Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 9, 2016

Business & Politics

Halalt files suit against province, feds over mill

Cowichan Valley Citizen
February 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Halalt First Nation has filed civil claims with the Supreme Court of British Columbia against the provincial and federal governments, demanding that both governments protect their ancestral lands from the dioxin pollution emitted by the paper mill in Crofton. Last month, Halalt filed a separate $2 billion lawsuit against Catalyst Paper Corporation, the mill’s operators, claiming that the company has refused to adopt technology that would reduce air and water pollution generated by the Crofton mill. Jeffrey Rath, legal counsel to Halalt First Nation, said the mill’s burning of hog fuel — unrefined wood byproduct or waste such as bark chips and wood fibre — hasn’t changed since it began operations in 1957.

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First woman to lead B.C. logging group feels she has the chops

February 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jacqui Beban is used to being the only woman in the room. Practically since birth, she has been exposed to the male-dominated and macho logging business. And last month she became the first female president in the 73-year history of the organization that speaks for the B.C. coast’s forestry industry. Nanaimo-born Beban, 40, was vice-president of the Truck Loggers Association for two years before her Jan. 14 election as president, for a two-year volunteer term. The non-profit represents more than 450 companies including independent sawmills, industry suppliers and independent harvesting contractors. A 10-year member of the board, she and a partner own Nootka Sound Timber on Vancouver Island. Her family has been in the business for more than 100 years — her great-grandfather, two grandfathers and her father all owned logging companies.

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Northern Pulp withdraws Supreme Court appeal

NG News
February 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

ABERCROMBIE POINT – Northern Pulp has notified the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia of its withdrawal of the appeal of its Industrial Approval (IA). The retraction is the result of the Nova Scotia environment minister’s decision on outstanding items within Northern Pulp’s IA for the operation of the Pictou County pulp mill. …“There is no benefit to being involved in a lengthy court process. Working together to ensure the best environmental protection possible, while maintaining the long-term stability and profitability of the mill, is the best scenario for Northern Pulp, our suppliers and our employees and their families,” said Northern Pulp general manager Bruce Chapman.

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Pic River First Nation launches Mkwa Timber forestry company

Mkwa Timber says wood harvesting operation to employ 8 local residents
CBC News
February 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new timber company on the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation (formerly Pic River First Nation), about 350 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay on the north shore of Lake Superior, has begun harvesting wood for transport to parts of northwestern Ontario. Mkwa Timber announced it will deliver timber to the mill in the township of Terrace Bay. The company is also negotiating with mill owners in White River about a similar agreement, the company president told CBC News. Byron LeClair said the community has a long history in forestry, and that its new operation will provide a stable supply of wood to local mills. “We told a lot of [mill owners] that companies come, companies go, our community is going to be here forever,'” he said.

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Reopening of Norbord plant in Val-d’Or in jeopardy

from the Teamsters
Canada Newswire press release
February 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

LAVAL, QC- According to information obtained by the Teamsters Union, the re-opening of the Norbord plant in Val-d’Or is in jeopardy as the result of a decision by the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec. The fact is that in December, the ministry terminated the timber license held by the Norbord plant in Val-D’Or. The license would have been transferred to another as-yet unbuilt plant. An OSB manufacturer for residential construction, Norbord has a hundred well-paid employees in a region that desperately needs quality jobs. The ministry is requiring that the plant reopen in 2016. While Norbord cannot commit before 2017, the company insists it is working to ensure the plant’s survival.

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Decision made on appeal of N.S. pulp mill’s water use

Canadian Press on CTV News
February 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — The operator of a Pictou County pulp mill has withdrawn its appeal of an industrial permit approved by the provincial government following decisions by the environment minister to resolve some of the outstanding issues. The province issued a new five-year industrial approval for Northern Pulp’s mill in January 2015, introducing tighter restrictions on emissions, wastewater effluent and water consumption. The mill’s general manager, Bruce Chapman, said at the time the permit was not acceptable, vague and could place the long-term viability of the facility in jeopardy. In a news release Monday, the government says Environment Minister Margaret Miller has now resolved outstanding issues on the mill’s water use, including a maximum daily average consumption rate. That release was followed by a statement from the company confirming it has notified the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia of its withdrawal of the appeal of its permit.

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Resolute refutes criticism

Chronicle Journal
February 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

…  “We are surprised and disappointed with the FSC news release, considering (that) in a recent meeting with Carstensen (and the head of FSC in Canada), company president Richard Garneau was joined by the president and chairman of the Quebec Forest Industries Association, the Quebec Forestry minister and others, and they were unanimous in expressing concerns to FSC and committed to work within the current FSC consultative processes to work through issues of concern,” Kursman said. “On the question of mediation led by FSC specifically, this isn’t appropriate considering the issues at play are under provincial government jurisdiction,” he said, noting that “FSC cannot usurp the role of the provincial governments in Canada.”

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Wood glut blamed for drop in province’s forestry royalty revenues

$11M is the anticipated drop in royalty revenues in the next year
CBC News
February 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province is blaming an expected drop in forestry royalty revenues in the coming year on an unforeseen glut of wood on the market. Natural Resources Minister Denis Landry says that means companies will log less in the coming year, which will translate into less revenue for the government. Landry says sawmill yards are full of cut boards they can’t sell, and logs they don’t want to cut, until there’s some movement. “The saw wood material is there, the lumber is there, it’s not going out at the pace it was supposed to go, and by that fact, they’re not buying anymore and they’re going to slow the cut,” he said.

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Weyerhaeuser earnings fall as it prepares for Plum Creek merger

February 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Weyerhaeuser’s fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations fell 17 percent from the same quarter last year, the company reported Friday. Excluding special items, Weyerhaeuser earned $121 million, or 24 cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31. That’s down from $145 million, or 27 cents a share, for the year-ago quarter. Special items for the quarter included costs related to its merger with Plum Creek, an asset impairment, and restructuring charges related to the closing of four distribution centers. Weyerhaeuser announced in November that it is buying Plum Creek for $8.4 billion, forming the nation’s largest private owner of timberland.

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Timber Report: Wood products business off to a slow start in 2016

by Rick Sohn of Roseburg, retired CEO of Lone Rock Timber Co
The News-Review Today
February 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The wood products business is lackluster. Yet, unsold inventories in Portland reached an 11-year low. This could foreshadow increased housing starts. … 2016 wood products and housing are starting slowly. The stud price is slightly down from last month’s low level. Random Lengths reports that the slowdown in construction and wood products imports by China could last throughout 2016, increasing U.S. wood product supplies and keeping wood product prices weak in the USA this year. The log price, at 2.8 times the quoted lumber price, squeezes manufacturers due to the high cost of logs. This spread for manufacturers between the price of logs and the sales price of product over the recent 3-month period has only been exceeded twice in the last 11 years — during months around December of 2008 and 2006.

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Forestry’s $480,000 consultants splurge

The Mercury
February 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

FORESTRY Tasmania has spent almost half a million dollars on consultants, much of it on reports informing the State Government’s efforts to restructure the forest industry. Labor is calling for the release of reports to allow Tasmanians to get the full picture on Forestry Tasmania’s viability and the state of the forest industry. However, Resources Minister Paul Harriss says the reports are either Cabinet or commercial in confidence. Documents released after a Right to Information request from Labor show that between December 2014 and July last year Forestry Tasmania spent $481,779 on external consultants.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Sawmill Sid Recognized for Support of Local Wood Industry

from Forests Ontario
Canada Newswire press release
February 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – The Ontario Wood Award is presented to companies and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the support and promotion of local wood. The 2016 award was presented at Forests Ontario’s Annual Conference, held at the Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, Ontario. This year’s recipient was Sawmill Sid Inc. for their work to repurpose wood from fallen or infested trees into useful lumber, beams and other building material. Based in Midland, Ontario, Sawmill Sid specializes in portable sawmilling and wood repurposing solutions. In 2015, Sawmill Sid recovered 6,200 cubic meters of ash wood from trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The wood recovered from these trees is used in the production of a multitude of products, including flooring, furniture, fire place mantels, and homes. Wood is also provided to schools and community groups for building projects.

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Going Paperless Does Not Save Trees

February 9, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

CHICAGO – Today, Two Sides North America released a new study outlining key facts on why paperless initiatives do not save trees. Findings point to mounting evidence that loss of markets for paper and other wood products, a large portion of which are produced from wood harvested on privately-owned land, increases the risk of forest loss. The study was conducted by Dovetail Partners, an environmental think-tank specializing in forestry research and analysis. “This study is another example of why slogans such as ‘go paperless – save trees’ or ‘go green – go paperless’ are not only misleading, but false. Over the past 60 years, the number of trees on managed U.S. forest lands has been increasing considerably due to responsible forestry practices. Wood is a valuable renewable resource that we are taking care of,” explains Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America.

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South-east SA lacks technology to fully capitalise on greatest change to forestry in decades

ABC News, Australia
February 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Described as the biggest change to forestry in decades, buildings up to eight stories are now permitted to be built using timber products. In the past, any structure over three stories high had to made using concrete or steel reinforcement. Forest and Wood Products Australia managing director Ric Sinclair said the change opened huge market opportunities for forestry. “We’ve opened up a new market for wood, for multi-residential buildings, for hotels, motels and office buildings,” he said. “This is actually one of the biggest changes for the forest and wood products sector in probably 30 to 40 years.” Mr Sinclair said Australian building codes were a legacy from fears of fires. “The reality is that wood does burn, but it burns at a predictable rate,” he said.

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HoHo building to be world’s highest wood high-rise

24-storey wood construction landmark to be built in Vienna
World Architecture News
February 5, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Construction of the world’s tallest wood high-rise, designed by RLP Architects (Rüdiger Lainer+Partner), will begin this spring in Vienna, Austria. When completed in 2017, the HoHo building will have 24 storeys. Today, the tallest wood high-rise is a 14-storey residential building under construction in Bergen, Norway. According to architect Rudiger Lainer, technical and financial readiness of wood construction makes it possible to realise the project. “Our innovative goal is to realise synergy in architecture, ecology and the building’s usage value for its residents and other occupants. In addition, wood offers an important visual and tactile impact.” “The starting point is to realise the building as efficiently as possible.

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These Gorgeous Buildings Showcase the Surprisingly Innovative Future of Wood

Gizmodo
February 6, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood is the future. That’s the feeling you get after looking through the 2016 award winners named by WoodWorks, the United States wood building council. All of these structures are made from wood, but not the traditional two-by-fours you’re thinking of. These buildings make use of innovative new materials like glued-laminated timber (glulam) and cross-laminate timber (CLT), both of which are gaining in popularity. They’re part of a family of materials named mass timber, where wood is cut, stacked, and glued to make a strong material even stronger. It’s cheaper, performs better in earthquakes, and is far more sustainable than most building methods out there now. It’s also made here in the US—most mass timber products come from Southern Oregon.

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Forestry

Alberta forest industry steps up

Drayton Valley Western Review
February 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) attended the Brazeau County council meeting on Jan. 19 to give an update on the Alberta forest industry and to seek continued support from local municipalities. “We are an association that represents about 44 member facilities in communities across the province and we represent a number of categories including dimensional lumbers so saw mills, pulp, and paper,” said Brock Mulligan, Director of Communications for AFPA. “We are reaching out to a number of municipalities across the province where our members operate. Both the Brazeau County and the Town of Drayton Valley have been great allies of our industry for a number of years and we are happy that we were able to reach out to them and keep that relationship running strongly.”

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Forest-products industry involved in agreement

Letter from Rick Jeffery, president and CEO, Coast Forest Products Association
Victoria Times Colonist
February 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Accord expands Great Bear protection,” column, Feb. 2. I would like to provide clarification to the column, which lists First Nations, environmental groups and the provincial government as negotiators for the agreement. There were, in fact, four main participants dedicated to successfully negotiating the Great Bear Rainforest agreement. Missing in the list was the forest-products industry, represented by the Coast Forest Conservation Initiative, which consists of five companies: B.C. Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper, Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Interfor and Western Forest Products. These companies have committed to collaborate with the environmental organizations — and have done so for 15 years.

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Students head to forestry boot camp

Program aims to open doors to local job opportunities, say provincial officials
Whistler Question
February 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A few Pemberton and Mount Currie students have traded in the books for chainsaws as they take part in a Forestry Skills Boot Camp. The Spud Valley and Lil’wat First Nation students are among 1,400 British Columbians to receive the entry-level forestry job training from the College of the Rockies at Blue Lake Centre in Cranbrook. The program falls under the umbrella of a federal and provincial partnership as a part of the Canada Job Fund. It aims to provide youth with the skills they need to land jobs in their communities, stated a press release from the provincial government. The College of the Rockies is receiving $248,700 to put the students through their paces at the school. The students will try their hand at everything from brush saw operation to first aid. The course is currently underway and students will wrap up at the end of the month.

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Great Bear Rainforest: Small deal, big impact

by Konrad Yakabuski
Globe and Mail
February 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As public relations coups go, it doesn’t get better than the deal finalized last week by the B.C. government, industry, environmentalists and First Nations to protect all but 15 per cent of the Great Bear Rainforest from commercial logging. Years in the making, it’s being hailed as a mature approach to sustainable development that has already paid huge dividends in feel-good publicity. Just don’t call it a model. For were the costs, restrictions and obligations embodied in the agreement extended to all of Canada’s $60-billion forest industry, much of it would have to be shut down. And for what? The false notion that Canada’s vast forests and the wildlife species that depend on them would otherwise be doomed? Yet that is the notion environmental groups have peddled to put mounting pressure on governments and industry to cave – or else.

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Forest managers lack bite: Forest Practices Board

Haida Gwaii Observer
February 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A failed attempt to stop a company from over-logging a scenic area near Skidegate Channel has B.C.’s forestry watchdog calling for change. The Skidegate Channel case topped a list of 14 recent examples showing why B.C.’s Forest Practices Board believes district managers need more power to stop bad logging before it happens. “Many members of the public are surprised to learn that district managers do not already have this authority,” says a special report published by the board last month. Along with the Skidegate Channel case, which dates back to 2009, the report listed a 2006 investigation showing managers had no way to protect a newly discovered northern goshawk nest on Haida Gwaii. While the current system works “reasonably well, most of the time,” the report said recent history shows there are times when district managers should have the power to refuse permits for cutting or road-building.

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Group promoting forestry, agriculture

Chronicle Journal
February 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There’s a new group in Ontario looking out for the interests of the agriculture and forestry sectors. Initiated by the Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM), the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and stakeholders from the forestry sector, Growing Ontario will raise awareness of the important contributions of forestry and agriculture to the entire province, and celebrate the innovation and contribution provided by those sectors to the economy of northern and rural Ontario. “Forestry and agriculture represent approximately $30 billion in economic activity in the province of Ontario and they are foundation of local economies in many community across our province,” Al Spacek, FONOM president and Kapuskasing mayor, said this week in a news release.

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US Forest Service stretched to breaking point after record year for wildfires

February 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States


The US Forest Service has warned it is at the “tipping point” of a crisis in dealing with escalating wildfires and diseases that are ravaging America’s increasingly fragile forest ecosystems. The federal agency, which manages 193m acres (78m hectares) of forest, will plead once again for more funding from Congress, in the wake of a devastating 2015 that saw record swaths of forest engulfed in flames. A total of 10.1m acres were burned last year, a figure that is double the typical losses seen 30 years ago. During this time, the average fire season in the US has lengthened by 78 days, with scientists predicting that the amount of forest razed by fire will double by 2050. Climate change-driven drought, wildfire and invasive diseases are stretching the US Forest Service to breaking point, the agency has warned.

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Polallie Cooper thinning project draws passion from groups

Hood River News
February 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service is planning a nearly 3,000-acre forest thinning and fuels reduction project on the north slope of Mount Hood, drawing more than a thousand written comments from Oregon environmental advocates and local biking groups. The Hood River Ranger District will hold a public meeting Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hood River Fire Department, 1785 Meyer Parkway, to discuss “Polallie Cooper Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project.” The public will get a chance to study the proposal, look at maps and ask district specialists questions in a casual setting. Janeen Tervo, Hood River District ranger, said fire suppression and safety prompted the thinning plan, which takes a “proactive” approach.

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Editorial: Grant state authority for federal forests

The Bend Bulletin
February 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After every round of wildfire in the federal forest comes a new round of reforms aimed at doing something about it. But the wildfires are winning. You can see it in the smoke and fires every summer. The U.S. Forest Service burns up more and more every year in its firefighting budget. In 1995, it was 16 percent of its budget. It’s likely to be more than half this year. Oregon’s delegation in Congress pushed for changes in how to pay for the worst fires — treating them like the natural disasters they are. Congress failed to approve the change. With the federal government failing to make much progress, the state could be about to get more involved. State Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, has proposed a bill, Senate Bill 1520, that would allow the state to enter into a “Good Neighbor Authority” agreement. What is it? Oregon could enter into cooperative agreements or contracts to do watershed restoration and forest management services in the national forests.

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Nancy Napier: No plaid, no beard, no axe — but I still can learn from my inner forester

Idaho Statesman
February 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I was just in Coeur d’Alene at the 15th annual Foresters Forum, a very cool get together for people in the timber industry. They cover topics like wildfire, water quality, silviculture and legal issues. Now please know that I don’t wear plaid, have a beard, or carry an axe. In my black-leather skirt and scarf, I fit right in. They had no idea I wasn’t a forester until I admitted it. …When I was asked to speak to the group, I admitted (as I always do) that I knew nothing about the industry or organizations in it but would like to. So I asked a naïve question: What do foresters do? And it turns out they can teach the rest of us something about building cultures.

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Marten sees challenges ahead for Forest Service Region 1

The Missoulian
February 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Seven months into her job as leader of the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region, Forester Leanne Marten wants to see more even progress at a tumultuous time for the agency. “You have these bursts of capacity and then it goes down in the next year,” Marten said in an interview with the Missoulian on Monday. “I want to smooth that out and slowly increase our participation over time, so we can maintain pace with our partners. We have much more work on the ground than we have the capacity and resources to complete.” That said, Marten was pleased to list the accomplishments Region 1 did log during 2015. That included improving 475 miles of stream habitat, removing noxious weeds from 68,000 acres, restoring or improving 135,000 acres of wildlife habitat, reducing fuels on more than 250,000 acres (including 96,000 in the wildland-urban interface around homes and structures) and maintaining 12,000 miles of trail.

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U.S. Forest Service strategy offers candid look at system in disarray

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
February 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new strategy for managing public lands for recreation, heritage and wilderness paints a bleak picture of the U.S. Forest Service’s own ability to tackle the job. “You could say this looks like a D-minus report card,” said George Bain, Forest Service Region 1 director of recreation, lands, minerals, heritage and wilderness. “To us, this is how it is. We wanted to take a good, hard look and develop a strategy for how to work in that world. We don’t have all the money we’d want. We don’t have all the workforce we’d want. We don’t have the ability to take care of everything the way we’d like. This is the landscape we’re working in. Let’s see how to address this.”

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Loggers hurry to beat break-up at Lake Como project

The Missoulian
February 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Morning begins hours before first light for William Parke. Parked alongside the icy road leading to the busy logging operation about four miles up the road from Lake Como, the Drummond man is removing the chains from the tires on his heavily loaded log truck. He’s one of about dozen drivers who have been moving hundreds of tons of logs from the Bitterroot Forest to the Pyramid Mountain Lumber Mill in Seeley Lake during the past couple of months. In January alone, they hauled 427 loads of logs from the site. That’s about 24 loads a day that have come down the road to Lake Como. Starting this week, half of the logging operation will move over to Lost Horse, where people should expect to see a steady increase of logging truck traffic during the next month or more as Drummond-based Parke Logging hurries to complete the Horse Lick Timber Sale project before spring break-up arrives.

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Plan aims to end ‘fire borrowing’

Sens. Crapo and Wyden push for bipartisan bill
The Argus Observer
February 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ONTARIO — Two Western senators have proposed a change to federal wildfire funding they say could end a cycle of borrowing to battle catastrophic blazes. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, in a meeting at The Argus Observer office Friday, touted a bipartisan amendment he and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, presented to the U.S. Senate Tuesday. The senators proposed changing an energy bill currently on the floor to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund the nation’s worst firefighting disasters. Crapo said Friday the amendment is aimed not at all fires but at the 1 percent of truly catastrophic fires that ravage the country each year. Those blazes are natural disasters, and therefore it makes sense for the country’s disaster response agency to foot some of the bill, he said.

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Crews thin forest to slow mountain pine beetle infestation

KEVN Black Hills Fox
February 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Black Hills National Forest, SD The mountain pine beetle infestation claimed more than 16 thousand acres of the Black Hills last year. But new reports from 2015 show the epidemic is slowing. Gregory Josten with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture said, “The expansion of the beetle epidemic is definitely slowed down, and we’re hoping that trend is going to continue.” And crews are out in full force – continuing that progress. Big rigs were busy, Friday – thinning out the forest. Kurt Allen with the U.S. Forest Service said, “When the forest is more spaced out and more thinned out – it’s just a poorer habitat for the beetles and they generally won’t go there.” Mountain pine beetles have affected nearly 450 thousand acres of land in the Black Hills since the outbreak began in 1996.

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Partnerships working for the Kootenai

This opinion is signed by the following members of the executive board of the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition
The Missoulian
February 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Open the newspaper or start a conversation about the Kootenai National Forest, and one topic is sure to come up: lawsuits. Frankly, this theme can be heard wherever there is a national forest. People often feel frustrated that lawyers and judges trump local professional land managers. In the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition, we are waist-deep in forward-thinking efforts to restore our national forest lands, supporting our communities economically while protecting diverse recreation, wildlife and wilderness values. We share public frustration, but aren’t content to sit on our hands and complain. The Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition is a collaborative that includes a host of groups and individuals who have been closely tied to the Kootenai for decades. This self-initiated group contains representatives from the timber industry, conservationists and wilderness advocates, hunters and anglers, hikers, county government, snowmobilers and ATV riders.

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Forest restoration project planned near Ashland

Billings Gazette
February 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


To help restore a portion of the most recently burned portion of the forest, the district is proposing to remove large dead trees and plant new ponderosa pines on portions of about 1,500 acres. “This is just a piece of a larger restoration strategy,” Daley said. “We’ve already replanted 365 acres adjacent to this treatment area.” In addition, the forest contracted for a logger to salvage trees 12 inches and larger from 250 acres this winter. To move along the new project, the Forest Service is asking for public comment on the Fly Wilbur/North Whitetail Restoration Project, two areas that burned in 2012. …Before planting new trees, the Forest Service is proposing to remove large dead and downed trees through cutting, broadcast burning, pile burning, mastication and lopping and scattering slash. The idea is to remove fuel for future fires that could cause greater harm to the landscape.

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Oregon Wild’s litigious past a factor in Ochoco opposition

Associated Press in The Herald and News
February 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BEND — Oregon Wild’s proposal to declare 300,000 acres of Ochoco National Forest land as a national recreation area has been widely opposed by the residents and officials of Crook County for the land use restrictions that many say such a designation could lead to. But another factor contributing to the staunch opposition, according to recent comments at public meetings and gatherings as well as interviews with The Bulletin, is the conservation organization’s history and reputation in Prineville and elsewhere. Some locals know Oregon Wild as a group that in the past has damaged local industry with its proposals and lawsuits, regardless of intentions, and they haven’t failed to bring that up at meetings about the proposal.

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White pine prized for lumber

Tallahassee Democrat
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

When falling, a very large pine tree has a certain kind of terrible grandeur, crashing and snapping its way down to the ground, especially in the winter woods. Being near a large tree as it is falling can be a thrilling, frightening experience — a smoky-green, snapping explosion of snow, ice, chlorophyll, cellulose, needles, cones and bark. And, regular visitors to old-growth forests in the summer, as well, generally become wary during times of high wind, and with good reason. The cone pictured is from the white pine, “Eastern white pine,” Pinus strobus. This is the cone of a potentially very tall pine species, one of the tallest tree species in the forests of eastern North America.

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Lack of genetic diversity threatens survival of mass tree plantings

ABC News, Australia
February 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The survival of trees planted in large conservation plantings is under a cloud, with evidence emerging a lack of genetic diversity is threatening the trees’ ability to reproduce. With tens of millions of trees and shrubs planted around the country in the past couple of decades, low quality seed and vegetation planted away from its original growing area is being blamed for low production. Steve Field runs a seed collecting business in Uralla, in north-west NSW, and part of his job includes the rehabilitation of mine sites and creek lines. “It has been identified that some of the tree plantings that have been done in the past may not regenerate past the generation that was put in,” Mr Field said. “If those trees don’t continue and don’t start shedding seed and growing, we’re right back to where we started.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Northern Arizona power plant to run on forest thinnings

AZCentral
February 9, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A power plant in Northern Arizona that will run on trees thinned from the forest to prevent fires has received an air-quality permit from the state, officials said Monday. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued the permit to Concord Blue Eagar, an affiliate of a larger company called Concord Blue Energy. The company must secure contracts for wood fuel from the surrounding forests, which are part of a major restoration project that aims to thin out overgrown Ponderosa pine in Arizona to reduce the threat of wildfire. The plant should be complete this year, according to Concord. The plant will use 75 tons of wood fuel per day, according to Concord.

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Energy woes spark new Tasmania biomass industry investment push

ABC News, Australia
February 6, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Tasmanian Resources Minister Paul Harriss is pushing investment in biomass energy generation, as low hydro dam levels combine with the Bass Strait power cable cut to put pressure on state industries. Mr Harris said biomass – the burning of forestry and agricultural waste for power generation – should be a central renewable energy strategy. “As part of Tasmania’s attention to renewable energy … a biomass power station or power stations …(should be) right front and centre in terms of being part of the renewable energy effort,” he said. Damage to the Basslink cable and low dam levels have increased the urgency behind the Government’s effort to attract investors.

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Forestry offcuts obvious solution to state’s power crisis

The Mercury
February 5, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

THE solution to Tasmania’s energy crisis is staring us in the face. Frantically praying for rain, diving under the sea to patch cables and importing massive diesel generators should be sufficient in anyone’s eyes to label what is happening in Tasmania as an energy crisis. The debate about solutions has rightly involved furrowed brows over the clean, green state making more of a call permanently on traditional energy sources delivered via the undersea cable. The crazy thing is that of all the states of Australia, Tasmania is sitting on the most easily accessible, economically sensible, environmentally sustainable renewable energy source. It’s called bioenergy. People in the street would call it offcuts and forestry logging operation residues.

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Facts versus emotion in Tasmanian biomass debate

Institute of Foresters of Australia
PRWire press release
February 9, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The quality of public discourse about the possibility of Tasmania building a biomass fueled electricity plant needs to be lifted. Rob de Fégely, National President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia, asks that people consider facts not emotive argument when considering the benefits, or otherwise, of a biomass/electricity plant. ‘Wood biomass is potentially a renewable energy source that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions when used to replace fossil fuel energy. However, professional foresters understand that there is community concern about the potential impacts of large-scale use of wood for bioenergy on other forest values such as biodiversity and reluctance in some quarters to accept energy generated from wood as genuinely renewable.

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