Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 20, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Is the softwood dispute a pro-wrestling event or do we need a ‘wood wall’?

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 20, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC Premier Christy Clark promised logging contractors on the Coast help with their most intractable problem, “consistent work at high enough rates”. According to Vancouver Sun business reporter Derrick Penner, the first task is to “evaluate the economics of logging contracting”. With softwood lumber duties looming, David Elstone, the TLA’s executive director, is pleased because “unlike many forest-product-producers”, the contractor community hasn’t had a chance to “repair their finances since the 2009 downturn” and thus the ability to absorb any of the pain.

Premier Clark was equally feisty in vowing to fight for BC’s forest industry in the trade battle, noting the “American government’s lack of regard for the facts”, in the Globe and Mail. “You would get more fair and impartial hearings from a judge at a pro-wrestling event”. Susan Yurkovich president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, expressed similar frustration, that the “same arguments that were proven false last time are being used”, in a BNN interview, but also similar resolve that “BC will prevail again”.

Finally, an interesting story on “first-time Super Bowl advertiser 84 Lumber“, in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Apparently, their [wood?] wall imagery was rejected for being “too political and too controversial“. 

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Business & Politics

No injuries as third fire this month ignites at Domtar’s Kamloops pulp mill

By Cam Fortems
Kamloops This Week
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West


Kamloops Fire Rescue crews were called to Domtar pulp mill for the second time in 25 hours for report of a small industrial fire. Platoon Capt. Jeff Bell said the call came in at about 2:20 a.m. on Thursday for a small fire in the steam plant area. Crews were on scene for more than three hours. “It was in an awkward area,” Bell said. “It was in a wall between two steel panels, in the insulation or debris inside the wall.” Firefighters have responded to three fires at the Mission Flats Road mill this month, on Jan. 4, Jan. 17 and Jan. 19 Investigators have determined the Jan. 4 fire at 8:45 p.m. started when welding sparks were thrown farther by an industrial heater at a wall. Some wood fibre was present in the steel-clad walls and caught fire.

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Horgan stands up for BC’s forestry sector

By Brendan Pawliw
My Prince George Now
January 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The U.S. International Trade Commission could impose significant duty against Canadian softwood lumber products that could put a dent into BC’s forestry sector. Forestry has taken a beating over the past 16 years according to BC NDP Leader John Horgan. Horgan says Premier Christy Clark hasn’t lifted a finger to help the industry. “Since 2001, 30,000 fewer people are working in forestry. Over 150 mills have closed and rather than focus on this fundamental industry in British Columbia, Christy Clark is chasing an LNG pipe-dream” The most recent cuts to the sector took place in Merritt when over 200 people lost their jobs. The Americans have also made an aggressive move says Horgan. “The U.S. International Trade Commission has filed against Canada and we can anticipate a significant duty put in place that will materially affect communities and workers right across British Columbia.”

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Premier’s promise of assistance embraced by B.C. coastal logging contractors

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark has promised logging contractors on B.C.’s coast some help with their most intractable problem, how to get consistent work at high enough rates from major forest companies to keep their firms viable. Contractors couch the discussion as “contractor sustainability,” and Clark, in a luncheon speech Thursday, said Forest Minister Steve Thomson has already begun a sweeping review of the sector’s problems. The Truck Loggers Association, the sector’s key industry body, argues that a couple of dozen contractors have been squeezed out of the business in recent years, either folding or going bankrupt, so Clark’s promise was welcome. “It’s time that we make sure the relationships that are so profoundly important to making sure the forest industry works are strengthened,” Clark said in her remarks to the B.C. TLA convention, which earned a standing ovation from the crowd.

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Lumber industry happy Chrystia Freeland taking up cudgel

Business News Network
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, is frustrated to see the perennial dispute over Canadian softwood lumber sales to the United States headed for litigation once again. But she reckons new Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is is playing a crucial role in trade talks, will make progress on the file. 

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Trump inauguration brings worries for B.C.’s forestry communities

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The inauguration of a highly protectionist president of the United States has sparked trepidation among B.C.’s forest-dependent communities and prompted B.C. Premier Christy Clark to tout her government’s efforts to find new markets outside the United States for its softwood lumber. . …Speaking to the annual Truck Loggers Convention on Thursday, Ms. Clark vowed to continue to fight for B.C.’s forest industry in the latest trade battle. “Time after time, without regard for the facts, the American government has accepted all of the allegations that have been filed by the U.S. lumber industry.” “You would get more fair and impartial hearings from a judge at a pro-wrestling event,” the Premier told the convention. …At the same time, Ms. Clark announced that the province has made progress in building alternative markets, with the first major shipment of B.C. lumber to India currently on its way.

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As election season looms, Clark stumps on lumber

By Jeremy Lye
inews880
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark appeared in front of a friendly crowd today, as she delivered a lunchtime speech to the Truck Loggers Association. In what was a campaign speech in all but name, Clark talked up fighting for the B.C. lumber industry in the face of a protectionist Trump administration. She also slammed NDP Leader John Horgan for promising to set up a task force to do pretty much the same thing earlier this week. “You do not need another task force, what the lumber industry needs, what contractors need and what workers need is a fighter.” “You need people who are going to go down to Washington DC and fight for your best interests.”

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Wired for a new start

By Lindsay Kelly
Northern Ontario Business
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The power generating station in Cochrane could be started up again this spring, under a new district energy model, thanks to ongoing talks that are yielding progress between stakeholders and the province. The 42-megawatt cogeneration facility, currently majority owned by Northland Power, shut down in May of 2015 when a new contract could not be negotiated with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Last year, despite efforts to be included in a procurement process that awarded 16 renewable energy contracts to projects across the province, the Cochrane station was shut out again.

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Fox rejects Pa. lumber company’s ‘controversial’ Super Bowl ad

By Rob Tornoe
The Daily Inquirer
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Nearly every year, some brands goes too far with their Super Bowl commercial, crafting a 30-second spot that’s deemed too sexy, provocative or offensive to air. In some cases, companies do this intentionally to garner more attention than a spot would’ve otherwise received.  But in the case of first-time Super Bowl advertiser 84 Lumber, it was a political message that was rejected for being “too controversial.” The 90-second spot, created by the Pittsburgh-based agency Brunner, includes images of immigrants unable to cross the border due to a wall, according to a story in Campaign, a trade publication that covers the communications industry. “Fox rejected our original commercial because they determined that some of the imagery, including ‘the wall’ would be too controversial,” CEO Michael Brunner said in a statement. “So we went back and revised the spot to make it acceptable to them.”

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Indonesian pulp mill causing huge environmental damage: activists

Phys.Org
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Green groups said Thursday that one of the world’s biggest pulp mills which started production on Indonesia’s Sumatra island last month was causing enormous environmental damage. The groups said the $3 billion mill belonging to industry giant Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) was sourcing raw materials mostly from trees grown on drained peatlands, where haze-belching fires occur every year. The mill produces a raw material which can later be made into paper. Woro Supartinah, whose NGO was among the groups protesting the mill, called on the Indonesian government to “promote a broader set of interests” than just helping major companies reap profits.

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Technology key to forest safety advances

By The Forest Industry Engineering Association
New Zealand Scoop
January 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

“Technology is vital in many new safety improvements in the forest industry – and the upcoming Forest Safety Summit will be showcasing them and the people who established them,” says Forest Industry Engineering Association event manager, Gordon Thomson. Since early December, FIEA has been extremely busy with Safety Summit registrations. The industry response has been huge, says Thomson. Forest industry leaders have been very proactive in safety even before health and safety laws were reformed he added.

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Irish forestry minister visits Glennon Brothers’ Fermoy mill

Timber Trades Journal
January 19, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International


Timber processor Glennon Brothers has welcomed Irish forestry minister Andrew Doyle to its Fermoy facility. Minister Doyle met with joint managing directors Pat and Mike Glennon and had the opportunity to see the company’s recent €13m investment in value-added secondary processing at the mill. The visit aimed to highlight the importance of the sawmilling sector to the Irish economy and afforded the minister the opportunity to engage with Glennon Brothers on the key issues facing the sawmilling and wider forest products sector. These issues include Brexit, the importance of achieving planting targets, and positive measures to increase the mobilisation of wood, especially from private growers. “While I am well aware of the many challenges facing the timber sector I found it really useful to meet the Glennons and hear first-hand their concerns,” said the minister.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

B.C. announces first major commercial wood demonstration project in India

By The Ministry of International Trade
Government of BC
January 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark today announced that the largest shipment of mass timber from British Columbia to India is en route. The shipment also includes lumber and will be used in the first major commercial wood demonstration project to showcase B.C. forest products in India. As India’s economy grows, traditional wood supply cannot meet increasing demand. As a leading supplier of sustainable forest products, British Columbia is seen as an attractive long-term supplier. Support for the project is being provided by the Government of B.C.’s market development agency for forest products, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), through its India office. The wood products will be used to construct a facility housing several design workshops at India’s Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University located in Ahmedabad, Gujurat State and will serve as a showcase to help grow awareness and demand in India for B.C. wood products.

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Steel and concrete’s take on tall wood

By John Caulfield
Building Design + Construction
January 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Steel and concrete manufacturers and their trade groups oppose changes in U.S. building codes that would allow mass timber for tall buildings. Their arguments center on fire safety, strength, and durability, while making the case for the environmental benefits of their products. The American Institute of Steel Construction contends that the steel industry is a “world leader” in using recycled material and end-of-life recycling, and has made strides to lower greenhouse gas emissions below regulatory requirements. At a webinar on resilience in November, the National Ready-Mix Concrete Association and the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub presented research which claimed that enhanced concrete design is more cost- and energy-efficient than non-engineered wood design.

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Forestry

Premier Clark’s Landmark Forestry Announcement Invigorates Timber Harvesting Contractors

January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Clark announced her government’s contractor sustainability review for BC’s timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 74th Annual Convention and Trade Show, “In It For the Long Run,” in Vancouver today. “This is the most significant announcement to affect timber harvesting contractors across the province in almost 20 years,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “BC’s $13 billion forest products industry relies on timber harvesting contractors making this not just an important announcement for contractors but for the industry as a whole.” “Contractors are the economic backbone of BC’s rural communities,” said Elstone.

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Training provided for forestry heavy-equipment operators, log truck drivers

By The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations
Government of BC
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Twenty-eight underemployed or underskilled individuals are developing their skills by taking forest heavy-equipment operator or log truck driver training, made possible through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement. Premier Christy Clark made the announcement at the annual Truck Loggers Association convention today. First Nations, displaced workers, recent immigrants and unemployed youth who don’t qualify for federal Employment Insurance benefits are being given first priority for the training, with a total of $556,705 for three contracts. The forest heavy-equipment operator training is a collaboration between the Interior Logging Association and the Thompson Rivers University campus in Williams Lake to prepare 16 individuals for job opportunities in the forest harvesting sector. 

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Premier Clark Announces Job Training Tax Credits For Timber Harvesting Contractors

Truck Loggers Association
January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Clark announced the development of job training tax credits for on-the-ground training specifically for BC’s timber harvesting contractors yesterday at the Truck Logger Association’s 74th Annual Convention and Trade Show. “The average age of a tree faller is 57,” Clark told the audience. “You’ve got a 50 per cent retirement rate that you’re looking down the barrel at over the next five years.” With that in mind, Clark outlined her plan: Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, will work with the Minister of Finance and the TLA to put in place job training tax credits for on-the-ground training aimed at timber harvesting contractors in British Columbia.

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Huu-ay-aht are ‘disappointed’ by decision to appeal

Alberni Valley News
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Huu-ay-aht First Nations are “extremely disappointed” to learn that the Canadian government has decided to appeal the Specific Claims Tribunal decision awarding more than $13.8 million in compensation to Huu-ay-aht First Nations for breaches of duty Canada committed between 1948 and 1969. The Nations believe a judicial review is “unfair and prolonging this clear decision in favour of Huu-ay-aht is a waste of taxpayers’ money.” “This decision to appeal is outrageous,” said Huu-ay-aht First Nations Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. “Part of our reconciliation to this long-term dispute was to seek fair compensation. We trusted Canada’s judicial processes to achieve this, but we are extremely disappointed to hear this will be further prolonged. It is unfair to our Nation.”

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Input sought on moose winter tick survey

By The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations
Government of BC
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildlife Health Program is once again asking for help assessing the effects of winter ticks on the province’s moose population as part of its annual moose winter tick surveillance program. The program relies on observations from wildlife professionals and the general public to monitor the number of animals with hair loss, assess the amount of hair loss on each animal and estimate the overall prevalence and distribution of winter ticks. Tick infestations can sometimes result in severe behavioural and physiological changes and directly impact the survival rates of moose, especially in younger animals. Winter ticks can also have a significant impact on moose populations when climate and habitat conditions promote high tick numbers.

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Premier Clark’s Landmark Forestry Announcement Invigorates Timber Harvesting Contractors

January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Clark announced her government’s contractor sustainability review for BC’s timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 74th Annual Convention and Trade Show, “In It For the Long Run,” in Vancouver today. “This is the most significant announcement to affect timber harvesting contractors across the province in almost 20 years,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “BC’s $13 billion forest products industry relies on timber harvesting contractors making this not just an important announcement for contractors but for the industry as a whole.” “Contractors are the economic backbone of BC’s rural communities,” said Elstone.

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Anishinabek man lays land claim over Benny forest in northern Ontario

CBC News
January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An Anishinabek man is seeking a land claim over Benny forest in northern Ontario to stop commercial logging in the area. “It’s been in the family a long time,” Clyde McNichol said. “I should have a right to defend the land … It’s still home to me.” Benny is located an hour’s drive north of Sudbury, Ont., near the town of Cartier. McNichol, who is from the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek (formerly known as Whitefish Lake First Nation), has protested logging activities in Benny before, but now he is pursuing legal action. McNichol is afraid loggers will ruin graveyards, and plants that provide traditional medicine in the forest. He also said he wants to exercise his traditional right of hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering in the woods.

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Elk herds reintroduced to northwestern Ontario on the move: biologist

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

Animals brought back to the northwest nearly 20 years ago after being wiped out in early 1900s. Elk herds that were reintroduced to northwestern Ontario nearly 20 years ago have started to spread out and claim new territory, according to a retired wildlife biologist who continues to study the animals. Bruce Ranta was part of the team that brought elk back to the northwest in the Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls area, after they were decimated in the early 1900s. The animals have been spotted closer to Fort Frances and even creeping towards Atikokan, he said. “We certainly are interested in any sightings that people do see of elk,” he told CBC News.

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Wyoming House Approves Bark Beetle Mitigation Money

By Doug Randall
KGAB
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Wyoming House of Representatives has signed off on a proposal to spend up to $500, 000 a year on efforts to mitigate the damage caused by the bark beetle infestation over the last few years. The beetles have created widespread fire danger by rapidly killing tees in forest areas of the state, leaving widespread swaths of dead timber that provide fuel for forest fires. Most experts say the bark beetle infestation in Wyoming has begun to slow somewhat, but the hazard posed by the dead trees will remain a problem for several years into the future.

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Oregon’s national monument fight is far from over

By Jamie Hale
The Oregonian
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After years of planning, campaigning, feuding and finger-pointing, Oregon’s fight over new national monuments seems to be coming to a close – for now. In his final days in office, President Barack Obama announced a massive expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon last Thursday, but a proposal for a monument at eastern Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands has run out of time. The decision to act on one of Oregon’s two national monument proposals is something of a compromise for the local conservationists and natural resource companies involved. 

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New Mexico State University forest researchers evaluate nursery protocol to improve survival rate of seedlings

By Jane Moorman
New Mexico State University NewsCenter
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MORA – Foresters face an overwhelming task as stewards of the land destroyed by high severity fires. Because of the increasing severity of forest fires in New Mexico and Arizona in recent years, there are approximately 118,000 acres of high severity devastation that need reforestation, according to a white paper by the U.S. Forest Service. While the foresters plant approximately 2,500 acres annually with an average of 200 seedlings per acre, new high severity fires destroy 13,500 additional acres annually making the reforestation task overwhelming. New Mexico State University’s John T. Harrington Forest Research Center at Mora is involved with the effort to reforest this land.

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Legislature to determine whether Blanchard recreation area is logged

By Kimberly Cauvel
The Skagit Valley Herald
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Time is running out to spare the central Blanchard State Forest, which includes several popular recreation areas, from being logged. The Legislature’s budget decisions this spring will determine whether an agreement is fulfilled to keep the recreation areas, which are part of what is called the forest core, free of logging. The state Department of Natural Resources needs $7.7 million to make that happen. Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed giving Natural Resources $1.5 million toward the Blanchard Forest Strategy agreement, according to the governor’s press office. Natural Resources officials said while that money would go toward fulfilling a long-standing agreement with Skagit County and other stakeholders, it would be insufficient to prevent the agency from having the core logged this year.

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry prepares for fire season

By Nicole Stein
KOBI TV
January 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Medford, Ore., — “It seems like its gonna be a good outlook, however it could be a double edged sword.” says Oregon Department of Forestry Public Information Officer, Melissa Cano. While it may be cold, wet and rainy outside right now – the Oregon Department of Forestry is preparing for the opposite. “We usually start in January, we start the hiring process, but the reason why we’re making an extra push this year is because last year our numbers were actually down.” said Cano. But getting a head start on the new hires isn’t the only way ODF is preparing. “If it is wetter, longer, of course it means we’re gonna hit probably an average fire season, because we’ve been above average for so many years now, that’s what we’re hoping for – to start at about average which would mean first week of June.” said Cano.

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Deer Mountain logging off the table for now

By Leila Kheiry
KTOO
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority’s Trust Land Office is no longer pursuing action toward timber sales on Deer Mountain or land in Petersburg. The trust board meets next week – Jan. 25 and 26 – and in the meeting packet is a memo from Trust Land Office Executive Director John Morrison. Morrison writes that while a federal land exchange deal wasn’t approved by Congress during its last session, he is confident that the reintroduced bill will pass this year. Therefore, Morrison writes, Trust Land Office staff member are now focused on helping that bill make it through, and on introducing a complimentary bill in the state Legislature.

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Radicals have destroyed many forests by stopping forest management

Letter by Bruce Many
The Daily Sentinel
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Stakeholders are being solicited to assist the Grand Mesa Uncompaghre National Forest to “implement and monitor treatment projects to respond to the spruce beetle epidemics and decline of aspen stands.” The stakeholder group will consist of representatives from county commissioners, the environmental industry, the forest products industry, recreationists, communities, wildlife interests, and education. Whew! I remember when the Forest Service did its own planning, and we didn’t have these massive insect infestations. They acted before they became infestations, and aspen was periodically cut to invigorate the stands. …Radicals have destroyed many forests, incinerated wildlife habitat, and bankrupted loggers and mills by stopping forest management. When are sensible people going to say, “Enough!”?

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National Monument expansion brings potential backlash

By Saphara Harrell
The World
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ASHLAND — President Barack Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument last week has been lauded as a triumph for some and a catastrophe for others, especially the O&C counties who say the expansion will further restrict logging. Jim Whittington, Bureau of Land Management public affairs officer for the Medford district, said his office has started dealing with the logistics of the 48,000-acre expansion. As of Wednesday, Whittington said it is trying to figure out exactly where the boundaries lie. He said a map was provided when the process to expand the 65,000-acre monument started, however the final version was different than what was circulated. “When the final proclamation came down Friday that map had changed and we had not been privy to the changes in that map,” Whittington said.

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How much drought can a forest take?

By University of California – Davis
Science Daily
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Why do some trees die in a drought and others don’t? And how can we predict where trees are most likely to die in future droughts? Scientists from the University of California, Davis, and colleagues examined those questions in a study published in the journal Ecology Letters. Using climate data and aerial tree mortality surveys conducted by the U.S. Forest Service during four years (2012-2015) of extreme drought in California, they found that when a drought hits the region, trees growing in areas that are already dry are most susceptible. The research also showed that the effects of drought on forests can take years to surface, suggesting that such effects may linger even after the drought has ended.

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Peach named vice chair of state Board of Natural Resources

Peninsula Daily News
January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach has been named the new vice chair of the state Board of Natural Resources. Peach represents 21 timber counties on a board that adopts policies, approves major commodity sales and makes decisions about transactions of state lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources. Peach was elected vice chair of the six-member panel in a special meeting Tuesday. “I didn’t dodge the bullet well enough,” Peach joked in a subsequent county commissioners meeting. Hilary Franz, who was elected to replace retired Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark last November, will chair the Board of Natural Resources.

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2016 was another low year for wildfires. 2017 may not keep that trend.

By Brittany Breeding
THV11
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Forestry Commission has determined in their annual wildfire recap that 2016 was a relatively low year for wildfire frequency. However, they fear that may not be the case for 2017. In 2016, a total of 19,045 acres were burned in 1,248 wildfires, according to the Arkansas Forestry Commission. They said February, March and November were the months with the most wildfires. The top two wildfire causes for the past decade have been arson and debris burning. “…The number of wildfires has been low since 2013.  The highest number of wildfires in recent years was in 2012 when Arkansas had 2,148 wildfires, according to the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

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