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Category Archives: Forestry

Forestry

Gaps in wildfire science leave Canadian researchers fighting blind against growing risks

By Jeff Lewis
The Globe and Mail
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

…Some of the tens of millions of dollars Alberta spent on wildfire prevention in 2016 helped fund efforts to thin trees around the city, plant less-combustible hardwoods and clear brush from homes, according to a postincident report. Such precautions are in use across Canada, yet they are based primarily on technical guidelines developed in the United States; few have been validated by scientists to gauge how effective they are in northern, boreal forests. “What that means is that people really don’t know, because it hasn’t been done,” said Brian Stocks, a wildfire-science specialist and one of several investigators hired to assess the Fort McMurray blaze for the Alberta government. That knowledge gap is just one of a growing number of blind spots that scientists say jeopardize millions of people and billions of dollars of infrastructure as more intense and frequent wildfires chew through larger tracts of Canada’s forests each year.

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Canada invests $6.4 million to support First Nations leadership in conservation

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Indigenous Peoples have a special relationship with the environment. They have cared for the land, water, ice, plants, and animals for millennia. The federal government is working with First Nations conservation leaders and knowledge keepers to support First Nations as they honour and fulfill their cultural responsibilities to the land. Supporting Indigenous leadership in conservation is an important part of advancing reconciliation, and it helps communities manage their ancestral lands in accordance with their traditional laws and values. The Government of Canada is investing $6.4 million in 22 First Nations-led projects through the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program. These projects will enable First Nations to take action to protect clean air and clean water, fight climate change, and help protect a healthy environment for all. By working together, we are forming true nation-to-nation partnerships between First Nations and the Government of Canada.

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Saskatchewan pilots join Quebec foresters in fight to halt spruce budworm

By Julia Caron
CBC News
July 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Aerial spraying of microbe toxic only to larvae saves foliage, ‘brings Eastern and Western Canada together’. Canada’s political leaders could learn a thing or two about interprovincial co-operation from the pilots helping to save Quebec’s most valuable forests from the scourge of the spruce budworm. Throughout June and early July, the airport in Mont-Joli, in Quebec’s Lower Saint Lawrence region, buzzed with activity, as five planes owned by a company based in Yorkton, Sask., carried out targeted spray operations, beginning as soon as dawn broke each morning. “When the buds start opening on the tree, we have to be out there spraying,” said pilot Kevin Labrecque. Labrecque spent five weeks conducting aerial spraying in Quebec, far from his home in Battleford, Sask.

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Toad migration could close parts of Whistler park, officials say

CBC News
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Resort Municipality of Whistler is warning residents and visitors about possible upcoming closures around Lost Lake Park as thousands of Western toadlets migrate from the lake to the nearby forest. The resort municipality said in a statement that once migration begins, the Lost Lake access road and parking lot will be closed to all vehicle traffic. Lost Lake Beach, grassy areas, and the nearby trail will only be open to foot traffic, but could also close if there is a large number of migrating toads. During peak times, about 1,800 toads cross the beach trail every hour. Lost Lake Park acts as the breeding ground for Whistler’s largest population of Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas), a sensitive species that is native to British Columbia. The amphibian can be sensitive to changes in its environment because of its porous skin.

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New Wildfire Preparedness Guide published

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The British Columbia government has released the new Wildfire Preparedness Guide. The 20-page guide is the first of its kind and as its title suggests is dedicated completely to wildfire preparedness. “The probability of damaging wildfires has increased in recent years, due in part to the effects of climate change. If you live in a risk area, it’s imperative that you take time to get ready,” the guide said in its introductory comments. It features information from before, during and after wildfires, representing “the complete disaster cycle, from mitigation and preparedness to wildfire response and recovery,” said Tara Gostelow, spokesperson with Emergency Management BC. …Gostelow said the guide include pertinent themes identified by the public over the past two wildfire seasons. They include health-focussed advice on managing wildfire smoke exposure, how to manage anxiety related to wildfires and evacuations and information on insuring property and understanding the policy entitlements.

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Fort Nelson gets a bump to annual allowable cut

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The annual allowable cut for the Fort Nelson timber supply region will be increased by 1 million cubic metres. It may be the only region of the province to actually see its AAC increase. The AAC for interior region timber supply areas is on the decline, due to the mountain pine beetle epidemic, and the coastal region is under unrelenting pressure to protect old growth forests from logging through parks and protected areas. The Fort Nelson region was largely untouched by the Mountain pine beetle infestation, and does not have the same conservation concerns over caribou that could take 300,000 cubic metres out of the AAC for the Peace region. Mills that once operated there have been idle for years, which has resulted in an undercut. …The regional government has been lobbying for an increase in the AAC to lure new sawmills to the area.

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A chance to save B.C.’s last ancient forests

By Gary Fiege, Public and Private Workers of Canada and Jens Wieting, Sierra Club of B.C.
Victoria Times Colonist
July 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s old-growth forests, the values they hold for Indigenous peoples, and forestry-dependent communities are in crisis. Raw log exports remain at record high levels and mills are closing. The climate crisis, insect outbreaks and massive forest fires are here to stay. But we’re still clearcutting the most endangered, resilient and carbon-rich forests at an alarming rate. Even more irresponsible, B.C. is exporting about three million cubic metres of old-growth per year as raw logs, accepting massive environmental losses for minimal economic benefits. After decades of business as usual, time is running out for the B.C. government and industry to begin the transition to truly sustainable forestry. On the current path, we will not leave healthy forests or healthy communities for our children. The amendment process for B.C.’s forestry law, currently underway, is a chance to change course. 

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Big Lonely Doug among largest old-growth trees now on protection list

By Kevin Laird
The Sooke News Mirror
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Big Lonely Doug won’t be so lonely anymore. The Coastal Douglas-fir is among 54 of the province’s largest and oldest trees to be protected by the province along with a one-hectare buffer zone surrounding each of the giants, says Forest Minister Doug Donaldson. Big Lonely Doug is the second largest Douglas-fir in Canada. The tree, located near Port Renfrew, stands at 70.2 metres, or 230 feet. Two other trees in the Port Renfrew region – Sitka spruce – are also protected. …Donaldson says the announcement is also the start of a broader conversation about the future of old-growth management in the province. …Local environmental groups welcomed the decision to protect the 54 trees, but say much more needs to be done.

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Government takes action on old growth, protects 54 groves with iconic trees

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is protecting some of the province’s largest trees as the first step in a new approach to old-growth management. “This province is fortunate to have trees that have been standing in place for hundreds of years – some for more than a thousand,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We want to protect these majestic giants so today’s families and future generations can enjoy them, just like our parents and grandparents did.” …Under a Forest Act protection measure, 54 known big trees from the Big Tree Registry at the University of British Columbia that could have been harvested will now remain standing. 

Additional coverage by Lindsay Kines in the Victoria Times Colonist

Additional coverage by Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun

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B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

By Tom Fletcher
Alberni Valley News
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is protecting 54 of its biggest trees, each with a one-hectare grove around it to act as a buffer zone. The chosen trees are outside of parks and protected areas … including Engelmann spruce in the North Okanagan, coastal Douglas fir in the Capital Regional District and Greater Vancouver, western red cedar and sitka spruce in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and interior Douglas fir in the Cariboo, Columbia-Shuswap and Thompson-Nicola Regional Districts. The list includes three Pacific yew trees in Greater Vancouver and 14 sitka spruce in the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District. …Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said the initial preservation is the start of a larger program to preserve old-growth forests… The 54 trees were selected from the University of B.C.’s big tree registry… Donaldson has appointed Gary Merkel, a … member of the Tahltan Nation, and Al Gorley… to tour the province and make recommendations to the minister next spring.

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Caribou debate in Revelstoke makes international headlines

By Liam Harrap
Revelstoke Times Review
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The caribou debate has crossed an ocean. The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, recently posted an article exploring the thread between caribou and Revelstoke’s economy. “At stake: three herds of caribou. Or, potentially, the entire town,” notes the article. The three herds of concern are the Columbia North, Columbia South, and Frisby-Boulder-Queest. To sum up, the article asks Revelstoke residents how much they are expected and willing to sacrifice to save an endangered species. According to provincial figures, southern mountain herds have declined from 2,500 in the mid-1990s to 1,200 today.

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District receives $1 million to reduce wildfire danger

BC Local News
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Removing material along the Buck Flats Road to reduce the chances of a wildfire threat against the community is going to take place thanks to a $1 million grant received by the District of Houston. The project is to be managed by Protech Forest Services and it will also provide consulting services over the course of the project. “The current timeline projects a completion date in 2020, although this is subject to several conditions being met,” said District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck. …The project money came from a financial boost provided by the province to the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. and Houston’s application was one of 40 wildfire risk reduction projects to divide $19 million. Thirty-six of the 40 approved projects are for fuel management projects that will directly reduce wildfire risk within two kilometres of a community.

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Fort Nelson mayor ‘dancing on the ceiling’ after getting province’s largest community forest

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gary Foster

The mayor of Fort Nelson said he’s “dancing on the ceiling” following a pair of forestry announcements made Tuesday. First, the province’s deputy chief forester revealed the region’s annual allowable cut is being increased. …Then came news the province is converting 191,000 hectares of Crown land into B.C.’s largest community forest to be jointly managed by the Fort Nelson First Nation and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. …The deal comes after years of lobbying from local government leaders for more control over regional forests. …”The rest of the province has been challenged with a loss of fibre for the forest industry,” he said. “We have an abundance of fibre and we’re expecting that we’ll attract a lot of industry to our area and with it.”

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Canadian Forest Products 2018/2019 Initial SFI Certification Audit

By KPMG Performance Registrar Inc.
Canfor.com
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Between October 16, 2018 and March 1, 2019 an audit team from KPMG Performance Registrar carried out a SFI certification audit of Canadian Forest Products’ B.C. and Alberta woodlands operations and fibre procurement activities, assessing them against the 2015-2019 Sustainable Forestry Initiative®  Forest Management and Fibre Sourcing standards. …The audit found that Canfor’s sustainable forest management system and fibre sourcing program: were in full conformance with the requirements of the SFI 2015-2019 forest management and fibre sourcing standards included within the scope of the audit, except where noted otherwise in this report; have been effectively implemented, and; are sufficient to systematically meet the commitments included within the organization’s environmental and SFM policies. …As a result, a decision has been reached by the lead auditor to recommend that Canfor be certified to the SFI 2015-2019 forest management and fibre sourcing standards.

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Fort Nelson community forest approved, annual cut increased

By Matt Preprost
Alaska Highway News
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province has announced its approval of the Fort Nelson community forest, and has added nearly one million cubic metres of timber to the region’s annual cut. The community forest, which will be managed jointly between the Northern Rockies municipality and the Fort Nelson First Nation, allows for annual cut of 217,650 cubic metres per year. It is B.C.’s largest community forest, and long considered a key part of rebooting the region’s forestry sector, according to the ministry of forests. …It’s estimated community forests create one full-time job for every 3,000 cubic metres of wood harvested, with average total sales of $2.3 million in communities with 3,000 people or less.  Also on Tuesday, the province announced that the annual cut for the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area has been increased to 2.58 million cubic metres. That’s a 59% increase from the 1.62 million cubic metres that sat unchanged since 2006.

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Board to audit forest licence in Houston area

BC Forest Practices Board
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of Northern Engineered Wood Products on non-renewable forest licence A85566 in the Nadina Natural Resource District during the week of July 23, 2019. Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning, carried out by Northern Engineered Wood Products between July 1, 2017, and July 25, 2019, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The forest licence is located in the Morice Timber Supply Area, which includes the communities of Houston, Topley and Granisle. The area provides a wide range of natural resource benefits, such as forest products, minerals, grazing, recreation and tourism amenities, as well as fish and wildlife habitat.

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Fort Nelson poised for benefits from B.C.’s largest community forest

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of BC
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents and area communities that have long fought to revive Fort Nelson’s forest sector are starting to realize the benefit of their efforts with the approval of the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement, in partnership with the British Columbia government. …The agreement has an allowable annual cut of 217,650 cubic metres per year from 191,571 hectares of Crown land, including a BC Timber Sales volume reservation of 32,650 cubic metres annually. …The applicants submitted a management plan for approval that includes stand-level retention targets of 8.9% for wildlife tree retention areas, ungulate winter ranges and consideration of possible future impacts to the timber-harvesting land base for boreal caribou management. Old growth retention targets will be a minimum of 37% in the Northern Boreal Mountains and 17% in the Boreal Plains.

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New cut level set for Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
The Government of BC
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective July 16, 2019, the new allowable annual cut (AAC) for the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area is 2,582,350 cubic metres, announced Shane Berg, deputy chief forester. The new AAC is a 59% increase from the previous allowable annual cut of 1,625,000 cubic metres set in 2006 and includes partitions to encourage an expansion of forestry opportunities in the northwest portion of the TSA and promote a return to harvesting the deciduous timber profile. “The Fort Nelson TSA contains a vast area of mature deciduous stands,” said Berg. “I am confident that my decision will encourage forestry opportunities for First Nations and other operators, while maintaining responsible management of biodiversity objectives.” …Wildlife in the TSA, including boreal caribou, northern caribou and Stone’s sheep, are protected by ungulate winter ranges and wildlife habitat areas. 

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Wolves not to blame for declining deer populations, says researcher

By David Gordon Koch
Campbell River Mirror
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A recent wolf sighting in Campbell River raised questions about the animal’s conservation status on Vancouver Island, and whether wolves are responsible for reduced numbers of animals including deer and marmots. Chris Darimont, a leading wolf expert and Raincoast Research Chair at the University of Victoria, says there’s no immediate threat to wolf populations on Vancouver Island, and forestry practices, not wolf populations, are to blame for a decline in animals such as deer. “They’re a convenient scapegoat,” Darimont said in an interview. “But decades of research… reveal very little evidence that wolves cause declines in prey populations.” …“The demise of marmots and the decline in deer share a common cause, and that is whole-scale conversion of ancient forests into a series of logging roads and tree plantations,” he said. “We should be reconsidering how forests are managed.”

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First Nations, environmentalists, mill workers push province to overhaul forestry rules

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province is taking the next step in overhauling an act that manages B.C.’s trees, wildlife, helps slow climate change, and supports reconciliation with First Nations. …stakeholders hope it will be updated in a way that will not only make forestry more sustainable in B.C. but maintain and even increase industry jobs in the province. …The B.C. NDP campaigned on reforming the forestry sector in 2017 by consulting more with First Nations and managing the province’s wild spaces so that ecosystems are preserved while maintaining logging jobs in the province. …”We can no longer apply yesterday’s thinking to today’s challenges,” said Doug Donaldson as part of a public engagement process. …FRPA was introduced in 2004 by the Liberal government and some people criticized it for reducing the power the province had to monitor and manage forestry operations.

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Stakeholders to discuss opportunities, challenges of resource supply chain

Northern Ontario Business
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario — Industry stakeholders will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the resource and manufacturing supply chain during a July 26 panel discussion hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. “Resources are key to Canada’s prosperity today and tomorrow. As part of the resource and manufacturing supply chain… their impact is felt in every community across Canada,” said chamber president Don Mitchell. “The connection between the resource-energy-manufacturing supply chain is a significant economic driver and job creator of the future.” The event will include Sault Ste. Marie investment updates from Tenaris Algoma Tubes and Noront Resources as well as a panel discussion with national industry association leaders who will discuss Canada’s resource sectors in the context of national and global contributions.

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A trillion trees – Medway forest co-op manager not scared by the ‘afforestation’ numbers in report

By Lawrence Powell
Amherst News
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MAITLAND BRIDGE, N.S. — …when the journal ‘Science’ came out with a report about how many trees could be planted around the globe to bring down carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 25 per cent, the numbers didn’t scare Mary Jane Rodger. …The report from ‘Science’ shows where those trees can be planted and how many are needed. “The report is positive, creating future forests is a step in the right direction, but can’t be our only solution in the fight against climate change,” said Rodger, general manager of the Medway Community Forest Co-op where they’ve already planted almost 100,000 trees in areas on Highway 8 in Annapolis County. …Rodger said … ordinary people can get involved. “Get their hands on a few trees and plant in their own backyard,” she said. “If every homeowner in Canada did this, we’d already make a huge impact.”

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Why Halifax is cataloguing up to 30,000 trees on the peninsula

By Frances Willick
CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Halifax Regional Municipality is planning to create an inventory of almost every tree on municipal property in peninsular Halifax. The municipality issued a tender last week for a company to collect data on each tree’s global positioning system (GPS) location, species and trunk diameter. While the project may seem daunting to industry outsiders, Crispin Wood, the municipality’s superintendent of urban forestry, doesn’t characterize it that way… “We decided to start small,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a huge amount of labour.” The inventory will include all trees that were intentionally planted, but will not include trees in naturalized areas. Wood estimates there are 20,000 to 30,000 trees on the peninsula that will be eligible for inclusion in the inventory. The data will be used to improve budget planning for pruning, removal and replanting, as well as to help monitor and prevent the spread of invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer.

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Feds announce funding for youth employment program in forestry sector

By Michael Charlebois
The Thunder Bay News Watch
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY –  Zac Wagman had a dream of biking across Canada, he just needed a purpose. This summer, that purpose came in the form of an opportunity for young Canadians as a part of Project Learning Tree Canada and the Green Jobs program. …On Friday, the federal government announced $4.4 million in funding for the Project Learning Tree Canada. …Wagman, biking with his brother Nick, made a stop at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay on Friday, where they were greeted by Minister Patty Hajdu to announce the investment, which will support more than 500 local and Canadian youth, particularly those facing barriers. …The investment is part of the Youth Employment Strategy launched by the Liberal government in June. …Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of Project Learning Tree Canada, says the funding provides opportunities for over 100 employers throughout the country to provide employment opportunities.

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Scientist ‘shocked’ by results of strategy to halt spruce budworm infestation

CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A fresh approach to controlling the infestation of spruce budworm in New Brunswick forests has surpassed expectations and minimized the effect of the devastating insect, according to the project’s lead scientist. An early intervention strategy focused on proactive detection and targeted spraying was adopted in 2014, as officials feared a growing infestation in Quebec would cross the border. Dr. David MacLean, emeritus professor of forest ecology at the University of New Brunswick, and the project lead, said the results are “extremely promising.” The spruce budworm population across New Brunswick fell by more than 90 per cent in 2018. That year, 220,000 hectares were treated with biological insecticide. In 2019, only 10,000 will be treated, MacLean said. …With an analysis still ongoing, MacLean speculated the reason for the massive drop in numbers is a mix of spraying, climatic influences and natural enemies.

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Announcing the Smallholder Access Program, an Innovative Approach to Responsible Forest Certification

The Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance
WebWire
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and a consortium of… forestry corporations announce the launch of the Smallholder Access Program. …The program is a two-year FSC pilot project designed to increase access to forest certification for woodland owners under 250 acres. The SAP will be available to landowners across Southern and Central Appalachia, encompassing parts of Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. In its pilot phase, the SAP will be limited to a total enrollment of 7,400 acres. …Pending the success of the Smallholder Access Program, the principles behind the approach may be applied in other locations in the US and around the globe, with the intention of making FSC certification more available and relevant to smallholders in other regions.

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Endangered Deference

By Holly Doremus, University of California, Berkeley
The Regulatory Review
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

In Weyerhaeuser v. US Fish and Wildlife Service, a unanimous Supreme Court indicated that it is not inclined to defer to agency expertise. …The Weyerhaeuser decision is likely to complicate future implementation of at least the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and may further entrench the power of cost-benefit analysis in other areas of regulation too. …In identifying critical habitat, the Service must “take into consideration” the economic and other impacts of designation. …Critical habitat has limited direct impact on private land. …Nonetheless, designation is fiercely resisted, and it can reduce a property’s market value. …The Court… decision will add unnecessary administrative costs, as the Service elaborates on its explanations and lower courts review more intrusively. …But, if the Service and the lower courts do their jobs faithfully, it will in the end not alter many conservation decisions.

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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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Second summer sawfly outbreak browns hemlock trees around Southeast Alaska

By Joe Viechnicki
KFSK Community Radio Alaska
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service in Southeast Alaska is recording more wide-spread tree damage from a bug called a hemlock sawfly on the Tongass National Forest. For the second summer, these native, defoliating insects are leaving behind reddish brown tree tops, this year stretching from Prince of Wales Island to Juneau. From afar, the most visible damage to hemlock trees is the brown needles, especially toward the top. But up close, there’s another widespread sign that sawflies are eating and digesting hemlock needles. …[The poop, called frass] looks like light brown dirt and in places it’s covering everything in the forest. …Some of the hemlock trees under attack are also being eaten by another insect, the western black-headed budworm. When both are eating needles, that can kill a tree. Surveying has turned up some budworm, but not a lot. Most of the damage this year can be blamed on the sawfly.

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Study: Climate Change a Leading Driver of California’s Wildfires

By Kevin Stark
KQED Science
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California is heating up. That heat is driving an increase in the land burned by California wildfires every year as the arid weather dries out forests along the North Coast and Sierra Nevada, according to new research. …Summer forest fires are pushing up the annual burn rates across the state, according to Park Williams, the study’s lead author. “We’ve seen a five-fold increase in areas of California that burn in any given year,” said Williams. “But just in the summer forest fire areas, we have seen an eight-fold increase.” …Disentangling all the wildfire drivers is complicated, but Williams calls climate change “decisive.” …Jon E. Keeley, a fire scientist with the US Geological Survey, said he agrees that rising temperatures are drying out forests… But he disagrees with… the role that climate change plays in coastal and Southern California. 

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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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John Deere Announces New Registered Apprenticeship Program

John Deere
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MOLINE, Ill. — John Deere has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor for its new Registered Apprenticeship Program and is making it available to its Agriculture & Turf and Construction & Forestry dealers. The program will help address a widespread shortage of service technicians, especially in rural areas across the country, by providing dealers with a formalized, on-the-job and technical training plan to help them develop more highly skilled employees. “The new Registered Apprenticeship Program complements our existing John Deere TECH program,” said Grant Suhre, director, region 4 customer and product support for John Deere Ag & Turf. “In addition to the on-the-job training experience, an apprentice will receive technical instruction and be assigned a personal mentor as a part of the highly organized training structure. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, they will receive a nationally-recognized Journeyworker certificate.”

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Pest-killing wasps to come to the aid of Maine forests

Associated Press in the Bangor Daily News
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MADAWASKA, Maine — The Maine Forest Service is going to deploy wasps to help beat back an invasive pest species that can do damage to trees in the state. The service says the tiny, non-stinging wasps will be released on Thursday to help control the emerald ash borer infestation in the state. It says the wasps feed in or on the borers by attacking their larvae under the bark of trees and parasitizing eggs on the surface of bark. The wasps will be released in Aroostook County in far northern Maine. The forest service says three species of wasps are being used in the pest control effort. The borer was located in Aroostook and York counties, at opposite ends of the very forested state, in 2018.

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Florida teachers participate in 2019 Forestry Tour

By Julie Kanner
The Florida Times-Union
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Last month 40 teachers from across the state traveled to Fernandina Beach to participate in the 2019 Florida Forestry Teacher’s Tour. For four days the teachers had the opportunity to study Florida’s forest industry and its role in everyday life. The tour took the educators to various locations throughout Northeast Florida such as Jennings State Forest where they saw a prescribed fire demonstration. They also visited a small tree farm… went to West Fraser Saw Mill… had the opportunity to visit the Rayonier Forest Resources property and the WestRock papermill. …These annual tours are made possible by members of the forest industry, including Rayonier, WestRock, landowners, private citizens, the Florida Forest Service and others, and through their sponsorships. 

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Eastern Hemlock trees are all but gone. This farmer/professor is doing something about it—with his students

By Tessa Venell
Brandeis Now
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Brian Donohue

As the climate warms, New England forest species face increasing threats of changing temperature, precipitation and invasive threats. Associate professor of American environmental studies Brian Donahue and his students are working to keep Massachusetts forests from losing some species that forests farther south have already lost. Donahue and the undergraduates who are participating in his research are mapping hemlocks in the forests in Concord, Lincoln, and Weston to help local conservation commissions decide how to manage these threatened trees. Hemlocks in Massachusetts are under threat because of a sap-sucking insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid, which has already devastated hemlocks from North Carolina to Connecticut.

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Support for our forest products industry

Letter by Mike Leonard, Consulting forester, North Quabbin Forestry
Greenfield Recorder
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Mike Leonard

Your editorial against the use of clean renewable biomass represents a minority view across the state. Thousands of homeowners, businesses, schools, and even hospitals utilize wood energy in the form of firewood, wood pellets, and wood chips. I have a BS degree in forestry from UMass and over 30 years’ experience practicing forestry. My son and I help landowners protect and manage thousands of acres across the state. We’re creating jobs, improving forest land, producing many different forest products we all use, and providing a source of clean locally produced real renewable energy. But forests in our state are in serious trouble due to a variety of insect, disease, and other agents. Tree mortality has greatly increased and millions of tons of timber are dying every year. The only way we can help restore the health and productivity of our forests is to support more markets for low grade timber and that means biomass.

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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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NSW remaps old-growth forests to open up reserves to logging

By Lisa Cox
The Guardian
July 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The New South Wales government is considering reclassifying old-growth forest to open up some protected reserves in the state’s north-east to the timber industry. The Natural Resources Commission of NSW has been asked to remap and rezone old-growth forest in state forest informal reserves that were previously off limits to logging. Environment groups are concerned the move is an attempt to unpick forest protections that have been in place for decades. An NRC pilot study has already examined 13 sites in the north-east. In findings published last year, the NRC said it had identified “significant errors” in old-growth forests maps. It drew up new maps that reduced the extent of protected old-growth in those areas by 78%. It is now embarking on a larger remapping exercise that would aim to rezone 14,600 hectares of old-growth. A draft assessment will be published for public comment next month.

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Native bears and wolves to live side by side in Britain for the first time in 1,000 years

By Emma Smith
The Independent
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Native bears and wolves will live side by side for the first time in more than 1,000 years in a patch of ancient British woodland. European brown bears, which are thought to have disappeared in the Middle Ages, will roam beside grey wolves, the last of which were hunted to extinction in the 17th century, in a wood near Bristol. The project, called Bear Wood, will give visitors the chance to see how these animals would have coexisted in the woodland that used to cover much of Britain. Today only 13 per cent of the UK’s total land area is covered in woodland and only 2 per cent is covered by ancient woodland, which has existed continuously since 1600 or before. Across the EU, an average of 35 per cent of land is covered in woodland. Two Eurasian lynx and two wolverines will also live beside the bears and wolves in Bear Wood.

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