Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Forestry

Forestry

Northwest Territories gov’t pushes proposed Forest Act until after election, expedites Protected Areas Act

CBC News
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The Northwest Territories’ oft-criticized Forest Act will not be passed during the life of the current Legislative Assembly, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Robert C. McLeod announced in a news release Thursday afternoon. The proposed act, which is an amendment and combination of two existing acts — the Forest Management Act and the Forest Protection Act — requires ‘”substantial changes,” according to the release, and will re-introduced in the 19th Legislative Assembly, following a scheduled October election. The act has come under fire in recent months from Indigenous leadership, who have decried a lack of consultation as it was drafted. …According to the government’s website, the new act will include management of non-timber forest products, like biomass, requirements on industry to make fire prevention plans, and the recognition and affirmation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

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First Nations carver laments loss of western red cedars

By Bridgette Watson
CBC News
May 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Dave Robinson

If the day were to come when western red cedar no longer existed, it would be “detrimental” to First Nations people, says Timiskaming First Nation carver Dave Robinson. Some of the trees, which are commonly found in coastal B.C. and the Canadian Rockies, are struggling to survive after repeated periods of drought. Experts say they could vanish entirely from areas with shallow, dry, rocky soil if current climate patterns continue. Robinson is a resident carver at the University of British Columbia and is currently working on a thesis project that includes a western red cedar sculpture. He spoke with CBC’s The Early Edition host Stephen Quinn about the integral role the tree plays in Indigenous culture and how that culture would adapt if the trees disappear forever.

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Blueberry River First Nation back in court to fight B.C. over forestry, oil and gas impact

By Shawn McCarthy
The Globe and Mail
May 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Blueberry River First Nation is going back to court Monday to challenge the constitutionality of British Columbia management of natural resources, arguing that the approval of a significant amount of forestry, natural gas and other industrial activity has violated their treaty rights. The Blueberry River nation – which includes 505 people – says it is facing an environmental crisis on its traditional land, and accuses the NDP government of caving to oil and gas producers in the prolific Montney region that opposed a negotiated resolution. The first nation launched a challenge in 2015 but suspended it last fall in order to negotiate with the province on an agreement that would address cumulative impacts from the intensive forestry and oil and gas development in their territory in northeastern B.C.

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Conversations That Matter: Falling in love with Mother Nature

By Stu McNish
Vancouver Sun
May 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Falling in love with the majesty of Mother Nature early in life is a proven way of instilling a passion for protecting the environment. The best way to do that is to provide an immersive experience such as taking the class out into the forest. The challenges to doing so are often too many to overcome. The next best solution is to provide teachers with online resources that are exciting and intriguing. Curriculum-based materials that offer a foundation of nature literacy designed to enhance critical thinking skills that promote thoughtful decision making are crucial. …We invited Simon Jackson of Nature Labs to join us for a Conversation That Matters about the project that he and Jill Cooper designed to change students’ relationship with nature.

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Elk Valley loggers compliant: Managed Forest Council

By Kimberley Vlasic
Fernie Free Press
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The independent provincial agency that monitors private land logging in B.C. has found no evidence of recent non-compliance in the Elk Valley. Over the past year, the Managed Forest Council (MFC) has responded to two complaints related to possible compliance issues in the Valley, one eighth of which is in private hands. In a statement to The Free Press, the MFC said the first complaint was within a managed forest inspected last year as part of its annual inspection program. “The second complaint included a site visit to various locations within a managed forest where the stakeholder had expressed a concern about riparian retention and reforestation,” said the MFC. “No evidence was collected from either the inspection or site visit that a non-compliant forest management activity contrary to Council regulation had occurred.”

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Canada North Resources Expo starts today

By Frank Peebles
The Prince George Citizen
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The machines are huge, and the economic impacts even bigger. Whether you’re amazed by the enormous wheels, massive engines, or innovative capabilities of heavy equipment, or if you find forestry and mining and construction interesting, there will be plenty of stimulation today and Saturday at the Canada North Resources Expo in Prince George. “Northern Canada’s major sectors will be on display, including forestry, heavy construction, infrastructure development and more,” said expo organizers. …Built into the event is the 2019 Interior Safety Conference on today. “This year’s theme is Safety Responsibilities – Everyone’s Role and the conference will include topics which include managing fatigue, marijuana in the workplace, human factors and workplace injury prevention using physiotherapy. The conference will provide practical information and tools for workers, supervisors, and managers,” said organizers in a written statement.

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Sunshine Coast Community Forest business as usual?

By Ross Muirhead, Elphinstone Logging Focus
Sunshine Coast Reporter
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Under the former District of Sechelt council, a public review process on how the Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) engages with the surrounding community was undertaken between July and September 2018. This was triggered in part by ELF’s legal challenge of how the Chanterelle Forest (Wilson Creek area) was approved for logging with little to no public participation, including no advertisement in the local paper of this plan, no walk-in-the woods so the SCCF operations manager could explain to those who used the forest prior to the SCCF plan on how logging might respect existing values, and no vetting through a public advisory committee.

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B.C. ministry clears up confusion on private land logging regulations

BC Local News
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Private land logging has been a hot topic in the Elk Valley as forestry companies move into more visible areas and clearcuts impact trails, and sight lines. However, unless you’re in the forestry industry, you may be a little confused about the difference between timber harvest on private land and private managed forest land. According to the Ministry of Forests…, there is a clear distinction between the legislation, regulations, bylaws and oversight that apply to timber harvest on private land and those on private managed forest land (a property class assigned by the BC Assessment Authority). Awareness of a specific property’s class is integral to the context for how forestry activities on the property may be regulated, explained a spokeswoman. She said, “for private land, local governments have the power to adopt bylaws that place restrictions on forest management activities within regional or municipal boundaries, including aligning their bylaws with requirements equivalent to Crown forest land regulations”.

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Historical AAC level vs. harvest gives hope

By Blair McBride
BC Local News
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Historical utilization of available timber shows that there is room for optimism despite the expected drop in the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC). The provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) is currently accepting public input as it determines the new Lakes Timber Supply Area (TSA) AAC. Its level is now at 1.6 million cubic metres. Many residents of the Burns Lake area are worried that a reduced AAC will affect forestry activities and cost jobs. However, the Lakes Timber Supply Area Timber Supply Analysis Discussion Paper shows…since 1999… the amount harvested was lower – at times well below – the AAC. The effect of a reduced AAC would have been greater if the forestry industry had been regularly using up all of its allotted timber. That forestry pattern is not uncommon, as Phil Burton, Professor of Ecosystem Science and Management University of Northern British Columbia told Lakes District News.

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Three Interior universities working to improve natural disaster management

By Shelby Thevenot
InfoTel News
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Three B.C. universities are researching how to address natural disasters in the age of climate change. Faculty and students at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, UBC Okanagan in Kelowna and University of Northern B.C. in Prince George are collaborating on three projects. …UNBC professor Stephen Déry… examine changes in climate and hydrology across key watersheds in the Fraser and Upper Columbia river basins. …UBCO professor Adam Wei is working with Déry and TRU’s Tom Pypker to examine the long-term effect disturbances like wildfires, mountain pine beetle infestation, timber harvesting and climate change impacts have on the hydrological systems of forests. …The results from Wei’s research is meant to… will help B.C. manage forest disturbances and reduce or minimize severe flood and landslide threats. A final project will examine how wildfires and climate change have increased the risk of landslides in B.C.

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Will Tradition work in the Transition?

Coastal Silviculture Committee
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The CSC is an ad hoc organization of forest professionals whose prime objective is to disseminate current technical forest management and silvicultural information to all forest practitioners and the public in coastal British Columbia. Join us June 18-19th in Pemberton, BC! Exploring challenges and new approaches in a rapidly changing coastal climate – The Coastal Transition Zone (CTZ) – CONTINUED! Two exciting days of field tours are in the works in the Pemberton area. We hope you’ll join us to learn more about silviculture management in a unique part of the coastal region. Speakers include Katherine Lawrence, RPF; Darius Bucher, RPF; Norm Caldicott, RPF Retired; and Lorraine McLaughlin, RPF.

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As the son of a logger learns, ‘farming’ is a loaded term on Haida Gwaii

By Aaron Williams
The National Post
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Penguin Random House Canada and Westwood Creative Artists… offers one graduate from the University of King’s College-Dalhousie University MFA in Creative Nonfiction the chance to win $2,500, a meeting with an editor and an agent. Read excerpts from this year’s nominees, including this piece by Aaron Williams, on the battle over the old growth forests of Haida Gwaii. Long before reaching Evan, I see signs of his work. Logs stacked roadside in piles of varying size. If you’re not used to this sight, and I’m not, it has the look of a morgue. I crest a hill and see an orange Hitachi “hoe-chucker,” a machine that looks like an excavator but is used for moving logs. Evan calls me on the radio, and I tell him I’ll be up to see him in a minute. The hoe chucker is throne-like in appearance, angular and with hard edges.

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Locals react to forest spraying

By Arthur Tanga
The Rocky Mountain Goat
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some locals are calling into question the widespread use of a notorious herbicide known as glyphosate to manage unwanted tree species in local forests. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in many pesticides, including RoundUp™. Firefighter and educator Jared Smith studied geography and environmental science in school, to him, removing aspen stands to create better growing conditions for conifers, like pine trees, doesn’t make sense. …Smith said that the sap in deciduous trees rises at the same time as peak fire season and provide an effective fire defence that firefighters can use to their advantage. …Andrew Patrick, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change said that forest companies aren’t required to use pesticides, but are allowed to when they conform to the standards of integrated pest management.

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Forestry professor provides tips to North Cowichan on engaging public on forest reserve future

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stephen Sheppard

A lot can be accomplished in seven months, Dr. Stephen Sheppard, a professor of forest resources management at UBC, told North Cowichan’s council on May 15. Sheppard was responding to a question from Mayor Al Siebring asking if between now and Dec. 31 is enough time for meaningful public engagement on the future of the municipality’s 5,000-acre municipal forest reserve. Sheppard was asked by council to organize a presentation on his work with other communities in developing sustainable forest management plans with full public engagement in the process, and present it at the council meeting. “I’m not sure if seven months is enough time to resolve all the issues involved, but it is enough time for a coherent process to get going to achieve some results regarding decision making [in the reserve],” he said.

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Canada Invests in Indigenous Participation in the Forest Sector

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Indigenous communities have the innovation and drive to unlock new jobs in the forestry sector while protecting the environment. That is why Canada is investing in projects to equip Indigenous communities with the tools to build businesses while helping to tackle climate change and mitigate its impacts on the forest sector. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced investments of more than $2.1 million in three forestry projects in Alberta. These investments are: $1.5 million for Kapawe’no First Nation in Narrows Point near Grouard to design and install a renewable and eco-friendly heating system; $500,000 to The Rockies Institute in Canmore, allowing it to collaborate with Indigenous communities to bring together the best available Indigenous and scientific knowledge on fire management; $110,000 for Nu Ch’anie Society in Cold Lake to pursue business development activities in various emerging market opportunities in the forest sector with the goal of creating revenue and employment.

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Student Scholarship available from Forest Friendly Communities

Forest Friendly Communities
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry Friendly Communities is committed to celebrating the proud history and rich future of British Columbia’s forest sector. With forestry generating 1 out of every 17 jobs in the province, the training and education of forestry workers is essential to the industry’s future. In 2019, Forestry Friendly Communities will award three Education & Training Scholarships of up to $1,500 each to British Columbians pursuing forestry-related post-secondary education or technical training in BC. This includes forestry-specific training, as well as trades training leading to a job within the forest industry. Funding for the Education & Training scholarship was made possible through a program called Toques for Tuition. Forestry workers, their families, and others purchased $25 Forestry Proud toques from Forestry Friendly Communities, with 100% of proceeds directed to the scholarship fund.

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Taking Social Licence to the Next Level

By Lisa Marak
Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations
May 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Social Licence for Crown forests is becoming increasingly challenging today with more public demands on the same piece of land – recreation, visual beauty, cultural heritage, wildlife, range, water and trees for timber. As stated by John Horgan in his April 4th Vancouver Sun Op-ed piece, “Forestry is a foundational industry”… “Communities large and small, rural and urban, depend on a strong and sustainable forest sector.” So sustainably managed forests (areas managed for timber along with the other forest values) are part of the mix when considering social licence for forest that is earmarked as part of the timber harvest land base. Balancing all sides of social- environ-economic interests will be critical to the success of Horgan’s vision. BC’s Crown Woodlot Licences are a unique, long-term forest tenure well suited to social licence… They are licensed to locals who live in the community, First Nations, educational societies and communities. 

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It’s Forests Forever Grand-Opening Weekend

By Kyle Christensen
My Cowichan Valley Now
May 18, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a grand opening, two years in the making as this weekend marks the beginning of a new era at the BC Forest Discovery Centre. The Forests Forever exhibit is open and people will have a chance to explore innovations in the forest industry and the exhibit includes a tree nursery, a chance to check out Lidar technology, and some of the products that come from wood. BC Forest Discovery Centre General Manager Chris Gale said this unveiling wouldn’t be possible without a tonne of local support. “We’ve had a tonne of people helping us, a tonne of groups helping us and it’s looking really good,” said Gale. “Our new catchphrase is “A new season and a brand new experience,” we’re expecting probably 75,000 people to come through (this year) and this weekend is a huge deal.”

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McKenna warns BC over caribou recovery deal

By Wendy Stueck
The Globe and Mail
May 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catherine McKenna

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has put the B.C. government on notice over its draft caribou recovery agreements, reminding the province that she could issue an emergency order if those agreements don’t proceed ”in a timely way.” The warning, contained in letter to the province and two B.C. First Nations …comes after BC extended a consultation process after public backlash over draft agreements unveiled in March. The two agreements… are both focused on southern mountain caribou, which were listed as a threatened wildlife species federally in 2003. Ms. McKenna triggered planning for both agreements … when she determined that southern mountain caribou were facing “imminent threats to their recovery” − opening the door to an emergency order under the federal Species at Risk Act. …After the draft documents were posted, area residents raised concerns about potential impacts on local forestry and mill jobs. Town-hall meetings about the plans drew hundreds of people. [The full story is only available to Globe and Mail Subscribers]

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Mountain pine beetle mortality has increased but we won’t know by how much until the summer

By Edward Moore
Edson Leader
May 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

First the good news, aerial surveys indicate that mortality levels for the mountain pine beetle have increased due to the colder than average winter. Now the bad news, we won’t really know the impact on beetle numbers until mortality surveys are done later this spring. That’s the word from Carrie Sancartier, assistant communications director for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “Over-winter mortality surveys begin in mid-May and will be complete by mid-June,” said Sancartier. Aerial surveys indicate that beetle mortality has increased in the Edson, Whitecourt, Rocky Mountain House and Calgary forest areas.

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Red cedars dying in Prince Rupert from drought

By Jenna Cocullo
The Northern View
May 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

During the golden hour when the sun is about to set over the mountains of Prince Rupert, the yellowish-gold outlines of trees can be seen on the horizon. About half of those trees are red cedar. Inside them nest bats, owls, and other birds who use their cavities as shelter. But the trees closer to the edge of the highway, exposed to the city’s boundaries, are not so beautiful. They are slowly dying from the top-down, turning a yellowish-brown that will remain there until the drought season ends. “With drought, comes a lot of stress on the trees,” said Amanita Coosemans, a plant ecologist in Terrace.  The red cedar tree, adopted as the official tree of British Columbia on February 18, 1988, thrive best in wet environments and are now decaying from the current drought season. Although Prince Rupert is one of the rainiest cities in Canada, the current amount of rain in the city is still not enough to keep them alive.

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Burned Falkland forest on the mend

Summerland Reveiw
May 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A greener future has been planted on the charred hillside in Falkland.  The large area near Falkland on Highway 97C, previously burned in a wildfire 14 years ago, was the focus of a local Natural Resource District staff and Tolko Industries Ltd. project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. for forest rehabilitation and to improve the area for mule deer winter range.  “The Cedar Hills fire of 2005 in the Okanagan Shuswap Forest District burned approximately 1,200 hectares of forest land,” said Dave Conly, Operations Manager for FESBC. “Of the land affected by the fire, 830 hectares was salvage logged and reforested by Tolko Industries Ltd., BC Timber Sales, and local woodlot holders. There remained a significant area of land untreated, and until now, was severely degraded due to the intensity of the fire.”

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Mapping out forest projects in B.C.

By Sean Brady
Kamloops This Week
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An agency established to provide funding for projects that enhance the province’s forests has mapped out all of the ways it has distributed government money. The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. funds projects that reduce or avoid carbon emissions, fertilize trees or plant trees in areas that otherwise wouldn’t be reforested. A recent undertaking by the society is a map locating many of the projects funded, available online at fesbc.ca. A local example of FESBC funding being put to use is a project created to avoid carbon emissions at the Domtar pulp mill. Arrow Transportation received funding to retrieve and deliver woodfibre, that otherwise would have been burned, to the Kamloops facility, FESBC executive director Steve Kozuki said. Another nearby is in Logan Lake, where the Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation is using funds to reduce wildfire risk in the community to rehabilitating an area of dead trees.

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First Nations logger says conservation officers are eliminating his market instead of laying charges

By Nic Meloney
CBC News
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW BRUNSWICK — A Wolastoqew (Maliseet) logger who’s harvesting lumber from Crown land outside of provincial regulations says an investigation by conservation officers is violating his treaty right to earn a moderate livelihood. Patrick Paul, 30, from St. Mary’s First Nation near Fredericton, N.B., has been running a wholesale firewood operation for three years. …Paul said he’s part of a group of 16 other First Nations entrepreneurs running similar operations. …”It’s unceded territory,” Paul said. “The Crown calls it Crown land, but I call it [First Nations] land.” …Paul said he believes that the officers are choosing to eliminate the First Nations loggers’ market by targeting their clients, instead of charging the loggers with illegal harvesting which would allow them to use their treaty rights as a defence.

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‘Stop the Chop’ – Extinction Rebellion on standby to halt Corbett Lake Crown forest harvest

By Lawrence Powell
Cape Breton Post
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S. — When members of Extinction Rebellion … were informing people about the province’s plans to harvest an old growth forest on the South Mountain near Bridgetown. XR members oppose the cut that would be performed by WestFor, and if it comes down to it, they’ll block the harvest. They’re on standby as of May 19. “It wasn’t really a protest, it was more to inform people about Corbett Lake and join us in opposing the cut,” organizer Nina Newington said of the Sunday event where more than a dozen people took part. …If they get word that harvesting has resumed, XR members and supporters will head to the location. “We have a couple of people who live near there who will alert us of any action happening, and then we have a phone tree,” Newington said, noting those who can will get out to the 80-hectare site right away.

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Invasive Species Centre gets whack of cash from Ontario government

The Soo Today
May 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ross Romano & Deborah Sparks

The Invasive Species Centre (ISC) is receiving $850,000 from the Ontario government for research and management of invasive species throughout the province. “We want to protect what matters most in this province, and one of those things that matters the absolute most is our environment and our natural resources, and they are under attack, many times, by invasive species,” Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano. …According to its annual fiscal report, ISC had more than $1.5 million in expenditures for the 2018 fiscal year. …The Invasive Species Centre, based out of Sault Ste. Marie, brings together government, academic, industry and Indigenous communities and organizations to conduct invasive species research, response planning, management and habitat restoration.

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To save the species, conservationists work to build a tougher butternut tree

By Andrew Lupton
CBC News
May 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

John Enright

Conservationists in southwestern Ontario are working to fight back against an insidious, tree-killing canker that threatens butternut trees across Eastern Canada. Never an overly abundant species, butternuts are revered by woodworkers and were an important food source for Indigenous people. But a canker first found in Wisconsin in 1967 had, by the early 1990s, taken root in Ontario. Butternuts are found throughout Ontario and as far east as New Brunswick. John Enright is a forester with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA). He’s also a big fan of the butternut tree. One reason? He believes the nuts they drop in the fall exceed walnuts when it comes to flavour. “I know most people haven’t had a chance to eat a butternut but if you ever do get one, they are excellent, much better and sweeter than walnuts,” he said.

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Can a hands-on model help forest stakeholders fight tree disease?

By North Carolina State University
EurekAlert
May 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

When a new, more aggressive strain of the pathogen that causes sudden oak death turned up in Oregon, scientists and stakeholders banded together to try to protect susceptible trees and the region’s valuable timber industry. Sudden oak death is a serious threat. Since 1994, the disease has killed millions of trees in California and Oregon. If the disease spreads from an isolated outbreak in Curry County, Oregon, to neighboring Coos County, the impact could be severe: a 15% reduction in timber harvest, loss of 1,200 jobs and about $58 million in lost wages, according to an Oregon Department of Forestry report. Researchers with North Carolina State University’s Center for Geospatial Analytics reached out to help in Oregon, offering Tangible Landscape, an interactive model that allows people of all skill levels to control complex simulation models with their hands and collaboratively explore scenarios of management decisions.

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Opinion: Why California’s costly tree-cutting wildfire strategy fails

By Douglas Bevington, forest director for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s California Program
The Mercury News
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s current approach to wildfires is pouring more and more money into subsidizing logging and fire suppression, often in remote areas. This strategy isn’t working. In recent years we have experienced skyrocketing state expenditures for this policy, paired with unprecedented loss of lives and homes. California is filled with forests and other ecosystems where wildfire is a natural and necessary occurrence. Many California communities are built next to these habitats. Rather than trying to alter wildfire behavior across millions of acres of fire-dependent ecosystems, wouldn’t it be more sensible to focus on keeping fire from coming into our homes where it doesn’t belong? This can readily be achieved by retrofitting homes to have fire-resistant features such as non-flammable roofs and vent screens that keep burning embers out, while trimming vegetation within a 100-foot radius. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has described this approach as “working from the home outward.”

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Cascade-Siskiyou stays intact, for now

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune
May 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Interior Department appears to have backed off its proposal to shrink the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and seven other monuments tapped by the Trump administration for downsizing. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Wednesday in a Senate subcommittee hearing that he has no plans to change the remaining monuments that his predecessor, Ryan Zinke, recommended for downsizing in 2017 after a review of 27 national monuments. While Bernhardt said he wouldn’t take action without direction from Trump, the White House as recently as March said further actions on monuments remained under consideration. If the monuments are kept intact, it would mean the only downsizing occurred on 2 million acres in two national monuments in Utah, which came amid a fierce public blow-back.

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Utah, US Secretary of Agriculture ink pact to protect wild lands, push still on to change roadless rules

By Tim Vandenack
The Standard-Examiner
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gary Herbert & Sonny Perdue

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue… doesn’t buy into the idea that leaving forests alone is the best way to protect them. He came to Utah to ink an accord with Gov. Gary Herbert that calls for cooperative efforts in managing wild lands… he alluded to the “mythical idea” of “pristine forest just left untouched.” …the aim of a separate Utah request to Perdue’s office for change making it easier to build roads on U.S. Forest Service land — takes a concerted human effort. “Managed forests are healthy forests,” Perdue said. …Herbert used Wednesday’s ceremony to defend that request, which has come under fire from environmentalists and outdoor recreationists, worried it could lead to road development in pristine forest land. Allowing for more road development… gives Forest Service officials “extra tools in their toolbox to manage forests,” Herbert said.

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Bullock creates new advisory council to examine forest and wildfire conditions

KRTV Montana
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Governor Steve Bullock has created a new advisory council to help examine the current conditions of Montana’s forests and mitigate wildfire danger. The Montana Forest Action Advisory Council will update Montana’s Forest Action Plan to address long-term efforts to conserve working forest lands, protect forests from harm, and enhance benefits from forests throughout the state. Council members include timber industry officials, conservationists, and representatives from local, state, federal, and tribal agencies. “We can and we must work together for the well-being of our forests and to reduce wildland fire risk,” stated Governor Bullock. “I’m confident that through these new partnerships we can protect our outdoor recreational opportunities, wildlife and fisheries habitat for a diverse range of species, drinking water supplies and soil health, all while treating more acres on the ground and investing in priority areas around the state.”

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Resilience of Yellowstone’s forests tested by unprecedented fire

By Kelly April Tyrrell, University of Wisconsin
Wildfire Today
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In August 2016, areas of Yellowstone National Park that burned in 1988 burned again. Shortly after, in October 2016, ecologist Monica Turner and her team of graduate students visited the park to begin to assess the landscape. “We saw these areas where everything was combusted and we hadn’t seen that previously,” says Turner, a professor of integrative biology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who has closely studied Yellowstone’s response to fire since 1988. “That was surprising.” In the study … Turner and her team describe what happens when Yellowstone —  adapted to recurring fires every 100 to 300 years — instead burns twice in fewer than 30 years. Yellowstone as we know it faces an uncertain future, the researchers say, and one of the big questions they hope to answer is whether the forests can recover. …The researchers also found that the re-burned forests lost significant carbon storage capacity.

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Council formed to update Montana’s forestry action plan

By Tom Kuglin and Holly Michels
Helena Independent Record
May 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state of Montana is updating its plan for managing forests and working across jurisdictions to identify and address areas of wildfire and forest health concerns. Gov. Steve Bullock signed an executive order Monday forming the Montana Forest Action Advisory Council. The body, with membership including loggers, conservation groups, tribes and state and federal agencies, will meet over the next year to update the 2010 Montana Forest Action Plan. The plan is due for revision by 2020 and will implement programs aimed at increasing the state’s role in forest management statewide. “We’re charged with two things: one is to create an assessment of forest conditions for the state of Montana, and the second part is given those conditions, what do we need to do, what are priority areas for active forest restoration and management to mitigate wildfire risk?” said Montana State Forester Sonya Germann.

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Resilient forests bill a Trojan horse

By George Wuerthner
The Star Tribune
May 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

George Wuerthner

We live in an age of Orwellian Doublespeak. Such doublespeak is exemplified by the euphemistically named “Resilient Federal Forests Act” (RFFA) which will degrade our forests. Like previous versions, sponsors of this legislation including Rep. Liz Cheney assert RFFA will reduce massive wildfires and smoke and promote more “resilient” forests.In the name of fire reduction, RFFA is a Trojan Horse designed to expedite logging under the pretext of “reducing wildfires.” The flawed assumption behind this legislation is that fuels are driving large wildfires. However, numerous studies have found that extreme fire weather, not fuels, is mainly responsible for large blazes.Among other components, the RFFA would allow the Forest Service to log up to 30,000 acres using categorical exclusion rules that override the normal environmental review process.

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Tongass old-growth logging “plain violation” of environmental law

By Grant Robinson
KTUU
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska- The U.S. Forest Service now faces a lawsuit from eight environmental non-profits claiming the agency failed to follow federal regulations in creating its environmental impact statement for a project that includes old-growth logging on Prince of Wales Island. In March, Tongass National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart signed a record of decision on the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis project. The project covers 1.8 million acres and includes management activities ranging from hundreds of miles of stream improvement, three new cabins, and a dozen shelters. The project would also allow logging up to 225 million board feet of old-growth timber over 15 years. In March, Stewart told KTUU the project is a “holistic effort to recognize all resources and resource needs,” and that it was formed with all communities on Prince of Wales.

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Attorney: Tongass old-growth logging “plain violation” of environmental law

By Grant Robinson
KTUU
May 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The U.S. Forest Service now faces a lawsuit from eight environmental non-profits claiming the agency failed to follow federal regulations in creating its environmental impact statement for a project that includes old-growth logging on Prince of Wales Island. In March, Tongass National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart signed a record of decision on the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis project. …The suit claims the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act, Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act and the National Forest Management Act. …Tom Waldo, staff attorney with Earthjustice said, “this is a brazen attempt by the forest service to rewrite the rules for timber sales.”

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Busy as usual forest fire season predicted in Atlantic Canada

By Andrea Gunn
The Chronicle Herald
May 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, Canada

OTTAWA – While Western Canadians are facing another potential record-breaking year for forest fires, it’s looking like things will remain status quo for the Atlantic provinces. Federal fire officials provided a forecast for the forest fire season this week, and thankfully for Atlantic Canada, average conditions are predicted to prevail for the duration of the summer. …Simpson said fires need hot and dry conditions to form, and but Atlantic Canada’s wetter climate offers some protection against the destructive blazes that have shown up in other parts of the country and across North America. …“This will would be five years in a row, six years in a row of really significant fire which is really unusual … for B.C. they’ve had two record breaking years in a row which is crazy, and the forecast looks like there might be a third,” Simpson said. [Full story access requires subscription to the Chronicle Herald]

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Colombian breeds rare frogs to undermine animal traffickers

By Manuel Rueda and Cesar Garcia
The Associated Press in the Longview Daily News
May 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

NOCAIMA, Colombia — In a small farmhouse surrounded by cloud forest, Iván Lozano inspects dozens of glass containers that hold some of the world’s most coveted frogs. The conservationist has been fighting the illegal trade in rare tropical frogs for years, risking his life and his checkbook to save the brightly colored, poisonous amphibians whose population in the wild is dwindling. But Lozano doesn’t hunt down poachers and smugglers. He’s trying to undermine them by breeding exotic frogs legally and selling them at lower prices than specimens plucked by traffickers from Colombia’s jungles. His frog-breeding center, Treasures of Colombia, is among a handful of conservation programs around the world that are trying to curtail the trafficking of wild animals by providing enthusiasts with a more eco-friendly alternative: specimens bred in captivity.

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Bid to save Scotland’s ancient rainforest

BBC News
May 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Scotland’s ancient rainforest is under threat, conservationists have warned. Almost 75,000 acres (30,351ha) of woodland on the west coast is designated Atlantic rainforest because of the rare oceanic plant life. But the forest is being lost to overgrazing by deer and livestock, invasive plant species and disease. The dangers, and plans to regenerate the forest, have been set out in a new report by the Atlantic Woodland Alliance. The alliance of 16 charities and organisations has proposed eradicating exotic species of plants, such as Sitka spruce and Rhododendron ponticum, from thousands of acres of rainforest, and also neighbouring woodlands to prevent re-invasion. …Adam Harrison, of Woodland Trust Scotland, one of the members of the Atlantic Woodland Alliance, said: “Scotland’s rainforest is just as lush and just as important as tropical rainforest, but is even rarer.

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