Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 22, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Despite the controversy – it’s time for TIMBER!

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 22, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Natural Resources Defense Council is pointing at Resolute Forest Products in an effort to convince the US marketplace to get involved in conserving Boreal forests from the “major footprint” of Canada’s logging companies. Citing ongoing litigation against “public interest organizations” they are calling for Resolute to “cease its attacks on the FSC system” and “work to regain their FSC certification”. In response, Resolute is using legislation “most often deployed against the mafia”. Their US attorney from Kasowitz, Benson, Torres and Friedman LLP says Resolute “cares about the Boreal forest a lot more than Greenpeace does”. 

Amid other stories of controversy in the sector, we continue with headlines about the sale of Elliott State Forest and unhappy activists in Indiana, but it’s not all doom and gloom.
The province of British Columbia released their balanced budget yesterday to accolades from both interior and coastal forest sector associations. The tax break on electricity was the big news. Susan Yurkovich, head of the Council of Forest Industries says, “This tax relief is critically important for forest-dependent communities”. And, forest communities may see even more benefits as CLT continues to stimulate the global appetite for wood. According to the head of the Swedish Wood Building Council, “Steel was the 1800s materials, concrete 1900s. Now we are in the 2000s and it is time for timber”. Hooray! 
— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

Budget 2017: Coast Forest Applauds the BC Government in Weathering the Storm – for the Long Run

Coast Forest Products Association
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coast Forest Products Association applauds Premier Christy Clark, Minister of Finance, Mike de Jong, and the British Columbia provincial government for presenting a balanced budget for the fifth consecutive year, further supporting the prosperity of people throughout our province….Earlier this month, Coast Forest joined BC mayors and pulp and paper companies in their call for the exemption of the Provincial Sales Tax (PST). Therefore, today’s 2017 budget announcement that the PST will be reduced to 3.5% in October 2017 with the eventual full exemption in April 2019 on industrial use of electricity is welcome news.

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AFPA encouraged after meeting with premier to discuss trade relationships

By The Alberta Forest Products Association
Pulp and Paper Canada
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta Forest Products Association said forest company leaders from across the province had a “very productive meeting” with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley last week. The meeting focused on Alberta’s trading relationship with the United States and the future vitality of Alberta’s forest sector. “We greatly appreciate the dedication of Premier Notley and her government to this very important file,” said Paul Whittaker, president and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association. “By working closely together, we can ensure a strong future for the forest sector and the thousands of Albertans who work in it.” Meeting participants also included Deron Bilous, minister of economic development and trade, and Oneil Carlier, minister of agriculture and forestry.

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Concerns over protection of forestry industry after softwood lumber agreement expires

By The Revelstoke Mountaineer Editorial Board
Revelstoke Mountaineer
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski is concerned how the Liberal government will ensure the protection of B.C.’s forestry industry after a temporary softwood lumber agreement between the U.S. and Canada expired. …A new softwood lumber agreement has yet to be negotiated. Stetski said he and the other New Democrat MPs from B.C. have concerns about what they say is the Liberal government’s lack of a back-up plan should the U.S. bring duties against Canadian products, and the New Democrats are calling for federal intervention. “We are calling for loan guarantees for softwood producers that would help provide certainty to the tens of thousands of forestry works in British Columbia,” Stetski said. “During the last softwood dispute we saw a lot of damage done by American duties all across our region,” Stetski said. 

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Family mourns boom boat-driver and asks for more answers

Kelowna Capital News
February 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West


It’s been nearly a month since Ivor Lundin died while captaining Tolko’s boom-boat and his friends and family are still struggling to make sense of their loss. “Of course we still don’t have a lot of answers about what happened, but as far as the recovery went, they just didn’t do enough,” said Lundin’s partner, Brenda. When Ivor’s boat went down late Jan. 30, Brenda said she’s been told nobody went into the water to save him. Those who were at the scene waited until emergency crews showed up. There are multiple investigations into the sinking. …The Transportation Safety Board and WorkSafe BC are both looking into it. The TSB said they will have more information in the next week, and are still in the process of assessing the evidence. WorkSafe BC said they haven’t had a complaint about the Tolko boat in recent years.

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Uncertainty over softwood lumber weighs on B.C.

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The softwood lumber fight between the United States and Canada has thrown a wrench in the B.C. government’s forecasting for the forestry sector. “The budget 2017 economic and fiscal plan does not incorporate any estimates of potential impacts associated with the current trade dispute involving softwood lumber exports to the U.S.,” according to a warning in budget documents released in Victoria. Tribunals under the North American free-trade agreement have generally sided with Canada’s position, the B.C. government said in the documents. “Canada has steadfastly maintained and argued that lumber exports to the U.S. are not subsidized,” the province said. Bryan Yu, senior economist at Central 1 Credit Union, said hefty U.S. tariffs slapped on Canadian lumber would hurt mills in B.C. and other provinces.

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Treats for business in BC budget, but concerns as well over Trump-led administration

By Gordon Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Businesses are getting a boost from B.C.’s $50.2-billion operating budget from tax cuts to eliminate the provincial sales tax on electricity and reduce the small business corporate income tax. …Revenues from forestry are expected to drop to $852 million this coming fiscal year from $859 million the year before, although there’s a forecast increase in the next two years. However, the forestry forecast does not take into account the softwood lumber trade dispute with the U.S. The previous lumber agreement ended in 2015 but there was a one-year roll-over. …Environmental groups said the budget failed to protect the environment or address climate change. “While the government talks a big game on climate change, our increasing emissions and support for industries like fracking tell a different story,” said Wilderness Committee campaigner Torrance Coste.

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COFI Welcomes Measures Addressing Competitiveness in 2017 B.C. Budget

Council of Forest Industries
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) today welcomed the Government of B.C.’s s fifth consecutive balanced budget which provides some tax relief to encourage competitiveness and a continued commitment to expand our export markets. “We are pleased to see the PST on electricity will be phased out over the next two years,” said Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of COFI. “This tax relief is critically important for forest-dependent communities in B.C. Reducing taxes frees up capital to be spent in facilities around the province.” “COFI also appreciates the Province’s continued commitment to diversifying our export markets,” added Yurkovich. “Over the last 10 years, we have worked collaboratively to expand our markets in Asia.

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Softwood lumber producers shouldn’t be given the wrong impression: critic

By Kyle Balzer
My Prince George Now
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial opposition is responding to Premier Christy Clark’s recent remarks on softwood lumber. They believe the BC Liberals are sending the wrong signal when claiming a better relationship with the new US Administration and President Donald Trump will be possible in the near future. NDP critic for softwood lumber Bruce Ralston says small producers in Northern and central BC are still being left with uncertainty, considering their disadvantages. “Some of the big companies have bought US mills, but the smaller producers don’t have that option. They sell largely into the American market, and they need market access.”

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Catalyst Applauds Government’s Decision to Cut PST on Electricity

Catalyst Paper Corporation
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, BC – The elimination of the PST on electricity is a welcome and strong step forward to protect and support jobs in British Columbia’s pulp and paper sector, says Len Posyniak, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Corporate Services for Catalyst Paper Corp. British Columbia’s thermo-mechanical pulp and paper sector supports 5,600 direct and indirect jobs across the province, generating about $250 million in annual revenue for governments. In BC, Catalyst operates mills in Powell River, Port Alberni and Crofton, a distribution centre in Surrey, and is headquartered in Richmond.

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Kamloops Air Quality: What living close to big industry means for citizens

By Kim Anderson
Infotel News
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – The unmistakable smell of the pulp mill processing plant is often right on the nose for Kamloops residents and a recent power outage turned what’s normally a faint odour into a jarring and unpleasant surprise for many last Saturday. … Skene says WorkSafeBC has set an exposure limit of 10 parts per million for total reduced sulphur, therefore no workers were evacuated as a result of the outage. …Dr. Michael Mehta, professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at TRU argues that total reduced sulphur is a serious health concern worth monitoring. “Truth is, air pollution is a silent killer and the government downplays risks. There’s always a balancing act between being aggressive against pollution and going against industry,” Mehta says. Mehta says the smell that lingered in Kamloops last Saturday was more than just unpleasant, it was dangerous.

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U.S. law firm employs anti-mafia laws to sue forest activists

By Chris Arsenault
Thomson Reuters Foundation
February 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


VANCOUVER — A Canadian forestry giant is using legislation most often deployed against the mafia to sue Greenpeace over allegations about the firm’s environmental record in the latest legal battle between campaigners and resource companies. Launched by Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products the case will reverberate beyond the United States as it impacts how defamation and free speech rules are interpreted and how activist groups can be treated during prosecution. A judge in the U.S. state of Georgia is weighing a motion by Greenpeace to dismiss the case and a decision on whether it can proceed is expected soon, lawyers for both sides said.

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Cash-strapped Rentech pulls plug on Wawa pellet mill

Northern Ontario Business
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A California company is entertaining buyers for its Wawa pellet mill as it begins shuttering the operation this month. Rentech announced Feb. 21 that its Wawa pellet mill is being indefinitely idled while the company conducts a “strategic review” of that facility and the company’s entire direction. The company said chronic “equipment and operational issues” at the mill will cost them additional money that they haven’t budgeted for. …The Wawa mill was originally set up to manufacture pellets for export to Drax Power in the United Kingdom through the Port of Quebec. But operating issues at Wawa resulted in Rentech’s Atikokan pellet mill in northwestern Ontario shipping product overseas. …Rentech said that operation will continue “without interruption” but production will be reduced.

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JD Irving challenge to southern NB woodlot groups heads to trial

By Connell Smith
CBC News
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

J.D. Irving’s dispute with two southern New Brunswick woodlot groups will go to trial, a judge in Saint John has decided. Justice William Grant dismissed arguments by SNB Forest Products Marketing Board and its sister group, the SNB Wood Cooperative, that JDI lacked standing in the case and that the application was an abuse of the court process. JDI wants a contract between the two groups representing southern New Brunswick woodlot owners declared unlawful by the Court of Queen’s Bench. The forestry company says the marketing board has unlawfully delegated its powers to the co-operative. Grant found there was enough disagreement over the facts to warrant a trial.

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Lumber Liquidators reports 4Q loss

Associated Press in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, United States

TOANO, Va. — Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. on Tuesday reported a loss of $5.5 million in its fourth quarter. On a per-share basis, the Toano, Virginia-based company said it had a loss of 20 cents. The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 29 cents per share. The hardwood floors retailer posted revenue of $244.9 million in the period, also topping Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $241.7 million.

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Resolute: A Major Step Away from Sustainable Forestry

By Anthony Swift
Natural Resources Defense Council
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

At a critical moment, one of Canada’s largest logging companies, Resolute Forest Products, may be stepping away from the very system that is perched to make critical gains in protection the boreal forest – the blue-green crown of towering firs and aspens at the top of North America. This forest plays a significant role in helping to regulate the global climate by holding at bay massive amounts of greenhouse gases emissions in its trees and soils, providing habitat to thousands of plant and animal species, and serving as a global freshwater storehouse, as well as being home to more than six hundred First Nations communities… …Instead of taking a constructive approach to work with the environmental community to support sustainable forestry in the boreal, Resolute has chosen to challenge freedom of speech and undermine meaningful dialogue with stakeholders engaged in proactive conservation efforts.

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Collins Pine weathers downturn, invests in future

By Kurt Liedtke
Herald and News
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

LAKEVIEW — Collins Pine is the last mill standing, carrying on Lakeview’s legacy as a once-thriving timber-based economy. As times have changed, so, too has the industry, where once seven mills stood now, there is just one. But large investments in facility upgrades and the community are helping assure Collins Pine will remain a prominent part of Lake County for years to come. …Next on the slate of upgrades is a $60,000 investment to increase the number of knives on the planer heads. This will make for a finer cut, particularly with the mill’s new 1-inch products where appearance is vitally important as wood that thin is utilized typically for aesthetic reasons rather than structural support.

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Dempsey Wood Products to invest $7 million, create 28 jobs

By Gene Zaleski
The Times and Democrat
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A family-owned lumber company is investing $7 million and creating 28 jobs at its Rowesville Road plant over the next five years. Dempsey Wood Products is investing in new dry kilns, a planer mill and upgrades to its sawmill. “It will give us some new markets, will diversify our markets and make us more efficient in converting the raw material to the finished product,” owner Ronnie Dempsey said. Orangeburg County Council gave third and final reading Tuesday to tax incentives for the expansion. The county will provide the company with fee-in-lieu of taxes and joint county industrial park incentives.

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HSBC revamps deforestation policy after Greenpeace investigation

Edie
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HSBC has launched a new zero-deforestation policy following a Greenpeace investigation which linked the banking corporation to organisations that have been destroying Indonesia’s rainforests. Europe’s largest bank has strengthened pledges to refuse finance for companies that clear forests and peatlands. The new policy will require HSBC customers to commit to protecting natural forest and peat by 30 June 2017; identify and protect forests and peat in new plantations prior to commencing new development, and provide independent verification of their commitments by the end of 2018. “HSBC does not and will not knowingly provide financial services which directly support palm oil companies which do not comply with our policy,” reads a company statement. 

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Brexit minister visits Scottish sawmill and discusses issues affecting forestry sector

Horticulture Week
February 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Robin Walker, a senior minister in the British government’s Brexit team, has had discussions with the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) on the major issues affecting the forestry and timber sector. The discussions took place this month (February, 2017) during a visit to the BSW sawmill near Scotland’s Fort William. There, Confor’s chief executive Stuart Goodall took the opportunity to stress the importance of the sector, which employs almost 80,000 people across the UK and delivers £2 billion in economic value every year. Minister for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker, said: “The UK Government is absolutely committed to ensuring that we have the strongest possible rural economy after Brexit and forestry will be a key part of the discussions as to how we achieve that. That’s why I was delighted to visit the BSW mill and to hear from Confor about their views on the upcoming negotiations and vision for the future of forestry in the UK.”

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Strengthening timber exports with certification

Solomon Star
February 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Timber exporters are developing a new model that will strengthen the legality of sawn timber exports by working towards third party certification. The Solomon Islands Timber Processors and Exporters Association (SITPEA) is supported by the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA), Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) and the Ministry of Forestry and Research in this programme that plans to engage an international third party auditor to legally verify timber exports. At the moment timbers get the green light to export by legal verification from the Timber Utilization Division of the Ministry of Forestry and Research. International timber markets however want more than just a single auditor.

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Tension brewing over location of proposed timber export facility on Kangaroo Island

By Courtney Fowler
ABC News, Australia
February 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Tension is building between Australia’s first publicly listed timber company and the country’s largest abalone producer, over a proposed multi-user wharf on Kangaroo island. The Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber company first unveiled its plans for the $25 million export facility last year, after it bought of 19,000 hectares of agricultural land in a deal which effectively tripled its timber resources.  …However, the project has received fierce opposition from Yumbah Aquaculture. …General manager of Yumbah’s Kangaroo Island Abalone Company, David Connell, said the construction and operation of a wharf would be devastating to the company’s abalone production.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Top 10 reasons to attend the Wood Design & Construction Solutions Conference

Wood WORKS! BC
February 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West


  1. Hear distinguished innovators and leaders as speakers from Canada and around the world
  2. Gain proficiency with wood in design and building
  3. Earn up to 11.5 professional development learning credits
  4. Visit the interactive exhibit hall and consult with wood product experts
  5. Connect and collaborate through exceptional networking opportunities
  6. Learn about the latest innovations and trends in wood design, construction, finishing and building science
  7. Learn how wood can benefit your next project – ideas and inspiration for you!
  8. Enjoy the welcome breakfast and lunches
  9. Meet the speakers, exhibitors and industry leaders at an evening reception
  10. This is a wood conference like no other – be among the first to attend this inaugural event!

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Architecture students build latticed-wood community centre in German refugee camp

By Eleanor Gibson
Dezeen
February 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Architecture students from Germany’s University of Kaiserslautern have built this wooden community centre for a refugee camp in Mannheim, which is fronted by a latticed screen. The pavilion, designed by students Sandra Gressung, Sascha Ritschel and Tobias Vogel, provides a sheltered communal area for refugees arriving in the camp located on the former US Army’s Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim. …Cross-laminated timber walls, which are clad in Douglas fir, make up the main walls of the centre, while the latticework walls provide structural support. They also create a dappled lighting effect against the spaces behind.

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Wooden ‘plyscrapers’ challenge concrete and steel

By Alister Doyle and Barbara Lewis
Reuters
February 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

High-rise wooden buildings, led by “The Tree”, a 52.8 metre (173 feet) apartment block in Norway, are claiming a place on city skylines as the timber industry challenges the supremacy of concrete and steel. New, ultra-strong wood materials are creating a small but fast-growing market for timber used to build big, urban blocks, extending wood’s uses beyond the houses typical of Alpine villages or suburban America. Backers of timber towers say they are greener than concrete and steel, whose production emits large amounts of greenhouse gases. Those industries say felling trees harms the environment if it causes loss of forests. “Steel was the 1800s materials, concrete 1900s. Now we are in the 2000s and it is time for timber,” said Susanne Rudemstan, head of the Swedish Wood Building Council. She said trees must come from properly managed forests to avoid deforestation.

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New cross-laminated timber could cut construction costs

Manufacturers’ Monthly
February 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

New Zealand manufacturer XLam has developed a locally produced cross-laminated timber (CLT), which could cut construction cost that will be available by the end of 2017, according to the AFR. The new CLT material and the way it is made, promises time, labour and wastage savings. Construction occurs offsite in the buildings with CLT. The timber is designed and shaped into panels, which can then be brought onsite and assembled. The CLT will be produced at XLam plant in Albury Wodonga. It will be produced from local pine, which will be a boon for the local forestry industry.

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Stefano Boeri is so beyond tree covered buildings, he’s now designing Forest Cities

By Lloyd Alter
TreeHugger
February 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

With a name like TreeHugger, we pay a lot of attention to the work of Stefano Boeri, starting with his Vertical Forest in Milan and more recently with his proposal for the Nanjing Vertical Forest. In fact, the Italian architect now has an office in Shanghai and is planning entire cities covered in forests. …Boeri’s website shows the concept for Shijiazhuang, a large polluted city a hundred miles southwest of Beijing. He calls it “is the prototype of a new model of urbanisation in China, which doesn’t consume agricultural and natural lands, limits the costs of public transportations and reduces the energy consumption. ” …Boeri envisages a chain or line of these, all based on the math of 225 hectares of dense development inside 25,000 hectares of green space, used for agriculture, nature or sport. (or is it 2,500? both numbers are used on the same page, and it makes a big difference).

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Forestry

Value in old growth forest beyond the wood (audio)

By Sharon Vanhouwe
My Cowichan Valley Now
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

Members of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce will hear tomorrow (Wed) how a grove of old growth forest has been a boon to Port Renfrew. Ken Wu of the Ancient Forest Alliance says old growth forests can be important to tourism in a region. On a trip down the island in 2009, Wu discovered a stand of old growth forest and named it Avatar Grove and it’s been one of the areas most popular tourism attractions.

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Public land sale should be methodical process

By the Statesman Journal Editorial Board
Statesman Journal
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gov. Kate Brown last week again pushed back against the sale of the 82,500-acre Elliott State Forest near Coos Bay. She first delayed a decision last December on putting public lands into private hands. But that was when she was one of three Democrats on the State Land Board. Last week when the board met, its makeup had changed. One of two new executive-branch members with voting rights is a Republican. Yet it was still a surprise when State Treasurer Tobias Read, a Democrat, joined Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, a Republican, and both voted to go forward with the forest’s sale to a coalition made up of a private timber management company, tribal representatives, and an environmental group.

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How will we restore this devastation?

Letter by Kathleen Keyson Land
The News-Review
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thank you, Diana Larson, for your letter “Clear cutting is devastation.” …Yes, I do agree that clear cuts are an “eyesore” to the human eye. May I ask, which is more beautiful to look at, brown dirt or green evergreens? More than that, clear cuts cause mudslides, erosion and runoffs (with all its debris) into our rivers and streams. As a result, flooding. Now that we know the end results of clear cutting, may I suggest selective cut? That is when they mark the big trees with blue or reddish-orange paint. The big trees are best for lumber.

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Elliott Forest should have followed Hood River model

Letter by State Sen. Chuck Thomsen
Hood River News
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…But I do want something to emerge from this: Oregon as a whole must rethink its public lands timber management, and what we do in Hood River is the model everyone should look to and adopt. …Since the early 20th century, public forest land in Hood River County has been well-managed on a rotating basis. Our Board of Forestry is extremely sensitive to the needs of all — recreation, conservation, hunting, fishing, etc. …We need to face modern realities: School funding has never been the same since the timber industry was crippled, and logging practices have evolved leaps and bounds over past decades. We can either seek a path toward well-regulated, local public land systems like Hood River has, or I fear a future of more land privatization won’t just be more tempting, but inevitable. The Elliott Forest sale needs to be a lesson to us all moving forward.

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Environmental groups sue to stop Lincoln-area logging

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
February 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A forestry project northwest of Lincoln would further degrade wildlife habitat in an area important to grizzly bears and Canada lynx, a federal lawsuit filed by environmental groups claims. Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council ask the court for a halt to the 5,000-acre Stonewall Vegetation Project on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. … The project came in part through a local collaborative called the Lincoln Restoration Committee and emphasizes removing beetle-killed lodgepole while encouraging growth of aspen, ponderosa and Douglas fir. The alliance and council say the project would negatively impact elk and grizzly bears while exemptions from logging in lynx habitat are being misapplied. The project also is a bad deal for taxpayers as it comes in at a net negative of about $972,000, they say.

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Wilderness study areas stir lively debate

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Advocates for releasing Montana’s wilderness study areas to multiple use argued at a state legislative hearing that 40 years was long enough to wait for a decision. But those in favor of wilderness protection pointed Monday to several errors in Rep. Kerry White’s House Joint Resolution 9, and claimed the lands had more value for outdoor recreation than timber harvest. “After 40 years, I would like to see them released back to multiple use,” White, R-Bozeman, said of seven wilderness study areas originally mapped in the Montana Wilderness Study Act of 1977. “I’m a strong proponent of active forest management.”

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Our View: Public lands bill the stuff of fantasy

By the Editorial Board
Mail Tribune
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A bill to study the pros and cons of the state assuming control of federal land in Oregon evokes pleasant fantasies for those who favor the idea, triggers nightmares for opponents — and is not likely to happen. That didn’t stop Republican Reps. Carl Wilson of Grants Pass, Sal Esquivel of Medford, Mike Nearman of Independence and Rep. Bill Post of Keizer from introducing House Bill 2365, which would create a task force to look into the costs and benefits of the state controlling federal lands. Monuments, national parks, wilderness areas and tribal lands would not be included. Wilson insists he has no intention of selling off public land, which is the first criticism from opponents of such ideas. He said he only wants a study. “I just happen to come from a county that’s close to being impoverished due to federal mismanagement of land,” Wilson said.

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Idaho officials looking to buy US Forest Service land

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in KBOI2
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials are in preliminary discussions with the U.S. Forest Service on possibly buying federal public lands. State Forester David Groeschl of the Idaho Department of Lands told Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and other members of the Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that the state is eyeing timberland that the federal agency has previously proposed for possible sale or exchange. Groeschl said the state is also identifying potential Forest Service lands not previously considered for sale. …. Idaho received 3.65 million acres of endowment land at statehood in 1890 that generates money, mainly for public schools. The state has about 2.44 million acres left, and the Land Board has a constitutional responsibility to manage that land to maximize financial returns over the long term.

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Old growth forest legislation dies in committee

By Ashley Steeb
The Statehouse File (Franklin College Journalism Students)
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

INDIANAPOLIS — Activists who supported legislation protecting old growth trees in Indiana are saddened to hear it will not pass committee. Senate Bill 420 would have required the Department of Natural Resources to designate at least 10 percent of each state forest as an old growth forest. The bill also required the department to refrain from conducting or allowing timber management in the designated forest area. The Senate Committee on Natural Resources heard testimony on the bill last week, but a press secretary for the chairwoman, Sen. Susan Glick’s, R-Portage, said the bill will not be called for a vote.

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Activists rally to protect old growth forests

By Ashley Steeb
NUVO Newsweekly
February 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Hundreds of Hoosiers wearing green and carrying signs with sayings like “Let the forest be forest” rallied at the Statehouse in support of protecting old growth trees. Participants at Monday’s Stand Up for Your Forests rally ranged from preschoolers to Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington. They advocated for Senate Bill 420, which would require the Department of Natural Resources to designate at least 10 percent of every state forest as an old growth forest. Recreational activities like fishing and hiking would be allowed in these portions of forests. Jeff Stant, executive director of Indiana Forest Alliance, said forests need to be protected to ensure future generations will come back to the state. “They can log these areas or they can save some of them for our legacy, their legacy,” Stant said. “What will they do? Let’s help them take the long view about what purpose our state forests should serve.”

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Forest Owners urge farmers to plant more trees

By The NZ Forest Owner’s Association
New Zealand Scoop
February 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forest Owners say the new Federated Farmers’ policy on climate change is a major step to help farmers understand trees are not an alternative to farming, but rather trees are tools to assist farming’s survivability. Federated Farmers has announced a new policy accepting the reality of human-induced climate change, after years of policy uncertainty from the farmer organisation on the issue. New Zealand Forest Owners Association Chairman Peter Clark describes Federated Farmers’ policy stance on the use of trees as ‘absolutely correct and potentially far reaching’. …“It’s not a competition for land use between stock and trees, any more than it used to be a competition between farming sheep for meat or wool. There’s a place for both on farms.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canadian company envisions Maine as site for biorefinery

By Tux Turkel
Portland Press Herald
February 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A Canadian company that turns leftover wood from forestry operations into heating fuel has begun supplying Bates College in Lewiston and is seeking enough customers to build a production facility in Maine. Ensyn Corp. is ramping up production of a proprietary biofuel it has made for more than 25 years at a small facility in Renfrew, Ontario. Now the company, along with private partners and the governments of Canada and Quebec, is building a $78 million plant at Port-Cartier, Quebec. The Cote Nord facility is designed to produce 10.5 million gallons of oil a year from trees when it comes on line later this year to supply customers in eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. Sales are aimed at large institutions, such as universities, state buildings and hospitals, that want to reduce the amount of climate-changing carbon dioxide they emit.

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General

Not allowed to manage forests; nice article on tournament

Letter by Vic Ecklund
Colorado Spring Gazette
February 22, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

A recent letter really bugs me, to wit, the deplorable condition of our public forested lands and who is to blame, and that gets me fired up. First, the referenced forces of nature are at epidemic levels far beyond Colorado; in fact from here well into Canada. Ecosystems work to maintain balance, so when forests become overgrown and stagnant, they become increasingly susceptible to insects, disease and wildfire. One of the jobs of the U.S. Forest Service is to apply modern scientific forest management practices to the lands under their jurisdiction to help keep things in balance. Enter the so-called “environmental” community, justifiably born out of rampant resource exploitation in the 1800s, at the same time the U.S. Forest Service was being conceived (in fact The Wilderness Society was co-founded in later years by Forest Service employees!).

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