Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 12, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Compromise in Farm Bill drops contentious changes but retains forest benefits

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 12, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The House and Senate compromise on the US Farm Bill drops the contentious GOP-desired changes in the name of fire prevention but retains funding for thinning, forest landscape restoration and the Timber Innovation Act (i.e., support for mass timber). In other Business news: an update from Tom Fletcher on the BC/China trade mission; and the American Wood Council elects Roseburg CEO as chair.

In Forestry/Climate news: Alberta researchers want to help tree migration outpace climate change; California’s top firefighter wants to ban home construction in fire-prone areas; the FAO releases two papers on forest vulnerability pre-COP24; and an Australian architect has high hopes for timber innovation in design and construction. 

Finally, scientists at the Deep Carbon Observatory say carbon-based life lurking below the Earth’s surface dwarfs the amount of life roaming on top. Allegedly.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
December 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson with Chul-Hee Kang

Most forest industry representatives on B.C.’s annual trade mission to Asia are carrying on to China this week, but Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and government officials aren’t joining them. Donaldson said Monday he decided not to join forest company executives on the final leg of the journey due to diplomatic tensions between Canada and China over the arrest of a Chinese high-tech executive in Vancouver. …Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, said B.C. companies have long-standing relationships with Chinese, Korean and Japanese companies and the ones on this year’s trip are carrying on their meetings. The Chinese government summoned Canada’s ambassador to warn of consequences this weekend after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei was arrested at the request of U.S. authorities. more to come…

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American Wood Council Announces Allyn Ford as Chairman of AWC Board of Directors

By American Wood Council
Thomas Industry Update
December 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

LEESBURG, VA. – The American Wood Council (AWC) today announced the election of Roseburg Forest Products Chairman Allyn Ford as the AWC Board of Directors’ Chairman for a second one-year term, effective January 1, 2019. Neil Sherman, Executive Vice President of Siding at LP Corporation, was elected the First Vice-Chairman, and T. Furman Brodie, Vice President of Charles Ingram Lumber Co., was elected as Second Vice-Chairman. Stimson Lumber President & CEO Andrew Miller will continue to serve as the Immediate Past Chairman. Ricky Stanley, CEO and President for TR Miller Mill, was confirmed as a new member to the AWC board. Eric Cremers, President and Chief Operating Officer of PotlatchDeltic, and Fred Stimpson, President of Canfor Southern Pine, were each elected to a second two-year term.

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House GOP loses on tougher food stamps rules, forestry changes in farm bill

By Tal Kopan
The San Francisco Chronicle
December 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — Congressional negotiators unveiled a compromise farm bill late Monday, eliminating the most sweeping changes to the food stamp program and forestry management that House Republicans had sought to include in the must-pass legislation. Billions of dollars in agricultural support and food security programs hang in the balance as Congress races to finish the legislation by the end of the year. House Republicans largely failed in their attempt to… overhaul the management of national forests to make it easier to lift environmental protections in the name of fire prevention. …The compromise… version seeks to improve forest management in the aftermath of devastating California wildfires by encouraging collaboration between governmental and nongovernmental landowners and keeping environmental waivers for logging and other landscape clearance to 3,000 acres at a time. House Republicans had sought to double the acreage and expand waivers.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Senators: Farm Bill includes Oregon wood products, forest gains

KTVA TV
December 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Tuesday that the 2018 Farm Bill doubles the size of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program and extends it through 2023. …This critical program, which helps fund collaborative and community-based forest management, has a proven track record of improving forest health, reducing wildfire risk, and supporting rural communities. …The senators also announced that provisions of the Timber Innovation Act are included in the 2018 Farm Bill, supporting the development of mass timber products for building construction. …“We have been working to establish Oregon as a hub for mass timber products, using local timber and bolstering our forest products economy,” Merkley said. “The Timber Innovation Act supports innovative manufacturing that helps to create jobs in the rural part of the state, and lays the groundwork for future sustainable tall wood building construction across America.

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New guide gives offers good advice on how to “make homes healthier for people and planet”

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
December 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The World Green Building Council has some tips about ventilation, insulation and lighting. As part of the World Climate Summit at COP24, the World Green Building Council has issued a Healthier Homes, Healthier Planet guide. It is really a big infographic with some good general advice and lots of links. The guide takes a combination of the latest research into air quality, thermal and acoustic comfort and lighting and translates it into simple, low-cost and practical strategies to make the home environment healthier for both people and planet. …Perhaps my biggest reservation is based on the fact that so many of the air quality issues come from pollution caused by transportation, but there is no discussion about urban form, about density, about building size. …Generally, outside of what I think is a bias towards glassy products, this guide is a great introduction to the essentials of ventilation, insulation and good lighting.

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Are we fast enough for change: a global view of design and timber

By Mark Thomson, Eco Effective Solutions
The Fifth Estate Australia
December 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A three week visit of five countries which included judging at the 2018 World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam and presentations in Geneva to the PEFC General Assembly, have convinced me that fundamental change is well underway. Two key issues stand out from observations and learnings from my recent travels. The first is that it is no longer palatable or responsible, to use materials that are unlikely to be locally recycled, reused, or that don’t address life cycle issues, resulting in waste in landfill, anywhere in the world. The second issue is that implemented “design and construction quality” offers fundamental change to our living and working environments. …Engineered timber products such as cross laminated timber, Glue Laminated timber and Laminated Veneer Lumber offer great hope for a transformation within the Australian environment. 

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Forestry

Canada’s Forest Sector Applauds Recent Senate Committee Recommendations

Forest Products Association of Canada
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA:  After significant consultation with key stakeholders, Canada’s Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry released a report today entitled:  “Feast or Famine: Impacts of climate change and carbon pricing on agriculture, agri-food and forestry.” Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) was very pleased to participate in this important dialogue, which culminated in the publication of today’s report.  The Senate findings included a list of 16 recommendations, many of which underscore the importance of the Canada’s forests and the forest products sector in addressing the climate change challenge. …FPAC was also pleased to note the Committee’s support for continued R&D investments that incents new ideas. “We are delighted that the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry acknowledges the importance of forest management in Canada and promotes initiatives to accelerate innovation in Canadian forestry operations,” offered FPAC CEO, Derek Nighbor.

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Community Forest chair predicts 2018 will see record financial returns

By Sean Eckford
The Coast Reporter
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Geoff Craig

The chair of the Sunshine Coast Community Forest is predicting 2018 will be the best year in the organization’s history in terms of financial performance. Geoff Craig shared the third quarter results for Sechelt Community Projects Inc. (SCPI), with Sechelt council on Dec. 5. He said revenues from logging are sitting at $3,647,458 with all the timber cut in 2018 sold and no further harvesting planned for the year. Craig went on to explain that two factors contributed to the high earnings – a higher than average amount of timber was harvested, about 28,379 cubic metres, and log prices hit record highs. …His report also said that situation may not continue through the final two years of the current cut control period, noting that lumber prices have “decreased markedly,” which could lead to lower log prices as well.

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‘Landmark’ victory for public access, but impact for Island is murky

By Jack Knox
Victoria Times Colonist
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jack Knox

…the historic Douglas Lake ranch near Merritt, which just lost a precedent-setting court decision that outdoor enthusiasts are hailing as a win in the tug-of-war over backcountry access. “I think this is a really significant decision,” says Andrew Gage, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law. “This is a landmark case,” concurred the B.C. Wildlife Federation’s Al Martin, who testified at the trial. “It’s a huge step forward.” Both those organizations provided financial backing to this story’s David, the victorious Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club. What’s uncertain, though, is what that means on the Island, where so much wilderness is in private hands, particularly those of logging companies, thanks to the E&N land grants of the 19th century. …Here on the south Island, groups such as the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association and major land owner TimberWest have tried to take a more collaborative approach.

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Port Hope Green Leaders Honour the Past by Planting for the Future

By Forests Ontario
Cision Newswire
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Donna and Art Marvin

PORT HOPE, ON – Port Hope residents Art and Donna Marvin have recently been named Forests Ontario’s newest ‘Green Leaders.’ Dedicated to the continued enrichment of their beloved family farm, the couple reforested their 100-acre property, planting 11,000 trees over a two year period.  The farm, aptly named Marvindale, is the cornerstone of the Marvins’ legacy. “This farm has been in my family for seven generations,” says Art. “I’m the fifth and my granddaughter, who lives in the original farm house with her parents, is the seventh. There’s a lot of history here.” The Marvins were one of the first families to move to the Port Hope area, landing by boat in 1793 after the American Revolution. “Our family has been here since the very beginning of the township,” Art explains. “One of the earliest Marvins was on the militia roll here in 1800.”

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Farm bill a mixed bag for supporters of forest thinning to help stop wildfires

By Josh Siegel
The Washington Examiner
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Supporters of forest management to mitigate worsening wildfires in Western states won and lost in the new compromise farm bill released Monday night by House and Senate negotiators. The Trump administration, congressional Republicans, and the forestry industry, had hoped the final legislation, which will likely get a vote this week, would contain provisions in the House-passed version of the bill to expand the pace and scale of certain forest-thinning projects to help relieve wildfires. …The final deal would ease environmental reviews for some projects, like the removal of trees damaged by insects or disease. It would also reform the “good neighbor authority,” making it easier for officials to work together on projects that straddle federal, state, local, tribal, and private land. …It also includes provisions to support development of wood products that can help store carbon and improve the market for timber removed from forests.

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California Must Mull Home Ban in Fire-Prone Areas

Associated Press in New York Times
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s increasingly deadly and destructive wildfires have become so unpredictable that government officials should consider banning home construction in vulnerable areas, the state’s top firefighter says. Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott will leave his job Friday after 30 years with the agency. In an interview with The Associated Press, he said government and citizens must act differently to protect lives and property from fires that now routinely threaten large populations. That may mean rethinking subdivisions in thickly forested mountainous areas or homes along Southern California canyons lined with tinder-dry chaparral. Yet Los Angeles County supervisors stung by California’s housing shortage approved a massive rural housing development Tuesday despite the fire danger.

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Court invalidates four timber sales in Tongass National Forest

by Mollie Barnes
Juneau Empire
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal court invalidated four U.S. Forest Service logging projects in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, ending a decade-long legal struggle with environmental groups. Timber sales included in the lawsuit were Scott Peak (on Kupreanof Island), Overlook (on Mitkof Island), Traitors Cove (on Revillagigedo Island) and Soda Nick (on Prince of Wales Island). Together the four projects would have cut 33 million board feet of timber from 1,700 acres of old-growth forest. About 14 miles of logging roads would have been constructed. Two of the four projects were scheduled to be logged in 2019. “The court’s decision came just in time,” said Gabriel Scott, in-house counsel for Cascadia Wildlands Project, one of the plaintiffs, in a press release. But Buck Lindekugel, a grassroots attorney for Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), said the Nov. 28 decision against the USFS sends an alarming message to citizens.

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Federal Farm Bill contains provisions for Oregon’s forests, hemp farmers

By Stephe Hamway
The Bend Bulletin
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A massive federal farming and agriculture bill that’s nearing final approval could provide additional funding for thinning efforts in Central Oregon’s most famous forest, while providing a boost to the region’s burgeoning hemp industry. On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted 87-13 to approve a sweeping 800-page, $867 billion farm bill that addresses issues ranging from food stamps to subsidies for farmers. The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the omnibus bill later in December. For Central Oregon, one of the most important provisions of the bill is a section that extends and doubles the funding for the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.

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Mississippi State University professor named James R. Moreton Fellow in Forestry

By Vanessa Beeson
Mississippi State University
December 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Robert Grala

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A forestry professor has earned a prestigious fellowship in Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources. Professor Robert Grala has been named the Department of Forestry’s first James R. Moreton Endowed Fellow. Professor Dan Seale earned the inaugural accolade in the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts last year. The James R. Moreton Fellow in Forestry was established in 2012 through a gift from James Reginald Moreton, a 1956 mechanical engineering alumnus.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

White Spruce and climate change

By Kevin Ma
St. Albert Gazette
December 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

An Alberta Agriculture researcher hopes that seeds from St. Albert’s White Spruce Forest will help Canadians adapt to climate change. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry geneticist Deogratias Rweyongeza spoke on how seeds collected from St. Albert’s Grey Nuns White Spruce Park were taking part in a new experiment on climate change. Forestry companies have to replant the trees they cut down, Rweyongeza said. In order to ensure those replacement trees survive, the province has divided Alberta into many different seed zones based on local climate conditions so foresters know what to plant where. Climate normally shifts over thousands of years, which gives trees time to spread to more favourable places, he explained. Alberta’s seed zone maps likewise assume climate is static. But it’s not.

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FAO Publications Support Integration of Climate into Forest Policies, Facilitate Vulnerability Assessments

By Catherine Benson Wahlen
International Institute for Sustainable Development
December 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The FAO has released two publications on climate change and forests… to support integration of climate considerations into forest policies and actions and to increase understanding of the role of climate change vulnerability assessments for forest and forest-dependent people. The paper titled, ‘Climate Change for Forest Policy-Makers: An Approach for Integrating Climate Change into National Forest Policy in Support of Sustainable Forest Management,’ advocates for integrating climate change considerations into national forest-related policies and actions, and aims to strengthen cross-sectoral coordination on climate change between forestry and other land use sectors. …The paper titled, ‘A Review of Existing Approaches and Methods to Assess Climate Change Vulnerability of Forests and Forest-Dependent People,’ aims to facilitate the preparation of a framework methodology for climate change vulnerability assessments of forest and forest-dependent people, which FAO is currently developing.

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Earth’s mysterious ‘deep biosphere’ may harbor millions of undiscovered species

NBC News
December 11, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Life on Earth takes billions of shapes, but to see most of them you’ll have to dig deep below the planet’s surface. For the past 10 years, that’s what the scientists of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) have been doing. Composed of more than 1,000 scientists from 52 countries around the world, this group of scientists maps the weird, wild life of Earth’s “deep biosphere” — the mysterious patchwork of underground ecosystems that exists between Earth’s surface and its core. …DCO scientists estimate that the sheer biomass of carbon-based life lurking below our feet utterly dwarfs the amount of life roaming the Earth’s surface. With about 17 billion to 25 billion tons of carbon under the planet’s surface, DCO researchers estimate there is nearly 300 to 400 times as much carbon biomass underground (most of it still undiscovered) as there is in all the humans on Earth.

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