Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: US East

Business & Politics

Donegal Township sawmill tour highlights changing lumber industry

By Jacob Tierney
The Tribune-Review
January 19, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Pennsylvania — A complex, noisy network of blades and belts turned logs into dowels before a crowd of excited onlookers Saturday. …About 25 people attended the tour of the Ames sawmill in Donegal Township, organized by the Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association . Many members… own forests and wood farms. …It started in early 1989 as an effort to educate landowners about sustainable forestry, and give them a way to meet others with similar interests. The mill is a perfect illustration of how the wood business has changed over the years, Cannin said. Some of its equipment is about 100 years old and still going strong, while some is state-of-the-art machinery run by computers. The sawmill was owned by Babcock Lumber until 2014, when Ames took it over. It employs about 42 people.

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Georgia-Pacific Announces Layoffs, Says It Will Stop Printing Office Paper

By Tasnim Shamma
WABE 90.1 FM
January 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The Atlanta-based paper, chemicals, packaging company Georgia-Pacific announced it’s leaving the office paper business. The company laid off more than 650 people at its mill in Hudson Port, Louisiana, and about 40 salespeople in Atlanta on Thursday. Director Robert Izlar leads the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia and is the former executive director of the Georgia Forestry Association. “Younger generations, compared to my generation, and I’m a baby boomer, I print everything,” Izlar said. “Maybe they don’t do that. So there’s a decline in demand.” Georgia-Pacific said the printing and writing business was not sustainable and that it will close down the paper operation by mid-March. “People just aren’t using as much office paper anymore,” said Karen Cole, a spokesperson for Georgia-Pacific.

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Alexander Lumber closing area stores

By Nick Vlahos
Gatehouse Media Illinois
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

AURORA, Ill. — Alexander Lumber Co. is closing several of its legacy lumberyards across central and western Illinois. The locations in Canton, Lincoln, Monmouth, Rushville and Taylorville are set to close permanently. The Bloomington location will merge into the existing LeRoy location. The Gilman location will merge into Watseka and Fairbury. “We intend to focus on our core pro builder customer in the Chicago and other mid-sized markets, especially those in Wisconsin, Iowa, and other surrounding states, should any opportunities arise,” says Russ Kathrein, President/CEO of Alexander Lumber. Each of the closing lumberyards will hold liquidation sales from mid-January through the end of Feburary 2019. …Alexander operates 15 locations in Illinois, two in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. The company was founded 128 years ago.

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Lumber Company Deemed Total Loss After Fire

CBS Pittsburgh
January 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PITTSBURGH – Officials investigating a fire that tore through an East Bethlehem lumber and hardware store was deemed a total loss. East Bethlehem Fire Chief Mark Giovanelli suspects a wood-burner heating system at Millsboro Lumber and Hardware could be to blame for Saturday’s blaze. …The Ark Avenue business lost an estimated $1 million according to Giovanelli. Inside the retail store, the business sold construction supplies, painting tools and more. …Giovanelli said that the fire was difficult to fight following the collapse of the steel roof which prevented water from dousing hot spots.

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Louisiana State University economist estimates paper mill shutdown will lead to loss of nearly 2,800 jobs in ripple effect

By Timothy Boone
The Advocate
January 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific’s decision to stop producing office paper at its Port Hudson mill and lay off 650 people could ripple into an estimated loss of nearly 2,150 other jobs across Louisiana, an economic model produced by an LSU AgCenter economist shows. The layoffs will result in the loss of nearly $188 million in labor income and nearly $22.8 million in tax revenue for state and local governments, said Shaun Tanger, a forest economist at the AgCenter. “This is a conservative number,” Tanger said. The figures don’t capture the ripple effects into nearby Mississippi, where some people live and work in the timber/paper industry and could be doing the lion’s share of their business in Louisiana, he said. …Along with the loss in jobs and tax revenue, the prices that nearby landowners will get for their hardwood and pulpwood is expected to fall because of the reduced demand from Georgia-Pacific. 

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Georgia-Pacific will lay off nearly 700 people at mill

The Associated Press in the Missoulian
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BATON ROUGE, La. — Georgia-Pacific says consumers aren’t buying as much copy paper anymore, forcing it to lay off nearly 700 people at a Louisiana mill. Company spokesman Kelly Ferguson says meeting the demand for office paper isn’t a viable business long term as society continues to shift toward electronic communications. The Advocate reports that around 300 people will continue working at the Port Hudson mill, producing toilet tissue and paper towels. The company says it will permanently shut down its office paper production assets, wood yard, pulp mill and most of its energy-generating complex by mid-March. The newspaper says Georgia-Pacific will work with union leaders and salaried staff on how to best shut down the divisions and find work for employees at other company-owned facilities. [END]

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Millinocket group ‘turning over every rock’ to eliminate $1.4M tax debt that scuttled factory

By Charles Eichacker
Bangor Daily News
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A volunteer economic development group that’s trying to revive Millinocket’s former paper mill site is continuing to challenge a federal tax lien that has hampered its efforts. The lien most recently dissuaded a North Carolina forest products company from launching a $30 million factory on the site. The group, Our Katahdin, filed a third appeal of the $1.4 million tax lien with the Internal Revenue Service last Friday… To help redevelop the mill site, Our Katahdin has secured multiple types of funding totalling more than $8 million …That’s already spiked one large investment at the site. LignaTerra Global LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina, was considering opening a $30 million factory at the Millinocket mill site that would manufacture a composite wood product for use in construction and cross-laminated timber, and employ more than 100 people. But late last year, the group decided against launching the project in Millinocket because of the lien.

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Timeline: The often-dashed hopes for redevelopment of the Millinocket paper mill

By Matthew Stone
Bangor Daily News
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The town of Millinocket rose around the Great Northern Paper Co. mill. And since the mill’s 2008 closing, there have been various hopes of redevelopment. The latest hope, however, was dashed late last year when a cross-laminated timber manufacturer said it would abandon plans to build a $30 million manufacturing facility at the mill site due to a $1.4 million IRS lien on the property. What follows is a history of the Millinocket mill site since the mill’s 2008 shutdown. 2008 … Brookfield executives reveal that Millinocket’s mill has lost $57 million since 2004. … 2012 Cate Street’s project to produce what the company calls torrefied wood pellets gets its first state permit. … 2018 An IRS lien against the mill property stemming from $1.4 million owed to the IRS by two Cate Street-created entities helps derail plans by Ligna Terra, a cross-laminated timber manufacturer, to build a $30 million factory at the Millinocket mill site.

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Millinocket group ‘turning over every rock’ to eliminate $1.4M tax debt that scuttled factory

By Charles Eichacker
The Bangor Daily News
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A volunteer economic development group that’s trying to revive Millinocket’s former paper mill site is continuing to challenge a federal tax lien that has hampered its efforts. …That’s already spiked one large investment at the site. LignaTerra Global LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina, was considering opening a $30 million factory at the Millinocket mill site that would manufacture a composite wood product for use in construction and cross-laminated timber, and employ more than 100 people. But late last year, the group decided against launching the project in Millinocket because of the lien.

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Wood pellet maker plans $200M investment in Mississippi

Associated Press in The State
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A company that makes wood pellets burned for fuel in overseas power plants is moving ahead with plans for a $140 million pellet mill and a $60 million ship-loading terminal on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Enviva LP spokeswoman Maria Moreno said Wednesday that the Maryland company signed agreements Monday with leaders in George and Jackson counties. The company won’t finalize its investment until environmental permits are approved for facilities in Lucedale and Pascagoula, she said. Enviva expects to hire about 90 workers in Lucedale. As many as 300 loggers and truckers could also find work supplying logs to Enviva. …The plant was first announced in 2013 by Green Circle Energy, a wood pellet company that Enviva bought in 2015. Plans were delayed, but Moreno said the company is now ready to move ahead.

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Suwannee Lumber Company donates $1 million to help Dixie County youth

By Voleer Thomas
WCJ
January 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

DIXIE COUNTY, Fla. — Suwannee Lumber Company donated $1 million to Dixie County youth programs. The money will split between four programs: Dixie County’s Education Foundation, AVID program, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and an Anti-Drug Coalition will have the money distributed to them for over five years. The donation was made in hopes of expanding educational opportunities and mitigating the impact of the opioid epidemic. …Suwannee Lumber Company Chairman Frank “Bump” Faircloth enjoys giving back to the county. “Dixie County stood out to us because we had businesses here going all the way back to 1954 and it was our way of saying we wanted to honor the people here,” Faircloth said.

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Wood Dr.: Six ways to deal with tight hardwood supply in 2019

By Karl D. Forth
Woodworking Network
January 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

As we move into 2019, companies of all kinds are continuing to look for truck drivers and other employees. We recently saw a maker of laminate casework offer up to $80,000 salaries for over-the-road truckers. In past discussions, Gene Wengert, FDMC’s Wood Doctor, mentioned that the lack of logging truck drivers (part the lack of 18-wheeler drivers nationwide for all types of cargo) was causing difficulty for sawmills to have enough logs for sawing.  There are also many logs going directly from the woods into overseas shipping containers. We are seeing higher log costs in order to get logs into the local sawmill…. “There will be even less emphasis and profit for the sawmill to make the hardwood log entirely into lumber, which in turn will mean that lumber availability will shrink. …but most of us will find that getting enough lumber means paying a lot more,” Wengert said. 

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Southern Forest Products Association on Egypt, new members and Softwood Conference

Southern Forest Products Association
December 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Egypt is the largest market for American softwood products in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Providing customized training and technical assistance to enable Egyptian wood traders and specifiers to choose the correct grade, size and species is a Phase Two objective of American Softwoods’ emerging markets program. Providing Egyptian joinery and furniture manufacturers with alternative sources of supply is another goal. …SFPA welcomes LaSalle Lumber Company, LLC, as its newest Lumber Manufacturer member. Tolko Industries, headquartered in Vernon, BC, has partnered with Louisiana-based Hunt Forest Products to build a state-of-the-art sawmill near Urania, Louisiana. …A detailed summary of the 2018 International Softwood Conference, held recently in Riga, Latvia, has been prepared by Charles Trevor, the Southern Pine Council’s consultant based in London. 

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Alabama lumber company makes $18 million investment into Coosa County mill

By Kyle Morris
The Yellowhammer News
December 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

An Alabama lumber company is making a large investment into one of its oldest and biggest mills in the Yellowhammer state. Central Alabama Wood Products announced last week that it is investing $18 million into an expansion of a Coosa County sawmill in the town of Nixburg, according to the Alexander City Outlook. The investment comes amid the need for a high-tech sawmill operation that will replace one of its current mills at the company’s Nixburg site producing hardwood crossties. …The new expansion will double production capacity, according to Jones.

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South Carolina forest industry margins chopped by rising transportation costs

By Emily Williams
The Post and Courier
December 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Log Creek Timber, a family-owned timber harvesting business in Johnston, has… more than doubled the number of log trucks it owns. …The reason for Log Creek’s staffing changes is an issue that’s been straining timber-harvesting and -hauling companies in South Carolina and across the Southeast: skyrocketing transportation costs. …But the cost to insure them more than tripled in the last 12 months, Williams said, rising from about $7,000 to $8,000 to between $28,000 and $32,000 per driver. Because of that, the company now employs about five contract drivers, he said, and has flipped its business model to rely almost entirely on a fully-owned fleet. …Contract haulers, in particular, are viewed by carriers as a bigger risk because of previous losses, he said. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

WoodWorks, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters partner to deliver mass timber installer training

WoodWorks and Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentice and Training Program
Cision Newswire
January 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON — With growing interest in mass timber and tall wood buildings, WoodWorks – Wood Products Council has partnered with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentice and Training Program to provide mass timber installer training to construction professionals in the Greater Chicago area. Intended to serve as a model for training across the U.S., the program will help ensure the availability of experienced construction professionals to meet increasing demand for buildings made from cross-laminated timber and other mass timber products. Beginning in April 2019, installer training workshops will be offered through the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters’ Apprentice and Training Program Center in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

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Why wood construction is making a comeback

By Britt Faulstick
Drexel University News Blog
January 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

While it was one of the first and most common materials used to make things… wood has been on the outs for more than a century. …But that could all be changing in light of recent code changes related to the use of wooden building materials in larger buildings. …Drexel College of Engineering Professor Abi Aghayere, PhD, who co-authored a definitive text on wood construction in 2017, suggests that momentum has steadily been building for a return to the classic building material. However, building with wood today will likely look very little like it did in its heyday. He recently shed some light on why the changes are happening now and what they’ll mean for building construction. …”Even with the code revisions we aren’t likely to see buildings that are entirely wood, because it takes a mix of materials to make them resilient to a variety of environmental stresses”.

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CRÈME proposes floating timber bridge to connect Brooklyn and Queens

By Sukjong Hong
The Architect’s Newspaper
January 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Currently the only link between the rapidly developing neighborhoods of Long Island City, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is the Pulaski Bridge, a six-lane drawbridge. …Brooklyn-based CRÈME/Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design wants to change that by proposing the LongPoint Bridge, a 250-foot-long crossing… distinguished from its counterparts across the city for its lightweight, floating timber construction. …Glulam beams joined by galvanized steel braces and pins rise in two trussed peaks of armature around the nearly 50-foot-tall masts. …Its height above the canal allows smaller vessels to pass underneath, but for larger boats, the bridge pivots open in the middle, with each section moving on propeller-driven pontoons. This floating feature also allows the bridge to rise and fall with the tides. According to Jun Aizaki, the firm’s founder and principal, the bridge’s design and timber composition allows it to be assembled off-site and installed quickly and inexpensively.

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How to build a skyscraper out of wood

By Jeff Spross
The Week
January 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Building skyscrapers out of wood: It sounds bizarre… But it could actually be the future of construction. “Each material has its different pros and cons, and there’s no reason that timber shouldn’t be part of that larger discussion,” Todd Snapp, an architect with the global firm Perkins + Will, told The Week. “I can’t say it’s better than steel or concrete. I can say it should be just as relevant in the discussion of what material to use.” Snapp is the design principal guiding the firm’s River Beech Tower project, an 800-foot residential skyscraper that would be built almost entirely out of wood. The tower was designed in parallel with a master plan the firm was awarded to develop an area in Chicago’s downtown… Cambridge University’s Natural Material Innovation project came to them [with the] idea to pick a real-world site and then develop the building [to] give the Cambridge group specific structures, practices, and so forth to test out in the lab.

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Koppers Performance Chemicals Enters into Sales Arrangement for Fire Retardant Product

By Koppers Holdings Inc.
Cision PRNewswire
January 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

PITTSBURGH– Koppers Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koppers Holdings Inc., today announced that its Performance Chemicals business has entered into a sales arrangement to supply FlamePRO® to Biewer Lumber. Supply will begin effective immediately and is estimated to generate sales of approximately $10 million over a two-year period, with the potential to extend for an additional 12 months. “Koppers is excited about the opportunities to grow in our select markets related to our fire-retardant product. We introduced FlamePRO® in September 2018 for wood-based construction applications and we are pleased that it is being recognized as a premier solution in the marketplace,” said Koppers Performance Chemicals Senior Vice President Doug Fenwick. Commenting on the partnership, Biewer Lumber Vice President Doug O’Rourke said, “…With the introduction of FlamePRO® into their portfolio, we felt that we could strengthen our position in the market with their partnership.”

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Timber is a Hot Topic in Georgia Politics

By Adina Solomon
Next City
January 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

…residents and commuters won’t see as much construction break ground in Dunwoody for a while. That’s because in late November 2018, the city passed a six-month moratorium on multi-unit building applications and permits. The reason? Timber. Back in 2014, after consulting with building and fire safety experts, Dunwoody passed an ordinance requiring office and residential buildings more than three stories high to be built with concrete and steel, not wood. Other suburban cities around Atlanta had similar ordinances. …Georgia’s forest industry, the second largest industry in the state, relies on timber production and its use in construction. Ordinances impeding that grabbed the industry’s attention. “We felt that it was unfairly discriminating against products that we produce here in the state,” says Andres Villegas, president and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association. “Lumber is just as safe as steel or concrete when it’s used correctly.”

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Missoula business turns old fence posts, pallets and beetle-killed pine into sustainable wood products

By David Erickson
The Missoulian
January 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Ryan Palma

Old oak fence posts from a horse pasture in the southern United States, beetle-killed pine trees from near Missoula and unused wood shipping pallets from Kalispell will soon be on their way to a Mennonite community in western Montana for a new lease on life. There, they’ll be milled down into flooring, wall paneling and all sorts of reclaimed wood products and shipped across the country. That all happens thanks to Sustainable Lumber Co. of Missoula, a company started by Ryan Palma to reuse wood that might otherwise go to waste. …“I’ve had this idea of Montana-grown products,” he said. “I think people in the lumber industry honestly are the biggest tree-huggers. We really are. We want our forests to be clean and not burned up, so it’s always kind of big a part of what I loved.”

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Fall River firefighters describe ‘nightmare scenario’ surrounding apartment fire

By Amanda Burke
The Herald News
January 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

FALL RIVER, MASS — It was unprecedented, even for seasoned veterans of the busy Fall River Fire Department. …“This thing ruptured the main natural gas feed and caught fire,” said Capt. Neil Furtado. This thing was a car. …Firefighters on Engine 6 were the first to arrive on scene, four minutes after the initial 911 call came in at 9:43 a.m., said Furtado. That’s just under the span of time it takes for truss connector plates to fail. But under high heat of a fire, those connectors can expand and fall away, increasing the risk of collapse, according to Fire Inspector Todd Young. …Among the factors that made fighting the fire so difficult, said Furtado, was the construction method used. “Lightweight truss construction makes it quicker to construct, way faster — but way more dangerous for us under fire conditions.

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Crews find prized lumber in gutted Wisconsin warehouses

Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle
December 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

RACINE, Wis.  — A Wisconsin material design company is reclaiming 19th century timber from gutted warehouses in Racine that a company official says it like finding “a needle in a haystack.” Urban Evolutions co-owner Jeff Janson says he’s found the wooden equivalent of a hidden stash of gold in some dismantled JI Cast steam engine and thresher machine buildings, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Much of the wood is old-growth, longleaf pine from slow-growing forests that once covered an estimated 92 million acres of the South, from roughly East Texas to southern Virginia. …The reclaimed timber at the site, also known as “heart pine,” includes massive 10-inch by 10-inch structural beams weighing 1,000 pounds and floor joists measuring 2 inches by 11 inches and weighing 200 pounds. Janson hopes to harvest 2 million board feet of the timber from the site.

 

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Forestry

Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?

By Jason Delborne, North Carolina State University
The Conversation US
January 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Compared to gene-edited babies in China and ambitious projects to rescue woolly mammoths from extinction, biotech trees might sound pretty tame. But releasing genetically engineered trees into forests to counter threats to forest health represents a new frontier in biotechnology. Even as the techniques of molecular biology have advanced, humans have not yet released a genetically engineered plant that is intended to spread and persist in an unmanaged environment. Biotech trees – genetically engineered or gene-edited – offer just that possibility. …The committee found that the U.S. Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, which distributes federal oversight of biotechnology products, is not fully prepared to consider the introduction of a biotech tree to improve forest health.

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Big genome found in tiny forest defoliator

By The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Phys.org
January 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The European gypsy moth (EGM) is perhaps the country’s most famous invasive insect—a nonnative species accidentally introduced to North America in the 1860s when a few escaped from a breeding experiment in suburban Boston. The caterpillars have been slowly eating their way across the continent ever since, causing widespread defoliation. In research that could lead to better bioinsecticides to protect forests and orchards, Drs. Don Gammon and Nick Grishin of UT Southwestern have sequenced the genomes of the EGM and its even more destructive cousin, the Asian gypsy moth (AGM). Their work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that the gypsy moth has the largest moth or butterfly genome (number of DNA base pairs) ever sequenced.

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Loggers in Virginia have record-breaking year

Associated Press in the Washington Post
January 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

RICHMOND, Va. — The amount of timber harvested in Virginia last year set a record. A new report from the state forester said receipts from the Virginia Forest Products Tax show a record-breaking volume of trees being cut down. The volume of softwood trees increased 20 percent while the volume of hardwood went up by 9 percent. The report also says that number of hardwood and softwood trees planted last year greatly exceeded those cut down. Virginia has about 16 million acres (6.5 million hectares) of forestland, with the vast majority owned privately. Deciduous trees, or those that drop leaves in winter, make up about 80 percent of Virginia’s forests.

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Wet winter weather likely spells shortages for Arkansas lumber mills, industry

By Ryan McGeeney, U of Arkansas
Newton County Times
January 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MONTICELLO — Timber harvests in Arkansas dropped off steeply in the final month of 2018, as heavy and persistent rainfall throughout much of the state made the process increasingly difficult and expensive.  According to severance tax reports …total tonnage harvested in 2018 dropped more than 6.2 percent from 2017’s harvest…. While month-to-month harvest numbers in 2018 were actually stronger than 2017 for about half the year, Arkansas wood processing facilities received … 47 percent less than the next lowest monthly harvest in two years. The reduced harvest is already leading to shortages at lumber mills throughout Arkansas… Matthew Pelkki, associate director of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Forest Resources Center, said said that unless Arkansas now experiences a dryer-than-average first quarter, lumber yards will probably not be able to catch up without incurring higher costs, either hauling timber from greater distances or trying to contend with saturated forest soils.

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Sustainable forestry awards announced

The Smoky Mountain News
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Megan Sutton

The Nature Conservancy’s work to promote sustainable forestry in Western North Carolina has been recognized with the organization receiving one of this year’s Root Cause Awards, which celebrate achievement in local forest products and sustainable forestry. The Nature Conservancy, led in WNC by Program Director Megan Sutton, won the Sustainable Forestry Award for its work to prevent wildfire through education and prescribed burning. …Other Root Cause winners included Asheville-based Navitat Canopy Adventures — which received the Support of Local Forest Products Award for its efforts in promoting zip-lining, an unconventional forest product — and Asheville woodworker Mike Hester, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award for welcoming customers to his woodworking shop for more than 40 years. 

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Auburn starting online graduate certificate in restoration ecology

The Auburn Plainsman
January 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences recently started an online graduate certificate in restoration ecology intended to serve the educational needs of working professionals. “This certificate will provide an essential understanding of ecological restoration best practices for the rehabilitation of degrading forests and other wildlife habitat,” said John Wigginton, southeast regional director at Westervelt Ecological Services.  Wigginton is recognized by the Society of Ecological Restoration as a certified ecological restoration practitioner. The program is designed to help students improve their critical thinking and communication skills while gaining a greater understanding of terrestrial ecosystems and the practices used for their restoration.

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1958 forestry class donates over $100K for Open Doors Scholarship

Penn State News
January 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MONT ALTO, Pa. —  Twelve members of the Forestry Class of 1958 recently celebrated their 60th reunion at the Mont Alto campus. Besides reconnecting with each other and the campus, their time together also resulted in a group gift of $34,233 that, thanks to a University match, transformed into a $102,669 Open Doors Scholarship to support Mont Alto students who are facing financial hardships and are at risk of not completing their degrees. …“A small group of classmates were talking during our reunion when Jack Zimmerman suggested the scholarship idea,” said Ralph Heilig, who has coordinated the class reunions for the past 12 years. …“As far as we know, no other group from the same graduating class has done this,” he said. “So, we think we’re the first and hopefully it will start something.”

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City receives urban forestry grant

Hudson Star Observer
December 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Hudson is among 30 Wisconsin communities, nonprofits and counties to share more than half a million dollars in state grants to promote and sustain urban forest resources in the state. The city of Hudson was awarded $24,095.51, at the top of the award range spanning from $1,000 to $25,000. Hudson will use the grant to fund a variety of urban forest projects including the Tree Trek program near EP Rock Elementary, updating the city’s tree ordinance, developing an urban forest management plan, stocking the gravel bed nursery with 100 trees and offsetting the costs for the trade-a-tree program. The grant will also help with the removal and treatment of ash trees after Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in the city this past summer.

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The Cost of Christmas

By Bill Hudson
The Pagosa Daily Post
December 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…I wondered, as I awoke this morning, whether the cardboard and paper used to package our Christmas boxes this year will contribute to the destruction of the environment. …I have the impression that forests play a major role in the cleansing and recycling of our global atmosphere. But are we cutting down the world’s forests to wrap Christmas presents? And if so, what does that mean, in terms of earth’s future? North America did a pretty good job of cutting down our old growth forests between 1620 and 1920. We can safely assume most of this lumber went into building construction, rather than into the manufacture of cardboard boxes. The wetlands and forests have made a partial comeback since 1920, although none of the “new” forests in the US can be classified as “old growth.” 

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Westerman submits wildfire bill

Times Record
December 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Bruce Westerman

An Arkansas congressman submitted a bill this week he hopes will curb devastating wildfires. U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, introduced H.R. 7315, the Protecting American Communities from Wildfire Act, on Thursday. Westerman is the only forester in Congress and has attempted several times over the past three years in his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives to usher legislation through various channels that addresses U.S. Forest Service issues like “fire borrowing” and litigation that hamstrings the Forest Service from forest management. Most recently, these efforts to curb wildfires were seen in the forestry title of the 2018 Farm Bill. Although the bill passed in the House, it was nixed in the Senate. “As more and more Americans move closer to our nation’s forests, it is imperative that Congress protect our communities from the devastation of wildfire,” Westerman said in a news release Friday.

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Conserving forests in Northeast Georgia just got a little easier, farm bill proponents say

By Joshua Silavent
The Gainesville Times
December 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Congress last week passed a bipartisan $867 billion farm bill that includes the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Land Adjustment Act, which lawmakers said will expand recreation in Northeast Georgia through “modified land exchanges.” The act allows the U.S. Forest Service to sell isolated parcels within the two national forests. …“The money generated from the sales of these small areas of land will be put towards buying more critical lands for conservation and recreation, a result that benefits all Georgians,” Deron Davis, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Georgia, said in a statement. …U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said the act will also update some park boundaries to improve recreational access and support its economic impact on the region.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Extra pollution controls on Enviva wood pellet plant still don’t address industry’s contributions to climate change

By Lisa Sorg
The Progressive Pulse
January 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The controversial Enviva wood pellet plant in Hamlet (North Carolina) has received a key state permit that would allow it to pulverize more logs and ship the pellets overseas to be burned as fuel. As Policy Watch reported in November, Enviva had asked the Department of Environmental Quality to modify its air permit in more than a dozen ways. The most significant request was an increase in production of pellets from 537,000 oven-dried tons per year to 625,000. The Maryland-based company also wanted to change with the mix of softwoods and hardwoods it would use. …DEQ said in its press release that after considering public comments, the agency required additional pollution monitoring and controls on the plant. For example, Enviva will now have to test for particulate matter, including PM 2.5. 

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In North Carolina, wood pellet foes see opportunity in Cooper’s climate order

By Elizabeth Ouzts, Dogwood Alliance
The Energy News Network
January 2, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Undaunted by critics, biomass company Enviva is bidding to make North Carolina the country’s top exporter of wood pellets, a popular coal substitute in Europe whose purported climate benefits have come under increasing scrutiny. For years, environmental advocates and many scientists here have fought toxic air pollution from pellet mills and tried to rebut claims that wood pellets are carbon neutral — both with limited success. But just as an international report warns that time is running out to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, advocates say a recent executive order on climate change by Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, gives them new leverage to push back against Enviva’s proposed expansion. “It’s time to put the brakes on this runaway train,” Danna Smith, executive director of the advocacy group Dogwood Alliance.

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The trade-offs of burning wood for fuel

By Leila Philip
The Boston Globe
December 20, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

I am splitting firewood. …Like many who live in rural New England, we heat primarily with wood. …Given where we are now, is heating with wood a truly “green” alternative? We know we are failing to curb the human-generated carbon emissions that accelerate climate change. …Burning trees to generate heat or electricity has been considered “carbon neutral,” because burning a tree gives off the same amount of carbon as it would if it decayed naturally. …But this equation of carbon neutrality fails to take into account that it takes little time to burn wood but years to grow that tree back; there is a long carbon payback time. …As we face climate change, we each need to consider what choices we have.

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New research suggests forests, like humans, require a balanced diet

By West Virginia University
Phys.Org
December 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Brenden McNeil

The world’s forests are on a fast food diet of carbon dioxide, which is currently causing them to grow faster. But Brenden McNeil, a researcher at West Virginia University, … finds evidence suggesting that forest growth may soon peak as the trees deplete nitrogen in the soil over longer growing seasons. West Virginia’s wildlands are a “canary in the coal mine for climate change” because of the forests’ biodiversity … make them among the strongest forests globally… The state’s forests have been resilient to … logging and acid rain … but are now exhibiting symptoms of declining health because of climate change. Trees, like humans, need to have more than one thing in their diets … and the proliferation of carbon dioxide is force-feeding them the one thing they use most. McNeil said the challenge is to restore a balanced diet for forests by severely cutting back or ending altogether the use of fossil fuels.

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National climate change report: what’s in store for Southern Appalachian forests?

By Karen Chavez
The Citizen Times
December 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

ASHEVILLE – Drought, fires, epic storms, flooding, even plagues of insects. The recently released government report on climate change, the “National Climate Assessment,”predicting drastic changes to the way our local forests will look and function in the next few decades reads like the worst of Bible tales. But according to local scientists… the dire predictions laid out in the report are true and real, and shouldn’t have taken anyone by surprise. …The long, painful history of Western North Carolina’s forests might play a role in some of the impending disasters due to climate change, ecologists say. “We are already starting to see a shift in our forests, but that is largely due to fire suppression over the last century. When you couple fire suppression and historical logging, they’re already shifting in a different direction,” said Megan Sutton.

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