Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 15, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

A recent sighting of a Pushmi-Pullyu confirms that conflict is in the air

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 15, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

In the words of Dr. Dolittle, a “pushmi-pullyu” has emerged in Oregon this week between loggers and environmental groups. Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument pleased many but loggers say that the expansion will push them “into poverty and violates a congressional mandate that protects their industry”. Representing the logging sector, the American Forest Resource Council is suing the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Interior Department, and the president arguing that the lands in question had been “reserved by Congress for forest production”.

Sighting a bigger version of the two-headed beast – Canada and the US continue to push and pull over the softwood lumber dispute. Trump’s new Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, “promises to get tough with Canada” saying that softwood lumber is “at the top of his list”, vowing that his administration “will reach a resolution, either through litigation or a new deal with Ottawa”. Meanwhile, the head of the Quebec Forest Industry Council is concerned about the fate of small industry players in Quebec and Ontario, saying they “would be particularly vulnerable to duties”, more so than the west where he says the big players have hedged their bets by purchasing mills in the US.

Public forums are underway in Northern British Columbia bringing communities and industry together to discuss forest policy. Coordinator Peter Ewart is a supporter of “the appurtenancy policy which required Forest License holders to process wood in the area where it was harvested”, and says “we need a new direction for the economy”.

We’ll finish with a reminder to take a look at the beautiful images featured in the Vancouver Sun of the nominees and winners of the recent Wood Awards ceremony hosted in Vancouver.

— Tree Frog Editors 

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Business & Politics

US Congress urges get-tough approach with Canada in hearing for Trump trade pick

By Alexander Panetta
Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
March 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON – In a possible preview of upcoming NAFTA negotiations, U.S. lawmakers Tuesday urged a get-tough approach with Canada in several areas…Senators from both parties pressed trade nominee Robert Lighthizer on softwood lumber, intellectual-property protection and, with respect to the NAFTA negotiations, for freer trade in dairy and poultry…One complained that the president should have been tougher when Canada’s prime minister visited Washington. The committee’s top Democrat, who hails from the lumber-producing state of Oregon, wanted stronger language on softwood.;”I thought it was unfortunate that the president missed an opportunity when Prime Minister Trudeau was here, when he said, ‘Gee, all we need with Canada is a tweak,”’ said Sen. Ron Wyden ;”How are you gonna get tough with Canada with respect to softwood lumber?” asked Wyden…”Certainly (softwood) is at the top of the list,” said Lighthizer.

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Trump’s nominee for top trade official targets Canada, softwood lumber dispute

By Adrian Morrow
The Globe and Mail
March 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

President Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Trade Representative is promising to get tough with Canada over the long-running softwood lumber dispute and intellectual property laws. Robert Lighthizer told his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that dealing with softwood lumber would be “at the top of the list” on bilateral trade if he is confirmed. “I’ve had a variety of issues with respect to Canada that had been raised by senators that I’ve gone around and spoken,” he said. “And, certainly, this is at the top of the list.”… He said he recognized that American companies wants some sort of “quantitative restraint” – a limit on Canadian lumber entering the U.S. – and vowed that the Trump administration will reach a resolution, either through litigation or a new deal with Ottawa.“It is a very serious, intractable sort of problem. 

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CERCA campaign to drive away jobs

Robbie James Terminal Manager, Western Stevedoring
Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mr. Goetz Schuerholz, spokesperson for CERCA, recently launched a campaign to drive more than 50 jobs away from the former Westcan Terminal and out of the Cowichan Bay area. This campaign is based on inaccurate information. In a recent letter to the editor Mr. Schuerholz incorrectly suggests we are seeking updated CVRD zoning to permit “heavy industry” in the estuary. This is not true. We are actually seeking removal of petroleum terminal and storage facilities as a permitted use, and the conversion of water areas on the south side of the terminal currently zoned for log storage to conservation purposes only… This assembly work does not preclude the terminal from shipping processed lumber products and supporting the 100-plus people working at the local sawmill. While the sawmill hasn’t made as much use of the terminal in recent years, variations in international markets could change that.

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B.C. economy to grow more slowly over next two years: Central 1 Credit Union

By Darryl Dyck
The Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
March 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia credit union says the province’s economy will remain strong through 2019, but Metro Vancouver’s once-sizzling housing market will no longer fuel the growth. The latest forecast from the Central 1 Credit Union says the total amount of goods and services produced in B.C. will climb by 2.3 per cent in 2017… The forecast warns ongoing softwood lumber trade talks and the risk of tariffs could drag growth, and low global gas prices will keep a lid on any major liquefied natural gas projects in the province until at least the 2020s… Government spending and higher commodity prices are expected to pick up the slack, Yu says, although there could be a chill from potential softwood lumber tariffs.

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Kamloops puts a cap on heavy industry taxes

By Bredan Kergin
iNFOnews.ca
March 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – The City of Kamloops is doing more to relieve the tax burden on heavy industry, but not all on council are happy about it. While the new efforts will not have a significant impact on residential taxes this year, they may encourage companies like Domtar to invest more in local mills, according to supporters of the policy. A group of measures passed at a council budget meeting this morning, March 13, is in an effort to lower the City’s heavy industry tax burden gradually. The measures include a cap on the dollar figure collected from heavy industry in Kamloops at $6.2 million and a cap on the mill rate so it doesn’t go higher than the current rate of 74.00. Kamloops currently has the highest heavy industry tax rate by far when compared to communities of a similar size.

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More than 100 out of work with indefinite mothballing of Resolute mill

By Paul Forsyth
Niagara This Week
March 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


THOROLD — More than 100 employees of Resolute Forest Products’ Thorold newsprint mill are out of work, with news that the massive plant on Highway 58 has been indefinitely idled. But there are hopes that the plant could once again begin production of other paper products at some point, with Resolute saying it’s in talks with an independent third party interested in converting the Thorold mill to an alternative product. … Many of the laid off workers had been out of work since the plant, formerly known as AbitibiBowater before that firm rebranded as Resolute following bankruptcy protection, started taking downtime in its operation in mid-December. Resolute said it’s working with Stone House Investments Holdings Inc. on possibly giving the idled plant a new lease on life.

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Ontario, Quebec more vulnerable to softwood duties this time: industry observers

By Ross Marowits
The Canadian Press in Life in Quebec
March 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — Canada’s lumber industry is in a stronger position to weather a U.S. trade battle than it was during the last major clash a decade ago, but smaller Quebec and Ontario producers would be particularly vulnerable to duties that may arrive within weeks, industry observers say. B.C. producers such as West Fraser Timber, Canfor and Interfor have hedged their bets, purchasing sawmills in the US. They’ve also seen softwood exports to China grow, giving them some degree of protection against tariffs that the U.S. could impose as early as May.;“The big players in the West are now in a more comfortable position than they were 10 years ago,” says Andre Tremblay, head of the Quebec Forest Industry Council.“We are in a much more delicate situation now than during the last conflict.”…That’s why Ontario and Quebec producers are pushing Ottawa to provide loan guarantees to help them pay duties and stay in business, something B.C. isn’t immediately considering.

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Lumber Price Woes Will Persist, NAHB CEO Predicts

By Craig Webb
Builder Magazine
March 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Headaches over the supply and price of North American lumber likely will persist for several years, Jerry Howard, the CEO of the National Association of Home Builders told lumberyard executives today, adding that one solution he’s working on is to promote imports from Chile and perhaps Brazil. “I think it’s going to take four to five years to have a resolution to the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA),” Jerry Howard told members of LBM Advantage, a buying co-op, at its annual meeting in Orlando. He was referring to the now-expired trade pact between Canada and the U.S. that is expected to result in tariffs of as much as 30% being imposed this spring. In the meantime, “Builders are telling me they are having trouble getting commitments for the lumber packages for some of their products,” Howard said. “The lumber issue is one that’s extremely relevant and is slowing down the spring selling season.”

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Hardwoods Distribution acquires Eagle Plywood and Lumber

Lesprom Network
March 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Hardwoods Distribution Inc. has, through its’ subsidiary Rugby Holdings LLC purchased substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Eagle Plywood and Lumber for a total value of $0.4 million plus up to an additional $0.2 million subject to future sales performance. The transaction purchase price was financed by a draw on the Company’s existing US credit facility. The assets and sales associated with the Eagle acquisition will be consolidated into the Company’s existing Rugby distribution facility in Dallas. “This acquisition is a good example of our ability to leverage the robust pipeline we acquired as part of the acquisition of Rugby Architectural Building Products last year,” commented Rob Brown, Hardwoods’ President and CEO.

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January 2017 Housing Commentary

Virginia Tech and U.S. Forest Service
March 15, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

In January 2017, in aggregate, monthly housing data were mostly positive. Total permits rebounded; single-family permits declined month-over-month; completions declined month-over- month basis and year-over-year basis; and new single-family sales improved. New single-family house construction spending also increased minimally month-over-month… The common meme from housing analysts that the lack of inventory (new and existing), regulations (land use and financial), and the dearth of building lots are a hindrance on the overall housing market. “The industry is sending a strong signal that nonresidential construction will be positive in 2017. While expectations for nonresidential construction have increased, expectations for residential construction have remained relatively flat when compared to 2016.

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Natural Resources Wales’ £39m timber deal ‘irregular’

By David Deans
BBC News
March 15, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A 10-year deal by Natural Resources Wales to sell timber to a sawmill was made without other companies being allowed to bid, the Auditor General for Wales has said. For £39m, the firm is buying what is estimated to be up to a quarter of the timber released by NRW every year. Auditor General Huw Vaughan Thomas said he was unable to satisfy himself on whether the decision to make the deal was lawful. NRW disputed the findings. The allegations have been made in a response to the 2015/16 accounts of NRW by Mr Thomas, who called the deal “irregular”. He said the decision-making process was not transparent and expressed “doubt” over whether it met EU state aid rules.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Are wood-frame high rises a fire risk?

By Rober Avsec
Fire Chief
March 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

… A combination of factors is at work behind the growing popularity of wooden high-rises… Architects and developers also see the use of CLT as having several distinct benefits over steel and concrete components. For one, there’s less noise and congestion on the building site… Second, there are fewer work crews and a shorter construction timeline… Then there’s the environmental factor… How fire safe is CLT?… The tests showed the walls and floors could be designed for up to three hours of fire resistance, in many cases exceeding the code requirement for structural element fire resistance ratings.The researchers presented the study’s results to the Canadian code council and requested changes in the building codes based on the demonstrated performance through fire testing. Thus, the use of CLT has been adopted into the prescriptive building codes in Canada.

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Structurlam’s CrossLam® CLT Achieves Superior Fire Resistance Rating Following 150-Minute Test

By Structurlam Products
MarketWired
March 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West


PENTICTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Structurlam is pleased to announce that the mass timber manufacturer has received accreditation from Intertek Testing Services, certifying that the CrossLam® cross laminated timber (CLT) product has qualified under ASTM E119-16a and CAN/ULC S101 Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials. The product achieved a fire resistance rating of 150 minutes (2 1/2 hrs)…This certification demonstrates the superiority and safety of CrossLam® CLT as a construction material, challenging preconceptions surrounding the fire resistance of engineered mass timber products. “This test involved burning our CrossLam® CLT product at very high temperatures,” explained Bill Downing, President of Structurlam.

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Photos: Winners of B.C.’s Wood Design Awards

Vancouver Sun
March 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Just in case you missed it – Excellence in contemporary design and building with wood was celebrated in Vancouver at the Wood Design Awards last week. Winners and nominees of the Wood WORKS! BC 2017 Wood Design Awards were honoured and recognized for their leadership and innovation in structural and architectural wood use. The awards also marked the end of Wood Week BC – four events over 10 days that focused on the latest trends and topics on wood design and construction with a range of educational and networking opportunities.

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Maryland eyes new codes

Builder Online
March 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The Maryland State House Environment and Transportation Committee is expected to hear testimony today on House Bill 1311, a bill introduced by Delegate Cory McCray of Baltimore City, seeking to establish and adopt statewide building code regulations related to fire safety features for lightweight combustible wood construction in low- to mid-rise residential buildings throughout the state. At the same time, lobbying group Build With Strength is launching ads throughout the capital region in print, radio and online, calling on Maryland’s legislators to pass their respective bills. Since December 2016, 15 local fire-related deaths have already been recorded. In response, members of the Build With Strength Coalition: the Red Cross, the insurance industry, resilience advocates, engineers, architects and academics are asking lawmakers to consider the new codes.

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‘The buildings we deserve’: Andrew Waugh on CLT construction

Architecture AU
March 15, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

British architect Andrew Waugh, a pioneer in the use of CLT, talks to ArchitectureAU about the ways engineered timber can revolutionize construction and, in the process, address housing affordability. …Waugh was awarded the 2010 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medal for Research for his practice-located research into timber structures for high-rise buildings. Here, he talks to ArchitectureAU about the opportunities of building with engineered timber. …We first started looking at CLT among other environmentally aware forms of construction. Working with timber has obvious environmental benefits: it’s replenishable, it’s made of carbon and has a very low embodied energy. Our first project in CLT was completed in 2003 and we realized during this very modest project that the material had the potential to build at much greater scales.

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Forestry

Foresight and FPInnovations award over $250,000 to accelerate innovative technologies that will support sustainable forest management and create jobs

FPInnovations
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Vancouver, CANADA – Today Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre and FPInnovations announced three winners of the initial stage of the “FPInnovations-ARCTIC Forest Inventory Challenge.” Arbonaut Oy, Lim Geomatics Inc. and Object Raku Technology Inc. were selected from a pool of global innovators and will use the funding to further develop their remote-sensing solutions to conduct fast and accurate forest inventories.  Each year in British Columbia, approximately 175,000 hectares, or less than 1% of British Columbia’s forests, are harvested. Studies indicate that improving quality and frequency of data collection using next-generation remote sensing solutions can save approximately $100 million per year for the British Columbia forest sector. These solutions are expected to provide accurate information on the species, size and quality of the trees in the forests at a lower cost than currently possible. They will also positively contribute to environmental and wildfire management planning.

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Standing Up for Forestry

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – About 60 people were on hand at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George last night for the first in a series of public forums on forestry… Stand Up for the North spokesperson Peter Ewart asked if forest policy in B.C. is “petrified”. Ewart is a supporter of the appurtenancy policy which required Forest License holders to process wood in the area where it was harvested… “One thing is clear” said Ewart, “We need a new direction for the economy”. He said there is a movement underway, one of people and communities who want more say in economic decisions. He says this is not a left versus right issue, it’s an issue of empowerment. Ben Parfitt, Resource Analyst with the Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives put forth a ten point plan to revive forestry.

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Cariboo Residents Invited To Weigh In On Forestry

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
March 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


The Stand Up For The North Committee will be holding meetings in the Cariboo this week. Coordinator Peter Ewart says they will be in Quesnel on Wednesday night at the Rec Centre and then at the Central Cariboo Arts and Cultural Centre in Williams Lake the following night. Ewart says the meetings, starting at 7, are about the future of forestry in B.C…. “You know the softwood lumber agreement is connected to that but there are a lot of other factors such as the expected cut in the annual allowable cut that is going to come for Prince George, Cariboo and so on where there is gonna be a big reduction in that, you know the amount of timber that can be cut.”

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Worst of pine beetle outbreak over, West Kelowna council told

By Ron Seymour
The Daily Courier
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mountain pine beetle outbreak is on the wane in the forests around West Kelowna, city council heard Tuesday. Far fewer pine trees are succumbing to the beetle than was the case in the past, Westbank First Nation forester Dave Gill told council. “The beetle will always be there, but it’s not in the numbers it was 10 years ago,” Gill said. “The worst of it is over, for sure.” Coun. Rusty Ensign recalled that predictions once were that the beetle would be a long-term menace, and that it would take a hard winter with temperatures below -40 C to kill the insect. Such assessments, Gill responded, were a “worst-case, sky-is-falling type of scenario.” While the beetle may be dying out, there are still other hazards to trees in the forests around West Kelowna, Gill said.

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The way things used to be

By Zack Metcalfe
The Chronicle Herald
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

On several occasions I’ve been accused of being a romantic, and I’m afraid it’s true, particularly when it comes to the way things used to be. What I wouldn’t give for a proper glimpse into the past of our humble province, to genuinely experience the defunct Acadian forest in all its undisturbed splendour. If we’re to look through the eyes of the first European settlers, by way of their anecdotes, we see a common theme… The forests of Nova Scotia were so mature and their canopies so well closed that these newcomers from the open places of Europe felt lost beneath its all-encompassing gloom. Our trees were ancient, it would seem, never before asked to fall for farmland or lumber. 

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Timber Harvest, Marbled Murrelet Habitat Conservation Plans Moving Forward

By Aaron Kunkler
The Chronicle
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Washington state Department of Natural Resources is working through the process of calculating sustainable timber harvest levels for the next 10 years as well as developing a marbled murrelet conservation strategy. The measures will affect timber counties in the state that rely on revenue from the harvests to pay for public infrastructure such as schools and fire departments. Bob Redling, public information officer of state lands and timber sales for Natural Resources, said there are no major differences in the sustainable harvest calculations from current levels. However, he said, once implemented they will be major policy documents. “It kind of indicates how much volume, ultimately funds, we’ll be pulling in,” he said. According to Natural Resources documents, the state manages around 1.4 million acres of forested state trust lands in Western Washington.

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Disease, Overgrowth Mean Millions Of Acres In Washington At Risk Of Wildfire

By Emily Schwing
KUOW
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said 2.7 million acres of state land is in poor health and some of that is at risk of catastrophic wildfire. Franz has asked the state Legislature for $38 million this year — a big ask in a year when the legislature is mandated to solve an education funding deficit and has other requests. “We have been working very closely with our legislators in central and eastern Washington that are most impacted by wildfire and forest health issue,” Franz said. “Part of the case I keep making is if you look back at 2014, 2015 and 2016, over those last three years, we’ve spent almost half a billion dollars.” Franz wants $13 million for wildfire management and $25 million for forest health problems overall.

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Timber Industry Says Cascade-Siskiyou Protections Threaten Loggers

By Brandi Buchman
Courthouse News Service
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – A lobbying group for the timber industry claims the last-minute expansion of protections for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument by President Barack Obama threatens to push loggers into poverty and violates a congressional mandate that protects their industry. Under an expansion of monument protections enacted on Jan. 12, some 48,000 acres were added to the protected mountain range in southern Oregon. …The American Forest Resource Council, which represents 100 companies in the timber industry, sued the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Interior Department, and the president on March 10, arguing that the lands former President Obama sought to protect are reserved by Congress for forest production and that the terms found in the Antiquities Act do not give a president permission “to unilaterally override Congress” and reserve the land for any use beside logging.

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Elliott State Forest meeting pushed back until May

By Andrew Theen
The Oregonian
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


The Elliott State Forest’s fate will have to wait until May. Oregon’s State Land Board, comprising Gov. Kate Brown, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and Treasurer Tobias Read, won’t meet again until May 9. The three-person body usually meets every other month, Department of State Lands Spokeswoman Julie Curtis said Tuesday, but the April meeting was rescheduled because Richardson was invited to join a U.S. delegation traveling to Taiwan. Richardson has not officially committed to the trip, which takes place the week of April 10.The board last met Feb. 14, when Richardson and Read signaled support for a plan to sell the forest land to the only bidder, Lone Rock Timber Management, for $221 million.

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Wet winter fails to solve state’s forest problems

By Christine Souza
AgAlert
March 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Despite the wet winter and far-above-average Sierra Nevada snowpack, California forests remain at risk from tree mortality, bark beetle infestations and overgrown landscapes, according to presentations at the 2017 California Farm Bureau Federation Leaders Conference. During the event, foresters and forest landowners discussed all those issues and communicated concerns directly to Randy Moore, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest regional forester, who participated as a guest speaker. Shaun Crook, a timber operator and president of the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau, emphasized to Moore the need for effective forest management and that it be included in the agency’s updated forest plans, to reverse the damage happening in the national forests.

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Settlement reached on Westside Project

By Perry Backus
Ravalli Republic
March 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A project to thin over 2,300 acres of national forest lands that adjoins an area burned in last summer’s Roaring Lion Fire near Hamilton will move forward. Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Julie King announced Friday that a settlement agreement had been reached with landowners who had sued the agency over concerns about a new road being constructed near their property. King said the area has been identified as a high priority for treatment under the agency’s wildfire protection plan. “The sooner we get started, the better our chances are of reducing the possibility of another high-intensity, devastating wildfire like we experienced last summer,” King said. Last summer’s 8,700-acre Roaring Lion Fire southwest of Hamilton burned 16 homes and endangered hundreds more.

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Judge Rules Environmental Groups Can Intervene In Cascade-Siskiyou Lawsuit

By Conrad Wilson
Oregon Public Broadcasting
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal judge in Medford, Oregon, ruled Tuesday that several environmental groups can intervene in a lawsuit aimed at preventing the expansion the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon. During his final days in office, President Obama expanded the national monument by about 48,000 acres. The monument was first established by President Clinton. The judge’s ruling means Oregon Wild, the Wilderness Society, the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council and other groups will be allowed to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Murphy Timber Investments. “If they prevail in making this argument, I think it would be a giant setback across a whole range of conservation issues in Oregon,” said Steve Pedery, the conservation director for Oregon Wild.

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Alarmed by Trump’s environmental policies, governor champions wildfire prevention

By Eli Francovich
The Spokesman-Review
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Stepping gingerly through a muddy morass near the Four Mound community, Gov. Jay Inslee is concerned. “The president is exposing these communities to more forest fires,” he said Tuesday. Washington’s governor was referring to President Donald Trump’s stated intention to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget as well as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s skepticism about the cause of climate change. “Fire is a threat because of increasing drought, because of increasing heat, because of beetle kill,” Inslee said during his visit to the area northwest of Spokane. “All of which are associated with climate change. Climate change is a threat to increased forest fires.” Pruitt, who was narrowly confirmed as the head of the EPA in February, recently said he doesn’t believe climate change is caused by human activity such as the burning of fossil fuels.

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Experts worried about pine beetle outbreak in Alabama

By Dennis Pillion
Idaho Statesman
March 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. — A full-grown Southern pine beetle is still about half the length of a grain of rice, but state and federal forestry officials worry this tiny bug could have a monster impact this year on the state of Alabama’s $11 billion wood products industry… This year’s concerns are rooted in the large number of trees left stressed or already dying from last year’s record-setting drought. Drought-stressed trees don’t make sap as well as healthy ones, and that sticky sap is the tree’s primary defense against beetles. “We’re in crisis right now because any organism that’s under stress is less able to deal with stress, and all of our pine beetles, bark beetles are stressors to trees,” Loewenstein said. “

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Why forestry is Indonesia’s best hope

By Wilmar Witoelar
Jakarta Post
March 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Most Indonesians are not generally aware of the real value of our forests. In fact, only the current government has given forests their rightful place in the Cabinet structure, placing it as a function of the environment strategy. As in many developing countries endowed with tropical forests, Indonesia has always seen forests in the perspectives of security. The dense foliage of tropical forests allows concealment of activities that could be sensitive and detrimental to government oversight. Modern satellite technology and sophisticated aerial monitoring have made forests less opaque, but still governments do not feel secure, especially when the forests are in border areas. Forests have been seen as sources of wealth to be allocated to politicians or military officials in return for political loyalty.

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Forestry plan set for logjam as industry group prepares opposition campaign

By Richard Baines
ABC News, Australia
March 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania’s peak forestry industry body will today launch a campaign against legislation designed to open up forests to logging earlier than planned, but a minister has said “it is no surprise” they are opposed to the move. It will be the latest step in the industry’s rejection of the Tasmanian Government’s plan to allow 356,000 hectares of previously reserved forest to be logged, ahead of the 2020 moratorium date. The areas were protected under the now defunct forest peace deal and were re-classed as future potential production forests by the Liberals. Later today the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (FIAT) will launch the campaign against the legislation in “its current form”. While that will leave open the possibility of the industry body changing its position, sources say the Government would have to “rewrite” the bill to garner support.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Feds send Canfor $13 million for green project

by Spencer Gowan
My PG Now
March 14, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Pulp Products Inc. was recently given $13 million to continue its funding one of its environmentally-friendly green initiatives. The Government of Canada handed out grants to companies committed to supporting technologies that have big environmental goals and creating jobs. The pulp and paper producer is finding ways to turn waste product from its production processes and develop it into a biofuel product. This could be filtered and turned into new biofuels and biochemicals. Martin Pudlas, Canfor’s Vice-President of Operations, says “We have the opportunity to create a truly renewable biofuel that can easily integrate with conventional fuels to dramatically lower environmental impacts. This funding from SDTC provides critical support as we look to operationalize this truly transformative green technology.”

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Response to Chatham House report “Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate”

IEA Bioenergy
March 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A recent report published by Chatham House addresses three issues related to the use of woody biomass for energy: climate effects and carbon neutrality, greenhouse gas accounting, and sustainability criteria. Particular attention is placed on the use of wood pellets produced in Southeast United States (SE US) to supply power in Europe, which in 2014 comprised about 2% of total harvest removals in the SE US, less than 1% of total US forestry products by weight and less than 0.5% of total US forest products export value. About 95% of EU energy wood consumption is currently based on domestic raw material and less than 2% is based on wood pellets imported from the US.

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