of high risk areas where a fire event could threaten a home, critical infrastructure or cultural heritage sites. …Other projects include Home Ignition Zone assessments on all on-reserve structures as well as FireSmart activities to become a certified FireSmart community. In addition to ʔaq̓am, CBT funding has also been awarded to the City of Fernie, City of Castlegar and City of Revelstoke.

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Future foresters: AFPA program gets youth into forestry

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West
About eight years ago post secondary forestry programs in Alberta faced critically low student enrolment. Some semesters had so few people enrolled the programs were in jeopardy of closing. Today those same programs are at or over capacity. It’s no coincidence that over the past several years the Alberta Forest Products Association has run a student outreach program that is correcting misinformation about the industry and offering career advice to youths. The program, called Work Wild, engages with young people on their turf — in classrooms and online. Program manager Ann Normand estimates that Work Wild has visited more than 200 schools across Alberta since its inception in 2011. …Across Canada the forest industry is faced with an aging workforce. Fewer and fewer young people are choosing forestry as a career.

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Interpret forest review broadly

By Dale Smith, retired public servant
The Chronicle Herald
March 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Words matter. The devil always is in the details, or lack thereof. In the case of the terms of reference for the independent “forest” review, there is a disconcerting ambiguity regarding intended purpose and scope. The consequent lack of clarity gives rise to questions, if not to corresponding pause for concern. Nova Scotians disturbed about the declining biodiversity and overall health of our publicly owned forests have welcomed the review as an opportunity to make the case for urgently needed reform. This being said, there has been little apparent scrutiny of the actual terms under which the review is being conducted. …In sharp contrast, the need is for a reform agenda that reaches far beyond the narrow confines of the terms of reference in advancing a prescription for radical reconstruction.

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Seeing the Forest for the Trees: The sustainability of Minnesota’s logging industry

By David Sandager
The Growler
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For many Minnesotans, the exclamation “Timber!” evokes images of a bygone era when solemn bearded men clad in plaid hefted saws and axes and felled towering pines in the depths of a northern forest at the end of the 19th century. Fewer Minnesotans may understand that the harvesting of timber and forest products is still a vital and much-debated part of the state’s 21st century economy, environment, and way of life. Minnesota is home to 52 native tree species that grow in the state’s 17.4 million acres of forests, which are home to a large variety of the state’s wildlife. These forests encompass areas of recreation and industry, resonate with history, and are vital to the state’s identity. 

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Preservation of Tongass National Forest is crucial to our national climate change policy

By Tracy Stein
The Hill
March 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent omnibus spending bill included a major policy win for America’s forests in the shape of a dead policy rider originally slipped into the bill by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). The shifty policy rider sought to hasten a year-long effort to compromise among local stakeholders, whom recognized the need to transition out of unsustainable logging of 800 year-old trees in Alaska’s iconic Tongass National Forest. At least for the time being, conservationists, the Alaskan tourist industry, wildlife lovers, fisheries and even hunters in Tongass can breathe a sigh of relief. Spanning 17 million acres, Tongass is the world’s biggest coastal temperate rainforest in the United States. Tongass houses the largest span of old growth forest in the U.S. and protects habitat for a diverse range of wildlife and sea species.

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Logging industry in limbo

By Adelle Whitefoot
Grand Rapids Herald Review
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DULUTH — …The logging industry in Minnesota has seen a lot of changes over the past year that could negatively affect it in a big way. Blandin Paper Co. shut down its No. 5 machine and the Minnesota Legislature passed legislation last year allowing Xcel Energy to negotiate a shutdown of three renewable energy plants. …the Legislature passed a bill allowing Xcel Energy to negotiate a shutdown of three renewable energy plants …Though Dayton signed the bill, he did take issue with the provision allowing Xcel to terminate its contracts with the three biomass plants. “We do not yet know the full impact these provisions will have on the loggers, mills and truckers…” Dayton wrote… The Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota have filed a lawsuit against Xcel, Benson Power and Laurentian Energy under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act

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Sugar pines to stand on scorched patch of Ashland forest

Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ASHLAND, Ore.  — A 50-acre patch of Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest land that was scorched during controlled burning last summer will become home to a new stand of sugar pine seedlings rarely found in the dense hills overlooking Ashland. The too-hot burn killed several large “legacy” trees that the 220-acre burn was meant to protect and opened up far more forest canopy than intended by the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) Stewardship Project. But it turns out these now open and sun-filled areas constitute optimal habitat for sugar pine seedlings. So AFR officials are planning to make lemonade out of the lemons left there by planting up to 2,000 young sugar pines.

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Forestry officials: Corner turned on pine beetle epidemic

KOTA Territory News
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CUSTER, S.D. – The U.S. Forest Service, South Dakota Department of Agriculture  and Wyoming State Forestry Division have released the results of the 2017 forest health survey on the Black Hills National Forest and surrounding lands. Aerial surveys conducted last fall indicate that approximately 4,700 acres were affected by the pine beetle epidemic last year, while approximately 2,500 acres were affected in the year prior. In total, over 450,000 acres have been affected since the epidemic began 20 years ago. …”While we have turned the corner on the current beetle epidemic, we still have serious forest health problems that we need to continue to work together on for our forests in the future,” said Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forester.

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Study: NH sugar maples have a very hard time returning after a clear-cut harvest

By David Brooks
Concord Monitor
March 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…North Country soils make it very hard for sugar maples to rebound after a clear-cut. “This particular watershed was half sugar maple, pre-harvest. But after 30 years of regeneration … it’s just 4 percent sugar maple,” said Natalie Laura Cleavitt, a research associate and lead author on a paper, describing the results of a test that has been running on over hundreds of acres at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, north of Plymouth, for 35 years. …In summary, this study found that sugar maple trees had an extremely hard time returning to northern hardwood forests where they had once thrived following what is known as a whole-tree harvest. …Whole-tree harvests can be important for loggers, since the income from chipped wood makes it feasible to log the property at all. The practice waxes and wanes over the years as prices fluctuate for timber and chips.

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Simpson named 2018 Tree Farmer of the Year

Sussex Countian
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Douglas R. Simpson, of Bridgeville, is Delaware’s 2018 Tree Farmer of the Year for his dedication to forest conservation and landowner education. Presented by the Delaware Tree Farm Committee, the award recognizes landowners who practice exceptional management and promote sustainable forestry. Simpson is a Delaware native who owns tree farms on approximately 700 acres in Sussex County, which were first certified in 1995. The award was given at the annual meeting and banquet of the Delaware Forestry Association at the Bridgeville Fire Hall. Using comprehensive stewardship plans developed in partnership with the Delaware Forest Service, Simpson manages his forestland for wildlife habitat, water quality and wood products.

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Ash tree-killing pest found in 3 more Vermont towns

By Ike Bendavid
WCAX
March 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

RANDOLPH, Vt. —A destructive, invasive beetle first confirmed in the state earlier this month, has now been spotted in three other locations according to state officials. …Public officials at a press conference announced the bad news Monday. “We are determined to do everything we can to mitigate the harm that the emerald ash borer presents to vermont forests and industry,” said Rep. Peter Welch. That concern for the pest the size of a penny has also made its way to Washington. Welch said he wants more funding for the USDA to research the invasive beetle. “This problem is not something that can be all together eliminated, but it can be mitigated.” “It will eat any ash tree, whether it’s in a forest setting or along a city side walk,” said Steve Sinclair with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. He says roadside surveys are looking at Vermont’s ash trees — both in forests and urban areas. “It’s a relatively new pest, but unfortunately we have yet to find any natural predator or any way to control it.”

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Forests Need Water And We Need Forests: The Water Footprint Of Wood And Derived Products

By Joep F. Schyns
Science Trends
March 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…The water use by a forest indirectly serves the ecosystem services the forest generates. In this study, we have estimated which part of forest water use is related to the production of wood and wood-derived products such as lumber, pulp, paper, fuel, and firewood. In other words, we have estimated the water footprint of wood and derived products. …In the end, we estimated how much wood – and thus indirectly, water – you would need to produce several end products made of wood. …Our estimate of the water footprint of global wood production contributes to a more complete picture of the human appropriation of water and feeds the debate on water for food, energy, and wood. We have also learned that intensification of wood production (getting more wood of one hectare of forest) – which is seemingly more efficient – does not necessarily reduce the water footprint per unit of wood.

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Central Highlands forest protection program considered a failure

VietNamNet Bridge
March 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Since 2010, the Dak Nong provincial authorities have allocated 31,600 hectares of forests, including 14,300 hectares of natural forests to enterprises to implement 42 agriculture and forestry projects. Within several years, 4,800 hectares of natural forests were cut down and 8,300 hectares of forests and forestland appropriated for cultivation. Tuy Duc district was assigned the most projects (18) with the largest land area (9,100 hectares) and largest natural forest area (5,500 hectares). It has the largest area of lost forests (2,200 hectares) and appropriated forests (3,000 hectares). …Vast forests in Bao Lam district have been illegally cleared to make room for coffee and tea fields. Vu Van Thanh, a security guard at An Nguyen Company, lent a hand to illegal loggers to devastate the forests by putting chemicals on trees.

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Greenpeace leaves sustainable wood certification group

By Stephen Wright
The Associated Press in ABC News
March 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Greenpeace is withdrawing from the main global group for certifying sustainable wood products, saying it is failing to protect natural forests from exploitation. Greenpeace, a founding member of the Forest Stewardship Council, said the organization “fell short” of its goals of conserving forests and benefiting society. …The council had successes in some regions, the environmental group said, but was failing in “high risk regions where democratic and civil society institutions are weak and corruption is high.” Greenpeace International said in a statement on its website that the council has become a “tool for forestry and timber extraction” and it wouldn’t renew its membership. It said national branches of Greenpeace that are members will make their own decisions about continuing to work with the council.

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Forestry agreements extended in Victoria but big trees get protection

By Pete Hannam
The Canberra Times
March 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — The Victorian government has made short-term extensions to three of its regional forest agreements allowing logging of native forests, but also announced new limits on the trees that can be cut. In a move likely to be watched closely by other states including NSW, the Andrews Labor government extended three agreements to bring them line with two others that expire in March 2020. Native forestry is back in the spotlight with Regional Forest Agreements coming up for renewal across the nation. The state will also provide immediate protection to approximately 2,500 hectares of high environmental-value forest… Similarly, the government will also protect all large, old trees greater than two-and-a-half metres in diameter across Victoria, securing key habitat for wildlife.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

United Stated Department of Agriculture report shows impact of US biobased economy

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
March 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The USDA has released a new report that measures economic growth, job creation and household income from biofuel and bioenergy production, along with future growth in renewable chemicals and biobased products. The report, titled “Indicators of the U.S. Biobased Economy,” shows that the biobased economy is playing an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy. “Through innovations in renewable energies and the emergence of a new generation of biobased products, the sectors that drive the biobased economy are providing job creation and economic growth,” the report states. According to the USDA, the report aims to understand and analyze trends in the biobased economy by comparing 2011 and 2016 data.

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Poyry to build 20.6-MW biomass power plant in southern Thailand

Renewables Now
March 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Finnish consultancy and engineering company Poyry said on Friday it will be working on a 20.6-MW net biomass power plant project in Songkla, southern Thailand. The task has been assigned to the Finnish company by Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Public Company Ltd. …The biomass-fired power plant project will be realised in Chana district under Thailand’s Small Power Producer (SPP) scheme, whereby its output will be sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The facility will be using rubber wood as fuel. The completed plant should start commercial operations in March 2020. The new job will further bolster the Finnish company’s position in Thailand, where it currently has around 50 power plant projects, the regional director of Poyry, Petteri Harkki, said in a statement.

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Health & Safety

Fatal truck collision closes highway

Prince George Citizen
March 26, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Picture by Rob Gagnon from CKPG news

One person was killed Monday morning when two commercial trucks collided on Highway 97 near the Dunkley Lumber sawmill, Quesnel RCMP said. RCMP were called to the scene at 8:19 a.m. and are investigating what was described as a head-on collision between a truck hauling lumber and a truck hauling chips. “The highway has been closed in both directions as police investigate the crash,” RCMP said. “At this time a detour has not been established.” The stretch was reopened to single-lane alternating traffic at 4 p.m., according to an update from DriveBC.

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