Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: US West

Business & Politics

Beetle-killed timber presents business opportunities across Colorado Rockies

By Deepan Dutta
Steamboat Pilot & Today
November 17, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

FRISCO — The mountain pine beetle has devastated one-fifth of Colorado forestland over the past couple of decades, but the lumber and alternative energy industries have been able to make good use of the wood from these blighted forests. Routt, Eagle, Grand and Summit counties were among the hardest hit, with thousands of acres of forest wiped out. The Colorado State Forest Service estimates the mountain pine beetle epidemic killed 3.4 million acres of forest across the state. That’s about 800 million dead trees that are potential fuel for the next wildfire. “These dead trees have provided a large supply of available timber that these local mills,” Granby District forester Ryan McNertney said.

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Softwood sector is safe

By Elaine Williams
The Lewiston Tribune
November 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The much-heralded United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will have little impact on Idaho’s lumber industry. That’s the view of Greg Latta, interim director of a policy analysis group at the University of Idaho in Moscow. …The trade deal reached in late September isn’t expected to change that, since it doesn’t contain new provisions for softwood lumber. That’s good news for north central Idaho and southeastern Washington. …That industry is benefiting from duties of about 20 percent on Canadian lumber entering the United States, imposed by a U.S. Department of Commerce decision in 2017. …Still U.S. lumber manufacturers are following what happens with Canada closely. That’s partly because the new trade deal that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement retained a third-party dispute resolution process. ..The more important dynamic to watch is the growing prevalence of Canadian lumber companies in the United States, Latta said. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

A Mass Timber Tower Rises in Portland

By Will Macht
Urban Land
November 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Until recently, buildings taller than five stories had to be constructed of steel or reinforced concrete, both of which require about 80 percent more energy to produce and represent about 200 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than cross-laminated timber (CLT), a new engineered wood product. Portland developer Ben Kaiser of the Kaiser Group recently completed the tallest American CLT mass timber building—an eight-story, 16-unit condominium/retail tower on an 8,470-square-foot (787 sq m) lot. …The building is called Carbon 12 for the most common carbon isotope the engineered wood sequesters, and for the building’s address at 12 NE Fremont Street in Portland. …Carbon 12 is designed, metaphorically, like a tree. Its roots are a forest of steel piles driven 45 feet (14 m) deep into the ground… The piles support a three-dimensional grid of glulam posts and beams onto which CLT panels measuring 37 by 11 feet (3 by 11 m) are lifted and locked into place.

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Ashlander helps mill rise from the ashes

By Maureen Flanagan Battistella
Ashland Daily Tidings
November 17, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Thanks in part to an Ashlander’s help, the rebuild and restoration of the 1872 Butte Creek Mill is on time and under budget… Massive 30- and 40-foot fir timbers tower over the footprint of the mill, an exquisite example of timber framing. “It’s a really important project because it’s preserving the history of timber framing in our area,” explained Ian Dilworth with Treeborn Timbercraft of Ashland. “There are not a lot of structures that are built like this mill was built and are still around, so it’s great to be able to build it back the way it was.” The Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point was destroyed by fire in December 2015, but some of the foundation structures remain, and some of the old, burned beams were still in place. Dilworth used these old beams to understand how the original timber members were joined together, matching original construction to new work.

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Could this building material save California homes from future infernos?

The Real Deal – Real Estate News
November 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A futuristic building material is being touted by its manufacturer as the environmentally friendly and fire-resistant material California needs for a sustainable future. RSG 3-D is a “cementitious sandwich panel” system with no combustible materials that can be subject to an open flame for two hours before catching fire, according to CNBC. The building material could allow houses to fare better than the state’s widespread wood-frame homes now burning across northern California in the latest wave of deadly wildfires. The panels are made of a polystyrene core, sandwiched between a steel wire grid frame that penetrates through the core. …Construction company Hutter Pioneer is building with the materials currently and its COO Geoffrey Evancic claimed the system is also superior to wood in terms of energy efficiency. 

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Freres Lumber’s massive plywood panels selected for Oregon State lab

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
November 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West
LYONS, Ore. Freres Lumber’s massive plywood panels will be used in the new A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory at Oregon State University. MPP is being used for both interior and exterior walls of the lab as well as roofing in the George W. Peavy Forest Science Center.  “This is our largest commercial project to-date, and we are thrilled to showcase the strength, versatility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of MPP in this premier project at OSU,” said Tyler Freres, vice president of sales for Freres Lumber Co. “Partnering with Oregon State has been such a positive experience from research and development, to the final shipment of MPP to OSU.”

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Forestry

Continued Occupation Shuts Down SPI Clearcut Logging Operation

North Coast News
November 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

At least a dozen Humboldt County forest defenders hiked in to a Sierra Pacific Industries logging operation in the Mattole area, occupying the site, sending the log trucks coming in back out of the forest, effectively shutting it down. The activists were at the same area where a treesitter has been up since last week. After putting up a tree-sit 100’ high in an active Sierra Pacific Industries‘ (SPI) logging plan last Thursday, about a dozen forest defenders were on the ground in the plan this morning, resulting in the shutting down of the logging activity. The timber harvest plan (THP) is in the Rainbow Ridge area in the Mattole River watershed in Humboldt County, site of a long-running, multi-pronged campaign to preserve the legacy forests there under Humboldt Redwood Co. (HRC) ownership.

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Jerry Brown quietly admits Trump was right

Preston Business Review
November 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jerry Brown

After brushing off President Trump’s charge that poor forest management is partly to blame for California’s recent devastating wildfires, Gov. Jerry Brown is urging state lawmakers to ease restrictions on logging that were enacted under pressure from environmental groups. Brown is proposing one of the most significant changes to the state’s logging rules in nearly half a century, , as . In an effort to thin more forests, the proposal would allow private landowners with 300 acres or less to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit. Environmentalists, however, want to make California’s logging rules even more restrictive, the Daily Wire said. But the recent deadly fires in both Northern and Southern California have prompted lawmakers to act. 

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Why Finland is so good at handling forest fires. Hint: It’s not because of raking.

By Rick Noack
The Washington Post
November 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Months before devastating wildfires caused havoc in California, firefighters from across Europe headed to Sweden as authorities there struggled to extinguish several massive blazes. Sweden… ordered an air force jet to drop a bomb in the middle of the wildfire’s center to deprive the blaze of oxygen. The strategy failed, and Sweden’s fires continued to rage for weeks. But just a few hundred miles away, in neighboring Finland, officials worried about a far different problem: not enough wildfires. “From nature’s point of view, the diversity of species and habitats suffers from too few fires,” the Finnish Forest Association recently concluded in a report. …The forest service in Finland does carry out controlled burns of the forest floor mostly to clear away underbrush and also promote new saplings. …No, the key factor in California’s vulnerability to fires (and Finland’s resistance) appears to have to do with weather.

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How climate change is fueling California’s wildfires

By Mario Picazo, Meteorologist
The Weather Network
November 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California has been burning more than ever since the turn of the century. Thirteen of the state’s twenty hottest fires have occurred since 2000 as increasing temperatures push up the frequency and severity of wildfires. …Adding up the acreage affected by the flames from 2013 through this time in 2018, we get an overwhelming figure somewhere close to 5.4 million acres. So considering California is roughly 100 million acres in size, that means 5.4 per cent of the state’s surface has seen some form of fire over the past 5 years. …A recent U.S. Government report prepared by leading climate and forest experts explores the interactions between climate change and forests. The main concluding remarks emphasize how climate change is increasing the vulnerability of many U.S. forests through fire, insect infestations, drought and disease outbreaks.

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Measures aimed at reducing fire intensity in Southern Oregon’s Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

The Associated Press in the Statesman Journal
November 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MEDFORD, Oregon — The U.S. Forest Service plans to propose measures for southern Oregon aimed at reducing the size and intensity of wildfires and creating healthier forests better able to withstand the hotter, drier conditions brought by climate change. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest plan would include a mix of commercial logging and brush removal on 22,000 acres of Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands, the Mail Tribune reported Sunday. It would include nearly 5,000 acres of prescribed fire and using fire to maintain up to 13,000 acres of previously burned areas. …”The objective is to make the watershed more resilient to disturbances like fire, insects and climate change,” said Don Boucher, the forest’s district ecologist and main architect of the plan. The environmental assessment will be up for public comment for a month.

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Trump, Touring Fire Ruins in California, Repeats Disputed Claim on Forest Management

By Thomas Fuller
The New York Times
November 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PARADISE, Calif. — President Trump walked through the ashes of the Northern California town of Paradise on Saturday, promising to help the state recover but repeating his disputed view that forest management was to blame for the fire, the most destructive in California’s history. The president, expressing shock at the scale of the devastation and praising the efforts of emergency workers, offered much more conciliatory words than he had used a week earlier when he accused state officials of mismanaging California’s forests and threatened to withhold financial assistance. …Mr. Trump repeated his view on Saturday that forest management — the partial clearing and cleaning of brush from forests — was partly to blame for the string of immense and deadly wildfires in recent years. …The death toll of the Camp Fire, now at 76, has climbed steadily as a team of more than 500 specialists searches for human remains.

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Trump’s claim of poor California forest management rings true — to a degree

By Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross
The San Francisco Chronicle
November 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

“A century of mismanaging Sierra Nevada forests has brought an unprecedented environmental catastrophe that impacts all Californians.” That’s not a tweet from President Trump, but the opening line of a February report by California’s Little Hoover Commission investigating fire danger in the state. “The immediate crisis is visible to anyone who has traveled recently in the Sierra Nevada, especially in its southern range,” Commission Chairman Pedro Navawrote in the cover letter for “Fire on the Mountain,” an 82-page report. The report outlines factors that have led to the current forest crisis, including years of poor or nonexistent management policies, and the recent drought and a beetle infestation that killed an estimated 129 million trees across the state — trees that could go up in flames. Still, Nava was a bit taken aback by Trump’s Nov. 10 tweet blaming the state’s “gross mismanagement” for the fires.

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Why we’re trying to lift the ‘Roadless Rule’

By Heidi Hansen, deputy commissioner, Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Anchorage Daily News
November 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

From the North Slope to the Panhandle, and the Interior to the Peninsula, rural Alaskans are prioritizing their access – to each other, the rest of Alaska and the world.Cost is often the limiting factor. But not always. Many community leaders want to improve access without jeopardizing the unique character and resources of their communities. It’s literally a fight for survival for some small communities. For others, it’s part of a long-term plan to become more sustainable.One of the regions where the state of Alaska is working with local communities and stakeholders to increase rural access and connectivity is Southeast Alaska, where the U.S. Forest Service is taking a fresh look at how it manages roadless areas in the Tongass National Forest.

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Pacific Northwest woodlands will be less vulnerable to drought, fire than Rocky Mountain, Sierra forests

By Steve Lundeberg
Oregon State University
November 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Forests in the Pacific Northwest will be less vulnerable to drought and fire over the next three decades than those in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada, computer modeling by researchers in Oregon State University’s College of Forestry shows. The findings, published today in Global Change Biology, represent an important tool for scientists and land managers because woodlands throughout the western United States are under increasing stress from accelerated rates of drought-related mortality related to global, human-caused climate change. Also, the Northwest’s hemlock, Douglas-fir and redwood forests have tremendous potential to counteract climate change via their carbon-sequestration abilities, meaning policies that promote stewardship of those forests is critical, the scientists say.

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California fire has claimed 63 as missing list grows to 631

By Paul Elias and Kathleen Ronayne
The Associated Press
November 16, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MAGALIA, Calif. (AP) — At least 63 are now dead from a Northern California wildfire, and officials say they have a missing persons list with 631 names on it in an ever-evolving accounting of the missing after the nation’s deadliest wildfire in a century. …Authorities were making the list public so people could see if they were on it and let authorities know they were safe, Honea said. …On Thursday, firefighters reported progress in battling the nearly 220-square-mile blaze that displaced 52,000 people and destroyed more than 9,500 homes. It was 40 percent contained, fire officials said. 

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Catastrophic wildfires and climate change lead to growing acceptance of ‘pyrosilviculture’

By University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
YubaNet
November 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For millennia, fires periodically burned through California forests, thinning trees, reducing shrubbery and clearing out downed branches and debris. Without periodic fire, the forests became more dense, with spaces between large trees filling in with a thick carpet of duff, seedlings and shrubs. As a result, today’s forests are prone to more intense and damaging fires… These fires are … threatening large swaths of forest, towns, and even urban areas. …Making peace with fire and turning it into a useful tool, rather than a raging threat, was the objective of an October meeting in Shaver Lake of UC Cooperative Extension forestry and natural resources scientists, Southern California Edison forest managers, CALFIRE officials and U.S. Forest Service representatives. The event also raised awareness of “pyrosilviculture,” a new forest management term coined by UC fire scientist Rob York to emphasize the importance of fire in silviculture, the management of forests for wood.

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As wildfires grow deadlier, officials search for solutions

By Matthew Brown and Ellen Knickmeyer
The Associated Press
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS, Montana — Creating fire buffers between housing and dry brush, burying spark-prone power lines and lighting more controlled burns to keep vegetation in check could give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, according to experts searching for ways to reduce growing death tolls from increasingly severe blazes in California and across the U.S. West. Western wildfires have grown ever more lethal, a grim reality that’s been driven by more housing developments sprawling into the most fire-prone grasslands and brushy canyons, experts say. Many of the ranchers and farmers who once managed those landscapes are gone, leaving neglected terrain that has grown thick with vegetation that can explode into flames when sparked. …However, most of California’s deadly fires of recent years have been in grasslands and brushy chaparral, Keeley said. “Most destructive fires are not in the forest. Thinning isn’t going to change anything,” he said.

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Old growth trees cut in violation of 4FRI mission

By Scott Buffon
Arizona Daily Sun
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Four Forest Restoration Initiative has been spent years strengthening and supporting the public’s faith in their mission to cut down trees across northern Arizona, or what they call their “social license.” But the United States Forest Service made a decision out at the West Escudilla Project to cut down over 1,300 trees that were more than 150 years old, fearing an infestation of an invasive dwarf mistletoe. In response to the action, the 4FRI stakeholders released a letter, calling the treatment “inconsistent” with their current practices. “Members of the 4FRI [stakeholders group] have spent nearly two decades building the social license that made landscape-scale restoration a reality on Arizona national forests,” according to the stakeholder letter. “There is broad stakeholder consensus and science support for retraining old-growth trees, including wildlife habitat, increased genetic diversity, and potential increased fire and climate resiliency.”

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Humboldt State University to acquire 884-acre forest for research purposes

The Times-Standard
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Humboldt State University is on the verge of receiving an 884-acre forest near campus, which will be used for research and field experiences. The effort is possible due to a generous donation from R.H. Emmerson & Son LLC, as well as major grants from state and federal agencies. …The area includes extensive stands of second-growth Redwoods as well as old-growth Cedar. It is important habitat for a variety of species including northern spotted owl, bald eagle, Pacific fisher, and red-legged frog, and it is important for the health of downstream species including coho salmon and chinook. Once HSUreceives the property, it will be permanently protected from conversion to any non-forestry uses.

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Explainer: Blame climate, but crowded forests also fuel California fires

By Nichola Groom
Reuters
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With a tweet blaming California’s wildfires on “gross mismanagement of the forests,” President Donald Trump dismissed the role of climate change in the worsening blazes across the U.S. West – generating widespread derision in the Golden State. Viewed on the surface as the latest shot by Republican Trump at a Democratic state …the tweet nevertheless shone a spotlight on California’s overgrown forests and their role in devastating fires. In fact, few disagree that California’s increasingly dry and overgrown forests are, effectively, large-scale tinderboxes. “California’s forests are reaching a breaking point,” the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency, wrote in a report earlier this year. …Yet the Little Hoover Commission report found poor management policies for the last century have left forests vulnerable to fires. “The costs of long neglecting and mismanaging forests have become an unsustainable burden in California,” the report said.

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The California Fire That Killed 48 People Is the Deadliest U.S. Wildfire in a Century

By Gina Martinez
Time Magazine
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Camp Fire in Northern California is the deadliest wildfire in the United States in a century, according to wildfire historians. The death toll for the blaze, which is still burning through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains outside Sacramento, increased to 48 Tuesday night as crews searched for bodies in communities that were caught in the fast-moving flames. The Camp Fire already became the deadliest fire in California history earlier this week – surpassing the 1933 Griffith Park Fire in Los Angeles, which killed 29. …Not since the Cloquet Fire in 1918 has a wildfire killed so many people in the United States. An estimated 450 died in the wildfire in Minnesota. The deadliest fire in U.S. history was the Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin in 1871. At least 1,200 people died.

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Diseased, dying forests pose huge wildfire risk in Washington

By Kara Kostanich
KOMO News
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE – Millions of acres of forestland across the state of Washington is extremely susceptible to wildfire. The culprit: poor forest health. “What we are seeing in California is an absolute wake up call for the people of this state,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “What’s happening there is very possible on our landscape even though it’s different, we are seeing hotter and drier weather.” The sheer destruction and loss of life in California is reminder to Washingtonians the 2018 wildfire season sparked nearly the largest number of wildfires in state history. …Franz said the DNR is fighting fires with the same resources they did 10 years ago, adding with more fire, more staff and treatment is needed.

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Analysis Reveals Northwest Communities Most Threatened By Wildfire

By Tony Schick
Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A small number of Northwest communities have an outsized level of exposure to wildfire, according to data released by the Forest Service. The analysis, done by Montana-based firm Pyrologix and the Forest Service, identified 100 communities in Oregon and Washington with the highest cumulative risk of wildfire, based on the probability of burning and the number of housing units exposed to fire. Those 100 communities account for only about 15 percent of all the housing analyzed, but nearly 75 percent of housing exposed to wildfire, the analysis found. …These top-100 communities face a greater threat of significant home losses from wildfire, but also offer the most potential for reducing risk. The concentration of wildfire exposure in a small number of communities offers a clearer picture of where state, local and federal officials can target mega-fire prevention. Those efforts typically include prescribed burning, homeowner education and fire resilient development and building codes.

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California’s recent blazes aren’t the result of overgrown forests, as Trump suggests

By Joshua Emerson Smith
San Diego Union Tribune
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s recent spate of devastating conflagrations have little, if anything, to do with overgrown forests — and everything to do with climate change, drought and harsh weather conditions, according to forestry experts.  That was largely lost in the political jabs this weekend after President Trump attacked California…Democrats and firefighting officials quickly went on the offensive, blasting Trump’s comments as insensitive amid the devastation. . …However, largely missing from the debate was the fact that the most destructive fires in the state did not start in densely wooded areas. … Such fires result from bone-dry conditions and high winds, said Helge Eng, deputy director of resource management Cal Fire. “We’re still recovering from a five-year drought, and with not a lot of precipitation this year, so with high winds, you get these catastrophic fires,” he said.

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Neil Young blasts Trump as ‘unfit’ after California fire destroys Canadian’s home

By Josh Elliott
Global News
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Canadian singer Neil Young attacked U.S. President Donald Trump as an “unfit leader” and climate-change denier on Sunday, after California’s raging wildfires wiped out the rocker’s home in Malibu. Young accused Trump of ignoring climate change and playing politics with the wildfires in California, where 31 people have been killed, 150,000 have been displaced and more than 1,040 square kilometres have been scorched by massive wildfires. “It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader,” Young wrote in a blog poston his website Sunday. “California is vulnerable — not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think,” Young wrote. The rocker accused Trump of denying climate change and ignoring scientific evidence in favour of “his own, convenient opinion.” Young appeared to be responding to a series of tweets Trump issued over the weekend, in which the president blamed “forest management” for the deadly blazes.

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Don’t debate forestry management in the middle of disastrous wildfires

By Michael Brown, former FEMA Director
The Hill
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…CAL FIRE, the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, is coordinating California’s firefighting efforts in-and-around Los Angeles and other areas. …But CAL Fire is also responsible for the management of California forests. …This includes reviewing 500 to 1,400 plans to harvest timber on private lands and 6,500 site inspections — plans submitted by private landowners and logging companies who want to harvest the trees. “Controlled burns” to manage vegetation involve foresters, firefighters, landowners, and the local communities. …The failure to properly manage forests is a serious issue. …Debating what is proper forestry management is an appropriate debate. …We have a responsibility to enter into those debates before and after first responders are putting their lives at risk. …Until then the focus should be on stopping the spread of these fires, saving lives and protecting property.  

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Death toll rises in California wildfire, matching deadliest in state history; 228 still missing

By Gillian Flaccus and Andrew Selsky
The Missoulian
November 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PARADISE, Calif. — As relatives desperately searched shelters for missing loved ones on Sunday, crews searching the smoking ruins of Paradise and outlying areas found six more bodies, raising the death toll to 29, matching the deadliest wildfire in California history. …Gov. Jerry Brown said California is requesting aid from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has blamed “poor” forest management for the fires. Brown told a press briefing that federal and state governments must do more forest management but said that’s not the source of the problem. “Managing all the forests everywhere we can does not stop climate change,” Brown said. “And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we’re now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years.”

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Planes from Missoula-based Neptune Aviation on hand to fight California fires

By Rob Chaney
The Helene Independent Record
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As Montana’s firefighting ground troops head south to help with California’s home-wrecking forest fires, its homegrown air force is already on scene. “We started sending aircraft down there Thursday morning last week,” Neptune Aviation Chief Executive Officer Ron Hooper said on Monday. “We have three on the Paradise fire and three on the fire near Malibu. It was really strange scraping ice off the aircraft last week.” Neptune’s Bae-146 retardant bombers had just finished a busy regular fire season and were back at their Missoula base when the Camp fire and Woolsey fire roared to national prominence. …“The governor in California was quoted saying it’s no longer fire season, but fire year,” Hooper said. “They’ve had a drought for so long, and they’ve got 50- to 60-mph winds on both fires.”

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Oregon strike teams battle deadly Camp Fire wildfire in northern California

By Virginia Barreda
The Statesman Journal
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Forestry deployed two strike teams Sunday to help battle wildfires in California that have claimed more than 30 lives. While on route, the Oregon teams received orders to help suppress the 111,000-acre Camp Fire near Chico in northern California.  California officials originally requested the Oregonians come to the southern portion of the state. …At the time of arrival, the Camp Fire was reported at 25 percent containment, according Oregon forestry officials. …An estimated 29 people have died in the Camp Fire. An additional 230 are missing, according to California fire officials. About 6,453 residences have been destroyed and an additional 15,000 structures threatened.

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School of Natural Resources works to establish forestry major

By Nick McConnell
The Daily Nebraskan
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is building a new major all about trees. Eric North, a professor hired initially to design a new major for students interested in trees, is building coursework that centers around urban forestry and arboriculture for the forestry major. …The university hosted a forestry department as early as 1903, participating in the statewide push for tree planting after the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. The forestry degree has been intermittently abolished and reinstated at UNL since then and is now pending approval as a new regional and community forestry major. North said that he’s built new courses that cover different areas in new technologies, horticulture, entomology and water science for the major.

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Forced Out by Deadly California Fires, Then Trapped in Traffic

By Jack Nicas, Thomas Fuller and Tim Arango
The New York Times
November 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PARADISE, Calif. — Thousands of residents in the wooded town of Paradise did what they were told to do when the morning skies turned dark and an inferno raged across the hills: They got in their cars and fled. …tree-lined streets in the town swiftly became tunnels of fire, blocked by fallen power lines and burning timber. …By Sunday night, the Camp Fire had matched the deadliest in California history, the Griffith Park Fire of 1933, with 29 fatalities. Seven of the victims in Paradise died in their vehicles. …California was still battling three major fires on Sunday: the Camp Fire, which exploded across 111,000 acres and is still raging in the forests near Paradise, and two fires west of Los Angeles. …“We are really just in the middle of this protracted weather event and this fire siege,” Chief Ken Pimlott said.

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Northern New Mexico forests under siege by destructive insects

By Thom Cole
Sante Fe New Mexican
November 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On a Friday in February, John Formbydrove up Hyde Park Road for a hike with his dogs.Rounding a curve about a mile before the Big Tesuque Campground, Formby spotted a large swath of conifers with a red tinge — a sign the trees’ needles were dying.“I felt there was just something unusual about it,” recalls Formby, an entomologist with New Mexico State Forestry and the person charged with heading the state’s forest health program.The following day, he and two more insect scientists from the U.S. Forest Service hiked to the trees to investigate the cause of the needle kill.What they found was an infestation of Janet’s looper caterpillar, the latest addition to a growing list of deadly enemies of Santa Fe National Forest.

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Study: Replanting Trees After Wildfires May Not Be Necessary

By Jes Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

New research is offering a way to potentially save money and resources on forest recovery after wildfire. After wildfire season ends each year, land managers start planning what comes next for the areas that burned.  Often, the strategy used to ensure the forests return is to salvage log and then replant. But a recent study suggests that in some areas, it might be just as effective to leave the forest alone. “If the burned patches aren’t too big, that is to say the seed sources aren’t too far away, then the forests do a good job of regenerating themselves,” said study contributor David Hibbs of Oregon State University.  The research provides a relatively clear picture of where forest managers could most benefit from spending the time and money needed to replant — at least in corner of the Pacific Northwest. 

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Trump threatens to pull federal funding for California wildfires over ‘gross mismanagement’

By Mark Osborne, Alexander Mallin, Deena Zaru
ABC News
November 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

President Donald Trump woke up in Paris on Saturday in the mood to make threats toward California as it deals with deadly wildfires in Northern California and hundreds of smoldering homes in Southern California. In an angry tweet, the president threatened to pull federal funding for the state if nothing is done to “remedy” the situation. …On Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office fired back, calling the president’s tweet “inane and uninformed.” “Our focus is on the Californians impacted by these fires and the first responders and firefighters working around the clock to save lives and property — not on the president’s inane and uninformed tweets,” Evan Westrup, the governor’s press secretary, told ABC News. At least 25 people have been killed this week as flames from the wildfires engulfed their vehicles, homes and neighborhoods in Northern California, authorities said. 

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Investigation Sides with Lost Coast League in Dispute on Logging Rainbow Ridge

By the Lost Coast League
Cision Newswire
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PETROLIA, Calif., — The Petrolia-based Lost Coast League (LCL) today received the answer to its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Complaint of Humboldt Redwood (HRC) logging plans on Rainbow Ridge in the Mattole River watershed. LCL faulted logging of previously un-entered forests and extensive use of herbicides. (See the Complaint here: http://bit.ly/2PiQUAU or for maps and other information visit LCL’s website: lostcoastleague.org). Lead Investigator Dr. Robert Hrubes, a founder of FSC, concluded “that two of the complainants’ allegations … are factually with merit with regard to non-conformance to the FSC U.S. National Forest Management Standard. Accordingly, two Corrective Action Requests are being raised … one pertaining to updating the HCVF [High Conservation Value Forest] assessment in the Mattole and one pertaining to chemical use …”

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Oregon State University professor: Many local towns face risk of California-like wildfire destruction

By Joe Douglass
KATU
November 9, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

John Bailey

CORVALLIS, Ore. — John Bailey, an Oregon State University College of Forestry professor, told KATU the wildfire destruction that’s currently devastating parts of California could happen here.  “There are hundreds of those kinds of communities in the foothills of the Sierras, in the foothills of the Coast Range, in the foothills of the Cascades,” Bailey explained Friday, saying many of the fires in California were preventable. Bailey said it’s all about forest management, which involves properly thinning out trees in certain areas, removing fine fuels or kindling around them and conducting controlled burns to help prevent massive, powerful wildfires. …Bailey said he drove through Paradise with his family this year on the way home from spring break.  “You could see that it was just, it was a disaster waiting to happen,” he explained, saying that around the town he saw “an overgrown forest with lots of fuel.”

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Fire, water top concerns at forest meeting

By Doug McMurdo
The Moab Times-Independent
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Andrew Orlemann

Fire and water are the two concerns most on the minds of residents offering input to the U.S. Forest Service as it updates its official plan for the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Protecting the watershed in terms of quality and quantity and addressing the potential for devastating wildfires are also two concerns that were not necessarily present in 1986, the last time the USFS published its plan for the Manti-La Sal. “We’re starting to address fire,” said forester and planning team leader Andrew Orlemann during an open house held Nov. 1 at the Grand Center. “The old plan doesn’t really discuss fire.” …Forester and Partnership Coordinator Megan Eno said the process comes down to one question: “What do we know about our forests?” Part of the assessment has foresters identifying species that are not yet threatened or endangered before they land on protected lists.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Study: NW Forests Will Weather Climate Change Better Than Others In The West

By Jes Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Climate change is expected to increase drought and wildfire vulnerability in forests across the West. But new research out of Oregon State University shows that some places will fare better than others. The Douglas fir forests of western Oregon and Washington are among the least susceptible to drought and fire over the next thirty years. …Other forests types are in for a much more volatile future. This includes the forests east of Warm Springs, in north-central Oregon, which are expected to suffer drought. Wildfire vulnerability is high in the Klamath Siskiyou Mountains of southwest Oregon, as well as across the border from Hood River in Washington. Fire vulnerability is elevated in California’s Sierra Nevada, too. …Buotte says the research does not predict fire or drought severity — just whether or not a specific forest in a specific location will experience drought or fire.

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Study finds healthy group of polar bears in sea near Alaska

Associated Press in Vancouver Sun
November 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The first formal count of polar bears in waters between the United States and Russia indicates they’re doing better than some of their cousins elsewhere. Polar bears are listed as a threatened species because of diminished sea ice due to climate change. But university and federal researchers estimate a healthy and abundant population of nearly 3,000 animals in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. “In the near-term, it’s absolutely good news,” said lead author Eric Regehr, … University of Washington’s Polar Science Center. In the longer term, it doesn’t mean the Chukchi Sea bear population will not be affected. “Polar bears need ice to hunt seals, and the ice is projected to decline until the underlying problem of climate change is addressed,” Regehr said.

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