Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 19, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Green Party leader say’s Nova Scotia should shutter Northern Pulp mill

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 19, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Green Party leader Elizabeth May says Nova Scotia should shutter the Northern Pulp mill. In other Business news: China’s slowing growth cuts into softwood demand; last week’s winter weather cast a pall over North American demand; Conifer reaches tentative deal with United Steelworkers; Domtar and Unifor reach agreement on retirement packages at Ear Falls; and the bidding process for Fort Frances mill gets nasty.

In Forestry news: FPAC’s Derek Nighbor on the changing face of the workforce; fire ecologist Robert Gray on how to make BC’s forest fires less damaging; and Dr. Tom Pugh (U of Birmingham) on why young forests—rather than tropical rainforests—are the world’s biggest terrestrial carbon sinks.

Finally, stories on: tall wood manufacturing in Washington and Australia; tall wood construction in BC and Texas, extraordinary prefab houses around the world. 

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Workforce Diversity – Canada’s Forest Sector Branches Out

By Derek Nighbor, president and CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada
Sixth Estate
February 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The transformation that is happening in Canada’s forest products sector is not limited to the new technologies we see in our forests and at our mills, nor in the new global markets we are reaching.  It is also reflected in the changing face of our workforce. The iconic lumberjack, so fondly associated with the tradition of Canadian forestry is, in fact, something of yesteryear.  Today, our sector sports almost as many lab coats as we do safety vests.  We also see an increasing number of women now working in the woods and in mills across the country.  That said, we have much more work to do. Only 17% of workers in our sector are women.  While that number is on the rise, we see a huge opportunity to promote careers in the forest sector as an option for both men and women who might not yet be thinking about us.  Diverse and inclusive workforces are demonstrably positive for all business sectors, and FPAC could not be happier to see a number of gender diversity opportunities getting national profile. 

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Random Lengths Lumber and Panel Market Report

Random Lengths
February 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Sales of framing lumber slowed as winter took a toll on consumption across the continent. Snow in the Northwest and rain in California cooled off trading in the West, while the Upper Midwest, Northeast, and much of Canada were in the deep freeze. As mill sales slowed, secondaries stepped up efforts to sell from their inventories, and a two-tiered market was widely apparent. The quieter tone sapped upward momentum in prices, but the Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price still posted a $7 gain. Structural panel prices shifted mildly amid minimal sales. …Southern Pine plywood prices trended upward modestly during another uneventful, but steady week of trading. Lean inventories kept buyers in the market searching for small volumes to address emerging needs. 

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China’s slowing economic growth cuts into demand for B.C. softwood lumber

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
February 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. softwood lumber shipments to China are in decline as that country’s slowing economic growth pinches demand for one of Canada’s key exports. The volume and value of B.C. softwood exports to China have been on a downward trend since peaking in 2013. …Still, Canadian forestry executives prize China as the second-largest foreign buyer of B.C. softwood after the United States. …”we believe that there’s still a huge future in China for our products,” Don Kayne, CEO at Canfor. …Russ Taylor… at FEA, said the trend of B.C. lumber shipments declining to China over the past five years is due in part to Russia increasing its market share in China. …RBC analyst Paul Quinn… expects the value of B.C. softwood exports to China will flatten over the next couple of years.” …B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison… said he doesn’t lose sleep over wild swings in commodity prices or political uncertainty on the trade front.

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Tentative agreement for Northern Forestry workers

By Cole Kelly
My Bulkley Lakes Now
February 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A tentative agreement has been reached between Conifer and the United Steelworkers Union representing sawmill workers across Northern BC. Brian O’Rourke, the President of Local 1-2017, says a deal was struck in Prince George yesterday after three days of talks this week. The agreement covers more than two thousand forestry workers in Prince George, Dunkley Lumber, Quesnel, Williams Lake, as well as other operations in Houston, Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Mackenzie and Fort St. John. It follows several rounds of bargaining prior to this week. A strike vote was taken in August, talks broke off back in October and rotating strikes then began.

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Green Party Leader Elizabeth May: ‘For my point of view, close the mill’

By Adam MacInnis
The Chronicle Herald
February 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PICTOU, N.S. — …A large crowd packed [filled] all available seats and standing room, to see Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and talk with her about issues ranging from the high cost of college tuition to the ongoing concerns of those from Pictou Landing First Nation and the fishing community about Northern Pulp’s plan to put an effluent treatment pipe into the Northumberland Strait. …“The Nova Scotia Department of Environment should just shut down Boat Harbour at 2020 no matter what and if we’re looking for meaningful ethical work, there’s a lot of opportunities across this province that don’t involve logging and putting chipped forest into ships leaving for overseas,” May said. “We should be bringing back a saw log industry. We should be bringing back processed finished wood. Value added.” [The Chronicle Herald allows limited ‘free’ stories per month, a subscription may be required for full access]

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Bidding process for Fort Frances mill gets nasty

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
February 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A prospective buyer of the closed Fort Frances paper mill will have “zero” chance of acquiring the property unless it signs a non-disclosure agreement with Resolute Forest Products. Seth Kursman, Resolute’s vice-president of corporate communications, called the actions of Repap Resources Group “downright cruel” in unnecessarily raising expectations in the former pulp and paper mill town of the operation reopening. …Resolute is running a two-track bidding process for the mill property by taking offers from interested parties – with a March 15 submission deadline – while also signing a “backstop agreement” with an undisclosed “restorative development company” that would remediate the brownfield site. That agreement is expected to close by May, at the earliest. It’s been alarming news for the Town of Fort Frances, which regards the mill as an “irreplaceable” economic asset.

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Domtar and Unifor Announce Ear Falls Retirement Packages

Net News Ledger
February 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

EAR FALLS, ONTARIO – Domtar and Unifor have just negotiated $100,000 early retirement packages and up to $50,000 in moving allowances for about two dozen woodlands employees near Ear Falls. George Smith, Unifor Local 324 President said, “EACOM’s Ear Falls sawmill recently hired dozens of additional Unifor members for increased lumber production and sawlog harvesting on the Trout Forest. However, as a result of the EACOM sawmill expansion, Domtar will no longer require its lone chipper operation based in Ear Falls after March 31st.”

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Ted Freres awarded Lumberman of the Year

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
February 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Ted Freres

The Lumberman of the Year award for 2018 has been posthumously awarded to Ted Freres, former president of plywood and veneer manufacturer Freres Lumber Co. Freres, who died last year of pancreatic cancer at 68, is credited with buying the company’s first computer, eventually leading to the advanced computer-controlled manufacturing technologies employed by Freres Lumber today.  “He was visionary, always open to new ideas, always looking for the next innovation. He enjoyed people, had a tactful way of getting things done, and knew when to compromise in order to see his ideas become reality,” according to the Portland Wholesale Lumber Association, which recognized Freres with the award in December.

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Southern Forest Products Association Mourns John Batson

Southern Forest Products Association
February 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

On behalf of all members, SFPA extends its condolences to the family and friends of John O. Batson, who passed away on February 5, 2019. He was 94. Click here to read the full obituary. John had a long, and distinguished career in the lumber industry, including managing sawmills and related businesses in Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, and sawmill owner in Hammond, Louisiana in 1970. Later in life, John served as an independent consultant both domestically and internationally in the lumber industry. John was an active member in the association, serving as SFPA’s Chairman from 1979-1980. In recognition of his commitment to the industry, John received SFPA’s “Southern Pine All Stars” award in 2000.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Compostable ‘bioplastics’ make inroads with consumers

By Katherine Roth
Associated Press in the National Post
February 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastics — especially single-use items like bags, straws and picnic tableware — many supermarkets and vendors are offering an array of compostable alternatives made from plant fibers or starches. “The market for compostable products is growing at an incredible pace,” says Olga Kachook, sustainability manager for Petaluma, California-based World Centric, which makes ones geared mostly toward food services in stadiums, school cafeterias, hotels, restaurants and convention centres. Those facilities work with industrial composting facilities, which can cut their waste exponentially. Bioplastics, as the rapidly evolving products are also known, can be made from corn, potatoes, rice, tapioca, palm fiber, wood cellulose, wheat fiber, sugar, or sometimes even shrimp shells, seaweed or algae. …If they are tossed in with other plastics for recycling, they pollute the recycling stream, and if tossed in the trash, they aren’t much better than traditional plastic.

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SFU researchers use cellulose material to 3D print wireless Internet-of-Things sensors

3ders
February 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Woo Soo Kim

Simon Fraser University’s Mechatronic System professor Woo Soo Kim and Swiss researchers are developing an eco-friendly, 3D printable solution for producing wireless Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors. The research team is using a wood-derived cellulose material to replace the plastics and polymeric materials currently used in electronics. The solution could be used and disposed without contaminating the environment. Additionally, 3D printing further enabled them to add or embed functions onto 3D shapes or textiles, creating greater functionality. Their research has been published in the February issue of the journal Advanced Electronic Materials.

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Canada stands tall in wood-based high-rise construction

By Melanie de Klerk
Global News
February 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tucked away on the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia sits a marvel of innovation in wood construction. It’s called Brock Commons, a student residence tower housing some 400 students. …The building was made possible by innovations over the last decade that allow several pieces of wood to essentially be glued together under pressure to make one super strong piece of wood that can hold more weight than ever before. This new wood product is called mass timber, which is assembled and built in a factory and then brought to the construction site to be assembled like Lego. …Architect Michael Green is one of the foremost experts in tall wood building construction. He’s based in Vancouver but his firm is working on projects all over the world and he believes making an old material like wood new again in this way is a game changer.

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Extraordinary Prefab Houses Around the World

By Sheri Koones
Forbes Magazine
February 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, International

While researching international prefabrication, I came across some of the most remarkable houses I’ve ever seen. Prefab is still a growing phenomenon in the United States, but it is more mainstream in other countries around the world. The numbers are much more impressive in European countries, such as in Sweden, where about 84% of houses are built using prefabricated elements and Germany at about 20%. In Japan more than 15% of houses are built in factories. There are several reasons for the discrepancy. Construction in a factory, in a protected environment and with sophisticated equipment, helps to create a more energy efficient house. …In addition to the concern for energy efficiency, there is also a priority put on the duration of construction, the quality and cost – all an advantage with prefab construction.

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On the rise: Local factories part of tall wood-building movement

By Becky Kramer
The Spokesman-Review
February 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A Spokane Valley factory could help transform the U.S. building industry, bringing tall, wooden structures into the mainstream. Building with wood – a renewable resource – is better for the environment than building with steel and concrete, said officials with Katerra Inc. The Menlo Park, California, company is on track to open an engineered wood products factory in April. The 250,000-square-foot plant will make structural panels from wood that is glued together in layers and compressed. According to Katerra, the factory will be the largest of its kind worldwide. Katerra’s factory will put Spokane at “the epicenter” of the tall, wooden building movement, said Michael Green, an architect for Katerra in Vancouver, British Columbia. He’s known for his 2013 TED Talk, “Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers.”

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New construction method using timber gaining popularity in Central Texas

By Yoojin Cho
KXAN TV
February 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Another brand new building is about to open its doors in east Austin… it’s the first building in Austin to use cross laminated timber, or CLT. “Some people compare it to plywood on steroids,” explained Ulrich Dangel, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. …Dangel explained… while many European countries and Canda use CLT often, it’s just now starting to become more popular in the United States. …Here in the United States, Dangel said CLT is still more expensive than steel or concrete. …He said because CLT is more sustainable than steel or concrete and reduces carbon footprint, its popularity will increase quickly. According to Dangel, it’s much faster to build a CLT building. 

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UPM is building a new ecosystem for wood-based biomedical solutions together with partners

By UPM
Global Newswire
February 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

UPM collaborates with leading research organizations and small to medium sized companies in order to create a new ecosystem and novel wood-based innovations for the biomedical sector. The sector faces a growing need for products sourced from natural materials that are free from animal-derived components as they offer many advantages over currently used materials. UPM has been active in biomedicals for many years and has already commercialized GrowDex® nanocellulose product for cell culture. …Wood as a raw material in the biomedicals area has many attractive qualities and UPM is looking to expand its portfolio further. …Public funding from Business Finland enables joining forces with other key partners operating in this area.

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Construction underway for Hyne Timber’s new GLT plant

By Hyne Timber
Architecture and Design Australia
February 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Construction of Hyne Timber’s new Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) production plant is now underway in Maryborough with Badge Construction.  The building’s structure will be made up of the company’s own GLT, demonstrating their capability, backed by over 40 years of GLT manufacturing experience. Cross Laminated Timber from Australian supplier, XLam will also make up some of the internal building and the internal stairs. Robert Mansell, Hyne Timber’s Business Development Manager, Commercial said construction of the new plant represents innovative, sustainable and quality construction. “We know plantation pine is completely renewable but it is always refreshing to learn just how quickly a construction project’s volume of timber will grow back based on Australia’s plantation footprint. “The volume of timber being used for this new construction project will grow back in under 8 minutes. Now that’s renewable!” 

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Forestry

Mystery disease killing beech trees

By Mark Kinver
BBC News
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

A mysterious disease that is killing beech trees is spreading across parts of the United States. Scientists say the disease, known as Beech Leaf Disease, has been recorded in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and parts of Ontario in Canada. They say the cause of the tree killer needs to be identified in order to halt the spread. It is expected to spread widely if the deadly pathogen becomes established in the wider environment. In the UK, beech trees are widespread and are the main species in many woodlands. The tree is often referred to as a queen species, second only to the oak. “The initial symptom is a dark staining pattern on the leaves,” explained Carrie Ewing, a PhD student from Ohio State University. “Later, it seems that the leaves become shrivelled, almost leathery in texture. Eventually, the tree will die.”

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Ever wanted to walk among the treetops? B.C. business is trying to build a trail for you

By Jim Donaldson
The Bellingham Herald
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The operators of a popular tourist attraction in Canada are proposing to build an elevated “tree walk” that spirals more than 100 feet into the sky above a pristine Northwest forest. The project would create a 4,100-foot wooden walkway through the treetops and over wetlands near Squamish, B.C., which is about 40 miles north of Vancouver. At the end of the walkway, a huge spiral staircase would lead to an overlook with 360-degree views of the area. Operators of the Sea to Sky Gondola said in a press release the elevated walkway would be the first of its kind in North America. “The tree walk will preserve, connect and enhance access to natural areas while protecting environmentally sensitive areas,” said Kirby Brown, general manager of the Sea to Sky Gondola, in a press release. The project still needs the approval from local and provincial governments, as well as cooperation from First Nations tribes.

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We can make forest fires less damaging

By Robert Gray, Fire Ecologist
The Times Colonist
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Robert Gray

The wildfire burden to B.C.’s society, economy and environment over the past decade can be measured in the tens of billions of dollars. And yet, successive provincial governments have significantly underfunded programs that would mitigate the destruction. …This, unfortunately, is an all-too-frequent pattern: a minuscule, upfront investment in mitigation and prevention, but a massive expenditure in response and recovery during and after the fire. …If we focus only on promoting FireSmart as the solution, as some suggest, and don’t make the big investment in landscape hazard mitigation, we have to accept a wildfire threatening a community or even worse, burning into a community. …A different strategy would see significant investment in treating the fuels on the landscape adjacent to the community so that in the event of a wildfire, fire behaviour would be mitigated, suppression would be more effective and potential damage would be significantly reduced.

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B.C. declares war on Surrey gypsy moths

By Susan Lazaruk
Victoria Times Colonist
February 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is stepping up its attack on a potentially dangerous pest living in a corner of Surrey, which it worries could wipe out orchards, farms and trees in the province if left untreated. The gypsy moth has stubbornly remained in the northwest corner of the Fraser Heights neighbourhood in Surrey, despite the hand application of pesticide at ground level over the past two years. …Because the pesticide, called Foray 48B, is a derivative of soy, the very small percentage of people who are allergic to soy should take precautions. …Foray 48B is used in organic farming and contains bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, or Btk. Btk has been approved for use in Canada for almost 60 years. It doesn’t harm humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles, amphibians, bees or other insects, according to the forests ministry website.

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Northern B.C. communities on edge as they await decision on caribou protection plan

By Justin McElroy
CBC News
February 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forget about Tuesday’s provincial budget: in northeastern B.C., the biggest source of political speculation surrounds a plan to protect the caribou population.  For months, the provincial government has been developing its blueprint to create a secure long-term habitat for the approximately 200 caribou still in the south Peace River region. It’s set to be released by the end of February, and it’s hard to find a local official who isn’t worried that it could put significant restrictions on future use of the region, both for industry and recreation.  “The frustration is there,” said Tumbler Ridge Mayor Keith Bertrand.  During last year’s local elections, Bertrand lobbied for more consultation. But he says it’s been the equivalent of slamming his head against a wall — and in a town where mining is the dominant industry, there’s worry a decision might be imposed that affects peoples’ way of life. 

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Corns about herbicide use in Interior forests

By Jim Hilton
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
February 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a recent Government of B.C. press release, the spraying of forests to control deciduous plants was reduced from 16,000 hectares to 10,000. Most of the herbicide treatment was taking place between Prince George and Quesnel, and the main reason for the reduced use of herbicides was over concerns about the impacts on wildlife; particularly in moose populations. There has also been a growing concern over the reduction of biodiversity (amphibians and insects) due to aerial spraying glyphosate (the main constituent of Roundup) on wetlands adjacent to treated forests. Suzanne Simard, a forest science professor at the University of B.C. has had some concerns that coniferous forests don’t do better when the broadleaf plants are killed off using herbicides.

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Can’t just follow vocal minority on municipal forest

Letter by Sherry Johnstone
Lake Cowichan Gazette
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The citizens of North Cowichan and surrounding areas are indeed blessed to have the municipal forest reserve in their backyard. This rare and unique resource has provided citizens with a multitude of benefits not available to most communities. A community forest such as the MFR has the potential to provide sustainable benefits in terms of local employment and generation of revenue while providing many of the social and ecological values of importance to the community. Since inception, the harvest of forest products from the MFR has provided economic benefits. …In terms of the future management direction of the MFR, it has been said that the MFR is owned by the people of North Cowichan and that as such the future should be determined by the people. I fully support this comment but also believe it should never be translated into following the direction of the vocal minority. 

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Wildfires focus of upcoming workshop for B.C.’s community forests

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfire impacts on community forests will be the focus of a provincial workshop taking place in Williams Lake next month. Alex Fraser Research Forest manager Stephanie Ewen said they will be hosting the seminar with the British Columbia Community Forest Association from March 11 to 13 and already many people are expressing an interest in attending. “I’m excited about the number of people who want to attend, despite how overwhelmed I think people are with dealing with these issues, such as wildfires,” Ewen said. “I’m also excited about the fact they are willing to come together and learn collectively on how to manage for wildfire, how to recover from wildfire and new ways of thinking about our forests going forward.”

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Municipal Forest Reserve: Front and Centre in North Cowichan

By Kyle Christensen
My Cowichan Valley Now
February 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The gallery was packed in North Cowichan council chambers for a major decision regarding options for 2019 forestry operations in the Municipal Forest Reserve. Council endorsed completing the existing 2018 forestry contracts and harvesting the blowdown that was left in the wake of the vicious December windstorm. Municipal Forester Shaun Mason explains some of the practices used in the forest reserve. “We harvest roughly 50 hectares a year, generally it has been less, roughly a percent of the Municipal Forest Reserve,” said Mason. “The tree retention is at least ten plus trees per hectare and those trees are given preference to non-merchantable timber that should stay there. Any older second growth with old growth characteristics, foot-tops, anything that has some sort of wildlife value will remain standing.”

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How a sweet-smelling fungus is threatening mighty oak trees

By Andrew Lupton
CBC News
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s not an insect, but a fruity-smelling fungus with the potential for tree devastation that some are comparing to the Emerald Ash Borer. It’s called oak wilt and though there have been no confirmed cases in Canada, arborists here are gearing up for its potential arrival in southern Ontario.  Jill-Anne Spence is London’s urban forestry manager. She says the city is ramping up its efforts to warn the public about the disease through a public awareness campaign and increased training for city staff. “It kills the tree rather quickly,” said Spence. Oak wilt kills by blocking an infected tree’s vascular system, depriving it of water and nutrients until it dies. …In cases where the fungus is advanced, patches of white, grey and black can appear on the tree. The fungus emits a smell similar to Juicy Fruit gum. 

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Increasing our understanding of forest sustainability

By Healy Hamilton, Chief Scientist and VP, NatureServe
Inside Nova
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Healy Hamilton

Fifty years ago, most managed forests in this country were valued for producing board-feet of timber. In the decades since, scientists have documented a diverse suite of additional values that forests deliver, such as clean water, purified air, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, and habitat for a diversity of plants and animals, including species of conservation concern.  Recognition of these many values is driving societal demand for forests to be managed sustainably, and we should celebrate this. …How do we know that managing according to a given sustainability standard will actually yield the benefits …that are claimed? Independent third-party auditors assess only that sustainable management practices are followed, but we still lack metrics to quantify that managed forests certified as sustainable are in fact delivering a full range of conservation benefits. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), a sustainability leader dedicated to the future of our forests, rightly believes this question deserves attention.

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State signs $2M timber sale contract for southeast Alaska

The Associated Press in the Bellingham Herald
February 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state has signed a $2.1 million contract with ALCAN Timber Inc. for a timber sale on state and federal forest land in southeast Alaska. The timber sale includes about 481 acres within the Southeast State Forest and Tongass National Forest on the northwest end of Gravina Island, the Ketchikan Daily News reported Saturday. State Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige signed the three-year contract Wednesday. The Vallenar Bay sale involves about 16 million board feet (38,000 cubic meters) of timber from a mix of old- and young-growth Sitka spruce, western hemlock, red alder, western red cedar and Alaska yellow cedar, the state Division of Forestry said in a statement. …ALCAN Timber had purchased the first Good Neighbor Authority sale in September 2017.

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Elk avoid beetle-killed forest areas

By the University of Wyoming
EurekAlert
February 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Loss of the heat-shielding forest canopy and the obstacle of fallen trees have caused elk to avoid beetle-killed areas of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, according to new research by University of Wyoming scientists. Those factors more than offset the gains in nutritious grasses and other vegetation desired by elk that have resulted from the region’s bark beetle epidemic, says the research led by recent UW master’s degree graduate Bryan Lamont and supervised by UW Professors Kevin Monteith and Matt Kauffman of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. As with many wildlife studies in Wyoming, this was a collaborative effort between university researchers and biologists with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, who are charged with managing the elk herd amid the massive forest disturbance.

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Forest advocates back Vic logging case

By Rick Goodman
Newcastle Star
February 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tree advocates with leaves in their hair have flocked to a Melbourne court as they fight to stop logging in old-growth Victorian forests, saying the future of native wildlife is at risk. About a dozen forest defenders filled the Supreme Court on Tuesday for a trial brought by the Fauna and Flora Research Collective against VicForests to save areas earmarked for logging in East Gippsland. Among them was St Andrews woman Karena Goldfinch, who had a green leaf arrangement pinned to her hair in solidarity with the trees. “These forests need protection. We can’t afford to cut them down,” she said outside court. “Old-growth trees are what is important for the legacy of wildlife.”

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Regional forestry hub announcement welcomed

By Stuart McGuckin
The West Australian
February 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Bunbury-Geographe Timber Hub was announced as one of four hubs that will share $12.5 million of Federal Government funding on Saturday. Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the selection of the South West as one of four pilot Regional Forestry Hubs was exciting. “The assessments that come from the South West Hub will provide industry with regional data that is not currently available, bringing potential to support new investment in the sector,” Mrs Marino said. “This will assist our region to identify future investment and other opportunities for the forest industries in rural and regional Australia. “For the South West communities, the Regional Forestry Hub also has the potential to create rural and regional jobs.”

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Parliament House protest labels native logging ‘economically absurd’

By Alex Rea
About Regional
February 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — Hundreds of concerned citizens rallied at Parliament House in Canberra to protest against the logging of forests around the country. The National Forest Uprising was part of a series of protests against the destruction of public native forests in South East NSW and the ACT, in a bid to influence the government to end native forest logging by 2020. Speakers included Victorian Senator Janet Rice, Chair of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW Professor Don White, National Forest Campaigner for the Wilderness Society Peter Robertson, and Harry Laing from the Friends of Mongarlowe River. Mr Harry Laing, who lives close to Monga National Park, told the crowd the logging was “mayhem”, labelling it “an economic absurdity.”

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‘I’m interested in growing more trees’: PM announces $12.5m forestry boost

By Ethan James
Sydney Morning Herald
February 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Scott Morrison, Richard Colbeck & Braddon Gavin Pearce

Nine regional forestry hubs will be created across Australia under a federal government plan to boost the industry. Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the $12.5 million announcement on Saturday at a forest nursery at Somerset in northwest Tasmania.”I’m interested in growing more trees and growing more jobs, it’s as simple as that,” the prime minister said. Four pilot hubs will be set up in northern Tasmania, NSW, Western Australia and across the South Australia and Victoria border.”It’s a recognition of a region that is strong in forestry, looking at infrastructure needs, employment needs and making sure facilities are in place to grow trees,” Mr Morrison said.”This is an exciting day for Tasmania’s forest industry,” Mr Morrison said.Another five hubs will be created in 2020.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

World’s biggest terrestrial carbon sinks are found in young forests

By University of Birmingham
EurekAlert
February 18, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

More than half of the carbon sink in the world’s forests is in areas where the trees are relatively young – under 140 years old – rather than in tropical rainforests, research at the University of Birmingham shows. These trees have typically ‘regrown’ on land previously used for agriculture, or cleared by fire or harvest and it is their young age that is one of the main drivers of this carbon uptake. Forests are widely recognised as important carbon sinks – ecosystems capable of capturing and storing large amounts of carbon dioxide – but dense tropical forests, close to the equator have been assumed to be working the hardest to soak up these gases. …However, the researchers found that areas where forests were re-growing sucked up large amounts of carbon not only due to these fertilisation effects, but also as a result of their younger age. The age effect accounted for around 25 per cent of the total carbon dioxide absorbed by forests.

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