Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 23, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

R&D leads to new opportunities for wood

Tree Frog Forestry News
January 23, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

In a sign of the ties developing between the Trudeau and Trump camps, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, will travel to Calgary tomorrow to hold talks in Canada with members of the prime minister’s team. This in preparation for trade talks, per two Globe and Mail stories; “Trudeau and Trump to meet ‘soon’ on trade and security” and “Canada’s strongest card in the era of Trump: We buy American”. According to Den Tandt, “America’s three largest trading partners are China, Canada and Mexico, in that order”, but only with Canada is the trade balanced. “Put most simply, Canada buys American”.

At the TLA convention on Friday, Forests Minister Thomson elaborated on his government’s announcement to undertake a “Forest Industry Contractor Sustainability Review”. According to the reports, he will engage an independent facilitator to work with contractors, licensees and government to define the issues and actions that all parties can support to “improve competitiveness of both contractors and licensees”. 

In R&D news, UBC and FPInnovations have come up with a new way to keep wood from demolished houses out of the landfill – converting them into particleboard. And an Indian Plywood research body has discovered the concept of engineered bamboo lumber, “increasing the prospects of its use in construction and furniture“.

— Tree Frog Editors 

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Business & Politics

Canada’s strongest card in the era of Trump: We buy American

By Michael Den Tandt
National Post
January 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

It’s no big shocker, in a country leaning heavily Democrat, that reaction to President Donald Trump’s truculent inaugural speech in the first 48 hours has run the gamut from fear, to loathing, to horror. But a pause for breath is in order. There’s room for qualified reassurance, from a Canadian standpoint, in the blunt clarity of the new administration’s plans. …And Canada? This country had two-way goods trade with the United States worth $575-billion in 2015, but in almost even measure — a deficit for America of just $15 billion. American ‘goods’ bought from Canada are led by mineral fuels, oil and natural gas, to the tune of $70 billion in 2015. The top three categories of American goods bought by Canadians, meantime, were vehicles ($48 billion), machinery ($43 billion) and electrical equipment ($25 billion.) The United States has no larger manufactured goods export market than Canada. That is why, as the message now burning up the lines between Ottawa and Washington D.C. reminds us, an estimated nine million jobs in 35 states depend on exports to Canada. Put most simply, Canada buys American.

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Trudeau and Trump to meet ‘soon’ on trade and security

By Laura Stone and Daniel LeBlanc
The Globe and Mail
January 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump have pledged to meet, but a high-profile visit to Parliament any time soon seems unlikely. Sources familiar with the Trudeau government’s plans say Canadian officials are worried that mass protests would disrupt Mr. Trump’s visit to Canada, and that view has been shared with the President’s team. Instead, it appears more probable that Mr. Trudeau would travel to Washington to meet with Mr. Trump. The two leaders talked on the phone on Saturday and discussed meeting “soon,” the Prime Minister’s Office said, although it wasn’t entirely clear when or in which country. At the swearing-in ceremony for White House staff on Sunday, Mr. Trump confirmed he will meet with Mr. Trudeau, but didn’t offer a timeline. He also said he’ll be meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and will start negotiations on the North American free-trade agreement and “on immigration and on security at the border.”

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First Nation Forestry Council signs MOU with pulp and paper industry

By Chris Bush
Nanaimo Bulletin
January 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The First Nation Forestry Council, Nanaimo Forest Products (Harmac), Catalyst Paper, Paper Excellence Canada and Zellstoff Celgar Limited Parternship, are signatories to a memorandum of understanding, announced Tuesday, in which they have agreed to promote the growing role and influence of First Nations in the B.C. forest sector. According to a press release from Marketwired, the memorandum – linked to the First Nation Forestry Council Compliance Management System that sets a new standard for sharing information – has an initial 12-month term with provision for extension. Signing commits the parties to work together to promote projects, policies and regulations that will benefit First Nations and the pulp and paper manufacturers. It also calls for the creation of a working group to identify areas of mutual concern.

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Budget season begins with Tolko talk

Merritt Herald
January 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Merritt is facing an estimated four to six per cent drop in overall tax revenue in 2018 due to the closure of the Tolko sawmill. Those numbers are based on two scenarios, with the city facing up to a six per cent drop if Tolko decides to demolish the offices they have on the property, and about a four per cent drop if the site remain shuttered as it is now, City of Merritt director of finance Sheila Thiessen told the Herald. The city’s overall revenue from taxes was $7.3 million in 2015 with Tolko contributing about $500,000. For this year’s budget, the City of Merritt will receive the same amount of tax revenue from Tolko that it took in last year, but knowing what kind of revenue hit the city may be facing in 2018 will allow the city to prepare for that during this year’s budget process, Thiessen said.

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Spate of fires at Domtar were similar but not connected

By Ashley Legassic
Infotel News
January 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – With three fires in as many weeks, investigators are still trying to determine whether the pattern of blazes at the Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops is coincidence. Kamloops Fire Rescue Platoon Capt. Jeff Bell says crews responded to a small blaze at the pulp mill shortly before 2:30 a.m. yesterday, Jan. 19. Bell says workers were “grinding” in the area where the flames broke out. It was quickly extinguished, much like the blaze crews responded to on Jan. 17. Oil sprayed onto a hot pipe was determined to be the cause of that fire. The third one, earlier this month, was a small dust fire, according to Kamloops Fire Rescue. “It could be just coincidence, we haven’t been there in months,” Bell says. “There’s been nothing for so long and then three fires.”

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Following Facility Closures, Weyerhaeuser Mum on Future Plans

By Dillon Tabish
Flathead Beacon
January 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Cedar Palace, the former Plum Creek Timber Co. administrative office in Columbia Falls from which a timber giant reigned for decades, has shuttered and is awaiting a new fate. The 37,000-square-foot office officially closed Dec. 16. Roughly 100 employees were laid off in the latest closure since Weyerhaeuser absorbed Plum Creek in a 2016 merger. The job cuts follow the closure of Weyerhaeuser’s lumber and plywood mill in Columbia Falls in August, which resulted in the loss of 72 positions. Tom Ray, Weyerhaeuser’s Montana Resources Team Leader, said the company has not determined what to do with the shuttered facilities. “We are still looking at our options for both the office and the mill site, and have made no decisions on what will happen to them in the future,” Ray said in an email.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood from demolished Metro Vancouver homes could become particleboard

By Jennifer Saltman
Vancouver Sun
January 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A research project funded in part by Metro Vancouver has found a way to turn some of the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wood from the region’s demolished homes into something useful — particleboard. A record 3,000 single-family homes were demolished in Metro in 2015, up from 2,500 the year before. In May 2015, Metro approached the University of B.C. and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing to see if researchers could come up with new ways to keep wood from these homes out of landfills. Felix Böck, who works at FPInnovations and is a PhD student at UBC, and his team came up with the idea of using clean wood chips to make particleboard, which could then be made into products such as furniture or cabinetry. The idea came from Germany, where Böck said particleboard is made from at least 30-per-cent recycled material.

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CLT Should Be Supported

Letter by Leda Chahim, government affairs director, Forterra
The Chronicle
January 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

We couldn’t agree more that there’s an incredible amount of interest in CLT (“New Wood Technology May Offer Hope for Northwest’s Struggling Timber Industry,” Jan. 3) and we’re already seeing it here in Washington. CLT has been used and tested in a Seattle house and featured in a Bellevue church, both designs by Seattle architect Susan Jones. And we’ll soon see CLT used as a building material for modular K-3 classrooms in five local school districts. As a sustainability nonprofit, we see the potential CLT has to offer new economic and environmental opportunities. It’s something that both rural and urban communities can get behind — and that’s something we need more of in our state. [Forterra.org is a nonprofit that works in the Pacific Northwest working to protect, enhance and steward the region’s most precious resources.]

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Cross-laminated Timber and Other Mass Timber the Focus of Hundreds of Global Attendees

By The Forest Business Network
PR Web
January 23, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The second annual International Mass Timber Conference is attracting professionals from around the globe to Portland, Oregon, March 28-30, as innovative building products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber, and other mass timber take the design and construction worlds by storm. Hundreds of attendees from 13 countries have registered so far and many more are expected before the event kicks off late March. A pre-conference mass timber building tour precedes two days of educational panels, an expo, and networking events. All the rage in global press, mass timber is a category of engineered wood framing often using lumber glued together to make massive and extremely strong panels of solid wood for use as floors and walls.

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Building with bamboo lumber

By Ranjani Govind
The Hindu
January 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The bamboo industry will soon wake up to ‘engineered lumber’, increasing the prospects of its use in construction. Although considered the fastest growing plantation timber and stronger than steel, bamboo’s use is restricted to low-rise houses and temporary structures. According to bamboo experts, the arrival of ‘bamboo lumber’ sets a new beginning for the furniture and construction industry so far obsessed with teak wood. Bengaluru-based Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPIRTI), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest ,and Climate Change, has discovered the concept of ‘bamboo lumber’ and, based on its research and technology findings, has followed it up with trial productions. 

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Forestry

Minister Thomson Elaborates on Forest Industry Contractor Sustainability Review

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

Today Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson elaborated on the contractor sustainability review announced by Premier Christy Clark yesterday at the TLA’s 74th Annual Convention & Trade Show, “In It For The Long Run.” “This is a landmark announcement for timber harvesting contractors and for the forest industry as a whole,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “Contractors are the economic backbone of BC’s rural communities. Ensuring they are on a secure business footing and earning a fair rate of return means we’ll continue to have long-term, well-paid jobs in BC’s rural communities and that benefits everyone.” For his part, Minister Thomson is pleased the timelines are quick. “I’m really pleased we are able to respond, listen and move it forward with the urgency and the timing that the [timber harvesting contractor] associations have been advocating for.” 

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Vancouver Island First Nation files aboriginal-title claim in court

By Sarah Petrescu
Victoria Times Colonist
January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A small Vancouver Island First Nation filed a historic aboriginal-title claim Friday after years of frustration with the treaty process and logging in their territory. “Nuchatlaht has spent many frustrating years of discussions at the treaty table and other processes trying to protect our lands and the health of our people,” said hereditary chief Walter Michael in a statement. He was joined Friday by elders and members of the Zeballos-area First Nation on the B.C. Supreme Court steps in Vancouver, where a notice of civil claim was filed. The Nuchatlaht are part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribes, which are in an ongoing treaty process with the provincial government.

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Forestry contractors welcome ‘review’ launched by province

by Renee Bernard
News 1130
January 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – It’s harder and harder to make a go of it if you’re a contractor in BC’s forest industry. That’s according to David Elstone with the Truck Loggers Association, who is welcoming the premier’s announcement last week. …. Contractors employ fallers, log haulers, and yarding crews – those who have a hand in getting the timber to the sawmill. Elstone says things never recovered since the US housing crisis in 2008. He says it’s been a difficult decade for contractors – who incur huge expenses to keep their businesses afloat. “We have to be able to pay for these machines that cost anywhere from a quarter of a million to two and a half million dollars. It’s a huge amount of risk. The technology is rapidly changing,” he says. “We just haven’t been able to match the risk of investment in these businesses to the returns that we’ve been trying to eke out.”

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New safety requirements for government forest sector contracts

By The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations
Government of BC
January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Beginning April 1, 2017, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will be applying Safety Accord Forest Enterprise Certification Standard, known in the B.C. forest sector as SAFE, to specific contract areas. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson made the announcement this morning during his presentation to the annual Truck Loggers Association convention in Vancouver. SAFE is an industry standard developed by those in the B.C. forest sector and administered by the BC Forest Safety Council. The program uses industry recognized audit protocols to improve participating companies’ safety cultures and to evaluate their current safety programs. Upon meeting the standard, companies receive SAFE certification numbers and are listed on the BC Forest Safety Council website.

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Review to improve business relationships, forest sector competitiveness

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Government of BC
January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced a contractor sustainability review this morning during his address to the annual Truck Loggers Association convention in Vancouver. The review will identify areas of opportunity to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of contractors and licensees in B.C.’s forest sector. As one of the action items under B.C.’s forest sector competitiveness agenda, the review is a key priority for the ministry. The first phase is an economic assessment and review of the contracting sector to develop baseline information and identify economic drivers within the sector.

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TLA and Chevron Award Scholarship for Heavy Equipment Operator Students

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

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson congratulated the winners of two scholarships from Vancouver Island University’s Heavy Equipment Operator Program at the TLA’s 74th Annual Convention & Trade Show, “In It For The Long Run. “I commend Mitchell and Tye for pursuing careers in the forest industry. Forestry is vitally important to BC’s economy and the backbone of many rural communities. Over the next few years, more jobs will continue to open up and I encourage all young people to consider working in the woods,” said Thomson. This year’s scholarship winners, Mitchell Dixon and Tye Mckie, are fully committed to working in the forest industry. In fact, like many forestry workers, they are outdoors people who look forward to working in the forest they already hike, bike and camp in.   

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Ministry and partners join forces against spruce beetle

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Government of BC
January 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – A new strategy highlights how the B.C. government, forest companies and First Nations are working together to mitigate the effects of a spruce beetle outbreak in the Omineca region. According to the ministry’s 2016 aerial overview survey, about 210,000 hectares of forest in the Omineca region are currently impacted by spruce beetles, compared to about 156,000 hectares in October 2015. To date, the ministry has committed $1.95 million for spruce beetle mitigation efforts. Working Together: British Columbia’s Spruce Beetle Mitigation Strategy provides an overview of current efforts to detect spruce beetle populations, limit their spread and help protect timber and ecosystems for future generations.

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Proposers in Elliott sale work to address concerns

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
January 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States


After hearing from Gov. Kate Brown and members of the public at the December State Land Board meeting, the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) has been working to address concerns with the group proposing to buy the Elliott State Forest. The partners are Lone Rock Timber Management Company, The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI). Jake Gibbs, director of external affairs for Lone Rock, and Tim Vredenburg, director of forest management for Cow Creek, said they and the CTCLUSI are working to articulate their intent to provide public access and protections of riparian management areas, as well as to address details of a conservation easement.

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Local logger honored with regional award

By Brittany Allen
Pamplin Media Group
January 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wayne Stone has been operating his company Wayne Stone Logging, Inc. in Sandy for over 30 years, and has not done so without earning much attention and recognition. In 2015, Stone was named the Oregon Logger of the Year by the Associated Oregon Loggers. He followed that up in December, by being named the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Northwest Oregon Area Operator of the Year for 2016. The award is granted specifically to those who have found ways to work in the logging industry while maintaining a conservative environmental footprint….Stone has worked in the industry since he was 15, alongside his father, alternating between logging and excavating. From this he gained a good knowledge of the state forestry’s rules.

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Timber sale near Wallace Falls goes against agreement

By Kathy Johnson, forest practices chairwoman, Pilchuck Audubon Society and Inessa Pearce, president, Skykomish Valley Environmental and Economic Alliance
Everett Herald
January 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wallace Falls State Park is a shining jewel of Snohomish County….So, county officials as well as local conservation and recreation groups were dismayed to discover in 2014 that the state agency had planned the Singletary timber sale precisely where the new trail is located between the state park and the new trailhead. This land is actually owned by the county but managed by the state. …But on Jan. 3, the DNR broke its promise and put the sale before the Forest Practices Board, which approved it for a Feb. 22 sale. It is precisely this type of disingenuous action that undermines trust between the public and the DNR. If the Singletary Sale goes ahead, there will be 1,900 acres of new clear-cuts scarring the forested mountainside next to Wallace Falls State Park.

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Spruce beetle infestation crosses Continental Divide

By Jonathan Romeo
The Cortez Journal
January 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The devastating spruce beetle infestation in the San Juan Mountains has crossed the Continental Divide, and within the next few years, will spread into the high country around Durango and Silverton, leaving in its wake an expanse of dead trees. “I tell people all the time: you need to get up there before it starts to look different,” said Kent Grant, a Durango-based district forester with the Colorado State Forest Service. “Already it’s increasingly more obvious. It’s just around the corner.” The spruce beetle epidemic started in Wolf Creek in the late 1990s, and because of the effects of drought, warmer winters and densely stocked forest stands, the insect’s outbreak rapidly intensified.

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Recreational activities aren’t a substitute for the timber industry

By Tim Freeman – Douglas County Commisioner
The News Review
January 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In a recent article Janice Reid made several statements that were either wrong, or at the very least misleading. Ms. Reid said she has studied the spotted owl for 30 years. She is, then, obviously aware of the science presented by many biologists concluding that the spotted owl will be replaced in its habitat by the barred owl. Barred owls have been replacing spotted owls for more than 30 years with such success that our federal agencies have adopted a misguided policy of killing the stronger, more adaptive barred owl, a beautiful large raptor. Many biologists see that as a futile attempt to “save” the spotted owl, the weaker of the species.

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Scientists to burn Ozark forest to see if fire creates better places for wildlife to live

By Eli Chen
St. Louis Public Radio
January 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Before the end of March, scientists from Washington University in St. Louis plan to burn parts of an Ozark forest about 30 miles outside of St. Louis. Research has shown that repeated burning of forests can help increase the variety of plants that live in a forest. That’s particularly the case for plants that live under the forest canopy, said Jonathan Myers, a Wash U biology professor and a member of the Tyson Research Center in Eureka. Having more kinds of wildflowers can attract native insects that pollinate plants that animals eat. “When there’s more plant diversity in an area, you’ll have more native pollinators, which leads to more pollination and therefore, more food sources for animal and often, humans as well,” Myers said.

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Wood producers told to seek forest certification

Business Mirror
January 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA) is being enjoined to engage further in government programs designed to improve the forestry industry’s standards and competitiveness through certification and an industry road map. At a recent policy forum on sustainable forest management through forest certification, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) invited wood producers and forestry stakeholders to participate actively in consultations and help formulate and draft a national forest certification system. Environment Undersecretary Marlo Mendoza said at the business gathering that forest certification is one of the top priorities of the DENR. He stated that the certification system will be putting emphasis on policy predictability, social justice and ecosystem integrity.

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Ireland’s forestry sector contributes €2.3 billion to the Irish economy

Agriland
January 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

At the beginning of 2016, forests covered 10.7% of Ireland’s land area compared to an EU average of 38%. Irish forest owners support a sustainable, export-oriented forest products sector. The Irish forestry and forest products sector contributes in the region of €2.3 billion to the Irish economy and supports 12,000 jobs. Planting new commercial forests can benefit land owners financially and add stability and future raw material supply which will help increase employment in the sector.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

New species of prehistoric palm discovered in Canada

By Nicole Mortillaro
CBC News
January 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

A researcher identified a new species of small palm that once grew in Canada after examining a fossil that had been part of an Alberta museum collection for decades. Palms are typically associated with warm, tropical climates. However, this newly discovered fossil indicates that palms grew much farther north than previously thought east of the Rockies. The finding also indicates that palms existed in temperate (rather than tropical) climates 20 million years earlier than records previously suggested. David Greenwood, a biology professor at Brandon University in Manitoba, found the palm in the collection at the the Royal Tyrell Museum. The Drumheller, Alta., museum had held the fossil since scientists collected it in 1995.

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How US Land Owners Can Tap Carbon Markets In Trump Era

By Brian Kittler
Ecosystem Marketplace
January 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

On Inauguration Day, just as any trace of climate action was disappearing from the White House website, California announced it was deepening its emission targets and growing its cap-and-trade program through 2030. This program lets industrial emitters reduce their carbon footprints by reducing emissions elsewhere – and that creates new opportunities for private forest owners across the country. That’s because the US forest sector currently sequesters the equivalent of as much as 16% of the total CO2 emitted by the US each year. This service is largely viewed simply as a co-benefit to everything else forests provide—clean water and clean air, wildlife habitat, recreation, human health benefits, energy, materials, and more. That we will continue to benefit from these sequestration and carbon storage services is not guaranteed.

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Global Warming Hits Great Lakes Forests

By Marie Orttenburger
Urban Milwaukee
January 22, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Great Lakes forests will get warmer and suffer more frequent short-term droughts, scientists say. “We know climate change is going to really stress these systems in ways they haven’t been stressed in the last several thousand years,” said Stephen Handler, a climate change specialist with the U.S. Forest Service. How trees will respond to such different growing conditions is unknown. But experts say they can’t wait to find out. “You don’t wait until the car has already gone over the cliff,” Handler said. “You hit the brakes when you can. You steer and find a better way around the cliff.” Handler is among the researchers who are taking the wheel. They are already figuring out what forest managers can do to mitigate potentially devastating impacts.

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