Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: May 2017

Today’s Takeaway

NAFTA negotiations leave lumber on the back burner

Tree Frog Forestry News
May 31, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US has officially started the clock on the NAFTA renegotiations, but “due to its relatively minor impact on the broader Canadian economy”, Paul Quinn (RBC) expects “softwood lumber negotiations to be put on the back burner, pushing its resolution into late 2018/19.

The Conference Board of Canada is forecasting a 40% “deterioration in pre-tax profits” by Canada’s wood products industry, and a “reduction in 2,200 jobs over two years”. Elsewhere, the Ontario industry is expressing its disappointment that “despite numerous meetings and discussions that have taken place with the federal government, there has been no confirmation of an effective loan guarantee program for the forest industry”.

Domtar is objecting to an order by the Ontario government to run tests to determine “if its Dryden mill is the source on an ongoing mercury contamination in the Wabigoon River“. The company says responsibility for any remediation lies with government, due to an “indemnity issued by the province more than 30 years ago in return for investments worth about $200 million in the property”.

Finally, a new study by the American Ornithological Society (that’s bird-science to you), shows that “while owls avoid the badly burned areas left behind by massive stand-replacing fires, they benefit from habitat that includes a mosaic of burned patches of different sizes and degrees of severity“.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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What’s destabilizing BC’s wild salmon stocks? Not sea lice apparently.

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

While the NDP and Green Party claim their “historic agreement to share power” reflects voter’s desire for change, BC columnist Tom Fletcher suggests a switch from NDP to Green in two constituencies, may “signal the opposite”. Columnist Deborah Yedlin (Calgary Herald) writes that “this is not only bad news for the energy sector, but Canada’s economic prosperity“. 

What’s destabilizing BC’s wild salmon stocks? Not sea lice, according to a story in Business In Vancouver. Years after several studies concluded that “salmon stocks faced extinction as a result of sea lice”—in the Broughton Archipelago for example—”the stocks surged dramatically in 2014“. As a result, some scientists fear that the “attention activists have focused on the fish farm issue might be diverting attention from climate change, ocean ranching and other threats that deserve at least as much scrutiny as fish farms”.

Wired Magazine—which focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture and is known for coining terms such as ‘crowdsourcing’—is featuring a story on Tall Wood buildings. I guess that means ‘wood has arrived’.


Finally, an unfortunate story out of California, “female Forest Service workers reported enduring sexual misconduct, harassment and a fear of retaliation if they complained.

Know someone who works in Canada’s forests or sawmills and deserves to be recognized as a future leader? Check out the Canadian Forest Industries’ annual Top 10 Under 40 contest!  


— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

U.S. softwood lumber duties to cost 2,200 jobs, Conference Board of Canada says

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
May 31, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL — The Conference Board of Canada says U.S. softwood lumber duties will cut $700 million from Canadian exports over two years and result in the reduction of 2,200 jobs. The board released a report Wednesday that says curtailed exports should lower the industry’s pre-tax profit to $1.1 billion in 2018, down from $1.8 billion last year and $1.4 billion this year, despite growing revenues. The U.S. government recently imposed preliminary countervailing duties ranging between three and 24 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber exports. Anti-dumping duties to be announced next month are expected to raise tariffs to about 30 per cent, half of which should be absorbed by Canadian producers.

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Upcoming NAFTA negotiations leave lumber on the back burner

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
May 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The U.S. has officially started the clock on the NAFTA renegotiations, which could begin as soon as August 16th. …NAFTA negotiations expected to delay lumber talks – According to Stats Canada, the Forestry & Logging industry accounts for about 0.24% of Canadian GDP. Due to its relatively minor impact on the broader Canadian economy, we expect NAFTA negotiations to take precedence over the U.S.-Canada Lumber Trade Dispute and potentially push a resolution into late-2018 / 2019. This leaves Canadian lumber producers paying high export duties in the interim, with protracted negotiations likely to weigh on investor sentiment given the lack of clarity surrounding its ultimate resolution. Lumber prices expected to decline under variable export taxes in 2017

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Softwood Lumber Duties to Dampen Outlook for Canada’s Wood Products Industry

By the Conference Board of Canada
Canada Newswire
May 31, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA – Following its strongest showing in three years, production growth in Canada’s wood products industry is expected to moderate significantly in 2017 due to the incoming U.S. trade restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada’s Wood Products Manufacturing Industry. Canada’s wood products manufacturers will see pre-tax profits shrink from $1.8 billion in 2016 to $1.4 billion this year and $1.1 billion in 2018, as the United States issues duties averaging 30 per cent on Canada’s softwood lumber. “The Canadian wood products industry’s financial performance is forecast to deteriorate in the years ahead as import duties cut into shipments to the U.S. and act as a drag on industry growth,” said Michael Burt, Director, Industrial Trends,

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Peachland Heritage Pier project moves closer to financial goal

By Kathy Michaels
Kelowna Capital News
May 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rick Hansen Foundation and Tolko Corporation contribute combined $40,000. Plans to build a Peachland pier that offers greater accessibility to the lake are inching closer to reality. The District of Peachland, together with Peachland Pier Group gained the financial support of the Rick Hansen Foundation, which awarded them a grant of $26,000 to help build the new wheelchair-accessible pier adjacent to Heritage Park in Peachland. …The Pier Group also received a $14,000 gift from Tolko Industries. Based in Vernon, Tolko is a global supplier of forest products, with a strong track record of investing in regional communities.

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Canfor Prince George Fights Cancer as Top Fundraising Team

By Don Kayne
Canfor Blog
May 24, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

At the 25th annual Prince George Relay for Life, the Canfor team came out as the top fundraising team, having raised over $30,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. The 35 members of the ‘Canfor Cancer Crushers’ took turns running and walking the track at Masich Place Stadium on May 13. The event brought out over 1,100 participants and 127 teams and is currently the only 24-hour Relay for Life in Canada (other are typically 6 or 12 hours). The Canfor team was also joined by co-workers who came out to show their support.  The team did an outstanding job fundraising for this event. At the time of writing, their 2017 total is $30,143,75 which is more than double what they raised in 2016 and far exceeds their $20,000 goal. 

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Yes, Clark won the election

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
May 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some of the news outlets that breathlessly covered the recent B.C. election as if it was a sporting event had trouble digesting the final score. It’s 43-41-3. The B.C. Liberals got the most votes and the most seats. They won. Christy Clark is still premier, until the B.C. Liberal government is defeated in a confidence vote in the legislature, or she decides to resign as party leader. …Does Green support from 16.8 per cent of voters, much of it in and around the comfortable isolation of southern Vancouver Island, translate into a mandate for them to adjust the voting system in their favour? Self-serving nonsense. Does a switch from NDP to Green in two South Island constituencies signal voters’ desire for an NDP-Green coalition? Likely the opposite. …We’ll have another election sooner rather than later, and more people will pay attention.

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Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Dispute: What’s Changed? B.C. Log Export Restrictions (LERS) and NAFTA Implications

By Brenda C. Swick & Daniel D. Ujczo, Dickinson Wright PLLC
National Law Review
May 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada, United States

The softwood lumber industry is a vital component of the Canadian and American economies. Both countries have been trading lumber since the 1800s. The softwood lumber dispute is one of the longest and most important trade disputes between the United States (“U.S.”) and Canada, affecting the lumber industry to the present day. Though the central issue in this decades old dispute continues to focus on the alleged subsidization of Canadian lumber producers through what is known as “stumpage” (i.e. the provision of provincially owned government timber to producers for less than the market value of the timber), new threats and opportunities have emerged in this latest round. …A prudent course of action for all affected companies on both sides of the border is to monitor and advocate where necessary to ensure that their interests are protected and promoted in any new agreement or subsequent litigation.

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Greenwood lumber mill charged under Environmental Act

The Chronicle Herald
May 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Greenwood lumber company has been fined under the Environment Act for releasing a banned substance into a watercourse. Harry Freeman and Sons Ltd. was charged for silt that was released. They were given a summary offense ticket, according to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. “They have paid their fine in full, with an approximate fine amount of $700,” wrote environment department spokeswoman Krista Higdon. The event happened outside Weymouth at the logging operation in April 2017. [END]

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Ontario’s forest sector hoping federal government won’t repeat history on softwood lumber file

Ontario Forest Industries Association
May 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The federal government has indicated that it will be making an announcement that will be a firm and clear demonstration of its intent to support the companies, workers and communities affected by the current softwood lumber trade dispute and the related unjust U.S. tariffs on Canada’s softwood lumber exports.  The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) is looking forward to this announcement and is expecting that it will include a meaningful loan guarantee program that keeps Ontario’s advanced manufacturing sawmills open and 57,000 men and women working as the softwood lumber negotiations progress. …“By not providing loan guarantees to the forest sector, Canada will be subjecting the industry to immediately crippling duties and costly litigation, ignoring the federal government’s stated mandate of investing and growing our middle class” said Jamie Lim, president and chief executive officer of the OFIA

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Province’s responsible, Domtar

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
May 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Domtar in Dryden is objecting to an order issued yesterday by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. The company says responsibility for any environmental remediation was taken by the province in 1985. “The government’s attempt to transfer its responsibility for managing mercury contamination to Domtar will further delay the government’s progress in assessing the site,” the company says in a prepared statement. Domtar is making reference to an indemnity issued by the province more than 30 years ago, in return for investments worth about $200 million in the property. However, the province is currently challenging this interpretation of the indemnity at the court of appeal. “Domtar is left with no choice but to appeal and seek a stay of this Order. Domtar will also take legal action against the Ontario government to compel it to honour its commitments,” the forestry company asserts, in its prepared statement.

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Environment minister hopeful Domtar will comply with mercury testing order in northwestern Ontario

CBC News
May 31, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) hopes to get to the bottom of ongoing mercury contamination of the Wabigoon River by ordering a pulp and paper company to run tests to determine if its Dryden mill is the source of the leak.  However, in response, Domtar has pledged to fight any such order in court. The MOECC announced this week that a draft director’s order under the Environmental Protection Act — which, Environment Minister Glen Murray said is put forward by MOECC scientists, not politicians — is available online for comment. …”This is normalizing the practice, this is not a new thing we do, this isn’t being done particularly to Domtar,” Murray said Tuesday. … If the order goes through as proposed, it would compel Domtar to assess groundwater and soil at its Dryden mill site, as well as surface water and sediment within the adjacent Wabigoon River, to determine if mercury is being discharged from the mill site into the river.

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Skilled-labor sawmill jobs going unfilled; industry teams up with colleges to train workers

By Becky Kramer
The Spokesman Review
May 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Idaho’s sawmills once relied on the brute strength of their workers to turn logs into lumber. …The skilled-labor jobs pay between $25 and $34 per hour, plus benefits. Yet Idaho Forest Group has difficulty recruiting qualified candidates for the positions, said Tommy Groff, the mill’s maintenance manager. Faced with labor shortages, the company has teamed up with North Idaho College, Lewis Clark State College and other wood products manufacturers to train 200 sawmill workers over the next two years. …The Idaho Department of Labor is putting up $483,000 in grant money for the training. Another $142,000 will come from cash and in-kind donations from mill operators. 

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NSW timber processing plant expansion to create hundreds of jobs in Oberon

By Pablo Vinales
ABC News, Australia
May 31, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A $106 million expansion at a timber manufacturing plant on the New South Wales central tablelands has been approved by the State Government. Borg Manufacturing has been given the green light to expand its existing medium density fibreboard (MDF) facility complex in Oberon to include more buildings for housing new machinery. The plant is the town’s main employer, and supplies MDF to Australian and export markets. An assessment by the Department of Planning and Environment said the development would bring about $51 million to the local economy, creating 230 construction jobs and about 70 ongoing jobs.

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Forestry investors continue to drive marginal land sales

By Louise Hogan
Irish Independent
May 31, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Prices for forestry land remain strong, with investors increasingly opting to plant on marginal lands traditionally used for grazing, the latest agricultural land study reveals. The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers’ (IPAV) agri survey found there is increased activity in the land market this year but it is off a low base, with just 0.5pc of land changing hands last year. The report highlighted that younger farmers appear more interested in the quality of land and are willing to “migrate” to other parts of the country. IPAV’s chief executive Pat Davitt said Brexit was continuing to impact on agriculture and it was “very difficult” to predict the direction of land values for the remainder of this year. Alan Bracken of SF Davitt and Davitt in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, said prices were reaching €10,000/ac for quality lands.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Final mass timber panel installed at historic UBC project

Journal of Commerce
May 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Adera celebrated the installation of the final mass timber panel at the Virtuoso project in UBC’s Wesbrook Village this month. The development is the first market condominium project built using mass timber in the form of CrossLam Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels supplied by Structurlam Products LP. Adera was recently recognized with the Design Excellence Award at the 2017 Canadian Home Builders’ Association National Awards for Housing Excellence. According to the company, introducing luxury wood construction to the industry was a natural evolution. They leveraged expertise from nine REAP (Residential Environmental Assessment Program) certified projects in the UBC area. UBC Properties Trust, the master planners of Wesbrook Village, has recognized practical innovations in mass timber, embracing the use of this technology to construct Brock Commons Tallwood House, the world’s tallest wood frame building.

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Are you in the Wood Industry and Considering Transitioning out of the Industry, Selling, or Retirement?

BC Wood
May 29, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Please join our webinar for a discussion with industry experts regarding topics affecting you, your family, and your business. This webinar is open to all in BC’s wood products industry (you do not need to be a member of BC Wood to participate). Topics of discussion:

  • Tax Considerations
  • Do you have a written retirement and/or business transition plan
  • How will you be exiting your business? 
  • Have you evaluated all the potential tax strategies to withdrawing funds from your company?
  • Does your business qualify for the $800,000 SMALL BUSINESS CAPITAL GAINS EXEMPTION? Are you aware of how you can magnify this exemption?
  • Are you aware of the current value of tax owed on the shares of your company if they were sold?
  • How much of your retirement will be funded through your business?

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Urban Rustic: The Cedar Siding Is Here — Let’s Burn It Green Building Advisor

By Eric Whetzel
Green Building Advisor
May 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

For our siding, we’re using an old Japanese technique for preserving wood called shou sugi ban (a.k.a. charred cedar — although any number of species of wood could work). …For instance, once the wood has been charred, it will be fire-resistant. The charred surface actually protects the wood from further burning. …The charred wood will also be unappetizing to insects or rodents, and once covered in its attractive black armor, the surface can face decades of sun and rain (80-100 years is the usual claim for its longevity) with little or no maintenance, apart from an occasional fresh coat of oil (every 15 years or so?).

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Yes, You Can Mix and Match Wood Furniture

By Hampton Williams Hofer
Architectural Digest
May 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Matchy-matchy wood furniture sets had their moment. And it has blessedly passed. “Mixing wood tones makes a room more inviting and effortless, rather than calculated and expected,” says Hannon Douglas designer Hannon Kirk Doody, “I would not shy away from putting together, for instance, a painted oak table and a Louis XVI walnut commode.” …“Since wood tones are in the ‘neutral’ category, it is relatively easy to mix them and achieve a visually pleasing result,” says Tulsa designer Emily Davis. “But when in doubt, go for contrast.

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Nail-Laminated Timber Design and Construction Guide Now Available

By reTHINK Wood
PR Newswire
May 31, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The Binational Softwood Lumber Council has released the Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) U.S. Design and Construction Guide, a first-of-its-kind manual for the U.S. design and construction community. The NLT Guide was conceived and prepared by skilled practitioners who are each dedicated to advancing high-quality timber construction across industries, typologies and geographies. Available for free download at reThinkWood.com, the guide provides direction to ensure safe, predictable and economical use of NLT, and offers practical strategies and guidance, including lessons learned from real-life projects. …Unlike other mass timber products, NLT does not require a unique manufacturing facility and can be fabricated with local dimension lumber for use in applications across sectors and building types.

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Seattle begins construction on cross-laminated timber school

By LiLi Tan
King5 News
May 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

It was a sight students could not resist: Construction crews raising large panels of wood using a crane. “It’s as big as Mount Rainier!” one student said. Maple Elementary School is a part of a state pilot project, which aims to build three schools in Western Washington out of cross-laminated timber (CLT) for about $1 million each. Sequim is in the process of building a modular school, and Mount Vernon’s CLT school was completed in mid-May. CLT is made of two-by-six inch planks of wood, layered and glued together. Pre-designed and pre-cut panels are then brought in and bolted together. The exterior walls of a four-classroom school can be erected in one day. “This is a product of tomorrow, so we ought to be able to showcase it to our leaders of tomorrow. It’s a great synergy,” said Gene Duvernoy, president of land conservancy group Forterra. The group is working with mills, lawmakers, architects and investors to create a CLT industry in Washington state.

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Forestry

2017 Sustainable Forestry Initiative Annual Conference

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

The SFI Annual Conference brings together thought leaders and influencers from the forest sector, conservation and community partners, tribal and indigenous leaders as well as some of the most engaged forest product customers in North America. This year’s conference theme – Forests. A Way of Life – will highlight how we all depend on forests whether we are harvesting professionals, landowners, producers, customers, Indigenous peoples, or individuals using forests for recreation. To enjoy our shared quality of life, we need to ensure our forests are responsibly managed, so we have clean air, clean water, biodiversity, sustainable communities and forest products that improve our quality of life.  

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Three dozen trees poisoned in Edmonton’s river valley

By Kevin Maimann
MetroNews Canada
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Someone poisoned three dozen trees in Edmonton’s river valley, and officials are asking the public to help find the culprit. City workers suspected poisoning when they discovered an area of dead trees and brush along Valleyview Drive, north of 90 Avenue last fall. They sent leaf and tissue samples to a private lab for tests, which determined the trees were contaminated by a heavy dose of glyphosate – the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. …The city’s urban forestry management supervisor, Crispin Wood, said about 30 birch trees were also lost. …He would not speculate on the motivation behind the poisonings, but confirmed people have been illegally cutting down trees for several years in the same area, at the top of the bank along Valleyview Drive near 90 Avenue across from a row of homes.

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Man airlifted to hospital after logging truck rolls in Shirley

By Octavian Lacatusu
Goldstream Gazette
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A man was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries from Shirley area after his logging truck rolled over on Tuesday afternoon. The truck, which carried a tandem, rolled on its side heading eastbound on West Coast Road. No exact cause for the accident was given, and RCMP are investigating. No other vehicles were involved. The condition of the driver remains unknown, but his injuries are serious, said Sooke RCMP Cpl. Dawn Gilhen.

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Unique Relationship Between Joshua Tree and Moth Documented for First Time

By Edward Ricciuti
Entomology Today
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Camped out in the Mojave Desert’s Tikaboo Valley, along State Highway 375, the so-called “Extraterrestrial Highway,” these scientists are spying on covert activities of a non-descript gray moth that pollinates and lays eggs in the largest of all yucca plants, the Joshua tree. The lifestyle of the seemingly insignificant moth has profound ramifications for understanding the evolutionary processes that have made biodiversity blossom. For more than a decade, Christopher L. Smith, Ph.D., and colleagues have probed the life-or-death link between insect and plant, which are so tightly bound together that neither can exist without the other. 

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Spotted owls benefit from forest fire mosaic

By the American Ornithological Society
Phys.org
May 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Fire is a crucial part of the forest ecosystem on which threatened Spotted Owls rely, but climate change and decades of fire suppression are changing the dynamics of these forests. A new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications examines California Spotted Owl habitat use in Yosemite National Park and shows that while owls avoid the badly burned areas left behind by massive stand-replacing fires, they benefit from habitat that includes a mosaic of burned patches of different sizes and degrees of severity. The National Park Service’s Stephanie Eyes (formerly of Humboldt State University) and her colleagues wanted to know how Spotted Owl foraging patterns are influenced by fire severity and fire-created edges, with the goal of informing future fuels reduction efforts and prescribed burning programs.

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Lawsuit over timber sale jeopardizes a good deal

Letter by Chuck Best
Everett Herald-Net
May 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

“Damned if you do and damned if you don’t” should have been the headline for the story in Sunday’s Herald instead of “State sued over timber sale near Wallace Falls State Park.” All of the legal processes have been done on the 191-acre site prior to the timber sale, when at the last minute a 25-acre chunk was removed to make it nicer for the Wallace Falls State Park. People worked hard at getting a solution, a compromise was arrived at, and the sale went on. But now we have some environmental hardliners crying foul because the timber sale is different than approved, it is smaller! …Will the environmental groups allow all state residents a use of the land, including those of us who drive more than we can walk and the fellows who work in those mills?

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Treatment continues on Kaibab despite slow 4FRI progress

By Wendy Howell
Williams News
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Learning from the problems with the Phase 1 contract with Good Earth, Russell presented a new plan to jumpstart forest treatment on the western side of 4FRI at the March stakeholders meeting. The new plan is being called Vision 17 and addresses how the implementation of the first EIS can move forward and be successful. Russell said the Forest Service is working toward another Request for Proposals (RFP) that would be another large contract like what was offered to Good Earth. The Forest Service will be looking for new ideas to thin trees and remove biomass with the objective of creating and developing sustainable industries. “We will be soliciting proposals from people to do that work,” he said. Large amounts of acreage are necessary to facilitate industry investment into the area, Pettit said. “Somebody needs to be guaranteed that much product for them to get the investment they need and the money they need to even put the market in place,” she said.

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Tour of Shevlin logging camp sites offered

By Holly Owens
Herald and News
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A guided auto tour of logging camp sites in northern Klamath County will be offered Saturday, June 10, by the Klamath County Museum, according to a news release. Tour participants will use their own vehicles to follow a caravan to sites utilized by the Bend-based Shevlin-Hixon lumber company in the first half of the 20th century. “At its peak, the Shevlin logging camp was the largest community in northern Klamath County,” said John Driscoll, a museum volunteer who will facilitate the tour. “There’s not much left to see at the camp sites, but it’s interesting to visit them and get a feel for the scale of the Shevlin-Hixon operation.” At one time the company employed 350 people in its logging operations. Many of the workers had families staying with them in the camp, which moved from one site to another as the supply of trees played out.

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A trip through forestry camp leads to discovery of career paths

By Matt Markey
The Blade
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CARROLTON, Ohio — Since its inception almost 70 years ago, the Ohio Forestry & Wildlife Conservation Camp has played host to more than 10,000 high school students from all corners of the state. Jeremy Scherf was one of those campers back in the early 1990s. He took it all in — the tree identification lessons, the study of the myriad organisms that make the forest their home, and the explanation of Ohio’s forestry heritage and how timber has been such a valuable renewable resource for centuries. During that camp, Scherf also became aware that there are a number of careers that sprout from the forest. He pursued one of those, and today he works as a service forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. He also runs the camp he once attended as a wide-eyed teen years ago.

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A tree-killing insect that has devastated eastern forests is confirmed in Charlotte

By Bruce Henderson
Charlotte Oberserver
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

An invasive insect that has killed millions of ash trees across the U.S. has arrived in Charlotte, a city official said Tuesday. The emerald ash borer was first detected in North Carolina in 2013 after invading most other eastern states. It was a matter of time before the metallic green beetle appeared in Charlotte, experts told the Observer earlier this spring. The ash borer appeared to have killed trees at a commercial development near South Tryon Street and Billy Graham Parkway, Heartwood Tree Service owner Patrick George reported last week. Assistant city arborist Laurie Reid Dukes, who is an entomologist, collected specimens of the insect at the site. They’ve been sent for confirmation by the federal government, but Dukes said she’s sure of her identification.

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“Tweeting tree” aids research into growth and uptake

By Gavin McEwan
Horticulture Week
May 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Wageningen University & Research have enabled a poplar tree on the Dutch institute’s campus to “tweet” about how its growth is being affected by prevailing conditions. Tweeting in English from the account @TreeWatchWUR, the tree sends messages about the amount of water flowing through its vessels and about how quickly it is growing. The project is intended to raise public awareness of the interaction between trees and their surroundings, as well as boosting understanding of the physiological processes in trees in relation to weather conditions and the implications of future climate change.

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Forest Fires

Fire breaks out in Jordan River area near Revelstoke

Revelstoke Mountaineer
May 29, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire has broken out Monday afternoon in the Jordan River area near Revelstoke. The popular hiking, biking and kayaking area is located about 10 kilometres from downtown Revelstoke. The Mountaineer has contacted media information officers from the Southeast Fire Centre. Nobody was immediately available to answer our calls. …A dispatcher with Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services said the fire was caused by a slash burning operation that got out of hand. She said that forestry officials had been called in to respond to the fire. The fire is located off of a forest service road in the Jordan River area. It’s unclear how large the fire is at this point. In a call to the Mountaineer on Tuesday morning, Erin Catherall, fire information officer with the Provincial Wildfire Coordination Centre said three firefighters remained on scene at the gravel pit working on the fire.

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Service battles two new forest fires in northeast

Sudbury.com
May 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forest fire fighters in the northeast took on two new forest fires last week and won. The two new fires burned between May 25 and the evening of May 29. Both fires have since been extinguished. No fires remain active in the region. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry reports the forest fire hazard is low to moderate across the northeast. To see a complete list of fires across the province, click this link to visit the province’s interactive forest fire map.

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Wildfire near Orange-Brevard line about 50 percent contained, forest service says

By Michael Williams
Orlando Sentinel
May 30, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

No traffic delays are anticipated Tuesday morning because the 2,000-acre wildfire near the Orange-Brevard County line, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. As of 8 a.m., the fire was 50 percent contained, the FHP said. The fire, which started Sunday afternoon near Cocoa Water Road and State Road 520 and was likely caused by lightning, had threatened at least 11 rural homes on James Creek Road. State Road 520 and State Road 528 were anticipated to be impacted by smoke in the area, but no visibility issues have been reported, according to the Florida Forest Service.

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Aerial ignitions used to make progress on managed wildfire

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
May 31, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A lightning-caused wildfire that Forest Service crews are allowing to burn across an area near Clints Well in far southeastern Coconino County is expected to grow from a current size of 8,200 acres to about 12,000 acres before it will be contained, said Kaitlyn Webb, the public information officer on the Snake Ridge Fire. Along with natural growth, fire managers are nudging along the fire’s progression with aerial ignition tactics that use helicopters to launch what look like combustible ping pong balls onto the burn area. The agency is managing the fire, which has burned at low to moderate severity, to benefit the forest in ways that include reducing the buildup of trees and other fuels and replenishing nutrients in the soil, Webb said. Crews expect the fire will have “run its course” by early next week, she said. The fire was reported on May 19 about nine miles northwest of Clints Well and is now 15 percent contained.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Iron Triangle creating two biomass processing facilities

By Rylan Boggs
Blue Mountain Eagle
May 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Two biomass processing facilities are expected to be up and running in Grant County this summer. Utilizing low-value vegetation from the Malheur National Forest, the Iron Triangle plants in Seneca and John Day will initially produce posts, poles and chips and could move into torrefied products, if the market is available. Torrefaction is the process of baking biomass into a coal-like fuel that can be burned. The market for torrefied material depends on the Portland General Electric power plant in Boardman converting from burning coal to torrefied material, according to King Williams of Iron Triangle. PGE planned to convert the plant to biomass or shut it down entirely by 2020. “If they choose to start buying, undoubtedly, we will be in that market,” Williams said. Neither of the facilities currently have torrefaction equipment, but Williams said if it was needed they would get it.

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Climate change can alter the impact of forest pathogens in trees

By University of Helsinki
Science Daily
May 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

New research on projected climate changes from the University of Helsinki indicates that climate change has an alarming potential to increase the damage caused to Norway spruce trees by a naturally circulating disease spreading fungus. “This study shows the potential for future climate changes to alter the impact of forest pathogens, and the need to incorporate disease effects into future forestry planning as of now. As this is one of the first experimental tests of projected climate changes on a forestry host-pathogen system, there is an urgent need for further research on this topic,” highlights Dr. Riikka Linnakoski from the department of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

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General

Spruce, fir sale designed to combat budworm infestation

By Jim Mimiaga
The Journal
May 30, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

A logging sale proposed on the San Juan National Forest north of Dolores is tapping into the spruce and fir market, but is also designed to combat the Western spruce budworm infestation. If approved, the Taylor and Stoner Mesas logging plan would put aspen, Engelmann spruce, blue spruce and subalpine fir up for bid this summer. While the aspen market has been strong locally, there is an increase in demand for spruce and fir, said forester David Casey. “It is the first green spruce sale since the 1990s,” he said. “Spruce is something we are getting back into to test the market.” The market is being driven in part by demand from the Montrose Forest Products mill, which makes precut lumber. The mill recently changed hands, and switched its focus to spruce and fir from lodgepole and ponderosa pine.

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