Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 4, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

A surprising solution to the environmental burden of electronic devices

Tree Frog Forestry News
May 4, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

More kudos for “sustainable, versatile wood”. The University of Wisconsin has a “surprising solution to the environmental burden of electronic devices” – biodegradable computer chips made from wood. And the Urban Land Institute has a story on the “hidden features of sustainable mass timber – faster project delivery, 30 to 90 days off a construction schedule”.


California’s Senate proposed a “new and more ambitious carbon credit cap-and-trade system this week, challenging Ontario and Quebec to do the same or get left behind“. Quebec and California have a linked carbon credit market that expires at the end of 2020.
And last but certainly not least, we have today’s Softwood Lumber digest (less the dozens of references at all-candidate debates throughout BC). A few thought-provoking commentaries include:

  • Trump revives lumber wars (Vick Needham, The Hill)
  • Timber! Trump latest president to fall for lumber lobby (Bogdan Kipling, Chronicle Herald)
  • On softwood, Canada must avoid the negotiating table (Carl Grenier, Globe and Mail)
  • The hard facts on B.C.’s softwood lumber dilemma (Roslyn Kunin, Troy Media)
  • Lumber and Loonies (Kellyn Brown, Flathead Beacon)

But our favourite is a letter to the editor by Gord Marshall. “I am sure this sounds overly simplistic, but if the US wants our softwood lumber to cost more, I believe we should accommodate them”.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

Lumber and Loonies

By Kellyn Brown
Flathead Beacon
May 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

When President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on Canada’s softwood lumber industry last week, he ignited a trade dispute that was a long time coming. And his actions could impact the local economy far beyond whether our mills or theirs prevail in a disagreement that has spanned decades and may be decided by the World Trade Organization. …If the trade relations worsen, there are no clear winners —at least locally. The Flathead Valley economy is intertwined with Canada’s far beyond the timber industry. …Either way, the rhetoric sent the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso plunging. That matters, because the less a loonie is worth, the fewer Canadians visit and invest in Northwest Montana. …The potential for deteriorating relations is what’s more worrisome. …Instead of reaching a new deal under the last administration, we’ve now reached a tipping point on trade that has Canada spooked and could have unintended consequences.

Read More

Timber! Trump latest president to fall for lumber lobby

By Bogdan Kipling
Chronicle Herald
May 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Washington – That Donald Trump put a punishing 20 per cent tariff on Canadian lumber does not surprise me. After all, what could be better for America’s downtrodden than to make their housing costs higher? Now, the overworked and underpaid masses, and even lower middle- income folks, rarely move into brand-new homes or apartments where the impact of more expensive softwood lumber will be felt most directly. President Trump, as the world knows, proclaimed himself the help and salvation of ordinary folk long-abandoned by the ‘establishment.’ … You might say all these Trumpisms are a blessing in disguise because a harrumph-artiste is not a serious threat in a serious situation such as a potential trade war. Yes, it is all true. But, unfortunately it will not apply to the Canadian lumber levy. In this case Trump is not his own man. He is in the grip of the old American lumber barons’ lobby, which is used to getting its way.

Read More

Lumber Tariffs Could Lead to New Softwood Agreement

By Molly Priddy
Flathead Beacon
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The softwood lumber trade saga between the United States and Canada kicked into another gear last week… Montana’s Congressional delegation praised the president’s action on softwood lumber, which has been a sore spot between the two countries as they operate without a SLA for the first time since 2006… Roady said the president’s administration sent a message of strength with the tariffs, signaling that the U.S. wouldn’t back down on the issue. But Roady hopes an amicable agreement can be reached with our neighbors to the north… Roady disputed the assertion that the tariffs would add significant costs to American homebuilders, saying softwood lumber is about 1 percent of the cost of building a house. “It isn’t going to change the price of building a home,” Roady said. 

Read More

Trump revives lumber wars

By Vicki Needham and Megan Wilson
The Hill
May 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

President Trump’s decision to slap a 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber is igniting a dispute between logging interests and the nation’s homebuilders… The primary battle — part of a fight going back to the 1980s — is occurring between the U.S. Lumber Coalition, a collection of American sawmills, and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), which represents companies that depend on lumber products… The NAHB argues that the tariff on softwood lumber imposed by the Trump administration would result in a loss of jobs and millions of dollars in lost taxes and wages if kept in place through 2017… Several decisions in international courts have landed on the side of Canada. However, U.S. companies have fiercely lobbied for — and won — several rounds of countervailing duties on Canadian imports on many occasions. Taking those decisions into account, said Howard, the federal government must acknowledge that its stance is “fundamentally incorrect.”

Read More

Top facts to understand about the softwood lumber dispute

A&A Custom Brokers
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The softwood lumber industry is a vital component of the Canadian and US economy. Both countries have been trading lumber since the 1800s, but it hasn’t been without its share of problems. The softwood lumber dispute is one of the longest and most important trade disputes between the United States and Canada, affecting the lumber industry to the present day. To understand the importance and the implications of this complex issue, let’s look at some key facts and concerns surrounding the dispute.

Read More

On softwood, Canada must avoid the negotiating table

By Carl Grenier, former executive vice-president of the Free Trade Lumber Council, University of Laval.
The Globe and Mail
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…The various episodes of the softwood-lumber dispute are a perfect illustration of why we should stay away from the negotiating table and use NAFTA’s Chapter 19 to adjudicate trade disputes. We have used Chapter 19 twice, once in the 1990s (Lumber III) and once in the 2000s (Lumber IV), and we were able to demonstrate conclusively that Canadian softwood lumber is not subsidized, not dumped and does not injure U.S. producers of lumber. Yet, we have done “deals” in 1986, 1996 and 2006, each one more restrictive and costly than its predecessor in terms of access to the U.S. market. Lumber negotiations, when conducted in parallel with litigation, have always undermined Canada’s position because they have created an incentive for the United States to stall the litigation while bleeding the Canadian industry of cash.

Read More

Softwood lumber

Letter by Gord Marshall
Castanet
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

I am sure this sounds overly simplistic, but if the US wants our softwood lumber to cost more, I believe we should accommodate them. Raise the stumpage rates and use the extra cash for forest renewal and fire mitigation projects. Canadian mills should raise the price to be comparable with US prices. At least that way the extra money stays in Canada. The US will want to keep the countervailing duties and penalties as they have in the past. (END OF LETTER)

Read More

Western Announces First Quarter 2017 Results

By Western Forest Products Inc.
MarketWired
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Western reported adjusted EBITDA of $34.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $35.7 million in the first quarter of 2016, and $33.8 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2016. Accelerating log and lumber pricing largely offset the impacts of poor coastal winter weather which drove higher costs for timberlands and manufacturing. Improved average price realizations for log and lumber of 16% and 8%, respectively, were supported by strong specialty log and lumber markets, constrained supply and the continued gradual improvement in lumber demand, as compared to the same quarter of 2016. The Company successfully grew revenue to $287.7 million in the first quarter of 2017, as compared to $269.8 million in the first quarter of 2016, and $293.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Read More

Softwood tariffs impact mill

By David Brindle
Powell River Peak
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Uncertainty is the buzzword within the BC forestry industry following countervailing duties imposed by United States Department of Commerce on Canadian softwood lumber. Lumber and pulp and paper account for 35 percent of all exports from BC and 140 communities depend on it, including Powell River. At its Powell River mill, Catalyst Paper Corporation uses sawmill residuals such as bark and chips to make its pulp and paper products. Any decline in sawmill production will have a direct impact on the mill’s fibre availability, according to Catalyst spokesperson Eduarda Hodgins. …According to Hodgins, Catalyst uses a methodology provided by the provincial government to arrive at how important the company is to the Powell River economy. “Analysis that Catalyst has done indicates the mill in Powell River generates an economic impact of approximately $520 million annually and an employment impact, including direct, indirect and induced jobs, of 1,600,” said Hodgins.

Read More

The hard facts on B.C.’s softwood lumber dilemma

By Roslyn Kunin
Troy Media
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver BC – What can be done about the softwood lumber disagreement that hangs like an axe over British Columbia’s forest industry? Dealing with the United States on issues like this is like nailing jelly to the wall. …Alternate truths muddy negotiations, like claims about Canada dumping subsidized lumber. …Much more can still be done to diversify the industry mix and make sure we can’t be held to ransom by threat to any one sector. …Any business person can tell you that relying too heavily on one customer leaves you vulnerable. And our lumber has been far too vulnerable to the vagaries of U.S. markets and trading conditions. We have begun to take baby steps away from the U.S. market toward Japan and, more importantly, China. But we haven’t done nearly enough. One major, long-term negotiating strategy for dealing with the U.S on lumber would be to create a well-planned and well-funded marketing campaign to sell B.C. lumber in non-U.S. markets. Both government and industry can contribute.

Read More

‘I’m going to do whatever it takes’; Entrepreneurs rebound from wildfire

By Chris Varcoe
Calgary Herald
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire almost destroyed Howard Ewashko’s family business one year ago when a wall of flames descended on his sawmill north of Fort McMurray. Today, the president of Northland Forest Products says people are still amazed the operation survived. “Everybody who drives by can’t believe it, what we saved, because you can see the burn right down to the side — basically on three sides of us,” Ewashko said Wednesday. “I don’t know who was looking after us, but we got very lucky.” In no small part, it’s due to the resilience of family members, employees and firefighters who stayed last May to battle a blaze known as “the beast,” saving the company’s buildings — and a massive pile of 800,000 logs in a storage area — as flames rising to 200 feet approached. One year after the Fort McMurray wildfire burned through a swath of land about the size of Prince Edward Island, business has returned to the Wood Buffalo region, albeit with major changes and many challenges ahead.

Read More

Resolute Reports Preliminary First Quarter 2017 Results

By Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Canada Newswire
May 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTRÉAL  – Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today reported a net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, of $47 million, or $0.52 per share, compared to a net loss of $8 million, or $0.09 per share, in the same period in 2016. Sales were $872 million in the quarter, down $5 million, or 1%, from the first quarter of 2016. Excluding special items, the company reported a net loss of $30 million, or $0.33 per share, compared to a net loss, excluding special items, of $22 million, or $0.25 per share, in the first quarter of 2016.

Read More

Softwood tariffs could impact County forestry industry

By Sean Chase
Pembroke Daily Observer
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

An escalating trade war with the U.S. over softwood lumber could have consequences for the County of Renfrew’s forest industry. …County council learned last week that the newly imposed tariffs will have a negative impact on the entrie industry, especially against spruce, pine and fur exports from the region but that may a long term prospect, according to Rob Bersan, operations manager for the Combermere-based Pastway Planing. “In the short term, some within Renfrew County will not be quite as significantly impacted given domestic use and the value added nature of many of our products, such as red and white pine and poplar,” said Bersan. The stakes for the province are especially high with the Ontario Forestry industry generating $15.6 billion in revenue annually.

Read More

Record Breaking Private Wood Purchases: Highest Volume Ever

J.D. Irving, Limited
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

JDI thanks the hundreds of NB private wood producers and woodlot owners who made the 2016- 2017 operating year a record breaking season. JDI mills bought over 860,000 cubic meters of wood, worth over $40 million, from NB private woodlots. This volume is roughly 23,000 tractor trailer loads of wood and is significantly higher than our previous all-time record of 685,000 cubic meters.  Thanks to your support we were able to add jobs and shifts at our sawmills in Chipman, Sussex, and St. Leonard.  Over the past 6 years JDI has worked with hundreds of private wood producers and woodlot owners to more than double our purchase volume. Because of this, wood from privately owned land represents 53% of the wood supply for JDI’s NB mills. 

Read More

White River mill braced for trade storm

By Carl Clutchey
Chronicle Journal
May 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

White River’s lumber mill will likely get hit hard by U.S. duties on Canadian softwood, but the industry veteran in charge of the plant believes it will come through the crisis. “It’s the same old battle (with the U.S.), but we will survive,” White River Forest Products CEO Frank Dottori declared in an interview Tuesday. The mill, which was resurrected four years ago by a consortium now led by Dottori, stands to lose $6 million annually as a result of a new 20-per-cent duty imposed by the U.S. commerce department. About half of the mill’s annual production of about 135 million board feet goes into the U.S. market. “Is (the duty) going to hurt?” Dottori said. “You better believe it.” To manage the hit, Dottori has begun to look at a wide range of potential efficiencies and shift changes at the mill, which currently provides 160 direct jobs.

Read More

If Canadian Lumber is Unfair, So is This

By Dawn Allen
Legal Reader
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

President Trump made news last week by imposing tariff of up to 24% on Canadian lumber imports. There’s some history behind this decision. It’s the latest volley in a slow motion trade skirmish that’s been going on since the 1980s… What’s different this time? Just like routine votes to increase the ceiling on the national debt became political weapons for a Republican congress under former President Obama, the latest turn of the Canadian lumber cycle fit beautifully into Trump’s sometimey-nationalist political agenda. By playing it up to a public that may not habitually follow U.S./Canadian relations, Trump appears to be standing up for “America First!” It’s a tale, full of sound and fury, signifying not very much, eh?… However, if we’re going to make a big deal about subsidized Canadian lumber imports undercutting our domestic lumber industry, we need to take a good, long look at our own economic practices and see how fair we’re being to everybody else.

Read More

End of the ghost riders? Port looks at leasing trucks for longshoremen

By Edward Stratton
Daily Astorian
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Port of Astoria on Tuesday presented a tentative, six-month agreement to lease trucks for longshoremen to drive log loads from a processing yard on Pier 3 to Pier 1 for export. The agreement would end a long-standing dispute between the Port’s dockside labor force and premier tenant, Astoria Forest Products, which at one point threatened to halt log exports, one of the Port’s main sources of revenue. Longshoremen have a contract to handle cargo going across Port docks. But Astoria Forest Products has been using third-party trucks and drivers. To satisfy the longshoremen’s labor contract, the Port and the log exporter have been subsidizing “ghost riders,” a term for longshoremen who mostly sit in the passenger seat of trucks.

Read More

Tariffs on Canadian lumber companies levels playing field for local sawmills

By Melea VanOstrand
KOTA TV
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

HULETT, Wyo Lumber has been caught up in a trade dispute between the united states and Canada since the 1980’s. A 10-year tariff against Canadian lumber expired in 2015.One year later, some in the U.S. say Canadian lumber companies flooded the market and drove prices down. “What’s good for the Canadian’s on their system is one thing but when they flood lumber and prices go way down because they’re subsidized, this balances it out for both countries by having the tariff, ” said Neiman Enterprises President Jim Neiman. …”Canadians tend to mark out big areas so they can sell really cheap stumpage. Down here, cost of logs is going to be some place in the neighborhood of 50% to 100% higher for the same wood because we’re in a very competitive bidding process,” said Neimann.

Read More

Forestry Mill Tax on the chopping block

WHBL
May 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WAUWATOSA, WI — A little-known provision of the pending budget bill has caused concern with a northern Wisconsin legislator and a Northwoods forestry group. Governor Walker’s proposed budget eliminates the Forestry Mill Tax and replaces it with general purpose revenue. The tax currently generates about $80 million. It’s about $27 for an average homeowner. The tax was authorized in 1924 to support broad-based forestry programs after the ‘cut-over’ time to restore Wisconsin’s forests. It is the only state-based property tax. Republican legislator Jeff Mursau of Crivitz says if it’s funded with general state tax dollars, it’s probably OK for two years, but beyond that, those items will compete with education, healthcare and other accounts, and could hurt rural Wisconsin. Mursau said, “It has things funded all over the state. Some of the things important to everybody in the state is the fire equipment (departments) able to get grants throught the Mill Tax to get fire equipment to fight forest fires.”

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Sustainable, versatile wood

By Pam Eastlick
The Guam Daily Post
May 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…We all know that we’re drowning in plastic and it’s only going to get worse. So what if we started making some of those plastic things from something else? …To help reduce the environmental burden of electronic devices, a team of University of Wisconsin researchers has collaborated with researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory to develop a surprising solution. They propose a semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood. They want to replace the support layer of a computer chip, with cellulose nanofibril (CNF), a flexible, biodegradable material made from wood. …Wooden computer chips might be the wave of the future…

Read More

Technology in today’s sawmills

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
May 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Though sawmills continue to turn logs into wood products, the process looks very different today than in the past. The modern sawmill is largely automated and efficient, incorporating advanced machinery to improve production, ensure quality and create new products… In modern sawmills, lasers, sensors and scanners guide logs on tracks, sort them and show how to optimize their cuts while cameras check for accuracy. Color vision technology and geometric scanning are used to determine grade and the best ways to cut the logs… Salchenberg said all Roseburg’s mills are largely run by computers with systems heavily reliant upon linear motion robotics… Cameras act as eyes for computers to oversee the production while scanners help determine how to process each piece of lumber to get the best quality and value out of the product.

Read More

Faster Project Delivery Is a Hidden Features of Sustainable Mass Timber

By Archana Pyati
Urban Land
May 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Although still far from mainstream, mass timber is emerging as a more sustainable alternative to concrete and steel for constructing mid-rise buildings. An engineered product made from mature fir trees, mass timber sequesters carbon, allowing buildings constructed with it to have a carbon-negative impact on the environment. While its sustainable qualities are attracting developers and architects, so are the speed and cost-efficiency with which mass-timber buildings can be delivered to market, noted an expert panel at the recent ULI Washington Real Estate Trends conference. Construction with mass timber can shave 30 to 90 days off a construction schedule, said panelist Steve White, principal and director of the Washington, D.C., office of Fentress Architects, a Denver-based firm. An example is the T3 office building, a seven-story structure developed by Hines in Minneapolis and built in 12 weeks with mass-timber construction. 

Read More

Forestry

BC’s Logging Associations Meet to Discuss Contractor Sustainability

Truck Loggers Association
May 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vernon – BC’s logging associations are meeting tomorrow, in advance of the Interior Logging Association’s 59th Annual Conference & Trade Show in Vernon, to discuss contractor sustainability.  “Timber harvesting contractors across this province are unable to be sustainable and that puts the entire forest industry at risk. They are the first link in the supply chain—without them the rest of the industry grinds to a halt,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “This situation becomes even more serious within the context of the recently announced countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber exported to the US. The pressure on our industry to remain viable will increase.” “Many of my members are not seeing a return on their investment,” said Wayne Lintott, ILA General Manager. [This press release was also published in the Vernon Morning Star]

Read More

City of Powell River makes offer on urban forest

By Chris Bolster
Powell River Peak
May 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With equal parts uncertainty and potential, the future of forested land stretching between Millennium Park and Townsite has been at the forefront of local debate. While that future is far from being settled, City of Powell River’s recent offer to purchase the 132-acre parcel for $800,000 could mean city residents will have a much greater say in what happens to the land. The city announced at its special finance committee meeting on Tuesday, April 25, that it had offered to purchase the parcel, which is currently owned by PRSC Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Tla’amin Nation’s Tees’kwat Land Holdings and the city’s Powell River Waterfront Development Corporation.

Read More

Global warming portends an increase in Quebec forest fires: researcher

Canadian Press in the Montreal Gazette
May 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

With the major fire that devastated the forests around Fort McMurray a year ago still fresh in our memory, Quebec researchers warn that our province is not immune to such a cataclysmic event. It’s a risk that will have an increased impact on the amount of wood available for logging. With global warming, drought in Quebec will increase in the next few years as well as forest fires, professor and researcher Yves Bergeron said Wednesday. Bergeron is affiliated with the Department of Biological Sciences at l’Université du Québec à Montréal, the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue Forest Research Institute, and is also Canada Research Chair in Ecology and Sustainable Forest Management….An increase in the number of forest fires in Quebec would be a disaster from an economic point of view said Bergeron. A total of 10 to 20 per cent of the lumber available for cutting in the province burns before being collected, he said. “It’s worrying now.”

Read More

Peepers herald beginning of new season

May 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Mi’kmaw word for May is Squoljuiku’s which translates to ‘frog croaking time.’ The scientific name for the Jijawej (northern spring peeper) reflects its distinguishing feature. The species name ‘crucifer’ means cross-bearer, because of the obvious X on their little backs. They are tiny frogs, weighing in at about 4 grams with a body length of about 30 mm, which is slightly larger than a twoonie. Although the spring peeper is often called a tree frog because of its toe pads for climbing, it is usually hidden in the dense vegetation and leaf litter around ponds and swamps at ground level. …Amphibians are indicators of environmental change.

Read More

Should we ban brush burning?

The Chronicle Journal
May 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

For some property owners, brush-burning is a spring-time ritual. But this routine has been hard on our collective pocket books. So far this year, 18 out of 19 fires that have had to be put out by provincial fire-fighting crews across Northwestern Ontario were caused by human carelessness, most often due to the intentional burning of yard waste. Unfortunately, this is part of a recurring trend. In 2016, 466 of the 636 fires extinguished by Ontario firefighters across the province were attributed to human careless, including unattended camp fires and, yes, brush-burning. Last year, the province burned through more than $42 million putting out forest fires. Some of those fires were caused by lightning, but the majority were preventable.

Read More

Washington delegation seeks money for timber counties

By Jim Camden
Spokesman Review
May 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Washington’s congressional delegation is making a bipartisan push to renew payments to rural counties that have large amounts of their land in federal forests. Legislation being introduced this week in both the Senate and the House calls for Congress to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools program. The SRS helps compensate counties that contain large amounts of federal land, which is exempt from the local property taxes that provide a significant portion of money used for schools, roads and emergency services. Authorization for the program was not renewed last fall. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., was among the sponsors of the Senate bill following a hearing Tuesday in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. At the hearing, local officials from the state said the program was important for maintaining essential services. “The White House does not seem to understand the need for the SRS (programs), nor the impact they have on local governments and local economies across the West,” Cantwell said in a news release.

Read More

In An ‘Era Of Megafires,’ 1 Northwest Scientist Is Tweaking The Fire Prevention Message

By Emily Schwing
Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Megafires are the kind of wildland fires that grow beyond 100,000 acres. And they are a growing threat across the American West. That’s why one federal scientist in the Northwest is hitting the road with his research. Hundreds of foresters, loggers and other timber industry players were in Coeur D’Alene for a meeting of the Idaho Forest Group last month. ?? That’s where they heard from Paul Hessburg. ??“I’ve been in the woods around where I live, and I’m watching the fires chew up an awful lots of forests,” Hessburg said. “And it doesn’t look or work the same as it did 50 years ago.” ??Hessburg has worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a research ecologist in Central Washington for more than 30 years. ?? His research shows decades of fire suppression and misunderstandings about ecological function combined with a lack of land management funding means forests are overgrown and the landscape is ripe for large, hot and fast moving fires. ??

Read More

Restoring the Largest Old Growth Forest in the World

By Kelly Bessem
The Lumberjack
May 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


Portions of the Prairie Creek Watershed, one hour north of Arcata, are still being restored 50 years after being clearcut. Proposed restoration plans by the National Park Service (NPS) will make this region into the largest remaining old growth redwood forest in the world. This will be done by connecting 14,000 acres of old growth redwood patches. This designation is currently held by the 10,000 acre Rockefeller forest in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The Berry Glen cut area that’s next in line is will see an estimated 45,000 cubic yards of total mud and gravel removed from the stream channel. That’s equal to approximately 18,750 average US cars. All of this sediment washed down from the hillsides there post clearcutting in 1964. Berry Glen played a pivotal role in the original formation of a Redwood National and State Park. According to NPS, this startling clear cut in full view from Highway 101 spurred enough criticism from travelers to warrant the finalization of protections there.

Read More

Restoration inches forward at Boggs Mountain forest burned by Valley fire

By Glenda Anderson
The Press Democrat
May 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


At first glance, the dusty hillside on the north side of this Lake County massif appears barren except for charcoaled stumps, a sprinkling of fire-blackened trees and some sprouting brush. Closer examination at ground level, however, reveals recovery is underway across nearly 3,500 acres of state forest, almost all of which was torched by the Valley fire on its destructive tear two years ago through rural neighborhoods and communities south of Clear Lake. The fire killed more than 80 percent of the trees here in September 2015. Across the region, it burned 76,067 acres, destroyed 1,281 homes and killed at least four people, with a fifth person missing and believed dead. Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest, a once-verdant retreat for campers, hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers — and a working laboratory for foresters and botanists — has been closed ever since.

Read More

Final forestry plan for Sparta Mountain to be aired Tuesday

By Bruce A. Scruton
New Jersey Herald
May 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SPARTA — The final plan of what the state wants to do with the forest in Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area will be detailed to the public on Tuesday at Sussex County Technical School. First released in late December 2015, the forestry plan had an extended public comment period that ended in April 2016. Since then, the Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Audubon, which is managing the plan for the state, have looked at the comments supplied by the public and a wide variety of conservation groups, incorporating some of those in the updated and final plan….A forestry plan outlines what actions will be taken over the next 10 years for the approximately 3,600 acres of the wildlife management area.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

California tables new cap-and-trade plan that challenges Ontario, Quebec

By Giuseppe Valiante
Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
May 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL — California’s Senate proposed a new and more ambitious carbon credit cap-and-trade system this week, challenging Ontario and Quebec to do the same or get left behind. Quebec and California have a linked carbon credit market that expires at the end of 2020. Ontario held its first carbon credit auction in March and intends to link to the California-Quebec system in 2018. Both provinces, however, will need to adapt to California’s proposed reforms if they want to continue working with the state after 2020, said Jessica Green, professor of environmental studies at New York University.

Read More

Wood pellet fuel deemed ‘carbon neutral’ in U.S. spending bill

By Emily Flittter
Reuters
May 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A week after President Donald Trump vowed to impose new tariffs on Canadian lumber imports to help the U.S. timber industry, lawmakers passed a spending bill that could push U.S. government agencies to promote burning wood pellets to fuel power plants. The budget bill that the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Wednesday, which makes way for nearly $1.2 trillion in federal spending, directs the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture to “establish clear policies that reflect the carbon neutrality of biomass.” Biomass, or wood pellet fuel, is considered a renewable energy source because it is composed of trees, which can be replaced after they are cut down. It is used to heat homes and fuel power plants… A biomass industry group offered praise for the measure on Wednesday… Environmental groups criticized the decision. 

Read More

Biorefinery firm eyes plant in new industrial complex at former Old Town mill

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
May 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A Massachusetts company focused on making liquid fuel, chemicals and other advanced materials from wood intends to build its first major project in a new industrial complex planned for the former Old Town Fuel and Fiber. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based Biofine Technology has plans for its first large-scale project in Old Town, where on Wednesday it held a public demonstration of its pilot project to break down wood into intermediate chemicals that can be made into other things. Hemant Pendse, director of the University of Maine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, said the pilot project will give the company information necessary to move ahead with commercializing its operation. Biofine holds multiple related patents.

Read More

General

Peepers herald beginning of new season

May 4, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

The Mi’kmaw word for May is Squoljuiku’s which translates to ‘frog croaking time.’ The scientific name for the Jijawej (northern spring peeper) reflects its distinguishing feature. The species name ‘crucifer’ means cross-bearer, because of the obvious X on their little backs. They are tiny frogs, weighing in at about 4 grams with a body length of about 30 mm, which is slightly larger than a twoonie. Although the spring peeper is often called a tree frog because of its toe pads for climbing, it is usually hidden in the dense vegetation and leaf litter around ponds and swamps at ground level. …Amphibians are indicators of environmental change.

Read More