Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 21, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

It’s Election Day in Canada as one BC logger struggles to vote

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 21, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Don’t Frog-et to vote! 

It’s Election Day in Canada as one BC logger struggles to vote due to the forestry downturn.

In Forestry/Climate news: support for laid-off BC forestry workers is now available; Nova Scotia established a committee to advise on forest management; Sweden’s climate phenom was in Fort McMurray, Alberta; the pros and cons of a modest change to Alaska’s roadless rule; and Oregon struggles to find common ground with forestry revenue sharing and the Endangered Species Act.

Finally, the driver of this car survived his crash with a loaded logging truck!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

B.C. man struggling to vote after forestry downturn turned life upside down

Global News BC
October 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. man says casting his ballot in the federal election is more important than ever after the logging slowdown turned his life upside down, but as Kristen Robinson reports, he says he feels like he’s being denied his democratic right.

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Trial to begin in $1.4B Oregon forestry management lawsuit

Herald and News
October 20, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

ALBANY, Ore. — A trial in a $1.4 billion breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against the state of Oregon by 150 counties and other taxing districts over the issue of forest management is scheduled to begin Thursday. The lawsuit, filed nearly four years ago, claims the state has not managed forests for the most long-term, sustainable income as required in a decades-old contract, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported. “Your Honor, the state still believes this case is about state statute, but it’s not,” said attorney John DiLorenzo of the Portland law firm Davis Wright Tremaine at a recent hearing in Linn County Circuit Court. “It has always been about a breach of contract, pure and simple.” Attorney Scott Kaplan of the Oregon Department of Justice has said repeatedly that the state has the right and obligation to amend management of the state’s forests, especially when the environment and wildlife are at stake.

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Maine’s forest industry renaissance is cause for celebration

By Sen. Angus King
Fiddlehead Focus
October 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

This week, Oct. 20-26, marks both National Forest Products Week and Maine Forest Products Week — a double celebration that reflects how special this industry is to the Pine Tree State. For generations, Maine’s forest economy has created high-quality products the state took pride in, provided good jobs for our skilled workforce and brought millions of dollars into our state. Put simply: the forest products industry has been the backbone of Maine’s rural communities. But a number of years ago, this historic industry started to experience some serious challenges. Both the industry and the region were hit hard by a series of mill closures in the face of shifting global market demands. As industrial sites throughout rural Maine shuttered …we faced uncertainty: would our prized forest economy ever recover? Today, after impressive innovations and major investments, we can confidently say that Maine’s forest economy is in the midst of a resurgence – and brighter days are ahead.

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Composite Panel Association names 2020 leadership

By Karen Koenig
Woodworking Network
October 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics

LEESBURG, Va. – The Composite Panel Association elected its 2020 officers, board members and committee leadership positions during the fall meeting, held Oct. 6-8 in Denver. The new leadership takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. Serving on the CPA Executive Committee will be: Pat Aldred of GP Wood Products, chairman; David Smith of Timber Products, vice chairman, and Steve Carroll of Arauco, secretary/treasurer. Jim Buffington of Roseburg will complete his term as CPA chairman at the end of this year and serve as immediate past chairman in 2020.

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Finance & Economics

Canfor Corporation: A Merger Arbitrage Deal That Needs A Bit More Spread

Seeking Alpha
October 20, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Canfor’s majority shareholder has offered C$16/share. One large shareholder opposes, but this was an 80%+ premium to the undisturbed price, making shareholder support likely. It is also above my long-term fair value price target for the firm, and the shares have significant immediate downside in a deal break scenario. The current 2.7% spread isn’t an attractive risk-reward, but this situation bears watching for a better entry point.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wooden Boards: Differences Between MDF, MDP, Plywood, and OSB

By Eduardo Souza
Arch Daily.com
October 21, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

For some years now, wood has received an increasing amount of attention in the construction industry. With concerns raised about sustainability and the carbon footprint of buildings, new construction methods and innovative possibilities in the use of timber have developed rapidly. This interest in wood stems in part from its renewability, though this benefit is contingent on sustainable logging and the appropriate management of forests to be allowed to regenerate naturally. However, it is the versatility of wood that serves as the primary impetus for its widespread use. From boards, to beams, to floors, and even to thermal and acoustic tiles and insulators, wood can be used in several different stages of a single project and with different degrees of processing and finishing.

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Forestry

Son Ranch Timber Co. wins provincial award for woodlot management

By Jensen Edwards
Boundary Creek Times
October 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Under the iconic and enormous cross-cut saw arch and down the dirt road, Shilo Freer feeds behemoth aspen beams through the 80-year-old mill at Son Ranch, in the middle of a clearing surrounded by glowing yellow leaves. Forty-eight down and 82 12-by-12s to go – enough to eventually stretch from the Hwy 3 bridge over the Kettle to Gallery 2 in Grand Forks, all for a mine project near Princeton. “I always had options,” Freer said of his career choices, taking a break from the mill. “But this is the best one.” The Freer family has owned Son Ranch for three decades and their nearby woodlot for just about as long. Earlier this month, Son Ranch Timber Co. was rewarded for their forestry stewardship with the Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodland Management for the southern region of the province.

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First round of support programs for forestry workers now available

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
October 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has announced another step in its commitment to have supports in place for contractors, workers and communities impacted by indefinite and permanent mill closures in B.C.’s Interior. The end of the mountain pine beetle harvest and low lumber prices, and the ongoing Canada/U.S. trade dispute are creating uncertainty in many Interior communities. To support workers and communities, government has already allocated $69 million to fund forest worker support programs to help reduce the impact of job losses on communities and support community resilience, forest enhancement and wildfire prevention in the Interior. Now, through a web portal – https://forestryworkersupport.gov.bc.ca/ – impacted workers, contractors and communities can easily access forest worker support programs online.

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Nova Scotia names committee members to advise on ecological forest management

Canadian Press in the Toronto Star
October 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX—Nova Scotia’s lands and forestry minister has appointed 14 people to an advisory committee on ecological forest management. Those appointed by Iain Rankin represent environmental groups, industry, the Mi’kmaq and academia. Rankin says the committee will help Nova Scotians understand the decisions made in managing the province’s forests. The committee is to advise the minister on policies and priorities in line with recommendations of an independent review of forestry practices by University of Kings College president Bill Lahey that was released in August, 2018. Lahey’s report says forest practices should be guided by a new paradigm called “ecological forestry” which treats forests “first and foremost” as ecosystems. The report says the province should adopt a so-called triad model that sees some areas protected from all forestry; some that are dedicated to high-production forestry, including clearcutting; and others that are harvested with a “lighter touch” and limited clearcutting.

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Why is the Tongass National Forest so important?

Mother Nature Network
October 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

All forests are important, but some play larger roles than others. And for a few reasons, the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska — known as the “crown jewel” of U.S. national forests — casts an especially long shadow. Here’s a closer look at the Tongass, why it’s so important and why you might be hearing more about it in the near future: It’s big. The Tongass National Forest is ancient and enormous, spanning nearly 17 million acres (69,000 square kilometers) of Southeast Alaska. …It’s no ordinary forest. The Tongass includes the largest temperate rainforest left in North America, and holds nearly a third of all the old-growth temperate rainforest left on Earth. Together with British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, just across the Canadian border to the south, it forms the largest intact temperate rainforest on Earth, according to Audubon Alaska.

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Edison International Wildfire Fund Awards National Forest Foundation $500,000 for Forest Health

By the National Forest Foundation
Global Newswire
October 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Missoula, Montana — The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is proud to announce the award of $500,000 from Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison (SCE).  Through this funding, the NFF will work with the U.S. Forest Service and local partners to remove hazard trees, reduce fuel loads, educate community members and take steps to build resiliency and mitigate the risk of high intensity wildfires in national forests and adjacent communities in Southern California. …The NFF works with the Angeles, Sierra and San Bernardino National Forests to pursue wildfire mitigation and resilience projects that protect communities and infrastructure from future wildfires, enhance preparedness and wildfire response, and improve overall forest health.

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Trump administration right to pursue Tongass exemption from Roadless Rule

By Frank Murkowski, former governor of Alaska
The Anchorage Daily News
October 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Almost two decades have gone by since reasonable development has been allowed in the Tongass National Forest. Environmental groups have long, and successfully, promoted federal blockage of access to most of the 16.9 million-acre Tongass National Forest. …The Clinton administration justified the national 2001 Roadless Rule on the ground that there was a need for a national-level “whole picture” review of all National Forest roadless areas because: “Local management planning efforts may not always recognize the significance of inventoried roadless areas.” …There is a need to retain opportunities for the communities of Southeast Alaska regarding basic access and utility infrastructure. …Most, if not all, of the communities are lacking in at least some of the basic access and infrastructure necessary for reasonable services, economic stability, and growth.

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Failing forestry: Oregon forest management plans forever in the making

By Ted Sickinger
The Oregonian
October 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gov. Kate Brown is clear about how she believes Oregon should clean up its state forest mess.  She has requested that Oregon Department of Forestry leaders and its oversight board develop an agreement with federal authorities that consultants say will save the agency money, allow for more logging, and promote better, legally defensible conservation.  But the Board of Forestry, agency staff and some of its most important stakeholders have other priorities – namely, a different plan. It’s a politicized dilemma, and it’s unclear the agency has the manpower or money to accomplish both in the near future. Brown’s priority is a habitat conservation plan, a 50-year agreement with the federal government outlining strict wildlife and water protections on state forests. In exchange, the state would get a waiver from prosecution under the Endangered Species Act if its logging inadvertently kills a protected animal or harms its habitat.

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A ‘modest’ impact from a major Tongass rule?

By Marc Heller
E&E News
October 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Trump administration proposal to lift roadless area restrictions on logging and other activities in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest would have only a “modest” effect on timber harvesting, according to the Forest Service. In a proposed rule published in the Federal Register yesterday, the agency said only 185,000 acres of the 9.2 million acres targeted for eased restrictions would actually be considered for timber harvest. A “modest addition of suitable timber acres” would give forest managers more flexibility in selection and design of future timber sales in the Tongass, the Forest Service said. The proposed rule, followed today by a draft environmental impact statement, elaborates on the Agriculture Department’s recommendation to fully exempt the Tongass from the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which restricts the construction of roads, logging and other activities in certain areas.

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Why managing controlled burns is complicated

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
October 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Not too hot. Not too cool. Not too often. Not too rarely. Turns out, restoring forest health through controlled burns is a lot more complicated than foresters first assumed. That’s the conclusion that emerges from a sweeping review of decades of tinkering with the formula for controlled burns in the ponderosa pine forests of the Southwest, published jointly by a host of fire research centers operated by the Forest Service.The future of the forest and every community in its long shadow hangs on the conclusions emerging from efforts to restore prescribed burns and managed wildfires to their natural role in the forest ecology over the past 20 years.Everyone now agrees that tree densities pose an existential threat to the forest and forested communities, with an ecosystem adapted to 50 trees per acre now smothered under the weight of 1,000 trees per acre.

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Activists fight plan to allow commercial timber harvest in the Shawnee National Forest

By Molly Parker
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CARBONDALE, Ill. — For the first time in nearly three decades, the Shawnee National Forest has proposed a commercial timber harvest of mostly native oaks and hickories on 485 acres in rural Jackson County, on the south side of Kinkaid Lake. Environmental activists, whose high-profile fight against logging in the 1990s led to a 17-year moratorium on cutting, are once again raising alarms. The plan, which is awaiting final approval by the U.S. Forest Service’s Eastern Region regional office in Milwaukee, is known as the Waterfall Stewardship Pilot Project. The Forest Service says timber sales are not the primarily objective of the plan; instead, the goal is ecological restoration. …Lisa Helmig, acting forest supervisor with the Shawnee National Forest, said the plan is rooted in the best available science about how to maintain the keystone oak ecosystem that is native to the Shawnee foothills, about 85 miles southeast of St. Louis.

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Activists Occupy An Ancient Forest In Germany To Save It

National Public Radio
October 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest in western Germany is under threat. The country’s biggest power company, RWE, has been clearing the ancient natural resource to make room for coal mining. Currently, there is only 10% left of the forest’s original 13,500 acres. Hoping to halt the decimation, environmental activists have been squatting in the forest since 2012. “No one is coming to save us, so we have to save ourselves,” says an activist who goes by Tricky, the forest name he uses to protect his identity. “People on the front lines in more oppressive societies [are] met with violence and death if they speak out,” he says. “It’s a duty to use my privilege to take action.” Photographer Néha Hirve felt compelled to bear witness.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Thunberg interviews Indigenous leaders at Fort McMurray for documentary

By Rob Drinkwater
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
October 20, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, International

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg continued her tour of Alberta’s oil sands region on Saturday, an Indigenous group says, conducting interviews that the group says will be part of an upcoming BBC documentary. The Mikisew Cree First Nation says in a news release that Thunberg spent the day on the shores of Gregoire Lake near Fort McMurray with members of the First Nation, and that her interviews focused on environmental concerns over oil sands development and climate change. …Melody Lepine, who is the Mikisew Cree’s director of government and industry relations… said when she was interviewed by Thunberg, she told the activist about the importance of the boreal forest as well as the impacts her community might see from climate change. But like Adam, Lepine said her community isn’t calling for an end to oil sands development.

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Economic improvement drives 21st-century business

By Catherine Holt, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
The Times-Colonist
October 20, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The protest signs at the Climate Strike on Sept. 27 were blunt. …There was an edge of desperation that took me back to last summer, when Greater Victoria was shrouded in smoke and climate chaos became a local issue we couldn’t ignore. I wrote then that we need language that communicates the severity of what we face. If we called it the “oven effect” instead of the “greenhouse effect,” …Here’s another change in language we need. The word “growth” has been the unassailable mantra of the economy and business for decades. Growth is good; no growth is bad. End of story. …What gets measured and valued in the current definition of growth doesn’t tell the story we want. We count forestry revenue, but not forests; fisheries harvests, but not fish; crops produced, but not soil conditions; fruit, but not bees.

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Innovations in Biochar

By Tracy Robillard, NRCS Oregon
Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA)
October 20, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

New Conservation Stewardship Program enhancement helps forest owners convert tree debris to soil-friendly, carbon-storing biochar. It started as a backyard hobby fueled by curiosity in rural Southwest Oregon….and just three years later, it transformed into a new conservation approach that forest owners all over the country can use with financial assistance from USDA. The benefits of this new approach are incredible—improved soil health, enhanced soil water holding capacity, increased plant growth and vigor, cleaner air quality, and perhaps most importantly, locals say, the ability to sequester carbon forever. The secret lies in a substance called biochar. Biochar is a modern technology that returns carbon to the soil in the form of long-lasting charcoal. It’s made by baking biomass (such as tree wood, plants, manure, and other organic materials) without the oxygen that could cause it to burn completely to ash.

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Health & Safety

Georgia driver survives harrowing crash as huge logs pierce car

Associated Press in 11Alive.com WXIA
October 20, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

COHUTTA, Ga. — Authorities say a motorist survived after several large logs from a logging truck pierced the car’s windshield and rammed all the way through the rear hatch. The Whitfield County Fire Department says firefighters pulled the driver from the car Friday in the Cohutta area in northwest Georgia. The fire department posted photos of the wreckage off Cleveland Highway on its Facebook page. Jaw-dropping images show trees inside the entire cab of the driver’s black SUV. WTVC-TV reports that the driver sustained only minor injuries. “Great job guys!,” the department wrote on Facebook, thanking its crew for the rescue. Cohutta is about 100 miles northwest of Atlanta, near the Georgia-Tennessee line.

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