Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Forestry

Forestry

False claims and sloppy journalism confuse the deforestation issue

By John Mullinder
Pulp & Paper Canada
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Most Canadians find it hard to believe that the forest industry is accountable for only four per cent of Canada’s deforestation. And that Canada has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world (0.01 per cent). The widespread public confusion springs partly from the definition of the word itself in international agreements. Chopping down a tree or a section of forest, for example, does not equal deforestation when its harvest is followed by the regrowth of that forest. In Canadian law, logging companies must replenish or restock the resource they have harvested either through natural or artificial regeneration (tree planting and seeding). Because they do this – replacing the forest they have harvested earlier – the net deforestation they are responsible for is minimal. In fact, the four per cent represents the new permanent access roads that the industry needs to get into the harvest areas, rather than the harvest itself.

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Ducks Unlimited Canada and Louisiana-Pacific Building Solutions Sign Landmark Conservation Agreement to Support 6.2 Million Acres in Manitoba’s Boreal Forest

By Ducks Unlimited Canada
Business Wire
January 21, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WINNIPEG, Manitoba–Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Louisiana-Pacific Building Solutions (LP) today announced the signing of a new, 10-year agreement that will positively impact more than 6.2 million acres of Manitoba’s boreal forest… LP, an international engineered wood products company that is certified to Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Standards and has managed forestlands in Manitoba’s boreal forest since 1996, has signed a new stewardship agreement with DUC. This unprecedented agreement … demonstrates a shared commitment to wetland stewardship through planning and operational wetland best management practices. The agreement also includes an annual commitment by LP to continue implementing wetland best management practices and to modify its approach based on new applicable science. The stewardship report, a resource complementary to the agreement, has the endorsement of SFI, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), the LP Swan Valley Stakeholders Advisory Committee, and an Elder from Pine Creek First Nation.

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Are B.C.’s trees going the way of Newfoundland’s cod?

Letter by Taryn Skalbania, Peachland
Vernon Morning Star
January 22, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Taryn Skalbania

In 1992, Canada’s fisheries Minister, John Crosbie, reasoned with struggling fishermen that he “didn’t take the fish from the goddamn water, so don’t go abusing me.” Today in B.C., the forest minister is under similar attack; his party is taking the fall from unions, workers and industry for decades of overharvesting, uplifts, inflated annual cuts, automation and the overall mismanagement of our greatest crown asset. Are B.C.’s trees going the way of Newfoundland’s cod? …B.C. must dramatically change how forestry is managed and governed if it hopes to reverse today’s troubling trends. It will be essential to shift decision-making away from the top five or six unaccountable forestry corporations to regional planning committees, local councils that are accountable to First Nations, communities and rural residents.

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Deep freeze helped, but experts warn we’re not out of the woods in fight against pine beetles

By Dylan Short
The Edmonton Journal
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As Albertans were cursing and complaining the recent cold weather warnings, Alberta Forestry found a silver lining with experts predicting the freezing temperatures aided in the fight against the mountain pine beetle. …As the pests have been able to continue east in past years, found as far as Lac La Biche County, Caroline Whitehouse, forest health specialist with the provincial government, said Alberta may have caught a break with its recent cold weather warnings. …A 95 to 96 per cent mortality rate is needed to reduce the beetles numbers, Whitehouse said. …To add to the bugs resilience, Mike Underschultz, a senior forest entomologist with Alberta Forestry, said the mountain pine beetles’ sheer numbers would make it very difficult to rid the province entirely of the pest.

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Perseverance Week raises more than $155,000 for Cumberland Community Forest Society

Comox Valley Record
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Cumberland Forest’s Perseverance Week fundraising drive totals are in and the community came together to raise an incredible $155,500. This special drive centered around the annual Perseverance Trail Run and was supported by a generous matching donor who inspired the forest community to embrace a week of creative and ambitious fundraising. The community seized the opportunity and came together for a variety of unique events, all in support of the Cumberland Community Forest Society. …he Cumberland Community Forest is now on a race to the finish line, raising the final $150,000 to meet the $2,386,000 target to complete the 226-acre Project Perseverance purchase of forest, creeks and wetlands in the Perseverance Watershed by March 31, 2020. This purchase will double the lands protected by the CCFS since it formed in the year 2000.

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Alberta’s cold snap was good news in the fight against mountain pine beetle

By Jeff Lawrence
CTV News
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — Albertans may have survived last week’s extreme cold snap, but experts are hoping mountain pine beetles did not. In recent years the tree-killing pests invaded the forests of Jasper National Park, leaving red, dead pines in their wake, and have since moved into communities like Hinton and Sundre. …But they have one weakness: extreme cold. “They’re not all dead, but we saw a lot of mortality,” said Janice Cooke, a University of Alberta biological sciences professor. Temperatures… dipped below -40C a couple of times during the cold snap. Cooke said early projects show it might have been enough to kill more than 95 per cent of pine beetle larvae. …Caroline Whitehouse, a forest health specialist for the ministry, said it typically takes a few years of large-scale cold events to cause notable mortality rates in pine beetles.

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Forest mapping project aims to protect Gulf Islands’ endangered ecosystems

CBC News
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

The federation of local governments that serves British Columbia’s Gulf Islands wants to map forests within its boundaries as part of its efforts to conserve sensitive ecosystems and mitigate climate change. Islands Trust recently issued a request for proposals to map connected forests of the 13 major islands and more than 450 smaller ones between the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island.  Kathryn Martell, an ecosystem protection specialist with Islands Trust, says the federation is working to protect the sensitive Coastal Douglas-fir zone — one of the most threatened in B.C., which includes the endangered Garry Oak ecosystem — as part of its conservation plan. “We know that one of our best ways of mitigating the effects of climate change is to protect intact forest ecosystems,” Martell said. 

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Sechelt residents angered by logging activity on neighbouring property

By Jon Henandez
CBC News
January 18, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The tall inferno lit up a night sky last week in the small Sandy Hook neighbourhood near Sechelt, BC. Calls went out to the fire department and the BC Wildfire Service after a slash pile was lit by loggers mere metres from several homes. …The fire was the latest in a series of ongoing disruptions residents say they’ve endured thanks to a private logging operation next door that covers about 69 hectares — the list also includes erosion, flooding, and trees falling onto properties. …Despite lawsuits filed against the company, regulators haven’t found any violations relating to the lot. But local and provincial politicians say the system that regulates and monitors private logging in B.C. doesn’t hold companies and landowners to a high enough standard.

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Applications open for BC Parks Student Ranger Program

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Young adults keen to work outdoors this summer and to acquire a diverse range of job skills can now apply for the BC Parks Student Ranger Program. Now in its third season, the Student Ranger Program provides 48 young adults with training and employment opportunities in B.C.’s parks and protected areas. Indigenous students are encouraged to apply as the program has a 30% Indigenous hiring target. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, the Student Ranger Program offers hands-on work experience through a variety of projects related to conservation, recreation, community outreach and Indigenous relations. Twelve crews made up of four student rangers will be located throughout the province, focusing on initiatives such as ecosystem restoration, invasive species control and outdoor education, as well as trail building and maintenance.

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Conservation of Black Bear Dens on Vancouver Island

BC Forest Practices Board
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A professional biologist with black bear expertise submitted a complaint on April 8, 2019, asserting that black bear dens in large diameter, old trees are being lost to harvesting of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island. The complainant’s concern is based on research that found black bears on Vancouver Island den almost exclusively in large old trees and structures derived from them, including stumps, logs, or root wads, unlike interior mainland black bears.i These old growth features that provide denning habitat are important to the Vancouver Island black bear population because cubs are born in them during winter hibernation. Since most second growth forests are harvested before trees can attain the necessary size for denning, the complainant is concerned that the declining availability of large trees will eventually affect population numbers.

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Efforts needed to save B.C.’s forests

Letter by Taryn Skalbania, Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance
BC Local News
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Taryn Skalbania

In 1945 when the Sloan Report by the Chief Justice of B.C. laid the policy foundation for the Forest Act including granting industry full access to our forests through tenure to ensure the taxpayers of BC a “perpetual supply of raw material for forest industries, with consequent stability of industrial communities and assurance of permanent payrolls,” it is doubtful he had today’s depleted industry scenario in mind. …While radical to some, to save the remnants of the forestry industry we must first save the forest, to save reduced jobs in forestry we have to save trees, too keep some mills afloat we will have to shutter others. Our forests have been permanently, radically altered, now our forest industry must follow. …B.C. must dramatically change how forestry is managed and governed if it hopes to reverse today’s troubling trends.

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Another 69 Canadians headed to help fight bushland fires in Australia

Canadian Press in The Kelowna Daily Courier
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA – Another 69 Canadians are heading to Australia this week to help fight the country’s worst bush fires in recent memory. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says the deployment comes after Australia asked for more help. More than 200 bush fires continue to rage across Australia, with the two most populated states of New South Wales and Victoria bearing the brunt of the damage. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre says 27 incident management staff will leave for Melbourne Thursday, followed by two more incident managers and 40 firefighters on the weekend. This is the sixth wave of Canadians helping out in Australia, bringing the total number to more than 160 people. …Champagne said last week Canada would consider any assistance Australia needs but its government had only asked for additional people so far. 

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Hunters and conservationists square off over spring bear hunt

By Garry Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
January 21, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — Ontario’s plan to permanently reinstate the spring bear harvest has fired up the longstanding clash between hunters and animal rights advocates. …Yakabuski said Ontario’s black bear population has remained healthy since then, and promised that annual reviews of the impact of the spring hunt will ensure it remains so. Under the proposal… it will continue to be illegal to kill black bear cubs, or sows with cubs in the spring. …Animal Alliance of Canada board member Barry MacKay said …a sow will often send cubs out of sight up a tree when hunters are around, and hunters can find it difficult to distinguish between male and female adult bears. …Minister Yakabuski cited the $2.4 million annual contribution from the sale of bear licences to fish and wildlife management programs. He noted that bear hunters also spent over $50 million in hunting-related purchases [supporting] small business in northern Ontario. 

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Forests in northern Ontario could be growing less resilient to fire, scientist says

CBC News
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

“Short-interval fires” have scientists with Natural Resources Canada concerned.  A new study has shown that the increase in forest fire activity means that forests are becoming less resilient to fire.  Daniel Thompson is a Forest Fire Research Scientist with Natural Resources Canada. He said that in the past, boreal forests could go anywhere from 75 to 200 years between fires. The interval now is shortening,  Thompson said, to as little as 10 years between fires.  “Basically what happens is that once these fires we typically think of as being really large, and sort of wanting to burn that older forest which is maybe full of spruce, but only when these fires get really large during these really dry periods are they able to burn into younger forest which typically has more aspen, more willow,” Thompson said. “More of that sort of really leafy green stuff that normally doesn’t burn.”

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Ontario proposes full return of spring bear hunt

CBC News
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province has announced it plans to bring back a regular black bear spring hunting season, subject to annual review. On Friday, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski announced the start of government’s consultation on the proposal. “Ontario is home to a healthy bear population,” said Yakabuski. “The province will continue to monitor black bear populations, harvest results and sustainability indicators to inform an annual review and ensure bear populations are managed sustainably.” The bear hunt was cancelled by the province in 1999.  In 2014, Ontario re-introduced a spring black bear hunting season, and the pilot has continued each year since then.

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Costco, Don’t Be Complicit in Selling Forest Destruction

By Shelley Vinyard
Natural Resource Defense Council
January 22, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

“Every product has a story.” But sometimes the story a company tells consumers hides the real truth behind how the product is made and the significant cost its production has on the planet. Walking down Costco’s tissue aisle gives you a small glimpse into how this happens. Charmin, Bounty, and Costco’s own Kirkland toilet paper are all made with 100% virgin forest fiber, sourced in part from the climate-critical Canadian boreal forest. The boreal …is being clearcut at a rate of one million acres a year to make lumber, paper, and, perhaps most egregiously, throwaway tissue products. U.S. companies like Costco drive a lot of this demand, fueling the loss of this globally important forest. Throwaway tissue products don’t have to destroy forests. In fact, NRDC and Stand.earth’s 2019 scorecard “The Issue with Tissue” listed many tissue products available today that are made from much climate-friendlier substances like recycled content. 

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Forest Service chief emphasizes timber sales

Tri-State Livestock News
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Vicki Christiansen

Vicki Christiansen, chief of the U.S. Forest Service, an Agriculture Department agency, highlighted increased visitor access and the highest timber sales in 21 years, in a year-end report. “In 2019, through Shared Stewardship agreements, we forged new partnerships and built on existing ones to better collaborate and share decision space with states, partners and tribes,” Christiansen said. “We also opened hundreds of thousands of acres of national forests to visitor access and sold more timber in this year than we have in any of the past 21 years, providing a sustainable flow of forest products and supporting rural economies.” The Forest Service added that it had surpassed expectations and sold nearly 3.3 billion board feet of timber in 2019 — 75 million board feet more than the 20-year high set in 2018.

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Lawmakers Look for ‘Montana-Built’ Solutions as Weyerhaeuser Land Deal Looms

By Tristan Scott
The Flathead Beacon
January 21, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The announcement that Washington-based timber giant Weyerhaeuser is unloading its Montana parcels on the cheap continues to raise concerns about how the new owner will manage the 630,000-acre acquisition, despite assurances from attorneys representing the buyer, Georgia-based Southern Pine Plantations, that it won’t step on a longstanding public access agreement or stanch the flow of timber. For the past month, state lawmakers, industry experts, longtime loggers, and the outdoor recreation community have been fretting over the future of the land, its salable timber and the jobs it provides, as well as whether the new owner will continue the culturally sacred custom of allowing public access to hunters, anglers and other land users. Rep. Steve Gunderson, R-Libby, brought those concerns to Helena.

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Barriers and enablers for prescribed burns for wildfire management in California

By Sumbo Bello
EdgyLabs.com
January 21, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A recent Stanford-led study has identified the barriers of using prescribed burns in California. California has been suppressing fire for over a hundred years. As a result, forests in the region now have a massive accumulation of wood and plant fuel. …Reports suggest that California needs fuel treatment on about 20 million acres, that’s roughly 20 percent of the state’s land area. Although ambition for prescribed burning is on the rise, there are still doubts. More than half of the acreage remains unburned due to limited resources and outdated regulations. There are also concerns about smoky air. …In a paper published in Nature Sustainability, Field and colleagues proposed ways to overcome these barriers. …It turns out that the primary challenge is an aversion to risk caused by liabilitylaws.

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Biologists recommend urgent action to protect California spotted owls

By The American Ornithological Society
EurekAlert
January 22, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In the Pacific Northwest, the range expansion of Barred Owls has contributed to a conservation crisis for Northern Spotted Owls, which are being displaced from their old-growth forest habitat. How will this interaction between species play out in the Sierra Nevada, where Barred Owls are just starting to move into the range of the California Spotted Owl? New research published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests that wildlife managers may still be able to head off similar problems in critical areas of the Golden State — if they act now. …Populations of invasive species typically remain at low densities for several generations before growing rapidly. Because intervening to control a potentially damaging invasive species requires many resources, land managers often wait for strong evidence that a species will pose a threat before taking action. But, by the time the “growth phase” has started, it’s often too late.

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State works to draft 10-year forestry plan to include climate change, fracking

By Beth Burger
The Columbus Dispatch
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Ohio Division of Forestry is in the process of putting together a 10-year plan for the state’s forests. Ohioans can expect some changes. The deadline is March 1 to comment. Ten years ago, most southeastern Ohio landowners had no fracking well pads on their property. Most people had heard of climate change, but it wasn’t built into the social consciousness at the level it is now, with people across the globe experiencing extreme weather in the form of droughts, massive wildfires. …Ohio has 7.9 million acres of forestland. Of that, 85% is privately owned, with the remaining 15% owned by local, state and federal government.

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Will Montana leaders stand up to Weyerhaeuser?

By Ben Long
The Missoulian
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ben Long

Montanans enjoy the world’s greatest backyard. But much of that heritage is up for grabs.  I am referring to 1,000 square miles now owned by Weyerhaeuser Co. Historically, timber companies — Champion, Plum Creek and Weyerhaeuser — allowed people to use these lands to hunt, fish, pick berries and whatnot.  …The buyer is Georgia-based Southern Pine Plantations. While the company says it has no plans to change access policies, it’s naïve to take that at face value. The company has a track record of selling land to developers and billionaire land hogs who buy up acreages in Idaho and Montana, locking out traditional uses and blocking access to adjacent public land.  There are very good reasons why Montana’s elected officials need to engage. One is the hundreds of good, family-wage timber industry jobs that are at stake. Second is the damage done to our economy and outdoor heritage if these lands are locked behind no-trespassing signs. 

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The Tongass National Forest is a Wilderness on the Chopping Block

By Alex Robinson
Outdoor Life
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It doesn’t take much to get Mark Hieronymus worked up. We’re walking down an old logging road next to a creek outside of Juneau, and the guide is going back and forth on the two hottest topics in Alaska: fishing and logging. …Like most people who spend their lives on a river, his personality shifts from laid-back to intense, depending on the topic of discussion. The Trump Administration and governor Mike Dunleavy have reignited interests in old-growth logging in this region. So eventually I ask Hieronymus about the perspective that it’s mostly outside environmentalists who are hell-bent on fighting logging—not real Alaskans. That’s when I see his fiery side. …He shoots back with some facts about the timber industry supporting less than 1 percent of the jobs in the region.

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Legislators told collaboration will produce answer to Wilderness Study Area deadlock

By Brett French
The Helena Independent Record
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MONTANA – Finding a way to reach a compromise on the long-stalled delisting of Montana Wilderness Study Areas, or conversely the adoption of those lands as wilderness, will take partnerships. “Collaboration is the driving force,” said John Hagengruber, Forest Service liaison to the state. Hagengruber was one of many people who spoke to the Environmental Quality Council, which is tasked under Senate Joint Resolution 20 with formulating “options for Congress to address the disposition” of the 663,000 acres contained in seven Montana WSAs. …While several speakers with wilderness, hunting and logging ties championed collaborative groups as the best means to reach a decision, a few testified that the composition of the group, as well as the information it possessed, could sway decision making. 

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Guest View: Innovation must drive Elliott State Research Forest

By Josh Laughlin, executive director of Cascadia Wildlands
The Register-Guard
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Josh Laughlin

The Register-Guard’s editorial headline “Elliott Forest plan could be a win for everyone in 2020” (Dec. 30) is correct. A change in management of the Elliott State Forest is a tremendous opportunity for Oregonians to protect salmon and wildlife habitat, store carbon to combat runaway climate change and conduct cutting-edge research with a focus on jobs-based, restoration forestry. But Oregon State University’s initial concept for creating an Elliott State Research Forest falls short of these goals. OSU’s College of Forestry has run modeling scenarios that would clearcut tens of thousands of acres of forests, spray the forest with up to three rounds of herbicides after the cut and perform “animal control,” that typically means killing black bears and mountain beavers. Although it’s called “research,” there is little to learn from clearcutting the Elliott. …we need to use older forests … as a refuge for salmon, marbled murrelets, Pacific fishers and other  old-growth dependent species.

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Forest Service clarifies vital thinning contracts

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Still bedeviled by biomass, the Forest Service has made two key changes in the offered contracts to thin nearly a million acres of forest in the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) area that includes much of the Rim Country and the White Mountains. The changes would make it clear any bidders would get a full, 20-year contract and better define how much biomass in the form of branches, saplings and down and dead wood the contracts will have to remove. The 4FRI will therefore postpone until March 3 the deadline for bids — and hopes to award the first round of contracts before the end of the year, according to Acting Regional Forester Elaine Kohrman. The Forest Service received more than 100 technical questions from dozens of potential bidders when it issued its request for proposals from bidders seeking 20-year contracts to thin some of the nearly 1 million acres in four forests included in the request for proposals. 

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Help Us Understand Logging And Timber Practices Across Oregon

By Tony Schick and Rob Davis with Maya Miller
Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For decades, the timber industry drove the economy in Oregon… Today, the industry has changed. Logging in federal forests, once a major source of lumber, is a fraction of what it was before environmental restrictions. Dozens of mills have closed. Stands of trees that once required a crew of loggers to cut can now be felled by one person in a single machine. …Reporters Tony Schick of OPB and Rob Davis of The Oregonian have been tracking forestry topics closely for years. …Now, OPB, The Oregonian and ProPublica are teaming up to better understand the forces that are shaping the modern timber industry and the effects of those changes on the state, communities and timber workers. …Please fill out this questionnaire if you work, or have worked, in the timber industry, …regularly interact with the timber industry, or have been affected by the timber industry because of where you work or live.

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Oregon Governor Proposes New Wildfire Protection Plan

By Cassandra Profita
Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is calling for a major expansion in the state’s wildfire response plans in a new legislative concept lawmakers heard on Tuesday. The draft proposal outlines the governor’s long-term vision for how the state should adapt to wildfire, reduce wildfire risks on forestland and improve fire suppression. The plan echoes a 110-page reportfrom the Governor’s Council On Wildfire Response, which spent about a year developing recommendations for improving the state’s ability to prevent and respond to wildfires. It calls for land-use planning changes, new building codes and requirements for “defensible space” around homes to reduce the risk of wildfires damaging residential areas. It requires new standards for residential smoke filtration systems to protect people from the health risks of wildfire smoke.

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Clones will help Maine’s famous elm tree named Herbie live on — for now

By David Sharp
Associated Press in the Bangor Daily News
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Frank Knight

YARMOUTH, Maine — A massive elm tree nicknamed Herbie is long gone, but it is going to live on, thanks to cloned trees that are being made available to the public. At 110 feet and more than 200 years, Herbie was the tallest and oldest elm in New England and survived 14 bouts of Dutch elm disease because of the devotion of his centenarian caretaker, Frank Knight, the late tree warden of Yarmouth. The duo became famous after Knight spent half of his life caring for the tree, which he referred to as “an old friend.” Knight realized he couldn’t save the town’s elms as they succumbed by the hundreds to Dutch elm disease. So he focused his efforts on one of them: Herbie.

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Penn State wants to burn Pennsylvania forests

By Marcus Schneck
Penn State Live
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Forest landowners, other than state agencies, in Pennsylvania generally use very little prescribed fire on their lands. They’re missing out on an effective management tool that could be helping them to promote the growth of desired tree species, spur new growth to provide food and cover for wildlife, control invasive plants, suppress Lyme-carrying ticks and more, according to Jesse Kreye, assistant professor of fire and natural resources management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. …State agencies, like the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, have been using prescribed fire for at least a decade. …Because there was considerable interest by state agencies in bringing fire back to help restore the landscape, the General Assembly in 2009 passed legislation called the Prescribed Burning Act.

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As Seas Rise, a Florida Keys ‘Ghost Forest’ Makes A Last Stand

By Jenny Staletovich
The Tampa Bay Times
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

On a stretch of the Lower Keys… sea water and mud cover much of the rocky ground. …A pine rockland forest once stood here, maybe a century ago. Not that long in tree years. …Just three decades ago, healthy pineland grew on at least 10 islands. Today, the forests are thinning or gone. The only healthy tract stands on Big Pine. …A June study published in the journal Nature Climate found the Gulf Coast has lost about 57 square miles of forest over the last 120 years. …But the story in the Keys is different. The underground freshwater lenses that once fed the pineland are shrinking. With no place to retreat, the forests are simply vanishing.

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Spotted lanternfly costing Pennsylvania $50M annually

By Michael Rubinkam
The Associated Press in the Billings Gazette
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest from Asia that is wreaking havoc on valuable trees and vines, is costing the Pennsylvania economy about $50 million and eliminating nearly 500 jobs each year, according to a Penn State study. The study represents researchers’ first attempt to quantify the destruction caused by the large, colorful planthopper. First detected in the U.S. in 2014, in Pennsylvania’s Berks County, it has since overrun the state’s southeastern corner and spread into nearby states including New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. Economists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences estimated the financial impact on nurseries, vineyards, Christmas tree growers and hardwood producers. …The state’s $19 billion forest products industry would be especially vulnerable. Pennsylvania, with its vast unbroken stretches of forest, is the nation’s No. 1 producer of hardwoods.

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Aphid-munching beetle could help save hemlock forests

By Gabriel Popkin
Science Magazine
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A potential ally for one of North America’s most embattled trees has passed its first big test. A tiny predatory beetle that researchers have been rearing and releasing into forests appears to be doing damage to an aphidlike pest that poses a deadly threat to ecologically important eastern hemlock trees, a 5-year study has found. The result marks a rare success for forest scientists aiming to use introduced insects to battle pests, a strategy called biocontrol. Researchers caution that hemlocks are far from safe, however, because it is unlikely the beetle alone can defeat the pest. But the news “gives some cause for encouragement,” says Aaron Ellison, an ecologist at the Harvard Forest, who is not involved in the work. …Since the 1980s, however, hemlocks have come under an ever-widening assault from the hemlock woolly adelgid, a tiny insect native to Japan that sucks sugars from hemlock needles, killing trees.

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The plastic pollution growing in Scotland’s new forests

By Andrew Thomson
BBC News
January 22, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Scotland’s forestry industry says it is taking action to cut plastic pollution caused by tree planting. Hundreds of thousands of plastic tube tree guards are used every year to protect saplings from being eaten by deer, rabbits and voles. Most are made from single-use plastics and are often left to disintegrate in the open when a tree grows. Forestry and Land Scotland said it would now use recyclable tubes or those containing half as much plastic. Planting trees is widely seen as environmentally beneficial so it is ironic it can also be a source of vast quantities of plastic waste. …Plastic tree guards, which were invented in Scotland, remain popular as they not only protect saplings from browsing animals but also encourage growth by creating a miniature greenhouse effect.

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Tickets on Sale for Women in Forestry conference

By Women in Forestry
Scoop Independent News
January 21, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tickets are on sale for the Women in Forestry Conference, being held from 30 April – 2 May 2020 in Whangamata. The Women in Forestry conference will bring together women in the NZ Forestry industry, to connect, learn and share experiences. The third event of its kind, the conference is organised by the Women in Forestry Network, a grass-roots movement founded to support women in the industry. Women in Forestry co-founder and General Manager Sarah Davidson says there is a need for more female support in the industry. “The Women in Forestry network is industry- led, set up to provide peer-to-peer support” she says.

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Why collective action is the key to saving our forests

By Justin Adams
The World Economic Forum
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

To grasp how primary tropical forests can make or break our future, consider three interwoven dynamics. First, forests support the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people. Second, each year, a few dozen tropical countries collectively raze and convert primary forests the size of Belgium. Third, the impact of this loss, if deforestation were a country, it would rank third (behind the US and China) in CO2-equivalent emissions. The implications are clear. Rapid decarbonization of the energy and transport sectors won’t be enough to limit a climate change-driven temperature rise of more than 2˚C. We also have to slow, stop and reverse tropical deforestation. But how? We can start by recognizing forests are never cut down in a human vacuum. 

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Fires set stage for irreversible forest losses in Australia

By Matthew Brown & Christina Larson
Associated Press in The Helena Independent Record
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Australia’s forests are burning at a rate unmatched in modern times and scientists say the landscape is being permanently altered as a warming climate brings profound changes to the island continent.Heat waves and drought have fueled bigger and more frequent fires in parts of Australia, so far this season torching some 40,000 square miles (104,000 square kilometers), an area about as big as Ohio.With blazes still raging in the country’s southeast, government officials are drawing up plans to reseed burned areas to speed up forest recovery that could otherwise take decades or even centuries. But some scientists and forestry experts doubt that reseeding and other intervention efforts can match the scope of the destruction. The fires since September have killed 28 people and burned more than 2,600 houses.

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‘Big impacts’: Almost half of areas in East Gippsland approved for logging burnt

By Sumeyya Ilanbey
WAtoday
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Almost half the areas approved for native logging in East Gippsland have been burnt, with Premier Daniel Andrews bracing for what he says will be a “significant” impact on the forestry industry. The devastation wrought by the recent bushfires came just months after the Labor government announced native logging would be completely banned in 2030, and the cutting of old-growth forest would end immediately. Mr Andrews said 40 per cent of coupes – areas approved for logging – as part of VicForests’ timber release plan in East Gippsland were destroyed by the fires that have so far burnt more than 1.4 million hectares across Victoria. “So there’s going to be a significant impact … there’s going to be big impacts on the forestry industry,” Mr Andrews said on Monday morning. “We’ve said for a while now that the sustainability of this industry could be directly impacted by a significant fire event and that’s exactly what’s happened here.”

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French forest industry not taking advantage of ever-growing forests

By Daniel Eck
Euractiv.com
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The forest continues to expand in France, according to industry figures, but the industry is not making the most of it. The metropolitan forest has gained a lot of ground, with 16.8 million hectares (i.e. 31% of the entire territory), compared to 19% of the country’s land area in 1908. But France’s timber industry wants to get moving. The sector, which represents one of the leading wood resources in Europe, currently presents a fragmented landscape. For example, Germany, which has a smaller forest area, generates three times more jobs. Optimising the wood-energy sector is key for France to attain its objective of becoming carbon neutral in 2050. However, 60% of forests in the country are left unmanaged nowadays. 

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Logging makes forest fires worse: experts

By Dominica Sanda
Yass Tribune
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Allowing logging in national parks would increase the intensity of bushfires by boosting the amount of flammable fuel and creating additional “kindling”, experts have warned. Millions of hectares have been scorched in raging bushfires across Australia since October and scientists claim fires burned at a higher intensity in heavily-logged forests. Australian National University Professor David Lindenmayer says while the main driver of fires is the climate, logging makes forests drier and leaves behind flammable debris on the ground. “Forests that have been logged and regenerated are significantly more likely to burn at higher severity,” he told AAP. “Very substantial areas of forest which were logged in East Gippsland and southeastern NSW have been burnt this summer.” …Recent calls by the forestry industry to selectively log national parks in a bid to reduce the bushfire risk are “lacking science”, Prof Lindenmayer argues. He says the industry proposal would actually make areas more fire-prone.

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