Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: United States

Business & Politics

NAHB National Association of Home Builders : Building Materials Price Declines Led by Lumber and Plywood

The Market Screener
July 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Prices paid for goods used in residential construction decreased by 1.1% in June according to the latest Producer Price Index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The decline broke a four-month trend of increases and was only the fifth month over the past two years in which prices fell. Over the past 12 months, building materials prices have decreased 1.6%, just the fifth June year-over-year decrease since 2000. The decline is a sharp reversal of June 2017 to June 2018, during which prices increased 8.8%. The PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices decreased (-1.7%, not seasonally adjusted) in June-the index’s third consecutive monthly decline. …One of the special indexes published by BLS tracks lumber and plywood in one category. Similar to softwood lumber, the lumber and plywood index fell 2.3%. Prices paid for softwood lumber and lumber and plywood have decreased 23.1% and 17.6%, respectively, since June 2018.

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These Companies Wanted Tariffs. How Are They Faring Now?

By Peter Eavis
The New York Times in MSN Money
July 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The early winners in President Trump’s trade wars are finding that victory can be bittersweet. Unlike many American corporations, companies in industries like steel, aluminum, lumber and home appliances asked Mr. Trump to raise tariffs. These businesses… had long complained of unfair foreign competition. …Executives who support the Trump administration’s tariffs say they now have the confidence to expand. …One such business is Westervelt, based in Tuscaloosa, Ala., which plans to spend $190 million to build a lumber mill in Thomasville, Ala. Joe Patton said the company had decided to invest in the mill, because the administration imposed duties on Canadian lumber in 2017. …His company is not alone. Other lumber businesses are expanding across the Southern pine lands. …Mr. Patton said he still expected Westervelt’s lumber business to prosper over the next five to 10 years. But the decline in lumber prices will eat into profit margins. 

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Softwood Lumber Prices Flatline as Supply Balances with Demand

Madison’s Lumber Reporter
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The closures and curtailments at North American softwood lumber manufacturers earlier this year, almost all at British Columbia sawmills, has achieved it’s intended consequence of improved supply-demand balance. Until that wood production went offline, order files at most sawmills were one week or less, which is incredibly short for the time of year. In recent weeks, producers have been able to extend those order files to a more healthy duration. Last week, most reported to have enough orders that future production is booked at almost two weeks ahead. …Demand, while still slack for the time of year, was strong enough to prevent suppliers from having to reduce prices. …As we head into the usual slower summer time for lumber manufacturing, it seems buyers and sellers have found a new price floor. Barring serious or unusual events, Madison’s expects these current price levels to remain until Labour Day. 

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Trade Court Upholds Hardwood Plywood Decision

The Decorative Hardwood’s Association
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The U.S. Court of International Trade has sustained the USITC affirmative injury determination in its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of imports of hardwood plywood from China. These imports depressed prices, substituted for domestic products, and injured the U.S. industry. Resource: CIT Decision.

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Lumber duties not the cause of housing unaffordability

By Zoltan Van Heyningen, US Lumber Coalition
The Hill
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Zoltan van Heyningen

Despite what you might read, softwood lumber pricing is not a driving factor of American homeownership and housing affordability. Sadly, some groups are misstating critical facts about trade law and the actual impact of softwood lumber on home pricing. Lumber makes up less than 2 percent of the cost of a new home… amounting to a total cost of $5,744 in an average-priced home. The real sources of housing unaffordability come from construction worker shortages, higher permitting costs, lack of buildable lots and other factors. …I wish more people could see how these duties have worked for communities across the country. …It’s disheartening to see that some American industries would prefer to align themselves with Canadian interests in order to benefit from the subsidies. …The Canadian government and Canadian industry have not shown any serious interest in negotiating a new trade agreement.

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Coming into Focus: Hardwood Use for Pallets Trending Down

The Pallet Enterprise
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Given higher pricing and lower availability, research shows decrease in the amount of hardwood used in U.S. pallet production. Consumption of hardwood lumber for pallets has been trending down in recent years… it peaked in 2014 and has declined steadily since then. It’s no secret that hardwood prices have risen in recent years, and many pallet companies have been moving customers to softwood lumber. …Pallets are still a substantial consumer of hardwood lumber, according to figures for 2017. In fact, the pallet industry is the leading consumer of hardwood lumber, at 35%. Making up the top three are exports (22%) and railway ties (12%). Each other industry segment (in declining order: flooring, cabinets, millwork, furniture, and board road and mat timbers) consumed less than 10%. A copy of the presentation is available here.

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Trouble in timberland: British Columbia mills close as policies bite

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
July 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Big things have fallen in the Canadian timber world recently, and we’re not talking about trees. In British Columbia, at least 22 sawmills have closed either permanently or indefinitely in 2019. And on July 1, British Columbia tripled the rate it charges lumber companies for stumpage, or access to public timber. That’s likely to result in further declines in exports to the United States, which have already fallen by 1.4 billion board-feet in the past year. But how that might affect wood producers in Montana and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest remains murky. The region suffers from its own over-supply of lumber, as well as a sluggish construction market. The source of turmoil in British Columbia’s forest products industry is a hot debate, even among Canadians. Environmentalists there claim the B.C. provincial government gave the industry too much free rein for too long, and it has cut itself out of business while leaving extensive ecological damage.

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Missoula forestry, firefighting business damaged in overnight blaze

By Sherry Devlin
KPAX TV
July 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – A Missoula forestry and firefighting business sustained $250,000 in damage Wednesday night in a structure fire on Industrial Road. …He estimated that at least $400,000 in property was saved by the firefighters’ quick work. …Grayback Forestry is a Missoula wildland firefighting and forest restoration business, with offices in five Western cities. Grayback sends crews across the nation to fight wildfires and conduct prescribed burns and forest thinning projects. The company also provides wildland firefighter training.

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John Deere Construction & Forestry Builds New Illinois Training Facility

By John Deere
For Construction Pros
July 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

John Deere recently completed the construction of a 7,500-sq.-ft. facility in Coal Valley, IL, to better meet internal training demands, along with supporting customer visits and events. The building is part of the Construction & Forestry Training Campus and includes three classrooms that can be used separately for training purposes, or combined to hold over 250 people for larger events. In addition, there is nearly 4,000 sq. ft. of covered canopy space for outdoor training and equipment walkarounds. “The primary function of this new facility is to provide much-needed additional classroom space for dealer sales staff and technician training,” said David Reilly, manager, worldwide training, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “Training is a core part of our program, but beyond that, the C&F Coal Valley Training Campus also hosts other important events throughout the year.”

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Explosion at Roseburg Forest Products Plant in Simsboro

By James Selby
My Arklamiss.com
July 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

SIMSBORO, La. – The Lincoln Parish Fire Department and paramedics responded to an explosion at Roseburg Forest Products in Simsboro, according to a worker at the scene. Sources say the fire began as a result of a spark in the factory’s dryer system around 8:40 Thursday night. A worker on scene says he believes that same spark caused a pressure vent to pop off, which may explain the “explosion sounds”. The fire was put out by 9:00 p.m. Thursday night. No injuries were reported.

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Kimberly-Clark Issues Annual Report on Sustainability

By Kimberly Clark
Cision Newswire
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

DALLAS — Kimberly-Clark today published its 2018 Global Sustainability Report, highlighting the ways in which the company is impacting the world through its Sustainability 2022 strategy to create social, environmental and business value. “We are three years into our ambitious Sustainability 2022 program, and I’m inspired by the impact we’ve made. Through our brand-led programs like Toilets Change Lives and No Baby Unhugged, and our leadership in creating the Alliance for Period Supplies, we’re taking action on critical issues around the world,” said Mike Hsu, Chief Executive Officer, Kimberly-Clark. “We’ve achieved some big goals, but we know that new challenges to the environment are emerging and consumers’ expectations are shifting. We must continue to leverage our legacy of innovation to come up with new solutions to meet these needs,” added Hsu.

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Resolute Tissue Honored for Superior Sales Growth and Performance

The Resolute Blog
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Frank Dillenburg & Dick McGann

Resolute Tissue took home one of the top honors at the Alliance 2019 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah for its sales growth and performance. Resolute Tissue won the Navigator Recognition Award from Strategic Market Alliance (SMA) – a leader in the tissue sector – for delivering one of the largest increases in sales growth within the SMA Member Distributors network during 2018. The SMA is comprised of North America’s leading janitorial, sanitation and foodservice distributors who serve the United States and Canada from more than 190 distribution centers. The Navigator Recognition Awards annually recognize performance by the SMA’s top members and suppliers.  

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Maine Lumber Producer Continues Making Upgrades To Sawmills That Cut Spruce and Eastern White Pine

By Diane Calabrese
TimberLine Magazine
July 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

HANCOCK, Maine – Pleasant River Lumber has continued to upgrade a sawmill it acquired a few years ago. This year the company has added two Nyle package kilns to increase drying capacity. Pleasant River Lumber operates four mills in Maine — two that produce dimension spruce lumber and two (including the Hancock mill) that manufacture dimension Eastern white pine lumber. Pleasant River Lumber purchased the Hancock mill at auction in 2011. It had been operating since the 1940s and made lumber for boxes and ammunition crates and other wood products until it was closed in 2010. The new owners immediately began to modernize the mill, which also had dry kilns and a planer mill.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Can mass timber reform construction’s carbon footprint?

By Lucienne Cross
Inhabitat
July 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

A new technique for building wooden mid- and high-rise buildings may unlock a critical strategy for reducing the construction industry’s massive carbon footprint. Although forestry, construction and climate experts disagree on the extent of its benefits, mass timber is a promising substitute for concrete and steel, materials that contribute 5 percent of global carbon emissions each. Buildings in general are responsible for 40 percent of all emissions and architects are calling this new green building technique “the next great disruption to the construction industry.” In order to be considered ‘mass timber,’ buildings must use wood products (typically engineered panels) as the primary load-bearing structure. …Although deforestation is a major concern around the world, forests in the United States are sustainably managed. A collaboration between the mass timber and sustainable forestry industries has the potential to support this budding construction industry niche with profound implications for fighting climate change.

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Boilers and beams

By Lawrence Cosentino
Lansing City Pulse
July 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

This summer, truckloads of titanic timbers from Canada are rumbling across Michigan State University to be assembled into a unique structure …when it’s finished in the fall of 2020. …two sprawling additions are now going up to the north and south. …The new wings are made largely of “mass timber,” …strong enough to bear the weight of the building and pretty enough to be left exposed. There are currently no mills that make mass timber in Michigan, so the slabs are being hauled from Canada. But the U.S. Forest Service and MSU’s Forestry Department are tracking the STEM project closely, with an eye toward developing a mass-timber market in Michigan. …“Growing trees sustainably, using all of the harvested wood and incorporating it into a long-term structure, extends the carbon and climate benefits of forests,” Forestry Department Chairman Rich Kobe said. Building from steel and concrete emits carbon dioxide, while mass timber sequesters the carbon in the wood.

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Forestry

Top 10 reasons to attend SFI’s annual conference: Forests of Opportunity

By Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
July 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Every year, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative community comes together to exchange ideas, share innovations, and inspire those who have a vision of a world that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests. Join us to learn how forests are relevant for responsible purchasing, advancing conservation, community engagement, and environmental education. From climate change to the circular economy, the conference will give you fresh insight into the critical issues facing forests. …This year’s conference will be held October 21–25 in Richmond, Virginia. …Here is what people said last year.

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This Land Was Your Land

By Christopher Ketcham
The New York Times
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

For the past 10 years I’ve been documenting the fate of the least protected and most at-risk portion of the national commons: the roughly 450 million acres across 12 Western states overseen on our behalf by the US Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service. …Both the B.L.M. and the Forest Service operate with a congressional mandate for what’s called “multiple use” management. On paper, multiple use means exploiting the land for its resources in a way that maintains ecosystem health. In practice, it long amounted to… “semantics for making cattlemen, sheepmen, lumbermen, miners the main beneficiaries.” Regulation has improved somewhat since that time. …Journey across the B.L.M. and Forest Service domain today and you’ll find no shortage of uses that look more like abuses. …Forests are felled for timber interests, grasslands are overgrazed for the benefit of cattlemen. The result is ecological impoverishment. [a NY Times subscription is required to access the full story]

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Through smoke and fire, NASA searches for answers

By NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
EurekAlert
July 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

NASA satellites reveal a world marked by fire: a global patchwork of flame and smoke driven by the seasons and people. Summer wildfires rage across the western United States and Canada, Australia and Europe. In early spring, agricultural fires blanket the breadbasket regions of Southeast Asia as they do throughout the dry season in central and southern Africa and Brazil. For years, NASA has used the vantage point of space, combined with airborne and ground-based field campaigns, to decipher the impact of fires–from first spark to final puff of smoldering smoke– and help other agencies protect life and property. But the effects of fires linger long after they’re extinguished: They can upend ecosystems, influence climate and disrupt communities. While NASA keeps an eye on today’s fires, it also tackles the big-picture questions that help fire managers plan for the future.

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National Forest Foundation launches “National Forest Week,” Invites All Americans to Celebrate Their National Forests and Grasslands

By National Forest Foundation
Globe Newswire
July 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Washington, D.C. — Seven in ten Americans live within a two-hour drive of a National Forest. And yet, most Americans are not aware of this incredible resource.  That’s why today, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) is announcing this week as the first annual “National Forest Week,” with the goal of spreading awareness about this uniquely American resource. The NFF is hosting celebration events all week across the country.  …There has never been more at stake for the National Forests and public lands than there is today.  Across the country, wildfires, declining ecosystem health and dwindling budgets threaten our National Forests. To address these critical issues, the National Forest Foundation invests millions of dollars annually on tangible projects that improve these critical public lands. To engage every American in this work, the NFF kicks off this celebration to raise awareness of the forests’ incredible values to the American public.

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Goats help protect homes from devastating wildfires from climate change

By Prabir Ghose
The US Blasting News
July 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CALIFORNIA — Forest fires have devastated acres of vegetation in America and these are thought to relate to Climate change. Therefore, farmers set loose hungry goats on the countryside. They devour the grass and other such items and ensure that fires do not spread. The wildfire season is fast approaching in the western parts of the country and the four-legged animals are necessary to manage the incendiary lands. …Deadly fire seasons in the area led local communities to evolve solutions to arrest these fires. They now prefer hungry animals to protect their lands instead of machines and chemicals. …According to Bloomberg, firefighters in California are teaming up with goats to help prevent deadly wildfires from devastating the state.

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Montana loggers begin thinning forest to help prevent fires

The Associated Press in the San Francisco Chronicle
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON, Mont. — Logging work has commenced in a project intended to thin wooded areas that could potentially provide fuel for wildfires. The Ravalli Republic reported Sunday that loggers have started thinning about 5 square miles (13 square kilometers) of dense forest in the area of the Bitterroot River. The Meadow Vapor project will split the work area and the timber will be sold in two sales to area mills for various uses. The project focuses on removing diseased and smaller trees and leaving old-growth ponderosa pine and Douglas fir behind. Fires burned large areas of the region in 2000. The Bitterroot Community Wildfire Protection Plan has identified the area with an estimated 255 homes as a high priority for reduction of potential wildfire fuel. [END]

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Forest Service chief makes quiet visit to Tongass National Forest

By Jacob Resneck
KRBD Ketchikan FM
July 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sen. Lisa Murkowski recently hosted the U.S. Forest Service’s top official in a flying visit to Tongass National Forest. The delegation kept a low profile during its visit to Southeast Alaska. Back in a mid-May budget hearing, Murkowski quizzed Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. She wanted to know why recent timber sales in Tongass National Forest had no takers. And what was the Forest Service doing about it? “It is a challenge and I’d be glad to work with you more even come up to Alaska that we can roll up our sleeves and really look at this,” Christiansen replied. Murkowski — who chairs the powerful Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee — acted on this opening. “I welcome you up to this state any time summer, winter, spring fall,” she said.

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Fuel surplus could cause another destructive wildfire season

By John Hickey, University of California, Berkeley
Phys.org
July 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Eight months after the Camp Fire consumed the Northern California town of Paradise and was pronounced the deadliest wildfire in state history, California is facing the potential in the coming months for more death and destruction. Scott Stephens, a UC Berkeley professor of fire science, says the heavy rains of February and March have left California grasslands with perhaps twice as much burnable fuel as this time a year ago. “Most of the time, you’d have one ton of dry mass per acre, and right now it’s about double that,” Stephens, who has spent a quarter century in Berkeley working on fire behavior, fire ecology and forest policy, says. “I would expect grassland fires to be more intense and move around more quickly because of that. …Stephens says California could help itself greatly by following the Australian model of fire prevention, where there is regular governmental outreach to people who live in fire-prone areas.

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Department of Forestry celebrates 100 years of aviation

By Christelle Koumoue
NBC News Oregon
July 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM, Ore. — Fire officials are expecting an above average fire season this year. While firefighters are going through training and getting ready, they are behind the scenes preparing to help those on the ground. Ryan Gordon and several other Oregon Department of Forestry personnel are in training for fire season, but they’re not exactly firefighters. …“I sit behind a computer… That’s until summer comes around. ” When there’s a fire and I get a call to help in one of the capacities that I’m qualified to help with.” The annual firefighting airplane training gives ODF personnel a chance to practice loading the aircraft with water-enhancing gel, which is used to suppress wildfires. 2019 also marks a special milestone for the Oregon Department of Forestry: 100 years of aviation.

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Harnessing big data and machine learning to forecast wildfires in the western U.S.

By Renee Cho, Columbia University
Phys.org
July 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Park Williams, a Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory associate research professor and a 2016 Center for Climate and Life Fellow, studies climatology, drought, and wildfires. …His goal is to create a tool to help scientists understand why wildfires in Western U.S. states have changed over the last century, ways they may evolve in the future, and how humans can most effectively respond to them. Williams will compile observations of tens of thousands of fires over the last 30 to 40 years and where they burned across the Western U.S. He’ll relate these to climate data sets of where people live, and what vegetation grows where. The end product will be a computer program that can project how these variables affect the probability of large fires and that will attempt to simulate how vegetation responds to fire. 

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Lightning-caused fire that burned 5,200 acres near Yellowstone benefited forest

By Brett French
The Billings Gazette
July 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GALLATIN CANYON — Last year, it appeared as though the idyllic landscape now carpeted in lush grass, wildflowers, and pine trees would be scorched by the Bacon Rind fire. Ignited by a lightning strike…Fire staff from the Custer Gallatin National Forest and Yellowstone National Park chose to manage the fire for ecological benefits and not to suppress it based on several criteria: it started in a wilderness area; fuel and soil conditions weren’t dangerously dry; computer modeling showed favorable conditions for a low-intensity fire; and fire has long been a natural part of the area’s ecosystem. …Fire ecologist Todd Erdody, of the Custer Gallatin National Forest, pointed out places where vegetation was already growing back… good for animals like deer and elk. Woodpeckers also move into recently burned forests.

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Washington DNR chief Hilary Franz has put firefighting front and center; she’s also eyeing a run for governor

By David Gutman
The Seattle Times
July 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hilary Franz

RAINIER, Thurston County — They came from Skykomish and Port Ludlow, Everett and Longview, local fire districts and the U.S. Forest Service, the state Department of Natural Resources and the National Guard. In all, about 440 firefighters from more than 50 departments and agencies came for a 10-day academy to learn the basics of fighting wildfires. …“It really is about making sure everyone has adequate and critical training and building that coordinated team so we’re more collaborative and communicating before fire season starts,” said state Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, who runs DNR. Franz… An environmental lawyer is considering a run for governor in 2020. …But while Franz looks to overhaul the state’s approach to fighting fires, her flagship proposal to secure a permanent funding source for firefighting fizzled in Olympia.

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Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s OK of California Logging That Will Destroy Big Trees, Condor Roosting Sites

Center for Biological Diversity
July 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES― Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to halt a logging project in a roadless area of Los Padres National Forest that would destroy prime habitat for endangered California condors. Because of the project’s remote location, it also would fail to protect communities from wildfires as federal officials have claimed. Today’s lawsuit… says the U.S. Forest Service violated federal law by approving the removal of large-diameter trees along 12 miles of Tecuya Ridge in the San Emigdio Mountains, including in the rugged Antimony Roadless Area. Under federal law, logging in roadless areas is limited to small trees. “There is simply no place for commercial logging in California condor country,” said Bryant Baker, conservation director for Los Padres ForestWatch. “It’s highly concerning that the Forest Service would push this project through without a full environmental review and in spite of widespread opposition from local communities.”

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Roberts delivers wildfire message to president

By Vickie Aldous
Mail Tribune
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With President Donald Trump looking on, Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts called on federal agencies to fully suppress wildfires during fire season. Roberts was introduced by the president, then made a short statement Monday in Washington, D.C., during a press conference on environmental issues. Roberts said about half of the land in Jackson County is managed by the federal government. “Previous administrations have allowed these lands to be mismanaged and thus are burdened with heavy fuels,” she said. “Wildland fire policies allowing management objectives to be attained through prescribed burning during fire season is flawed.” Jackson County commissioners are pushing for a change to federal policy that allows fires to burn under certain conditions.

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Private investors protect vast forests in U.S. coal country

By Carey Biron
Reuters in the National Post
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON – Private investors have backed what supporters say is one of the largest conservation acquisitions ever in the eastern United States, offering a promising new model to protect land. Conservation group the Nature Conservancy announced Monday that it and partners now control almost 400 square miles of land in three states in the central Appalachian Mountains, traditionally heavily dependent on coal mining. The tracts… were purchased from timber management entities through a $130 million investment fund. …The Nature Conservancy will manage the land, known as the Cumberland Forest Project, for a decade, she said and will provide investors financial returns from three sources: revenue from certified sustainable timber sales, carbon offset credits and the eventual sale of the land, at the end of the period, with long-term or permanent management restrictions in place.

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Can a Snail Too Tiny to See Save a Kentucky Forest From a Gas Pipeline?

By Sabrina Imbler
The Atlas Obscura
July 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

KENTUCKY — The Hidden Springsnail is one of the most felicitously named freshwater mollusks because it is a snail, it lives in springs, and it is notoriously difficult to find. …It’s a snail that hardly anyone would ever even think to notice or look for, but Lori Schroeder will stop at nothing to find it. After all, the fate of a forest might depend on this snail. …It took Schroeder six years of unflagging effort to find a living hidden springsnail in Bernheim, but she managed to pull it off. Bernheim, which is held in a trust, is the largest privately owned nature reserve in the state. Schroeder’s discovery there could help protect the forest from the looming threat of a gas pipeline and road that could slice up the 16,137 acres of its ecosystem.

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Longtime rock musician also a steward of the environment

By Doug Oster
Trib Live
July 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

As Mick Jagger performed a powerful version of “Angie” last week on stage in Canada, the beautiful, melodic piano lines weaving through the song were deftly being played by The Rolling Stones’ musical director and keyboard player Chuck Leavell. He’s been with the band 37 years and has also played with musical legends Eric Clapton, George Harrison, the Allman Brothers, John Mayer and countless others. Leavell’s passion for music is accompanied by a life spent as a steward of the environment. …It was when he married his wife Rose Lane 46 years ago, though, that he became a hands-on environmentalist, converting her family’s farm, which she inherited from her grandmother in the 1980s, into mostly forest land. It’s a model of sustainable forestry, growing yellow pine and other species. He’s written two books on the subject, “Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest” and “Growing A Better America.”

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Letter from Ed: We Are All Tree Huggers

By Edward C. Brindley, Jr., Publisher
Pallet Enterprise
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

It is so easy to demonize the other side as anti-this or pro-that. Even in topics that should bring us together, such as education or caring for the planet, there is little common ground. … It is so easy to demonize the other side as anti-this or pro-that. I recently thought about this while watching an online video interview with Dr. Patrick Moore, an early leader in Greenpeace who left the environmental organization after claiming the organization strayed from its original aims and followed non-fact-based campaigns. Dr. Moore has appeared in past interviews in Pallet Enterprise and was for a number of years a major speaker at forest product industry meetings. He became an advocate for using wood products as part of a sound environmental policy, and he eventually went on to write a book titled, Trees Are the Answer. …It’s up to you to communicate that loggers, sawmills, pallet operations and wood industries are tree huggers too.

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Ikea parent firm buys 17,000 acres of forestland north of Charleston for $58.5M

By Warren Wise
The Post and Courier
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The parent company of Swedish-rooted and Dutch-based retailer Ikea now owns a sizable chunk of South Carolina forestland. An affiliate of Ingka Group recently bought about 17,000 acres in Georgetown, Williamsburg and Clarendon counties on the northern edge of the Charleston region. Deeds filed with each of the counties show IRI Forest Investments LLC paid $58.5 million, or about $3,441 an  acre, for the properties. The seller was Sustainable Growth LLC, which is affiliated with Atlanta-based Forest Investment Associates LP. The land will be used to grow and harvest trees, and it adds to the company’s forestry holdings in the U.S. Ingka also owns 25,000 acres in Alabama and another 22,000 in Texas. …Ingka said its forestry practices mandate more trees are planted than harvested as part of its commitment to maintaining a positive impact on people and the planet.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Whole-tree harvesting could boost biomass production

by Kelley Christensen, Michigan Technological University
Phys.org
July 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Making the shift to renewable energy sources requires biomass, too. This is a story of carbon choices: As societies around the world continue to move toward increased renewable energy portfolios, which energy sources do we choose? …Whole-tree aspen logging promotes renewable biomass energy from tops and branches, parts of the tree that are often left in the forest during logging in favor of the tree’s trunk, using the residual that remains after a sustainable harvest for logs. It has long been assumed that removing the leaves and branches of trees, rather than allowing them to decompose in the woods, will deplete the soil and lead to a weaker forest ecosystem. New research from Michigan Technological University’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science challenges that hypothesis.

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Enviva expansion under fire

By Chris Berendt
The Sampson Independent
July 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Enviva has applied to increase production at its wood pellet plant in northern Sampson County, but it is not without opposition from a contingent of residents and environmental groups urging the state to deny the permit —and the governor to place a moratorium on the industry as a whole. Enviva Pellets Sampson, a 500,000-metric ton wood pellet manufacturing facility, is located on a 200-acre site off Faison Highway. It is one of a handful of plants operated by Enviva, the world’s largest wood pellet manufacturer. Those opposing the plant and its potential expansion maintain it is one of the top culprits in the devastation of the climate, while Enviva proponents cite its economic benefits and the company’s adherence to current air quality regulations and sustainable forestry measures.

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We should welcome Enviva pellet plant into our community. Here’s why.

By James L. Cummins, executive director of Wildlife Mississippi
The Clarion Ledger
July 10, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Enviva, a renewable energy company has been in the news lately, as they prepare to build a manufacturing facility in Lucedale. We should support their arrival in another community in our state. …Our nonprofit organization, Wildlife Mississippi, measures success by the number of acres of habitat we protect, restore or enhance and by the number of miles of streams we improve. To date, we have protected, restored or enhanced over 500,000 acres of wildlife habitat. Wildlife Mississippi’s Northeast Office is located approximately 500 yards from Enviva’s Amory Mill.  In Amory, Enviva has also proven to be a good neighbor.  I believe they will also be a good neighbor in South Mississippi. We know that when something has value, people will protect it.  When southern forests have value as trees… they will be protected, restored, and enhanced.  When they don’t, there is a much greater chance they will be turned into other uses, such as subdivisions…

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Board approves air pollution permit for Enviva wood pellet plant

By Jeff Amy
Associated Press
July 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi environmental regulators have approved an air pollution permit for what could be the largest wood pellet plant in the world, despite objections from environmental groups that the plant would emit too much pollution and have other harmful effects. The state Environmental Quality Permit Board voted unanimously to issue a permit Tuesday for Enviva Partners LP’s $140 million plant in Lucedale. …The two plants are supposed to have 120 direct employees, with as many as 300 loggers and truckers also finding work supplying Enviva. …“Air quality modeling shows that even with the revised permit, air pollution from the plant will be in violation of federal ambient air quality standards,” opponents said their statement. Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality staff, though, wrote that the air modeling by the nonprofit didn’t follow Mississippi’s rules and thus “is inconclusive regarding Enviva’s impact.” The department said Enviva’s own air modeling also didn’t follow rules and was also inconclusive.

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Health & Safety

Agencies boost efforts to stop wildland firefighter suicides

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in the Mail Tribune
July 14, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Shane Del Grosso spent some 30 summers crossing smoke-shrouded mountains and forests to fight increasingly devastating wildfires in the U.S. West. Toward the end, his skills and experience propelled him to lead a federal multi-agency team that responded to large-scale national disasters. …But then came the long offseason lacking the shared-risk camaraderie. Isolation closed in, his family said, along with marital problems that can be exacerbated by first-responder jobs that require missed family events and birthdays. Del Grosso, 50, killed himself May 9, 2016, not long before the start of another wildfire season. …”It was maybe that male bravado firefighter thing where you don’t talk about what’s bothering you,” said his best friend, Noel Matson. Federal officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise have started making efforts to change that mindset after noticing an increase in wildland firefighter suicides in recent years.

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Forest Fires

Smoke blankets the sky as wildfire on Hawaii’s Maui Island forces evacuations

Reuters in Global News
July 12, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Thousands of residents and visitors on Hawaii‘s Maui Island were ordered to evacuate two communities on Thursday as a spreading wildfire sent smoke billowing high into the sky, officials and local media said. The 3,000 acre brush fire in Maui’s central valley was uncontrolled Thursday night, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino told a news conference. He said firefighters would monitor it overnight but that it was too dangerous to battle the blaze in the dark. “We can’t fight the fire tonight,” he said. “We’re not going to send any firefighters into harm’s way.” …While thousands were ordered evacuated, it was unclear how many people fled the west Maui coastal communities of Maalaea and Kihei. But three shelters housed about 500 people late Thursday, media reports said.

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