Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 19, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

More softwood, a little Trump and a dash of TLA

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 19, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

At a campaign-style event in Vancouver Tuesday, columnist Tom Fletcher reports that NDP leader John Horgan has started his election campaign on the state of BC’s forests. In sum, Horgan believes Clark should “replace her trade minister and ‘retool’ for a lumber battle with Trump”. He also takes a swipe at “BC’s biggest forest companies for buying sawmills in the United States as B.C. mills shut down”.

In other softwood news, TLA head David Elstone comments on the impact duties will have on the US consumer and thus the US housing market, “which is still recovering from the 2008/09 recession” and per Paul Quinn at RBC “is coming in above expectations” in December. Nova Scotia Trade Minister Michel Samson expresses confidence that his province will “dodge softwood lumber duties” because “the U.S. Lumber Coalition made it clear that they recognize that Nova Scotia has been playing by the rules”.

Sticking with Trump, the President-elect could make good on his promise to rescue America’s dying coal industry, “with a little help from wood pellets”, according to a Maine-based global expert on pellet fuels. “Burning a mix of 10 percent wood pellets in coal-fired power plants is common now in Europe”.

Finally, the Supreme Court of BC gave the green light to Catalyst Paper to make changes that would facilitate “a recapitalization plan” so the company can “switch from a publicly traded entity to a private enterprise”.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

FPAC urges innovation in the face of uncertainty

By Maria Church
Wood Business
January 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Almost a year into his tenure as CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, Derek Nighbor speaks about what’s on the association’s radar in 2017…We at FPAC, as a national group, are monitoring the proceedings and we’re reminding the government that it is critical they defend the Canadian industry’s interests… No. 2, our message to the federal government as they work through this challenging time is to say, “We need you to continue to focus and support industry as it evolves and transforms.” We want to see continued support for innovation in forestry. We want to see the federal government partnering with us so we can become less reliant on the U.S. market… A third area we are working on is to encourage building more with wood in Canada. We have the world’s No. 1 reputation for how responsibly we manage our forests in Canada and wood building structures are less carbon-intensive to build and the wood actually stores carbon.  We should be building more with wood through municipal, provincial and federal government procurement.

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CBC News discusses softwood lumber and interviews TLA’s Elstone

By Dan Burritt
CBC News
January 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The CBC News took a good look and the BC forest sector and the impact of the softwood lumber agreement on January 17. Dan Burritt interviewed Truck Loggers Association CEO David Elstone with questions about how the negotiations and relationship with Trump could have an impact. [to watch the forestry segment, let the video load and once past the ads fast forward to 22:20 for the full forestry segment, or 25:40 for David’s interview]

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Another Domtar fire one of two fires keeping crews busy Tuesday night

By Doug Collins
CFJC Today
January 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — A shed fire on the North Shore last night kept fire crews busy. It was one of two blazes KFR crews had to deal with last night. Platoon Captain Steve Butchart says North Shore crews were called out to attend the blaze, which was confined to the shed itself and its contents. Butchart says the fire was at the intersection of Dot and Yew Street, just off McKenzie Avenue… Earlier in the evening, crews were called to the Domtar Pulp mill for a small blaze. “About 9:30 PM we got called to Domtar,” says Butchart. “Down in their steam plant area there is a piece of equipment, a motor generator, that malfunctioned down there and sprayed some type of oil that covered one of the steam pipes.” Butchart said the steam pipe was extremely hot, and when the oil hit the pipe, it caught on fire, spreading to some of the insulation close by.

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Horgan takes on Clark, forest companies

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
January 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…At a campaign-style event in Vancouver Tuesday, Horgan also took aim at B.C.’s biggest forest companies for buying sawmills in the United States as B.C. mills shut down. “When I look at what some of the major forest companies in British Columbia have been doing in the last number of years, they haven’t been reinvesting their profits in British Columbia, they’ve been buying U.S. assets,” Horgan said. “Canfor, Interfor, West Fraser have been purchasing U.S. interests rather than reinvesting here in British Columbia.”  Clark and Forests Minister Steve Thomson also heard from coastal industry representatives, as the annual Truck Loggers Association opened in Vancouver Wednesday.”Recent industry polling tells us that two in three Coastal British Columbians feel government should be doing more to support the forest industry,” said David Elstone, TLA executive director.

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Catalyst Paper aims to go from public to private company

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
January 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Supreme Court of BC gave the green light on Jan. 18 to major changes to the way Catalyst Paper does business. Catalyst Paper, which owns the Crofton pulp mill, is in the process of a recapitalization plan that would see the forest company switch from a publicly traded entity to a private enterprise. Company spokeswoman Eduarda Hodgins said the completion of the recapitalization plan is subject to the customary closing conditions, but if it proceeds, it’s “good news” for the company’s mills and workers. “If this deal is finalized, it will reduce our debt, increase our liquidity and allow Catalyst to grow and thrive,” she said. “It’s a fairly complex process and we’re fairly confident that it will proceed, but the deal is not closed yet. If it passes, it will allow us to conduct business as usual, but with more financial flexibility.”

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Softwood penalties concern

By Kate Bouey
Castanet
January 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster believes the province’s softwood lumber industry is “in for a change” once U.S. president-elect Donald Trump takes office this week. “We know what the president elect has said about the foreign supply of anything – cars or lumber or toothpicks – it doesn’t matter,” Foster said, referring to Trump’s protectionist rhetoric. “We’re very concerned and we’re expecting there’s going to be some tarriffs.”… In Salmon Arm, Mayor Nancy Cooper also expressed her fears during a major speech to the chamber of commerce. “Our region is highly reliant on the forest industry and any change in the trade relations with the United States could have a serious impact on local jobs,” said Cooper…. “I don’t know what John Horgan thinks he can do. Maybe he should go down to the United States and talk to Mr. Trump. See how they get along.”

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Trade minister confident Nova Scotia will dodge softwood lumber duties

CBC News
January 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia Trade Minister Michel Samson says he believes the province will be exempt from any new duties that could be placed on Canadian softwood lumber by the U.S. government… “The U.S. Lumber Coalition made it clear that they recognize that Nova Scotia has been playing by the rules,” said Samson. “We have a competitive market-based system when it comes to stumpage rates on Crown land and private land, not only today but we’ve had that in the past.”… Samson and a delegation representing Nova Scotia’s lumber sector recently left Washington after a meeting with Canada’s ambassador to the United States and the lumber coalition. “The question is now what is a new softwood lumber agreement going to look like with the federal government that will impact every Canadian province,” he said.

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Trump picks Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary

By Chris Mooney and John Wagner
The Washington Post
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States


Donald Trump has chosen former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue to be his secretary of agriculture, completing a protracted search with implications for how the president-elect plans to deliver on his promises to the army of rural voters widely credited with helping him win the election. …Perdue, a former Democrat who switched to the Republican Party before governing Georgia for two terms from 2003 to 2011, has a strong agricultural background, having grown up on a farm and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine. As governor of Georgia, he also took conservative stances on immigration and voting rights and drew national headlines for holding a public vigil to pray for rain in 2007 amidst a crippling drought.

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US Housing Starts: Above expectations

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The US Census Bureau released new residential construction statistics for December that came in above consensus expectations, showcasing y/y growth in multi-family and single-family starts. US housing starts of 1.226MM (SAAR) came in above expectations of 1.190MM and sit at 1.168MM for 2016 – Beating expectations, housing starts of 1.226MM (SAAR) were up 5.7% y/y and 11.3% above the upwardly revised November figure of 1.102MM (from 1.090MM). On a regional basis, starts in the South represented 47% of the total versus 27% in the West, 19% in the Midwest and 8% in the North-East. Single-family starts were 795K, up 3.9% y/y but 4.0% below the November rate of 828K. For December, single-family starts represented 65% of new residential builds (vs. 67% in 2016, 64% in 2015, and the 20-year average of 76%). We note that, single-family starts are the key driver for forest products consumption, with ~3x the use of wood products vs. multi-family units.

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Researchers, $1M in grants to help Maine recover from ‘natural disaster’ of mill closures

By Nick Sambides Jr.
Bangor Daily News
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PASSADUMKEAG, Maine — About $1 million in federal grants and access to the federal laboratory that began the Atomic Age will help the state’s $8.5 billion forest products industry determine its future, officials announced Wednesday. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory — the U.S. Department of Energy‘s largest research center — will help researchers at the University of Maine tackle the future of bio-based materials, including nanocellular technology, biofuels and additive manufacturing, as part of a multi-pronged plan to guide and repair the state’s forest products industry, said Matt Erskine, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. Oak Ridge “is one of the most innovative research and development facilities in the nation,” Erskine said after a news conference held Wednesday at the American Forest Management wood yard.

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Trump pledge to save coal plants could benefit Maine wood pellet industry

By Tux Turkel
Portland Press Herald
January 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

President-elect Donald Trump could make good on his promise to rescue America’s dying coal industry, with a little help from wood pellets, a Maine-based global expert on pellet fuels is suggesting. Burning a mix of 10 percent wood pellets in coal-fired power plants is common now in Europe. Doing that in the United States could save tens of thousands of mining jobs, create a similar number of new jobs in the forestry and pellet-making sectors, spur billions of dollars in investment and improve air quality, according to William Strauss, president of FutureMetrics in Bethel. …Environmental advocates who have been fighting wood pellet exports to Europe say this is a bad idea that will deplete forests and prolong the lives of dirty coal plants that contribute to climate change.

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It’s time for Maine’s forest products industry to reinvent itself. Here’s how.

By Yellow Light Breen, president/CEO, Maine Development Foundation and Patrick Strauch, executive director, Maine Forest Products Council.
Bangor Daily News
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Maine’s forest products industry finds itself in an unusual position. Instead of having markets for every part of the tree, we’ve seen a 25 percent reduction in markets because of global economic forces. This has reduced its economic impact by $1 billion, shuttered six mills and cost the state more than 5,000 good jobs. We’ve also seen an outpouring of support from Maine’s congressional delegation, Gov. Paul LePage and other state leaders.. …Our goal is to attract capital investments, develop greater economic prosperity in the forest products sector statewide and sustain good-paying jobs by developing a common long-term vision for the forest economy and identifying and taking action on key opportunities and challenges that must be overcome.

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Losing mill would be ‘nail in the coffin’

By Donna Frischknecht
Manchester Newspapers
January 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

It’s been part of the Whitehall landscape since 1940. Back then, Commonwealth Plywood was supplying birch plywood for the Royal Air Force in the making of its mosquito bombers during World War II. Today, 77 years later, the mill still stands off Route 4, providing those who pass by with a glimpse at Whitehall’s past, present and, hopefully, vibrant future as an employer for those in the area in desperate need of jobs. …“Whitehall, as well as other communities where the production of hardwood plywood has a vital role for local economic well-being, can support this cause by demanding to the representatives to step forward for American industry and apply controls on China’s illegal practices,” Montero said. 

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European Wood Pellet Market Potential

January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In 2016, the wood pellet market in Europe reached a size of 19 million tons per annum (Mtpa), while production capacity stood at 23.5 Mtpa, and consists of two largely independent sectors with only limited interaction. The industrial market is focused on large-scale bioenergy generation, while the premium market is focused on small-scale residential and commercial heat generation. The use of pellets for industrial-scale energy generation has not been widely adopted across Europe, with the U.K., Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands leading the market. Nevertheless, this sector accounted for 51 percent (9.7 Mtpa) of total pellet demand in Europe in 2016, and Pöyry expects further growth in this sector. Demand is likely to reach levels of between 12.4 Mtpa and 20.2 Mtpa by 2025, depending on some outstanding political decisions.

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Stora Enso shelves plans for Beihai hardwood pulp mill

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Stora Enso is reconsidering its plans to build a 900,000 tpy eucalyptus pulp mill at the Beihai production site in the Chinese Province of Guangxi. The company informed it started “a process with the Regional Government of Guangxi to remove the authorisation for the hardwood chemical pulp mill from its investment permit.” The final decision by the company’s board of directors on the Beihai pulp mill project is still pending, according to Stora Enso Stora Enso explains the change in the Beihai investment project with new investments in hardwood pulp segment which are having a negative impact on the supply-demand situation on the global pulp market

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European Wood Pellet Market Potential

January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In 2016, the wood pellet market in Europe reached a size of 19 million tons per annum (Mtpa), while production capacity stood at 23.5 Mtpa, and consists of two largely independent sectors with only limited interaction. The industrial market is focused on large-scale bioenergy generation, while the premium market is focused on small-scale residential and commercial heat generation. The use of pellets for industrial-scale energy generation has not been widely adopted across Europe, with the U.K., Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands leading the market. Nevertheless, this sector accounted for 51 percent (9.7 Mtpa) of total pellet demand in Europe in 2016, and Pöyry expects further growth in this sector. Demand is likely to reach levels of between 12.4 Mtpa and 20.2 Mtpa by 2025, depending on some outstanding political decisions.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

AWC Industry Progress Report Shows Improvements

By the American Wood Council
PR Web
January 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The American Wood Council (AWC) has released its second Industry Progress Report, detailing the wood products manufacturing industry’s performance across a number of environment, energy and safety measures. “The report shows that there have been significant improvements over the last decade in the areas of environment, energy and safety, despite the economic downturn that caused a drop in wood products manufacturing in 2009,” said President and CEO Robert Glowinski. “AWC members are very proud of their record of mill safety, energy management and efficiency, and protection of the environment while producing products that are central to the lives and homes of all Americans.”… The full Industry Progress Report is available on the AWC website at awc.org/aboutus.

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Queensland council makes timber its first preference for building projects

By Kallee Buchanan and Dominic Cansdale
ABC News, Australia
January 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A Queensland council has become the first in the state to adopt a wood encouragement policy that will see it prioritise timber in its construction projects. The Fraser Coast Council will now consider responsibly sourced wood as its first preference for construction material in all new build and refurbishment projects, when it is equally fit-for-purpose as other materials like steel or concrete. Timber Queensland chief executive Mick Stephens said it was an important step forward for the industry. “It’s quite a landmark day … it really puts a line in the sand in terms of recognising timber as a truly sustainable material,” he said.

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Forestry

Specialized helicopter used to combat beetle-infestation around lakecity

By Angie Mindus
Williams Lake Tribune
January 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Aviation enthusiasts will be interested in catching a glimpse of the Kaman K-MAX 1200 aircraft at work heli-logging in and around the city for the next few weeks. “It is a very specialized aircraft,” said Clint Sarver, who owns and operates Sarvair Aviation with his wife, Karen Sarver. “I believe there are only three in Canada and this is one of them.” The 108 Mile and Williams Lake-based company has leased the machine and its pilot and engineer as part of their sub-contract work for Sarver Wood Fibre, which is the main contractor hired by the Ministry of Forests to assist in combating the Douglas-fir beetle infestation in the forests around the lakecity this winter. …Currently, the crew is working in the forest at the end of South Lakeside Drive where 2,000 trees have been identified for removal.

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Cutting trees to protect turtle threatens other animals, say wildlife advocates

By Idil Mussa
CBC News
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Conservationists in Ottawa are upset the work of a Kanata developer to protect one species of animal could end up threatening a whole host of habitats for wintering creatures. Kanata North Lands Development (KLN) began felling trees earlier this month to make way for turtle fencing around an area slated for urban development in the South March Highlands. …Wildlife proponents started an online petition criticizing the impact the tree cutting could have on animals living on the more than 80 hectares of land, particularly during the winter months. “There’s no good time of the year, but the absolute worst time of the year is winter and during spring and early summer birthing seasons,” said Donna DuBreuil, president of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.

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Pearce to have say on natural resources management nationwide

By Joey Peters
Ruidoso News
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Last week, House Republicans announced members of the House Committee on Natural Resources for the 115th Congress. That list included Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico who had served on the committee from 2003 through 2009. In a statement from his office, Pearce said he plans to work on “restoring the health of our national forests, ensuring multiple use on appropriate federal lands, allowing Native American communities to grow and prosper, fighting for New Mexico water, preserving our national treasures and landmarks to safeguard them for future generations and more.”

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DNR buys forested slopes above Tarboo Bay for long-term conservation

Peninsula Daily News
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

QUILCENE — The Dabob Bay Natural Area has been expanded by 159 acres. Pope Resources sold 159 acres to the state Department of Natural Resources for $899,000 on Dec. 29. The area is now part of a state-managed conservation area above Tarboo Bay. “This parcel is an important addition to the natural area and will help provide long-term protection to Dabob Bay’s water quality, shellfish beds and wildlife habitat,” said Peter Bahls, a biologist and director of the Northwest Watershed Institute, a conservation group that helped with the acquisition. As part of the negotiations for purchase, Pope Resources agreed to hold off on a proposed timber sale that was of concern to neighbors and a shellfish farm located downstream, Bahls said.

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Forest Service postpones Red Lodge logging project

By Brett French
The Billings Gazette
January 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A proposed logging project west of Red Lodge that began with planning efforts in 2012 has been temporarily shelved by the Custer Gallatin National Forest. “It’s frustrating we’re not able to implement that,” said Beartooth District ranger Ken Coffin. “It’s a good project.” The Alliance for the Wild Rockies had challenged the project from its inception saying the work would harm lynx and grizzly bear habitat. “It’s great for taxpayers because the Forest Service estimated they would lose $588,000” on the timber sale, said Michael Garrity, executive director of the Alliance. “Everyone wins but the Forest Service bureaucracy, and the timber industry will get less subsidized timber sales, which is a good thing. And there won’t be over 500 acres of clearcuts.”

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Port chooses to remain in timber lawsuit

By Edward Stratton
The Daily Astorian
January 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Port of Astoria Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to stay in a class-action timber lawsuit brought by Linn County against the state. Commissioners did not comment on why they made the decision, which comes a week after the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to opt out. …County Manager Cameron Moore previously said that of the 30 taxing districts identified in the county, five under county control were automatically opted out by the board’s vote. Of the remaining 25, he said, Clatsop Community College, Seaside School District, Jewell School District, the college and the Port were among the major players.

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Timber economy good for Oregon

Letter by Paul Barnum, Executive Director, Oregon Forest Resources Institute
The Register-Guard
January 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The authors of the Jan. 12 guest viewpoint, “Expanded monument could benefit economy,” claim the “sun has set on the timber economy.” That’s certainly news to the 61,010 people the Oregon Employment Department says were directly employed in Oregon’s forest sector in 2015. And if the authors think that tourism will replace forest-sector jobs as an economic driver for the state, then I question who will have the discretionary funds to be a tourist. …Oregon is a natural resource state. Agriculture, ranching, forestry and fishing can all be done sustainably in perpetuity. These industries constitute our culture, history and heritage. They provide food, clothing, shelter and sanctuary.

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Federal land sell-off is not imminent

By the Editorial Board
The Mail Tribune
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Supporters of public lands are alarmed by a change in U.S. House rules that appears to smooth the way to transferring federal land to states to do with as they wish. But both President-elect Donald Trump and his Interior secretary nominee oppose such transfers. The change, tucked away in a package of rules adopted by the House Jan. 3, bars the Congressional Budget Office from considering the dollar value of federal land that is transferred to other entities. The rule essentially makes such transfers budget-neutral, removing a major obstacle. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., who is Trump’s nominee to head the Interior Department, voted for the rule change. But in his confirmation hearing Tuesday, Zinke told senators he is “absolutely against the transfer or sale of public lands.” Trump, too, has said he favors hanging on to federal land.

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Pine beetle population currently low with help of cold weather

By Colter Lairy
NBC Montana
January 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

KALISPELL, Mont. – With the severe cold conditions we have been experiencing the pine beetle population is lower this time of year, but it’s not just because of the cold weather. The Forest Service tells us the last major outbreak of pine beetles in Montana came in 2009, and beetle infestations come in cycles. “Every 15 or 20 years or so we have some pretty major outbreaks, and it is mostly tied to the amount of hosts that they have, and hosts are typically lodgepole pine,” Melissa Jenkins, of the Forest Service, said. The severe cold does help lower the beetle population even more. “Severe cold temperatures can affect beetle populations when it gets to 28 to 32 degrees below zero or so for 24 to 48 hours, that can start to affect beetles in the middle of the winter,” Jenkins said.

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Coalition focuses on timber industry, county economics

By Kathleen Woodford
Clark Fork Valley Press
January 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

It was a packed room as representatives from the federal, state, and county government met with local business owners and residents to discuss timber industry issues and the economic plight facing Mineral County. The meeting which brought the parties together on Jan. 3, was the Mineral County Resource Coalition, and has been organized monthly by Kevin Chamberlain, with the extension office. “We are definitely making headway with this collaboration,” he said, “it was established a few years ago and it usually takes five to ten years to see good results, but we are seeing them now. It’s the result of a perfect storm to have several key parties coming to the table. The county commissioners, school representatives, hospital, forest service, DNRC (Department of Natural Resources and Conservation), and local businesses.”

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Eastern Neighbourhood: Forestry project highlights positive developments

Newsday Georgia
January 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An EU-funded forestry project has highlighted the progress made in the forestry sector at its final meeting in December. Attendees at the last meeting of the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) II Programme, from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, suggested ways to ensure that the project’s results are long-term. One of more important deliverables of the Programme is increased collaboration between neighboring countries on forest management. Other important achievements included inputs to country forestry sector programs, study tours to EU Member State countries and bilateral dialogue, building community and youth awareness about the importance of forests, promoting new protected areas, and forest biodiversity conservation.

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Over half of world’s wild primate species face extinction, report reveals

By Ian Sample
The UK Guardian
January 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

More than half of the world’s apes, monkeys, lemurs and lorises are now threatened with extinction as agriculture and industrial activities destroy forest habitats and the animals’ populations are hit by hunting and trade. In the most bleak assessment of primates to date, conservationists found that 60% of the wild species are on course to die out, with three quarters already in steady decline. The report casts doubt on the future of about 300 primate species, including gorillas, chimps, gibbons, marmosets, tarsiers, lemurs and lorises. Anthony Rylands, a senior research scientist at Conservation International who helped to compile the report, said he was “horrified” at the grim picture revealed in the review which drew on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, peer-reviewed science reports and UN databases.

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Tasmanian Labor yet to decide whether to back Government’s logging plan

By Richard Baines
ABC News, Australia
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Opposition has yet to decide whether it will support or oppose the Government’s plan to open selected forests for logging in 2018. The Hodgman Government plans to table legislation when Parliament resumes in March to open up more than 300,000 hectares of land across the state. It is a plan vehemently opposed by the Greens, but it is unclear how Labor will vote. Labor spokesman and Upper House MP Craig Farrell said the party had yet to finalise it position. Unlocking the forests in question winds back a key plank of Labor’s forestry peace deal.

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Mexican anti-logging activist Isidro Baldenegro killed

BBC News
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A prominent Mexican environmentalist has been shot dead in his home state of Chihuahua after receiving death threats. Isidro Baldenegro had spent many years organising peaceful protests against illegal logging in the Sierra Madre mountains. In 2005 he won the prestigious Goldman environmental prize. A UK-based watchdog, Global Witness, says 33 activists were killed in Mexico in the five years up to 2015. Isidro Baldenegro was a community leader for Mexico’s indigenous Tarahumara people and was one of the country’s most prominent environmental activists. He had recently returned to his home village after receiving death threats against himself and his family.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Emerson awarded contract to help convert Lynemouth to biomass

Biomass Magazine
January 18, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

EPH Lynemouth Power has awarded Emerson a contract to help convert the 44-year-old coal-fired Lynemouth Power Station to a new biomass-fueled power plant. …When the conversion is complete in late 2017, the plant, near Newcastle in the United Kingdom, will be fueled by approximately 1.4 million tons of wood waste per year, supplying the national grid with up to 390 MW of low-carbon electricity. The project supports Europe’s strategy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency….According to Yeager, the demand for biomass-fueled power continues to grow as utilities diversify their generating portfolio to meet evolving environmental mandates.

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General

Ash trees disappear across Pennsylvania

By Jim Hook
Public Opinion News
January 17, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

SCOTLAND – The eradication of ash trees from Pennsylvania’s landscape and forests got a public viewing last week. Crews felled large-diameter trees dating to the early days of the Scotland School for Veterans Children. “We hate to see the trees go, and the tree-shaded entrance, but it had to happen because of the beetle infestation,” said Dr. David Newell, president and CEO of the Scotland Campus. “Two trees just fell over on the entrance road. They blocked traffic for a day.” …“The emerald ash borer is the most destructive exotic forest pest in North America since chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease, with the ability to potentially destroy the entire ash genus,” according to a forestry management plan for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

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