Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: United States

Business & Politics

American Forest & Paper Association outlines 2020 advocacy goals

By American Forest & Paper Association
Recycling Today
February 17, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Biomass, recycling, regulatory reform and transportation infrastructure are the top advocacy priorities that the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, will be pursuing in 2020. “President Trump and the U.S. Congress recently made great strides in finalizing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, and we are grateful for this commitment to ensuring free and fair cross-border trade,” says AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “Paper and paper-based packaging are the most-recycled materials by weight from municipal waste streams in the United States, and AF&PA will support policies that allow this environmental success story to continue. Policy conversations related to biomass, paper recycling, regulatory reform and transportation infrastructure should strengthen our industry’s ability to provide consumers with recyclable, renewable and sustainable paper products.” Mark Sutton, International Paper CEO and AF&PA board chair, adds, “As challenges related to waste continue to be discussed nationwide, we ask that elected officials recognize paper is part of the circular solution.” 

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New hires and veteran paper makers coming together to get McKinley Mill ready to go

By Pepper Fisher
My Clallam Country
February 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES, Washington – The McKinley Mill in Port Angeles is not quite ready to go full-steam ahead, but new recruits are busy learning from seasoned veterans how to make their first giant rolls of paper from 100% recycled materials. The mill has been operating on a practice-and-warmup basis. The cogeneration plant is turning what would otherwise be waste wood into fuel to create steam that powers the rest of the mill. Smoke from the process is almost non-existent, and because the products they produce are made from recycled paper and not wood chips, the notorious odor that many Washingtonians have come to expect from a paper mill is a thing of the past. …The paper will later be used primarily for shopping bags, but another machine is being prepared to make cardboard products.

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‘Good, cold water:’ Riparian restoration preserves trout sanctuary

By Patrick Reilly
The Missoulian
February 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Montana — A creek runs through Denny Anderson’s ranch. Until last year Miller Creek was “a straight shot” through the 220-acre property, Spooner Creek Ranch. He suspects past logging and ranching in the drainage south of Missoula had “incised’ the creek, speeding erosion and deepening its channel. …Thanks to a six-figure restoration project led by the Clark Fork Coalition this past summer the creek now winds through sculpted banks and newly planted willow trees. …Climate change has arrived in Western Montana, and as temperatures rise and snowpacks shrink, local waters are taking more heat. A 2017 Forest Service study found that western streams warmed at a rate of .178 degrees Celsius per decade from 1976 to 2015.

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Eugene mill to close, lay off 84

The Associated Press
February 11, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Oregon — A Chilean company notified Oregon state officials Tuesday that it will shutter a Eugene fiberboard mill and lay off all 84 workers on May 1. Arauco North America said the closure results from an “economic imbalance” in the U.S. market for medium density fiberboard. The company said it will shift Eugene production work to its other U.S. facilities. The Eugene facility opened in 1962, according to the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber says Arauco uses local lumber mill byproducts and converts them into fiberboard for home construction.

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Senate GOP leader: Timber deal with environmentalists demoralizing to caucus

By Connor Radnovich
Statesman Journal
February 11, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Herman Baertschiger

A deal struck between timber companies and environmentalists with the help of Gov. Kate Brown made Republicans’ jobs more difficult this session and demoralized the caucus, Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. said Tuesday. “These people come into our offices, ask us to do things for them and then turn around and throw us under the bus,” Baertschiger said. “You kind of scratch your head and say: who are we fighting for?” The Republican from Grants Pass said the deal — hailed as historic by Brown — makes the task of blocking a controversial greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade bill more difficult. Baertschiger added that smaller timber companies and those who work in the industry are also not being served by this agreement. Timber executives did not inform the Senate Republican office that the deal was forthcoming, Baertschiger said, instead leaving them to find out from the announcement Monday morning.

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Timber Processing 2020 Person Of The Year—Fritz Mason

By Jessica Johnson
Timber Processing
February 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Fritz Mason

Deep thinking, passionate – adjectives that might not come first to mind when describing a lumberman. Yet, after 10 minutes with Fritz Mason, the President and General Manager of Georgia-Pacific Lumber, it’s obvious they do. Mason is an industry titan, with an impressive resume spanning into five decades of experience traversing the country, producing lumber and impacting communities along the way. …As such, Timber Processing has named Fritz Mason as the 2020 Person of the Year. He is the 32nd annual recipient of the honor and there is no better candidate in the industry who fits the double criteria for this award of leadership within their own company and leadership within the industry at large.

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Finance & Economics

Paper market more settled, says Domtar CEO

By Andy Braithwaite
Office Products International
February 11, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Domtar CEO John Williams has said supply and demand dynamics in the North American cut paper sector have shown signs of stabilisation over the past few months. …Williams suggested that the market was in a “more settled place” after the “inventory bubble” that had built up in the US following Georgia-Pacific’s sudden exit from the office paper category at the beginning of 2019. …Having said that, the underlying downward trend in paper demand has not eased, and the Domtar CEO recognised the “challenging market conditions”. The company’s own paper sales in the fourth quarter of 2019 fell by 8% year on year to $755 million.

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Utility-grade lumber prices jump, sawmill capacity utilization improves

By Keta Kosman
Madison’s Lumber Reporter
February 11, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

…Canadian sawmill capacity utilization starting to recover from brutal lows in the first half of 2019, while in the US it remained essentially flat over the previous year. US sawmill production… rose from the early months of 2019. …In week ending February 7, 2020, benchmark North American construction framing lumber item Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr (RL) prices jumped significantly, up by +$18, or +4%, compared to the previous week, to US$426 mfbm. This week’s price is +$24, or +6%, more than it was one month ago. Reaching levels similar to the same time last year, this price is up by +$4, or +1%.

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The longest job boom ever is exactly what housing needed

By Logan Mohtashami
Housing Wire
February 11, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Job and economic expansion is boosting the next wave of first time and move-up homebuyers. …last week the U.S. added one more stable jobs report to the streak of 112 straight months of job gains. This is the fertile economic ground to which the most massive demographic patch of 26 to 32-year-olds will come into “home-buying age.” Currently, the median first-time homebuyer age is 33. Back in 1981, it was 29. American homeowners typically follow a well-trodden path to homeownership, albeit these days people get married and buy homes later in life.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canadian firm Structurlam hoping Walmart campus, Conway plant will spur mass timber popularity in U.S.

By Paul Gatling
Talk Business & Politics
February 11, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Hardy Wentzel

In early 2018, Structurlam Mass Timber Corp. hired Hardy Wentzel as its new CEO. He had a prioritized strategic plan: Expand the Canadian-based manufacturing company with a southern U.S. facility. In Bentonville, Walmart had decided its new corporate campus — first announced in August 2017 — would be built using structural timber or, as it’s more popularly known, “mass timber”. The retailer was scanning the industry for a potential supplier. And in central Arkansas, a 288,000-square-foot facility that Nucor Steel initially built to make steel fasteners sat empty in Conway.  …Looking ahead, Wentzel said building renovation and construction at the Conway facility have started, and specialized wood processing equipment will arrive on-site during the second half of the year. At full strength, the plant will create 130 new jobs and a combined capacity sufficient to construct three 200,000-square-foot office buildings every month.

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Has the wooden skyscraper revolution finally arrived?

By Oscar Holland
CNN
February 13, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…Advocates for mass timber claim that, compared to existing alternatives, these towers are quicker to construct, stronger and, perhaps most surprisingly, safer in the event of a fire. It may, however, be their green credentials that explain wood’s rising popularity in recent years. The construction and operation of buildings accounts for 40% of the world’s energy consumption, and approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. But while concrete emits a huge amount of carbon, trees instead absorb it throughout their lifetime. If those trees are then turned into mass timber, that carbon is “locked in,” or sequestered, rather than returned to the atmosphere when the tree dies. …According to architect Michael Green, a longstanding advocate for — and designer of — wooden buildings, there are “a whole bunch of things converging right now.” But since his 2013 Ted talk, in which he predicted a coming “revolution” in timber construction, there has been one especially significant shift: cost.

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What Is The Greenest Way To Wipe Your Butt?

By Rebecca Gao
Chatelaine Magazine
February 6, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

As the alarm over climate change grows, I’ve been thinking a lot more about the waste I produce—and cutting down where I can. One single-use product I haven’t thought too deeply about, however, is toilet paper. Toilet paper takes up a ton of resources: a single roll requires 37 gallons of water to produce. According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council…much of the toilet paper produced in the U.S. and Canada comes from the Canadian boreal forest. Clear-cutting the boreal forest for toilet paper releases, on average, 26 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Not to mention the destruction of forest habitats caused by sourcing wood pulp for toilet paper, leading to loss of biodiversity and mass extinctions. Standard TP is also bleached with chemicals to whiten, strengthen and soften the product. …There are more sustainable alternatives, though. Here are three greener ways to wipe your bum.

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LEVER Architecture’s Thomas Robinson discusses the impact California could have on the timber industry

By Thomas Robinson
The Architect’s Newspaper
February 12, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

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We are witnessing a revolution in how we build with engineered timber in the United States. In January 2019, the International Code Council (ICC) approved changes that would allow high-rise wood buildings in the 2021 International Building Code (IBC). Oregon and Washington were early adopters of these code changes, and Denver, Colorado, recently followed suit. … but it is anyone’s guess what California will do. Will the state decide to adopt now, or will it wait till the code becomes part of the new issuance of the 2021 IBC? This is an important question not just for California, and by extension the City of Los Angeles, but also for the future of mass timber in the U.S. and beyond. California standards and codes transform markets, and a mass timber movement in the U.S. without the state that is also the world’s fifth-largest economy is not going to move the needle fast enough.

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Seattle Architects Look For Designs, Materials That Sets Them Apart

By Shawna De La Rosa
Bisnow -Seattle Real Estate News
February 12, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

From the Amazon spheres to the F5 Tower, Seattle’s architecture doesn’t disappoint. But behind all those dazzling lines and PNW vibe lies complicated strategies that balance LEED requirements, coworking amenities, millennial preferences and, of course, cost of construction. …New trends show how architecture connects communities, uses renewable resources and helps solve social issues. It’s also becoming more about placemaking, which features areas of outdoor space where communities gather. …Another popular trend is mass timber. …Washington is the first state to allow the material to be used in buildings without first pursuing alternatives. The building code now allows for CLT to be used in buildings as tall as 18 stories. …Though cross-laminated timber is not cheap itself, the labor is less expensive. It requires half the number of construction workers required on-site.

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Lumber business becomes first in the world to stock Hempwood

by Robert Dalheim
The Woodworking Network
February 12, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

ANAHEIM, California – Southern California-based Reel Lumber Service says it is the first company in the world to stock Hempwood. Reel Lumber said… “We believe this eco-friendly alternative to traditional lumber WILL revolutionize the industry. Unlike hardwood lumber it only takes 120 or so days to take a hemp seed all the way to cultivation!” Reel Lumber Service is a fourth-generation family-owned lumber business founded in 1932. The company runs four locations and stocks more than 40 species of lumber. …Hempwood offers significant advantages over traditional lumber, including a higher availability, a much quicker grow time of five to six months, and a 20 percent higher density. It can be used in furniture, flooring, and other woodworking projects.

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Mass timber construction technology holds promise for Georgia forestry

By Dave Williams
Athens Banner-Herald
February 14, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA | Georgia’s timber industry, which already tops the nation in a number of categories, may get a boost from new technology that lets developers construct mid-rise office buildings made mostly of wood.  The General Assembly is considering legislation asking the state Department of Community Affairs to recommend whether Georgia should adopt a provision in the International Building Code that allows buildings constructed of “mass timber” to rise as high as 18 stories. …Other countries and some states already are taking advantage of the international provision to put up mid-rise office buildings well above Georgia’s height limit, said Rep. John Corbett, R-Lake Park, chief sponsor of House Bill 777 and a timber farmer.  “Out on the West Coast, Washington and Oregon have done it. Canada has been using it for some time,” he said. “It’s going to be a good fit for our Southern yellow pine. It’s a good opportunity for us.”

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New process for preserving lumber could offer advantages over pressure treating

By Georgia Institute of Technology
Phys.org
February 13, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Pressure treating—which involves putting lumber inside a pressurized watertight tank and forcing chemicals into the boards—has been used for more than a century to help stave off the fungus that causes wood rot in wet environments. Now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new method that could one day replace conventional pressure treating as a way to make lumber not only fungal-resistant but also nearly impervious to water—and more thermally insulating. The new method,  jointly sponsored by the Department of Defense, the Gulf Research Program, and the Westendorf Undergraduate Research Fund, involves applying a protective coating of metal oxide that is only a few atoms thick throughout the entire cellular structure of the wood.

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Wood buildings could combat climate change, study finds

By Savannah Kucera
Yale Daily News
February 12, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Could wood buildings save the climate? New research from Yale indicates that the use of engineered wood in urban construction could help cities absorb excess carbon from the environment. This collaborative study from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the School of Architecture and colleagues from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany modeled the effects of building materials on carbon emissions and storage. They found that timber products have the potential to turn our buildings into carbon sinks. “Natural carbon sinks such as land ecosystems and oceans have been able to offset anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide for decades, but scientists were never sure how long this absorption capacity [would] persist because of a changing climate,” said Galina Churkina, Potsdam Institute researcher and the study’s co-author.

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American Softwoods Presents Educational Seminars in Peru

The Southern Forest Products Association
February 12, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

In December, American Softwoods carried out a trio of educational seminars in Peru (Trujillo, Lima, and Cusco). Lon Sibert participated in the trip and represented Southern Pine. …In Trujillo, representatives visited the Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego. Here, meetings took place with the Dean of the University, the Provost, and the Dean of the Architecture and Engineering Department who expressed interest in designing at least one course focused on wood and engineered wood products in construction applications. …In Lima, 37 participants attended a two-part seminar held at the School of Architecture. …The trip’s final stop in Peru was Cusco. Here, American Softwoods partnered with the Cusco College of Architecture to present a seminar to 23 attendees. There is a country-wide housing shortage in Peru which presents an opportunity for the US softwood market.

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Forestry

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard Revision Workshops – Sign up now!

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
February 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

SFI’s mission is to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. As part of the collaborative process, SFI invites everyone to participate in the SFI Standard Revision process. The first draft of the new SFI standards will be available for public comment by early May 2020. This draft will include recommendations by the Standards Revision Task Groups, the SFI Resources Committee and the SFI Board of Directors based on comments SFI received during the first public comment period last year. SFI revises and updates the SFI standards to incorporate the latest scientific information and respond to emerging issues. This open and transparent process includes engaging with the conservation community, Indigenous communities, the forest products industry, brand owners, private forest landowners and public forest managers, government agencies, trade associations, landowner associations, academia and others. SFI Standard Revision Workshops across the U.S. and Canada allow attendees to discuss key topics and issues related to SFI standards. 

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Caring for our existing trees is just as important as planting new ones

By Tom Martin, president/CEO, American Forest Foundation
The Hill
February 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Tom Martin

In recent days we’ve seen President Trump and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle recognize the value of trees and forests in tackling our environmental and economic challenges of today. Committing to the global Trillion Trees Initiative is a great example of this.  While it’s energizing to see these leaders have the right sentiment, it is crucial in the coming months, that they get it right when it comes to the policy and implementation.   We can’t just focus on planting trees if we want to unleash the potential of forests as we’ve heard in the media. We must take a multi-faceted approach—plant more trees and improve the management of existing forests that have been neglected, keep forests from being converted, and use more forest products, encouraging the investment cycle in more trees.

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FSC: The Most Trusted Mark in Responsible Forest Management

By Chris McLaren and FSC
Sustainable Brands
February 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Consumer research has found that company sustainability claims are much more credible when they are coupled with independent verification. Put simply, consumers trust when you verify. This is especially true when it comes to forests. Forests provide the air we breathe and water we drink, they are home to 80 percent of terrestrial biodiversity and they serve as vast stores of carbon, mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. Yet we all use forest products every day, raising concerns about the many competing demands on the forests that literally support life on Earth. So, what’s a company or consumer to do? That’s where the Forest Stewardship Council enters the picture. At its heart, FSC is the world’s most-trusted forest certification because we’re the only one managed through a transparent democratic model – inclusive of economic, social and environmental stakeholders – all under the same umbrella, and all with equal authority.

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The President’s FY 2021 budget request

By Vicki Christiansen
The USDA Forest Service
February 10, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Vicki Christiansen

The White House Office of Management and Budget has released the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2021. …and much could change between this request and what gets approved by Congress. .. .This year, the President’s budget proposes to cut funding for Research and Development by 25%, including the administrative consolidation of two research stations and the elimination of some research programs. The cuts to some parts of our R&D portfolio are intended to strengthen our research related to forest products, fire and fuels, and forest inventory and analysis. The President’s Budget also proposes zeroing out several State and Private Forestry programs as well as International Programs, the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program and programs related to land acquisitions and exchanges.

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Public loses on federal timber sales

By Mike Garrity, ED, Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Montana Standard
February 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Mike Garrity

When Idaho billionaire Ron Yanke purchased the timber mills in Townsend and Livingston years ago to form RY Timber, he also bought lots of former Anaconda Company timberland. But just like Champion International and Plum Creek Timber who, according to a University of Montana study, cut trees three times faster than they could grow back, RY has already overcut their private land. Both Champion and Plum Creek are gone from Montana, but at least Champion was honest about why it left, stating in the Wall Street Journal in the early 1990s that trees simply grow too slowly in Montana. Champion then clearcut its timberlands and reinvested the money in the Southeast, where tree farms can be harvested a decade after planting rather than the century or more it takes to reach harvestable size in Montana.

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Old wounds of Oregon’s timber wars take first step toward healing

By Sam Stites
Mail Tribune
February 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — The deal announced last week was intended to end the war in the woods that has beset Oregon forestry issues for decades.  But not everyone is cheering what Gov. Kate Brown described as a “historic” deal between timber firms and environmentalists. The critics suspect something is more at play than the pursuit of peace.  Some characterize the agreement signed by several Oregon timber companies and a coalition of environmental groups as the first step in healing, but it also has bearing on a much broader discussions in the Capitol, particularly over climate change.  “There are people who had the rug pulled out from under them 30 years ago, and they never really recovered,” said Sen. Jeff Golden, D-Ashland. “That makes what we’re trying to do with the climate bill hard for them to accept. .”

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How The Big Oregon Timber Deal Came Together, And How It Could Fall Apart

By Lauren Dake
Oregon Public Broadcasting
February 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This week started off on a celebratory note in Salem: environmentalists and timber groups struck a deal they hailed as historic, an agreement that would save the state from an epic and expensive battle over Oregon’s forests.  But by the end of the week, Republicans were vowing to stage another walkout — at least one said his bag was already packed — and there was word the governor was mulling calling a special legislative session every day if they did, a move that would force Republicans to either stay outside state lines for the rest of the year or return to the Capitol.  Welcome to Salem in 2020.  On Sunday, the governor’s office alerted news outlets: they were on the brink of announcing a landmark deal addressing the longtime struggles over how the state’s forests are managed.

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More timber harvest, grazing in new Bureau of Land Management plan

By Patrick Reilly
The Missoulian
February 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bureau of Land Management lands near Missoula will be open to more logging and grazing should a new management plan become final. Friday, the BLM’s Montana/Dakotas State Office announced it had completed a Missoula Proposed Resource Management Plan, and an accompanying Environmental Impact Statement. Up for a 30-day protest period, the proposal elicited praise from at least one timber industry professional but protest from some conservation groups. Gordy Sanders, Resource Manager at Pyramid Mountain Lumber, welcomed the news. “We’re encouraged that the BLM forestry professionals are looking very closely at their ownership and developing a sustainable level of active management over a sustained period of time … It becomes a bit more predictable that they’re actually going to have (forestry) projects in a given year moving forward.”

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Forests bouncing back from beetles, but elk and deer slowing recovery

By University of Colorado at Boulder
Science Daily
February 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

New research reveals that even simultaneous bark beetle outbreaks are not a death sentence to the state’s beloved forests. The study found that high-elevation forests in the southern Rocky Mountains actually have a good chance of recovery, even after overlapping outbreaks with different kinds of beetles. One thing that is slowing their recovery down: Foraging elk and deer. …The study is the first to consider the effects of two different types of beetles that affect two different dominant tree species, as well as the effects of browsing elk and deer in the same area. Bark beetles prefer bigger, mature trees with thicker bark, which offer more nutrients and better protection in the wintertime. They typically leave the younger, juvenile trees alone — allowing the next generation to recover and repopulate the forest. But while in the field, researchers noticed many smaller trees were being munched on by elk and deer. 

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Conservation groups expressing concerns over Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Plan

By Dennis Bragg
KPAX-TV
February 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA — The latest effort to update a national forest plan here in the Northern Rockies is already sparking debate, and the proposals have only been out for public review for a few weeks. Conservation groups are already marshaling their forces, saying the plan for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest needs a lot more work. While several of the national forests have already implemented plans, the Nez Perce-Clearwater is just getting to the point of public comment on the latest revision of the current plan, which dates to the 1980’s. And environmental and conservation groups are gearing up for the fight, meeting in Missoula this week to build interest in a plan they see as critical for wildlife. “We’re dealing with some of the best grizzly habitat in the Lower 48 states, if not the very best,” said Gary Macfarlane. 

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Colorado State University launches new graduate certificate in silviculture

By Karina Puikkonen
Colorado State University
February 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Scott Johnson

…Colorado State University now offers forestry professionals a new opportunity to expand their expertise and knowledge, with a new Graduate Certificate in Advanced Silviculture for the Practicing Forester… through CSU Online. This program offers additional training to people with a forestry or natural resources degree and related work experience, and is designed to be accessible for working professionals. Linda Nagel, professor… said “We’ve approached building the certificate with an adaptive management framework in mind,” Nagel explained. “It helps professionals think about uncertain conditions and futures while building on foundational ecology and silvicultural principles.” …“Creating a flexible online platform was a way to build a robust learning experience that people can access and not have to leave their local place of work to do so,” she said.

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Forest plan critics come to Missoula

By Patrick Reilly
The Missoulian
February 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service isn’t doing enough to protect grizzly bears in its new plans for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, say some area environmental groups. “This is really the sweet spot for some of the very best habitat in the region,” said Mike Bader, a consultant with the Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Citizen Task Force. …The plan itself does not address grizzly bear management, but a recently released Draft Environmental Impact Statement concludes that the offered alternatives would contribute to the bears’ recovery. …The U.S. Forest Service has spent years preparing a revised Forest Plan to guide their management and released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement Dec. 20. Now open for public comment, it lays out four alternative courses of action for future management of the forest. 

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Aerial survey shows bark beetles are alive and well

By Katherine Nettles
Crested Butte News
February 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The 2019 aerial survey of Colorado’s forests shows that each of the various bark beetles that cause tree mortality are, unfortunately, here in Gunnison County. But according to the Colorado State Forest Service, they aren’t necessarily in each forest or on every tree, and if managed appropriately they can even be a part of overall forest health. The key is continued collaboration between various agencies and private property owners. The USDA Forest Service, the Rocky Mountain Region, and the Colorado State Forest Service released the results of last year’s aerial detection survey and survey map on January 27. The agencies lead this survey each year to monitor forest health conditions on millions of forested acres across Colorado. The 2019 survey pilots used a custom, web-based application allowing the US Forest Service to share data during flights in real time with partners and the public to enhance the response capacity and cover areas more efficiently.

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Failing forestry: Nearly broke, Oregon forestry department seeks emergency infusion

By Ted Sickinger
The Oregonian
February 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Seven months into the state’s two-year budget cycle, officials at the Oregon Department of Forestry say they’ve blown through most of the budget that lawmakers approved for the entire biennium and are asking lawmakers for an emergency cash infusion. A large infusion – from $52 million to $132 million – otherwise, agency officials say, they’ll have exhausted their budget by March. It’s a Band-Aid fix for a structural problem, and it comes as lawmakers and the governor are looking to expand the agency even further. They’re sponsoring bills that would bolster the agency’s firefighting capabilities and forest restoration work – above and beyond the immediate budget requests. And such plans are coming without any cohesive strategy to make sure the agency is on firm financial footing and has the resources and managerial wherewithal to do its job.

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U.S. Forest Services approves Twelve Mile timber project in Pisgah National Forest

By Karen Chávez
Asheville Citizen-Times
February 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

In what some are calling the “right way” to handle a timber sale, by including stakeholders throughout the planning process, the U.S. Forest Service has completed the environmental assessment and made a final decision on the Twelve Mile Project, one of the largest timber sales in the history of Pisgah National Forest.  Former district ranger Richard Thornburgh, who recently moved to a different position in the Forest Service, announced that Alternative B, or the action alternative, was chosen for the Twelve Mile timber sale and habitat improvement project on the Appalachian Ranger District in Haywood County, so named for its frontage on the 12-mile section of I-40 through the Pigeon River Gorge.   

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Governor, Department of Natural Resources recognize corporate forest landowners

The Albany Herald
February 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recognized three corporate forest landowners this week for their stewardship and land management practices benefiting wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts across the state. But the announcement that Weyerhaeuser, CatchMark Timber Trust and Georgia Power are 2019 partners in DNR’s Forestry for Wildlife Partnership also noted changes to the 24-year-old program. Those revisions… address evolving land-ownership patterns and forestry standards while boosting further the potential returns for wildlife. …Started in 1996, Forestry for Wildlife Partnership is a voluntary and participant-driven effort that encourages conservation of wildlife habitat on large private forestlands and provides public access. …The program was created to recognize corporate landowners that went beyond the requirements of what, at the time, was the newly formed Sustainable Forestry Initiative (www.sfiprogram.org).
 

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Draft forest management plan released: Public comment opens Feb. 14

By Holly Kays
The Smoky Mountain News
February 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

NORTH CAROLINA — A long-awaited draft of the plan that will guide management of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest for the next generation has been released, with the public comment period extending through Thursday, May 14… and adoption of a final plan expected in summer 2021. …A key controversy in public meetings leading up to the plan’s development was the question of how best to protect the forest’s special places. Some stakeholder groups strongly supported a plan that would drastically increase the acreage recommended as congressionally designated wilderness. Others said that additional wilderness designation would hamstring effective forest management and that the priority should be to boost the share of young forest habitat through increased timber harvesting and prescribed burning. The draft plan consists of four alternatives — one that would contain no changes… and three that would offer varying levels of change. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Plant a trillion trees: U.S. Republicans offer fossil fuel-friendly climate fix

By Valerie Volcovici
Reuters
February 12, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Bruce Westerman

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Wednesday proposed legislation setting a goal for the United States to plant a trillion trees by 2050 to fight global warming, a plan intended to address climate change by sucking carbon out of the air instead of by cutting emissions. The proposed legislation reflects an acknowledgement by some in the Republican Party of rising voter demand for action on climate change. …“Our part at home is a lot more than just planting trees. It’s utilizing the full abilities of sustainable forestry,” said congressman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas, a member of the House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee who introduced the tree planting bill. The bill was one of several elements of a broader proposal on climate change introduced by a half dozen House lawmakers on Wednesday.

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Binational Softwood Lumber Council Statement on Introduction of Trillion Trees Act

The Binational Softwood Lumber Council
Businesswire
February 12, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Cees de Jager

On the introduction of the Trillion Trees Act, Cees de Jager, President and CEO of the Binational Softwood Lumber Council said: “Reducing carbon emissions will require innovation and change from all sides. Wood construction offers just one way to limit the carbon footprint of buildings. Wood stores carbon and has the lowest embodied energy of all major building materials, because it requires less energy from harvest to manufacturing, installation and disposal or recycling. Wood helps communities reach net zero targets faster. Strong markets for wood products encourage forest owners to keep their lands as forests and invest in practices to keep trees healthy. …Modern forestry standards ensure a continuous cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting. Harvesting and replanting increases forests’ carbon sink potential as the rate of sequestration is greater during early growth. 

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Lawmakers back timber industry as a way to reduce Washington’s carbon emissions

By Cameron Sheppard
The Chinook Observer
February 11, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA — Washington state legislators are organizing bipartisan support for the timber industry amid the realization that forestry draws carbon from the atmosphere and could help the state meet its carbon reduction goals. House Bill 2528 and companion Senate Bill 6355 intend to support the growth of forestry and promote the production and use of timber products in the state. …Cindy Mitchell, Washington Forest Protection Association, said… the state’s 8 million privately-owned acres of working forests account for a 12% annual reduction of the state’s carbon emissions. …Jason Spadaro, President of SDS Lumber, told the committee this legislation would recognize the forestry and timber industry as part of the solution to climate change. Spadaro said this bill would… incentivize the management of forests and therefore reduce wildfire risk.

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University of Wisconsin professor discusses affect of climate change on Wisconsin landscapes

By Mary Magnuson
The Badger Herald
February 13, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Ankur Desai

A University of Wisconsin climate scientist said climate change affects Wisconsin forests, during a lecture for the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research Symposium on Thursday. Ankur Desai said the biosphere… breathes, in the sense that it cycles carbon and energy, and has varied climatic patterns. …“The land biosphere, the forest, the wetland, the lakes … all of these things are driving how fast atmospheric CO2 increases year to year,” Desai said. …In the forest, his team found highly variable patterns because of the nature of the seasonal forest biome and weather, but he also found a steady increase in CO2 levels over the years since they’ve started data collection. …Desai said this research can answer questions around where we should be planting trees to restore forests, or how best to implement sustainable agricultural practices. 

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