Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: January 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

Can we send our softwood to China if U.S. hardens its stand?

January 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

With its chief trading partner awash in uncertainty, will Canada’s softwood lumber industry double down on China and other further-flung markets? It’s complicated. …But even though China has become a growing partner for Canadian softwood since the early 2000s, circumstances are aligning against a much deeper relationship. Logistical problems prevent most of the industry’s landlocked companies from shipping substantial quantities of lumber overseas. China’s economy has slowed down, and its appetite for lumber is shifting. And some industry players remain optimistic about their opportunities in the United States. “Maintaining secure access to the U.S. market is really important to our sector while we continue to explore other opportunities,” says Susan Yurkovich, chief executive officer of British Columbia’s Council of Forest Industries, which represents the sector in the province’s Interior.

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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 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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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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Tembec reports financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended December 24, 2016

Tembec
Canada Newswire
January 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Montreal – Consolidated sales for the three-month period ended December 24, 2016, were $370 million, as compared to $354 million in the same quarter a year ago. The Company generated a net loss of $9 million or $0.09 per share in the December 2016 quarter compared to a net loss of $28 million or $0.28 per share in the December 2015 quarter. The December 2016 quarter included a non-cash loss of $16 million related to the translation of US dollar denominated debt. Operating earnings before depreciation, amortization and other items (adjusted EBITDA) was $34 million for the three-month period ended December 24, 2016, as compared to adjusted EBITDA of $29 million a year ago and adjusted EBITDA of $57 million in the prior quarter.

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Tembec open to lumber export quotas in a break from Canadian industry

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press in CTV News
January 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada, United States

MONTREAL—Eastern Canadian lumber producer Tembec says it’s open to quotas on exports to the United States, in a break from the positions of some Canadian rivals and the Quebec government. While chief executive James Lopez agrees that Canadian lumber should be exempt from restrictions because provincial systems are now market-based, he’s advocating for a compromise to secure a new agreement. Lopez said he’s willing to accept limits on access in the belief that increasing home construction will ultimately result in higher lumber shipments and the supply of B.C. lumber is falling. “We could live with a quota system,” he said in an interview Thursday before Tembec’s annual meeting.

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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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Trade war would injure Idaho’s farmers and economy, but Trump could help timber industry

By Rocky Barker
Idaho Statesman
January 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

As he promised in the campaign, President Donald Trump dumped the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, pleasing his supporters and labor leaders. …Many North Idaho Farm Bureau members, for instance, link NAFTA to the decline in the timber industry in their communities. The whole story is more complicated. The industry was affected not just by NAFTA but a longstanding trade dispute with Canada. Back when American timber companies were cutting up to 9 billion board feet of timber in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia’s industry sagged and the province propped it up with cheap prices for trees to keep its rural communities alive. Those prices undercut the market and the U.S. timber industry. Companies like Boise Cascade, already facing supply issues because of environmental fights, were forced to close mills across the region.

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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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SFPA: Southern pine lumber exports increased by 29% in November

Lesprom Network
January 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Exports of Southern Pine lumber remained strong in November, amounting to just under 62 million board feet (MMbf). This volume represents a hefty increase of 29% above the same month last year, contributing to a year-to-date increase of 16% when compared with the first eleven months of 2015, as the Southern Forest Products Association says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Offshore shipments during November roughly break down as 34.4 MMbf dressed, 8.1 MMbf rough, and 19.3 MMbf treated lumber.

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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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Tropical Forestry Services buys profitable Northern Territory banana, melon farm

ABC News, Australia
January 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A mixed horticulture farm in the Northern Territory’s Douglas-Daly has been bought by Indian sandalwood producer Tropical Forestry Services (TFS). Mike and Margot Black’s farm Early Storms produced watermelons and mung beans and was the only large-scale banana farm in the Top End. …Leaked documents in 2016 revealed an NT Government department had warned against TFS’s intention to grow 15,000 hectares of sandalwood, suggesting there would be insufficient water available to support the expansion. …”So it is not correct to say forestry is using all the water in the Douglas-Daly — at best they will probably use 20 per cent of water allocation.

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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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Wood: Photographs of the world’s best timber architecture, available in a new book

By Katy Cowan
Creative Bloom
January 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood is a visually stunning celebration of one of the world’s best timber architecture, showcasing a spectacular selection of wooden structures from the last 1,000 years and highlighting the beauty of a material that enriches our everyday lives. Beautifully illustrated and demonstrating the material’s extraordinary range, Wood is a new book that offers the perfect introduction for architects, aesthetes, students and anyone with an interest in creativity. Featuring images of projects from some of the most influential and innovative architects of the last century as well as striking and memorable buildings by contemporary architects, Wood reveals architects’ ongoing fascination with timber. 

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Forestry

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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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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What’s it like to live with a historic landmark on your doorstep?

By Jesse Johnston
CBC News
January 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is a natural phenomenon on the front lawn of Husain Shaikh’s home in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey, B.C. A red cedar tree, known as the Rock Tree, has sprouted through a glacial split in a massive boulder, and now towers over the family homes that make up Shaikh’s classic suburban neighbourhood. He says he knew he wanted to live in the Rock Tree home from the moment he laid eyes on it. …Shaikh moved into his home eight years ago and every year he brings in an arborist to inspect the Rock Tree. Nearly 20 years ago, the Friends of Kennedy Park Community Association fought to save it when a developer proposed a new subdivision for the area. The Sto:lo and Kwantlen First Nations were consulted and they determined the Rock Tree was a sacred site. Council gave the tree heritage designation and the new subdivision, including Shaikh’s home, was built around it.

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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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‘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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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‘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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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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Chile battles devastating wildfires as international help pours in

By Anthony Esposito
Reuters
January 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The worst wildfires in Chile’s modern history are ravaging wide swaths of the country’s central-south regions, as a massive Boeing 747-400 Super Tanker arrived on Wednesday on loan from the United States to help extinguish the blazes. “We have never seen something of this size, never in Chile’s history. And the truth is the (firefighting) forces are doing everything that is humanly possible and will continue to do so until the fires are contained and controlled,” President Michelle Bachelet said, as she visited the hard-hit Maule region. …International help from France, the United States, Peru and Mexico has been pouring into Chile as the fires swept through forested hills and into neighboring towns, scorching homes, industry and the region’s world-renowned vineyards. The country last week declared a state of emergency.

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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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Study shows N.S. has ‘strong potential’ to produce alternative fuel

Chronicle Herald
January 26, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new study shows the province has “strong potential” to produce alternative fuel from renewable sources like wood chips and tree bark. According to a study released on Thursday from Nova Scotia’s Innovation Hub — an industrial, applied-research initiative — the liquid biofuel could be used to heat homes and power marine vessels. And this all could be generated from a biorefinery, which is a facility that converts natural, biological material to fuel. The fibre could come from byproducts produced by forestry operations, such as wood chips and tree bark, as well as from farm crops and municipal solid waste sources. “Developing a biofuel sector in our province will give us an innovative alternative to fossil fuels and spark economic growth,” said minister of natural resource Lloyd Hines in a news release.

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Alaska Natives to protect land for California carbon program

By Rachel D’oro
Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle
January 26, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska  — An undeveloped Alaska coal field, California’s offsets for carbon pollution and thousands of acres of forest are the unlikely players in a complex agreement that is expected to generate millions for an Alaska Native organization. The agreement protects the land from development and sets up financial benefits for the Chugach Alaska Corp., a regional Alaska Native corporation representing 2,500 Aleut, Eskimo and Indian shareholders around Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Many largely rely on commercial fisheries and a subsistence lifestyle. The corporation will preserve 115,000 acres of its forested land that will be used to calculate credits purchased by California polluters through the state’s “cap and trade” program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not an unusual move, with protected forests in Michigan, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona feeding into the program, said Dave Clegern, California Air Resources Board spokesman.

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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: Uncategorized
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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Can we send our softwood to China if U.S. hardens its stand?

January 27, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

With its chief trading partner awash in uncertainty, will Canada’s softwood lumber industry double down on China and other further-flung markets? It’s complicated. …But even though China has become a growing partner for Canadian softwood since the early 2000s, circumstances are aligning against a much deeper relationship. Logistical problems prevent most of the industry’s landlocked companies from shipping substantial quantities of lumber overseas. China’s economy has slowed down, and its appetite for lumber is shifting. And some industry players remain optimistic about their opportunities in the United States. “Maintaining secure access to the U.S. market is really important to our sector while we continue to explore other opportunities,” says Susan Yurkovich, chief executive officer of British Columbia’s Council of Forest Industries, which represents the sector in the province’s Interior.

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