Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 30, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Jobs: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (with a gin chaser)

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 30, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Jobs: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. A report in the Chronicle Herald states that in the number of people employed in Nova Scotia’s forest sector increased by four per cent between 2012 and 2014. In nearby Maine, a partnership between government and the University of Maine seeks to replace jobs lost due to mill closures with “of all things, 3D printing”. According to UMaine’s Habib Dagher, “mills would break down wood to very tiny molecular structures and these fibers we’re talking about are stronger than steel.


Also on the job front, a story in the Hill on how “
President Trump can boost manufacturing jobs through better forest management”, by Nick Smith, Executive Director of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities. At the same time, the US Forest Service said it “isn’t clear whether a federal hiring freeze instituted earlier this week by President Donald Trump affects thousands of temporary seasonal workers the agency hires each year for firefighting, trail work and biology projects”.
Finally, with almost 6 million seeds in the bank, the UK National Tree Seed Project has ensured that declining juniper stocks in Britain will be protected from extinction. With gin & tonics safely protected, the project is moving on to other native woody plants. Let’s all raise a glass to the Queen!
— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

New Autism Centre of Excellence Provides Province-Wide Support

By Don Kayne, Canfor CEO
Canfor Blog
January 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) officially opened the doors of its new Centre of Excellence late last year and Canfor is proud to have helped make this one-of-a-kind Centre a reality. Canfor donated $50,000 of lumber to help build the new facility in Richmond, BC that now provides much-needed support to families across B.C. who are impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  We were pleased to tour the stunning and modern facility that is sure to make a positive impact province-wide. It was also great to see our lumber visible in some parts of the building such as on the ceilings.

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Catalyst Paper completed recapitalization and privatization

Wood Business Forum
January 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Paper announced that the recapitalization and privatization of the company have been implemented and are now effective… According to the announcement, the successful completion of the Recapitalization improves the company’s financial strength and reduces its financing risk by extinguishing approximately USD 125 million of the principal amount of the Company’s debt without adversely impacting any of Catalyst’s trade vendors and other suppliers… The leading securityholder list includes companies like Mudrick Capital Management, Cyrus Capital Partners, Oaktree Capital Management and Stonehill Capital Management.

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BC NDP Promising to Stop Raw Log Exports

By Jamie Ballam
Q101.1 Merrit
January 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Using Merritt as an example where jobs are being lost, BC NDP leader John Horgan again taking aim at the export of raw logs out of BC. John Horgan says as the big logging companies, who are big donors to the BC Liberals, send raw logs overseas they are sending with them jobs for British Columbians. “My concern today is that we have been shipping raw logs out of British Columbia at record levels. These are all jobs leaving our province. As we see mills shutting down, most recently in the City of Merritt, where 250 people are out of work. I think that is wrong.” Horgan says the “surplus test” must be enforced no matter who wins May’s election and the minister responsible will need to defend, in the legislature, exporting raw logs. He notes the Legislative standing committee on forests has not met since 2013. [END]

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Catalyst Paper goes dark

By Nelson Bennett 
Business in Vancouver
January 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Paper has gone dark. The B.C. paper company announced Friday, January 27, that it is no longer a publicly trade company. Following recapitalization with its three major shareholders, the company – which formally was listed under the stock symbol CYT – is now privately owned by Oaktree Capital Management, Mudrick Capital Management, LP and Cyrus Capital Partners, LP. The move will take $125 million in debt off the company’s books… Catalyst owns three paper mills in B.C. – Crofton, Powell River and Poert Alberni. It also owns mills in the U.S. It employs 1,600 people in B.C… The recent move to go private follows a failed acquisition last year by India’s Kejriwal Group International. News of that deal sent Catalyst’s stock up 700% in May 2016, from $0.59 a share to $5, but the deal later fell through.

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Horgan blasts Liberals over raw log exports

Prince George Daily News
January 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. raw log exports hit the second-highest monthly level in recorded history in November, with nearly three-quarters of a million cubic metres being shipped elsewhere for manufacturing, said B.C. New Democrat leader John Horgan yesterday, blasting the Christy Clark government for failing to defend jobs for B.C. forest workers and their communities.“We need to stop Christy Clark’s raw log export free-for-all now,” said Horgan, in a press release… Horgan said putting a stop to the B.C. Liberal government’s raw log export policy is part of his plan to create more jobs from B.C. forests.“Getting the most value out of our resources now and in the future is how we’re going to create more good jobs — and jobs that last — in communities throughout B.C,” said Horgan.

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Hope for softwood lumber

By Trevor Nichols
Castanet Kelowna
January 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark says there may be a “ray of hope” for B.C.’s softwood lumber industry, as negotiations for a new trade agreement with the United States threaten to turn into a legal battle. …But speaking at a breakfast event in West Kelowna Jan. 27, she said Trump’s promise to rebuild the American economy might work in Canada’s favour. “While the Americans are getting more protectionist, Donald Trump, as a builder, knows intuitively that residential housing starts is a major driver for economic growth for Americans,” she said. …Nick Arkle, the co-CEO of Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. agrees with Clark, saying Canadian lumber is “critically important” to the U.S. Arkle said there is a real “tension” right now between the Americans’ desire to “hurt us” and their need for our lumber. …Arkle said he’s never seen the government work so hard at softwood lumber negotiations, and is pleased with how it’s being handled so far.

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Report shows forest industry jobs increasing

The Chronicle Herald
January 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new report on Nova Scotia’s forest industry shows an increase in the number of people employed in this sector. The report shows the economic impact of the industry is $410 million in direct gross domestic product, $275 million in income in the pockets of Nova Scotians, 6,100 direct jobs and another 5,400 spin-off jobs. “Forestry is a long-standing economic driver in Nova Scotia, which is now generating more than $2 billion in economic activity,” said Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines in a release Friday. Employment in Nova Scotia’s forest industry increased by four per cent between 2012 and 2014.

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Trump can boost manufacturing jobs through better forest management

By Nick Smith, executive director of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities
The Hill
January 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

President Donald Trump has consistently pledged to create more American jobs by promoting domestic manufacturing and reforming federal regulations. Forest products represent a major portion of the nation’s manufacturing base. By putting more Americans back to work on our federally-owned forests, the president can restore economic opportunity while protecting public lands for the future. …There are a few steps the Trump administration and Congress can take to improve the management of our federal forests, while keeping our public lands healthy, productive and accessible. They can start by giving the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management the policy tools, legal tools and resources to actively manage more of our forest lands. They can end the so-called budgetary gimmick of “fire borrowing” that forces agencies to raid non-fire accounts to pay for growing wildfire suppression costs. 

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Timber report: Home values continue steady rise as Canadian exports create headaches

By Rick Sohn, retired from a forest management career at Sun Studs and Lone Rock Timber.
The News-Review
January 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Great Recession of 2008 seems like just yesterday, but it was nine years ago. This year, we will track the statistics of 2012 and 2007, five and 10 years ago respectively, for comparisons. In 2007 the country was falling into the recession, and by 2012 the country was climbing out of the recession — except for home values, housing starts, and real estate, that didn’t hit their lows until early 2012. Recent monthly mortgage interest rates are up and down. Nov. 10, the mortgage interest rate was 3.57 percent. By Dec. 29, seven weeks later, it peaked at 4.32. It backed off to 4.09, as of Jan. 19. Random Lengths reports that the shipment of Canadian lumber to the United States increased from 3 billion board feet to 4 billion board feet, in 2016 alone, an increase of 33 percent.

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Advancing Maine’s forest-based economy

By Shawna Newcomb
WCSH 6
January 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ORONO, Maine  — Hundreds of jobs have been lost after several paper mills have closed in the state but now, there could be a solution for those hurting communities and Maine’s economy. The sound of high-tech machinery — it is like music to Sen. Angus King’s ears. “We’re talking about adding new products and adding new uses for the Maine forests,” the U.S. senator said. “That is what’s so cool about this.” Sen. King came to the University of Maine Friday to meet with officials from a national laboratory to announce a new partnership that he thinks will help revitalize former paper mill communities. He plans on turning excess, low-grade lumber into a profitable commodity. “I call it “‘The Forest Economy 2.0,’” he said.

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Domtar to spend $25M to update two U.S. paper plants

By Ken Elkins
Charlotte Business Journal
January 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Fort Mill-based Domtar Corp. will spend about $25 million to convert boilers to natural gas from coal and modernize equipment at two paper plants in Pennsylvania. The work will allow the company to retain about 430 jobs in the Johnsonburg paper plant and another nearby paper-converting facility, says Tom Howard, Domtar’s vice president of government relations. “The objective here is to wring whatever efficiency we can out of the equipment,” Howard told me. “It’s what we need to do to make sure our facilities maintain a market edge and the employment at the two facilities.” The Pa. Commonwealth Financing Authority approved a $1 million grant for a $4 million project to install a three-mile natural gas pipeline to the paper plant.

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Strong demand for wood in China in the second half of 2016 resulted in both record high imports of softwood lumber and logs, and increased import prices

By Hakan Ekstrom, Wood Resources International LLC
My News Desk
January 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Seattle, USA. China imported record-high volumes of softwood lumber in 2016 and softwood log imports reached their second highest level on record. Despite relatively pessimistic forecasts for wood demand early in 2016, China’s need for imported wood picked up during the summer and fall with import volumes of both logs and lumber being up about 20% in the 4Q/16 as compared to the 4Q/15. Total importation of logs and lumber (in roundwood equivalents) reached almost 76 million m3 in 2016, which was up 17% from 2015, and almost 38% higher than five years ago, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood Offers High-Performance, Cost-Effective Option for School Construction

By reThink Wood
PR Newswire
January 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON– An estimated $6.1 billion was spent on new school construction in 2015, a number that is expected to increase as U.S. schools look to accommodate an estimated 2.8 million more students by 2024. To meet this demand, education administrators need to select building material options that meet budget parameters and ensure the well-being of the structure’s occupants. Wood building solutions are an ideal option as they can meet budget and rigorous safety requirements, be erected quickly, and provide a lower carbon footprint than traditional building materials.

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New Energy Works: From forest to first-of-a-kind

By Julie Sherwood
Messenger Post Media MPNnow.com
January 27, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Construction is underway for what will be the first-of-a-kind building in the state made entirely of Cross Laminated Timber. Using a material new to the U.S. building industry, New Energy Works Timberframers this week showed off their project… When finished, the 21,000 square-foot building will share the Farmington campus headquarters of New Energy Works and Pioneer Millworks. NEWwoodworks’ manufacturing equipment and craftsmen will work in about 13,000 feet of the new space, while the remaining area will be for storing reclaimed wood and shipping. …”We see CLTs as the wave of the future and are investing in our Western New York campus to better position the region and our industry to ride the wave,” said Jonathan Orpin, New Energy Works founder and president.

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Forestry

Perseverance pays off with protection of wild places

By Stephen Legault, program director. for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.
Calgary Herald
January 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


In Alberta, we’re a steadfast lot who know that if something is really important, we have to hold tight and keep our eye on the horizon. So it should come as no surprise that Albertans have persevered for more than four decades to ensure that the Castle region of southwestern Alberta is protected. When you care about nature, clean water and wildlife in Alberta, you don’t let a mere 40-year delay with innumerable setbacks to your vision get you down. That’s why the recent announcement from Premier Rachel Notley and the minister of environment and parks, Shannon Phillips, that the Castle parks will be forever protected is such a tremendous achievement for Alberta. Celebrating and conserving nature, water and wildlife is no small feat.

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Trees fuel wildfire risk

By Jennifer Smith
Vernon Morning Star
January 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Trees could be coming down in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, in an effort to protect Coldstream from wildfire. Since the park is the largest source of fuel in Coldstream, it is the first place officials are looking at to do some work. “Remove some of the trees, remove some of the dead wood beneath,” said John Davies, wildfire management specialist, in a presentation to Coldstream Monday. That is one of the fuel management prescriptions out of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which Davies has put together for Coldstream. …“They (B.C. Parks) have acknowledged the need to deal with some of the fuel managment in the park,” said Trevor Seibel, Coldstream’s chief administrative officer. “We will be working with them to find some of the resources to do the work in the park.”

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First Nation chooses sustainable route for land over mining and clearcutting

By Sarah Petrescu
Victoria Times Colonist
January 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Ahousaht First Nation says mining and clearcutting will be banned in its territory in favour of long-term conservation and sustainable development. At an event in Tofino Wednesday, hereditary leaders said about 80 per cent of their 171,000-hectare territory will be under environmental protection. This includes the majority of Clayoquot Sound, one of the largest swaths of old-growth forest on the Island and the site of logging protests in the early 1990s. The announcement is part of a land-use plan that marks a move away from traditional resource industries. …Environmental groups, including Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and Wilderness Committee, lauded the First Nation for the plan. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has committed to help raise a $12-million stewardship endowment fund. 

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New bid for Manitoba-Ontario UNESCO boreal forest deal

Canadian Press in the CBC News
January 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A third attempt is underway to get international recognition for a large section of boreal forest along the Manitoba-Ontario boundary. The two provinces have spent millions of dollars over the last 13 years in hopes of getting the area known as Pimachiowin Aki named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Two earlier bids were deferred. Project manager Gord Jones says the new bid is likely be be debated next year, and he’s optimistic. The remote area is touted as a pristine section of boreal forest where indigenous inhabitants have maintained strong ties to the land. UNESCO already recognizes more than one-thousand spots around the globe as World Heritage Sites, and Jones says the designation can boost tourism and awareness.

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Expansion of regulated areas for emerald ash borer

By the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Canada Newswire
January 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


OTTAWA – To slow the spread of emerald ash borer into new parts of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is expanding areas regulated to control emerald ash borer to include the city of Thunder Bay in Ontario, as well as the Municipalités Régionales de Comtés of Joliette and D’Autray in Quebec. It is prohibited to move firewood of all species, as well as ash trees, ash nursery stock or ash wood (including wood chips, wood packaging or dunnage), out of this area without written permission from the CFIA. Moving these materials from the regulated area without permission could lead to fines and/or prosecution.

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What all those dead trees mean for the Sierra Nevada

By Bettina Boxall
Los Angeles Times
January 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The ponderosa pine had taken root decades before the Revolutionary War, making a stately stand on this western Sierra Nevada slope for some 300 years, Nate Stephenson figures. Then came the beetle blitzkrieg. Now the tree is a dab in the gray and rusty death stain smeared across the mountain range. At the base of its massive trunk, a piece of bark has been cut off, revealing an etched swirl of insect trails. Higher up, naked branches reach out, as if from a many-armed scarecrow. “This was alive until the drought killed it,” Stephenson says mournfully. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that since 2010, more than 102 million drought-stressed and beetle-ravaged trees have died across 7.7 million acres of California forest. More than half of those died last year alone.

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Hiring freeze puts firefighting, seasonal forest jobs in question

By Karl Puckett
Great Falls Tribune
January 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service isn’t clear whether a federal hiring freeze instituted earlier this week by President Donald Trump affects thousands of temporary seasonal workers the agency hires each year for firefighting, trail work and biology projects — including almost 150 in Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. “We don’t know what will be decided,” said Elizabeth Slown, a spokeswoman for the Forest Service’s Missoula-based Region 1, which is made up of 12 forests encompassing 25 million acres over five states, including the Helena- and Great Falls-based Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. …The Forest Service has requested clarification from the Office of Personnel Management on how to implement the order, Slown said.

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Oregon faces 90 percent reduction in federal timber money

Associated Press in The Times and Democrat
January 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


A U.S. Forest Service program that infused rural communities with millions to make up for lost timber revenue is drying up, and that means Oregon will see a 90 percent reduction in the payments that have kept critical services afloat in many counties since environmental rules curtailed logging nearly 30 years ago. …For Oregon, the reduction would be particularly severe, dropping the 2015 payment of $86.4 million to $7 million, according to an analysis by the National Association of Counties. Polk County would see payments almost completely dry up after a reduction from $782,406 to $318. For Marion County, the reduction would be from $1.8 million to $186,880, an 89.8 percent reduction. About 25 percent of Marion County, and 26.4 percent of the state of Oregon, is Forest Service land.

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Cow Creek Tribe takes holistic approach to forest management

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
January 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians teamed up with Lone Rock Timber Management Company to create the sole proposal to buy 82,500 acres of the Elliott State Forest from the state of Oregon. With the help and support of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians and The Conservation Fund, the partnership hopes to manage the land for timber harvest while providing 40 jobs per year and protecting the environment and public access. “Tribes have always had a large role in managing the lands,” said Michael Rondeau, CEO of the Cow Creek Tribe. “Tribes didn’t own the land, the land owned them, and it’s part of their harmony with the resources available to them. We belong to the land, we’re a function of nature.” The tribes understand that people have an important role in the ecosystem and in nature, added Tim Vredenburg, director of Forest Management for the tribe.

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Swan Forest Initiative: Land Grab Or Funding Solution?

By Nicky Ouellet
Montana Public Radio
January 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The public comment period on a proposal to transfer management of National Forest land to local control has been extended. The Swan Forest Initiative would transfer management of 60,000 acres of the Flathead National Forest to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation for the next 100 years. It’s being proposed by the Lake County Conservation District, which would be the sole beneficiary of revenue made from timber sales. At a press briefing today, project backer Jim Simpson said he’s hoping to receive 2,000 comments from Lake County residents by June. …So far, the board has received nearly 150 comments, about half of which are in favor.

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Fixing California’s Tree Die-Off May Take Decades

By Amy Quinton
KPBS
January 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Despite recent storms, California is still grappling with a massive tree die-off from drought, wildfires and a beetle infestation. Experts said 102 million trees are dead or dying in the state – and that’s a conservative estimate. California has spent $190 million since last June on the problem. Agencies have also removed 423,000 dead trees from areas where they pose a safety threat. But members of the state’s Tree Mortality Task Force told the Little Hoover Commission the problem won’t be resolved soon. It will likely take decades. “This is really a Herculean effort, and it’s not something that is going to be immediately mitigated. This is sort of like a marathon, not a sprint,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

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New map IDs epicenter of Sierra Nevada tree mortality

by Emily Guerin
89.3 KPCC
January 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The drought has killed an estimated 100 million trees in California since 2010. But it’s been uneven – some areas are totally decimated, while others are unscathed. A new study tries to answer the question: what makes some trees more likely to die than others? Researchers at the University of California-Davis sought to answer that question by first making a “heat map” of tree mortality in California. They used data from 2015 US Forest Service aerial surveys to determine how many trees had died in a given area, and then color-coded that area by how widespread the mortality was. Red means more trees died, light green means none did, and areas that are not inside the squares were not surveyed by the Forest Service. …Not surprisingly, forests that were both hot, dry and crowded were the epicenter of the tree mortality epidemic.

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‘Megaload’ settlement bans new big truck loads on Idaho road

By Rebecca Boone
Associated Press in The Missoulian
January 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE — Environmental groups, the Nez Perce Tribe and the U.S. Forest Service said Friday that they have reached a settlement in a lawsuit over huge “megaload” shipments on a scenic northwestern Idaho highway by tractor trailers. The shipments had been on hold since 2013 along a 100-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 12 between Lewiston, Idaho and the Montana border. The settlement means oversized loads, such as logs and farm equipment, that have traditionally traveled Highway 12 can continue but that future megaloads of other products including some oil refinery equipment will be banned.

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Sparta Mountain plan divides environmental groups

By Bruce A. Scruton
New Jersey Herald
January 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

FRANKLIN — Gubernatorial candidate Raymond Lesniak stepped into the “log/no log” dispute over the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area and promised, “If I have to, I’ll go to court to save your forest.” The Stop the Chop meeting at the Franklin Firehouse on Thursday was billed as an update to the year-long controversy over a new forest stewardship plan for the 3,400 acres interspersed with lake communities. …No lawsuits have been filed as yet over the state Division of Fish and Wildlife’s proposed forest stewardship plan for the wildlife management area, which has split the environmental communities in New Jersey. …The updated stewardship plan has yet to be finalized, with both the state and Audubon now saying they expect the final draft to be done next month and presented at a public meeting in March.

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Crews battle 150-acre wildfire in Pisgah National Forest

By Julie Ball
Asheville Citizen-Times
January 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MARION – More than 40 firefighters were working to control a fire that had burned about 150 acres in the Pisgah National Forest Sunday. A section of N.C. 80 was closed as a precaution, according to Craig Walker, deputy director of emergency management for McDowell County. The fire was burning about eight miles from U.S. 70 West. The fire started with someone burning debris on private land, according to Cathy Dowd, public affairs officer with the U.S. Forest Service. The fire got out of control and spread onto U.S. Forest Service land. “It started yesterday (Saturday) at about 1 p.m.,” Dowd said. Firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, the N.C. Forest Service and volunteer fire departments are working to contain the blaze. Dowd said no structures are threatened and no injuries have been reported.

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Governor, you’ll need more than a hatchet

Letter by Charlie Nichols
Charleston Gazette-Mail
January 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

“We can do it. We can do it. We will do it. “It’s time for us to claim our place and if it takes this hatchet, I’ll carry the hatchet,” said newly elected Gov. Jim Justice standing behind the podium at his inauguration, and to prove it, the Governor was holding a hatchet at that podium. I wish him well, especially with his pledge to help the timber industry, but Gov. Justice, you will need more than that hatchet!… As a hunter, I can attest to the sorry state of our state’s forestlands. The birds and mammals that need young forests have come “home” to roost among our yards and lawns, or like my beloved ruffed grouse and wild turkeys, have witnessed a dramatic population decline of late. Why? Simply put, our forested lands have not been harvested in over four decades.

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Ash trees disappear across Pennsylvania

Associated Press in The Pike County Courier
January 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Researchers say emerald ash borer threatens to kill nearly all ash trees within a few years of infestation. The eradication of ash trees from Pennsylvania’s landscape and forests got a public viewing recently. Crews felled large-diameter trees dating to the early days of the Scotland School for Veterans Children. “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. White ash in 2011 was the seventh most abundant tree species in Pennsylvania. A small area of Pennsylvania and New York has supplied white ash for the Louisville Slugger, the official bat of Major League Baseball. .

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Justice Releases Details of Timber Industry Plan

By Rusty Marks
The State Journal
January 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


Throughout Gov. Jim Justice’s campaign and during his inaugural address, he talked about his idea to create a state timber industry to help make up for the losses in revenue from the Mountain State’s coal, oil and gas industries. With about 77 percent of the state covered in forest, many people think it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of West Virginia’s timber resources. …Joe McNeel, director of West Virginia University’s Appalachian Hardwood Center, said Justice’s ideas make a lot of sense. The center was set up in 1987 “to provide technical and research support for the state’s growing wood products industry,” according to the hardwood center’s website.“We are the third-most forested state in the United States right now,” McNeel said. He said “there’s a reason” Justice is interested in making timber into a more viable state industry.

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British gin is safe: Essential juniper ingredient conserved in fight against declining tree numbers

By Emily Beament
The Independent
January 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The future of gin is safe, according to horticultural experts who have collected juniper seeds from across the country to help conserve the declining tree species. Juniper berries, which take two years to mature slowly on the plant, help give the popular alcoholic drink its distinctive flavour, but the native UK species is in decline. The UK National Tree Seed Project has been set up by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to collect seeds from juniper and other UK tree species and store them in the Millennium Seed Bank to ensure they do not vanish from the countryside. The project has “banked” 5.8 million seeds from 6,500 UK trees since May 2013, with the aim of collecting seeds from all native woody plants, and juniper is the first species to be fully collected and saved.

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‘A Nightmare Without An End’: Wildfires Burn Out Of Control In Chile

By Rebecca Hersher
NPR
January 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The government of Chile says wildfires that have killed at least 10 people are the worst blazes in the country’s history. Several firefighters are among the dead. “We have never seen anything on this scale, never in the history of Chile,” President Michelle Bachelet said earlier this week, after her administration declared a state of emergency. “The truth is that the forces are doing everything humanly possible and will continue until they can contain and control the fires.” Reporting from Rio de Janeiro, NPR’s Philip Reeves said Thursday that hundreds of thousands of acres have been destroyed in the southern and central parts of the country and that an entire town was incinerated. “Reports say flames ripped through a place called Santa Olga, burning down its kindergarten, post office and about 1,000 homes,” he said.

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Chile’s forest fires partly due to poor planning, say fire chiefs

By Piotr Kozak in Santiago and Jonathan Watts
The Guardian
January 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International


Monoculture plantations and too few fire breaks contributed to 11 deaths and devastation of 233,000 sq miles. Fire brigade chiefs said that poor preparation for climate change and large monoculture plantations have contributed to Chile’s worst forest fires in recent history, as the human, economic and environmental effects continued to grow. …He described how wind sometimes carries embers five miles to start new fires, particularly in areas of highly combustible eucalyptus and pine. “The plantations have appeared over the last forty years: it’s much easier to control a fire in a native forest – they’re more humid and so a fire spreads more slowly.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

What the Finns can offer Northern Ontario’s biomass economy

By Graham Strong
Northern Ontario Business
January 27, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada


Biofuels could be the right solution at the right time for Northern Ontario. That’s the message that a delegation of companies from Finland brought to various area businesses, government agencies, and municipalities including at least one First Nation during a visit to Thunder Bay. “We’re promoting the European know-how,” said Matti Virkkunen, a research scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and part of the delegation. “We’re looking for research projects and companies that we can do joint ventures with.” The delegation attended the Building Biomass Value Chains Workshop, held at Lakehead University on January 24 and hosted by Biomass North.

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General

Forget TPP. Ready for a fight over lumber?

By Bill Virgin is editor and publisher of Washington Manufacturing Alert and Pacific Northwest Rail News
The News Tribune
January 28, 2017
Category: Uncategorised
Region: Canada, United States, US West

…What is getting overlooked, however, is that the U.S. and Canada already have a significant trade dispute burbling, one that does matter to this state. An existing softwood-lumber agreement between the two countries expired in 2015. In the absence of anything to replace it, Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. have surged, at the cost of jobs in this country, the industry group says; lumber prices were driven down, it adds, at a time when they should have been going up because of increased demand due to stronger housing construction. …The significance, benefit and harm of trade deals can be overstated. Trade isn’t going to evaporate because there’s no TPP; renegotiated NAFTA or not, the U.S., Canada and Mexico are still going to do business with each other.

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