Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: October 2017

Today’s Takeaway

New research on the impact of climate change on forests and strategies for mitigation

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 30, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new federal study says climate change in the Maritimes may reduce growth of softwood trees while hardwoods increase. Elsewhere, NRCan researchers model various mitigation strategies to determine how forests and wood products can best reduce emissions to the atmosphere.

In other forestry news: the bedeviled McBride Community Forest has a new manager; Bella Coola’s Community Forest needs more and better communication; and a Vancouver Island old-growth preservation tour is criticized for “mushy and malleable definitions that lead to assumptions that are just plain wrong“.

Bloomberg reports a welcome compromise on wildfires as Democrats and Republicans come up with a plan. In the High Country News (Colorado), a long and short version how the budget-starved US Forest Service gives jobs to the lowest bidder instead of local communities.

Finally, in Business News, Stephen Harper blasts Canada’s approach to NAFTA and says the Liberals bungled softwood lumber. The Liberals say there was never a softwood settlement on the table.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Forestry News

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State of Canada’s Forest Report Worthy of a Reprise: Wood Business

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

Although released last month, Wood Business re-featured The State of Canada’s Forests Annual Report 2017 [and thus have we]For longer than Canada has been a country, forestry has been an integral part of the Canadian story, and this year’s report is packed with info on its history, importance, challenges and future. The images alone of late-1800’s timber rafts on the Ottawa River and last year’s natural disaster in Fort McMurray, make this a collectors edition. Along with NRCan’s other feature today, it’s worth a read! 

In other news, a business forum aims to “strengthen the [NAFA] ties that bind New Hampshire and the Great White North”; Unifor fails to find common ground with the US Commerce Secretary; US WoodWorks plans a 3rd international mass timber conference; and timber is on the rise in France.

In forestry news, researchers in BC have developed a prediction system for human-caused wildfires; Oregon may reclassify the marbled murrelet as endangered; and a grant from the US EPA may help eradicate the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Finally, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark ruling this week on the Ktunaxa Qat’muk appeal regarding what constitutes “a reasonable standard for consultation and accommodation” .

Happy Hallooooooweeeen.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Forest sector strategies for climate change mitigation

By Carolyn Smyth and Werner Kurz, Canadian Forest Service
Natural Resources Canada
October 30, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Scientists examine how forests and wood products can reduce emissions to the atmosphere. Pacific Forestry Centre research scientists Carolyn Smyth and Werner Kurz model the impact of various strategies on the greenhouse gas balance of Canada’s forest sector. Modeling several decades into the future allows scientists to ask, “What mitigation actions will work best for each region?” and assess how changes in activities or technology can reduce future emissions or enhance removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Forests play an important role in the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is the movement of carbon from land and water through the atmosphere and all living things.  …This dynamic process of absorbing and releasing carbon constantly affects the global carbon balance.

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Business & Politics

Unifor and U.S. commerce secretary agree on key NAFTA strategy: Dias

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
October 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Jerry Dias

WASHINGTON — Unifor president Jerry Dias says he and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross have agreed that combating low Mexican wages is the key to breaking the impasse at NAFTA renegotiations. Both agreed that Canada and the United States have been hurt by the siphoning off of manufacturing jobs to Mexico and must work together to pressure the country to drive up wages, Dias said Tuesday in Washington, D.C. …Unifor said other key issues addressed at the meeting between Dias and Ross included the imposition of duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. Dias said they were unable to find common ground on softwood lumber and doesn’t anticipate a resolution to the dispute any time soon.

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New Hampshire-Canada trade connections are strong despite NAFTA flap

By John Koziol
New Hampshire Union Leader
October 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

WHITEFIELD — The ties that bind New Hampshire and the Great White North are strong, despite the current controversy over the North American Free Trade Agreement. One-third of Granite Staters have a Franco-Canadian heritage, and 40,000 Granite State jobs are directly linked to Canada. That conclusion emerged Oct. 27 during the New Hampshire-Canada Business Development Forum at the Mount View Grand Hotel, which included discussion of North American Free Trade Agreement. …Now under fire by President Donald Trump for being unfair to the U.S., NAFTA, said Shaheen, “did not just happen,” nor should the U.S. unilaterally withdraw from it. …The discussions at that table included the U.S.-Canada dispute over lumber. …Ryckman said the issue is between lumber mills on either side of the border, “not the land owners or the logs.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Mass Timber—the Construction Industry’s New Disruptor—to Draw Hundreds of Global Experts to 3rd Annual International Mass Timber Conference

By About WoodWorks – Wood Products Council
PRWeb
October 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Returning for a third year in Portland, Oregon, the International Mass Timber Conference retains its focus on the biggest disruptor in mid- to high-rise building construction in almost a century—cross-laminated timber (CLT) and other mass timber products. The conference is produced by Forest Business Network in cooperation with the wood design experts at WoodWorks – Wood Products Council and welcomes international attendees to the Oregon Convention Center, March 20-22, 2018. …“WoodWorks has a unique role in that we provide free technical support related to the design of wood buildings, which also gives us a unique perspective on the use of mass timber,” said Bill Parsons, PE, vice president of operations for WoodWorks, a co-producer of the conference. “We’re supporting significantly more mass timber projects, but what’s especially interesting is what’s driving the tremendous spike in interest.

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Why Timber Towers Are On the Rise in France

By Jenny Che
CityLab
October 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Spurred by concerns over climate change and the negative impacts of concrete manufacturing, architects and developers in France are increasingly turning to wood for their office towers and apartment complexes. Concrete was praised through much of the 20th century for its flexibility, functionality, and relative affordability. In France, the material ushered in an era of bold modernist architecture including housing by Auguste Perret and Le Corbusier. Today, however, wood is lauded for its smaller environmental footprint and the speed with which buildings can be assembled. “Wood had largely disappeared and was seen as a quaint material,” says Steven Ware, a partner at the architecture firm Art & Build, whose latest wooden office building opened in Paris’s 13th arrondissement earlier this summer. “[But] the energy it takes to put a concrete building up, to run it, and then dismantle it when it becomes obsolete was too much. Using mass timber in office buildings seemed like something we had to do.”

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Forestry

Natural Resources Canada releases State of Canada’s Forests report

By Tamar Atik
Canadian Forest Industries
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Natural Resources Canada has released its 2017 State of Canada’s Forests report. This latest edition delves into forest fires by examining the Fort McMurray fire, and explaining why Canada’s forests need fires. There is also a focus on the bioeconomy of Canada’s forest sector, and a look at Canada’s timber forest products. …The largest portion of the 2017 report assesses sustainability indicators such as whether timber is being harvested sustainably, how disturbances like forest diseases and insects shape Canada’s forests, how Canadians benefit from forests through employment, and how the forest industry in turn benefits Canada’s economy.

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Forestry Teachers’ Tour—From Ancient Trees to Christmas Trees

By Sandy McKellar and Ryan Dvorak
Festival of Forestry
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On August 23, 2017, 18 eager school teachers came together from a range of schools across the Lower Mainland and Southern Vancouver Island—their common thread was a desire to learn more about the forest sector in British Columbia. Hosted by Festival of Forestry tour guides Michel Vallee and Ryan Dvorak, they were ready for three days of forest-immersion. This year’s tour was based in Port Alberni—Along the way, special guests joined the group to share their expertise and answer questions. They included Makenzie Leine, forester and communications director from Island Timberlands, Warren Lauder, manager of Hupacasath First Nation forestry, Ken Epps of Island Timberlands, and Rhonda Morris, the district manager for the South Island Natural Resources District.

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We need more people fighting wildfires

Letter by Larry Russell, retired forester
Kamloops This Week
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…I am a 79-year-old retired forest service employee. My long suit was fire suppression. I have been writing letters to the premier, starting with Gordon Campbell in 2003, all to no avail, but this year’s response took the cake. I received a two-page glowing report from a PR person that made this year’s fire control efforts appear fantastic. Here is a sentence right out of her letter: “Confronted by an average of 2,000 wildfires each year, highly trained provincial fire crews were successful in containing 94 per cent of all wildfires in BC. by 10 a.m. the following day.” Was she watching the same evening news as me? Our forest firefighting capabilities are grossly understaffed, undertrained and underfunded. …We also need another Filmon Report, but this time focused on fire suppression and made up of forest industry personnel and people with fire experience.

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Supreme Court to rule on Ktunaxa Qat’muk appeal

By Trevor Crawley
The Free Press
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to deliver a landmark ruling on Thursday in the case of religious freedom that is at the centre of dispute between the Ktunaxa Nation Council and the provincial government over the development of a proposed ski resort west of Invermere. …In 2012, the provincial government approved a master development agreement for the resort. That touched off the court battle, as the Ktunaxa challenged the approval of the plan in BC Supreme Court seeking a judicial review, arguing that they were not adequately consulted during the development plan process. After a nine-day trial in 2014, Justice John Savage eventually ruled that the provincial government and Steve Thomson, the Minster of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources at the time, had passed a reasonable standard for consultation and accommodation during the Master Development Plan process.

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Creature no larger than a grain of rice colours BC forests a deathly red

By Jonny Warschauer
Ubyssey Online
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A quiet battle is being fought in the forests of western North America, and millions of pine trees are dying in its wake. Shades of green that once permeated the flora of British Columbia’s forests are disappearing. …According to Christine Chiu — a graduate student focusing on botany and chemical ecology at UBC — climate change, specifically rising temperatures, has played a major role in the widespread decline of the forests over the course of the past two decades. …Treating this problem has proven difficult, to put it mildly. “Preventing the spread of this species is extremely laborious,” said Chiu. …Imagine hunting for a needle in a haystack, except the needle only becomes visible after it’s too late.

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B.C. researchers develop prediction system for human-caused wildfires

CBC News
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Pickell

A team of B.C. researchers has developed a system it says can be used to predict the likelihood of human-caused wildfires in boreal forests, allowing fire officials to focus their preparations and prevention efforts. The system uses satellite imagery to track the growth of new leaves in forest undergrowth during the spring, which gives the researchers an idea of how flammable a given tract of forest is going to be over the rest of the season. “We essentially just go download that imagery and process it and create a prediction on about a week-by-week basis,” said Paul Pickell, a post-doctoral fellow in UBC’s Faculty of Forestry. “We can know by the end of March, before the start of the fire season, essentially when is going to be the most flammable part of the fire season for human-caused fires.”

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New manager for bedeviled community forest

By Andru McCracken
The Rocky Mountain Goat
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gene Runtz, RPF

The McBride Community Forest Corporation (MCFC) has chosen local forester Gene Runtz as its new manager. Runtz is a Registered Professional Forester. According to a news release, interim managers Jeff McWilliams and Wes Bieber will be available to Runtz as he begins his work. McWilliams and Bieber have been navigating MCFC over the last two years, through what the board deemed “a challenging and uncertain time.” The Board let go of former manager Marc Von der Gonna in August 2015 and halted logging shortly thereafter due to overcutting. …At least two outspoken critics of the community forest appreciate the choice of the new manager.

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Teachers taught hands-on

By Ryan Forbes
Kenora Online
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Canadian Institute of Forestry delivered the first Teacher’s Tour in northwestern Ontario recently. The tour was for 20 teachers in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board to participate in classroom sessions led by forestry professionals, to clear up misconceptions about the industry. Domtar hosted the group and provided a facility tour, while the Dryden Forest Management Company led the group in a field tour of active harvest operations, providing hands-on activities for the group of teachers. “We are so excited to be bringing this program to life in Northwestern Ontario,” says Dianne Loewen, Canadian Institute of Forestry’s Director for the Lake of the Woods Section.

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Learn more about forests

By John Spitters
Quinte News
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Warren Mabee

The Trenton Woodlot Conference – on November 24 – is a top-notch forestry event in eastern Ontario, providing expert information and guidance on woodlot/forest management, and hosted by the Hastings Stewardship Council. An interactive field trip will get participants out in the woods. The keynote speaker, Dr. Warren Mabee, will present Seeing the Forest for the Trees: The Role of Woodlots in Ontario Environmental Strategies. Also at the conference, professional foresters Steve D’Eon and Ken Elliot will present Nudging your Hardwood Stands toward Old-growth Status. They will give a photographic tour of Ontario’s rare hardwood old-growth sites dominated by towering maple, beech, and eastern hemlock.

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Mourning the loss of Nova Scotia’s forests

Zack Mtercalfe, Environmentalist
Halifax Citizen
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

If you have any doubt that our forests are a fraction of their former selves, I challenge you to visit Kentville Ravine in the Annapolis Valley, Hemlock Hill on the St Mary’s River, or Lone Shieling amid the Cape Breton Highlands. These places remind us of the ancient ecosystems which once dominated much of our province, before settling fires, axes, chainsaws and now mechanised forestry ran their unabated courses, leaving us with the young, thin, abused and fruitless forests which today define the public lands of Nova Scotia. It’s an incredible loss … one worth mourning.

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A Welcome Compromise on Dealing With Wildfires

By the Editorial Board
Bloomberg
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Having burned through almost 14,000 square miles of western forest, killed dozens of people, and cost federal agencies almost $3 billion, this year’s extensive wildfires have had one positive effect: They’ve gotten Democrats and Republicans in Congress finally to act. Senators from Washington, Oregon and Idaho have introduced legislation that would let timber companies clear brush and harvest trees from federal lands in parts of the so-called wildlife-urban interface, rendering it less vulnerable to uncontrollable fires. The companies would be able to do this without going through the usual demanding environmental reviews. The agreement would make it possible to spend more on both fire-fighting and forest management. …It’s a shame that it took this year’s raging fires to push Congress to fix something that should have been fixed a decade ago. But if lawmakers act now, the U.S. will be better prepared to face the next wildfire season.

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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife looks at reclassifying marbled murrelet

By Saphara Harrell
Coos Bay World
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Marbled murrelets could be re-listed as endangered under Oregon’s Endangered Species Act. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) released a draft status review on the marbled murrelet after a petition from several environmental groups to reclassify the bird. Marbled murrelets are small seabirds that nest in old-growth forests and forage in the ocean. They are found along the Pacific Coast, from Alaska to California. The seabird, which is considered endangered in both California and Washington, is currently listed as threatened in Oregon. Murrelets were federally listed as threatened in 1992 in the three states. Murrelets have an 80 percent chance of going extinct in the Siskiyou Coast Range by 2060, according to ODFW’s report. There has never been a petition to change the listing of a currently-listed species under the Oregon Endangered Species Act, according to Martin Nugent with ODFW. Over the years, species have been added or removed under the state act, but no species has been uplisted.

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Gianforte calls for lawsuit reform while touring Beaverhead-Deerlodge timber work

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DEER LODGE — Blocking frivolous lawsuits and boosting emergency spending on wildfires would help restore Montana’s forests to better health, Rep. Greg Gianforte said while touring clearcuts in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest on Monday. “Healthier forests give more habitat for wildlife, increased sporting opportunities, they’re good for our economy, they create jobs, and they reduce the intensity and catastrophic nature of fires,” Gianforte said. “Everybody wins.” …At a roundtable discussion of the legislation …Montana Wood Products Association Director Julia Altemus told the congressmen that litigation was the main threat to timber supply. “In (Forest Service) Region 1, it’s really what hampers our ability to get into the forests,” Altemus said. That has forced the agency to spend nearly 60 percent of its time designing forest projects on “bullet-proofing” its defense on National Environmental Policy Act challenges, compared to just 20 percent in past years.

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Where is the forest-restoration economy?

By Paul Larmer
High Country News
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The budget-starved Forest Service gives jobs to the lowest bidder instead of local communities. In the early 1990s, as overcutting and the endangered northern spotted owl put the kibosh on the West’s timber bonanza, forest managers began to dream of a more modest woods-based economy. Though jobs cutting old growth-trees and replanting clear-cuts were vanishing, perhaps workers could restore forests that had grown dense and flammable due to fire suppression, bugs and drought. A vibrant forest-restoration economy, based on thinning and controlled burning, could spring up around public lands, providing good blue-collar jobs and fiber for mills that would otherwise close. Unfortunately, that vision has never been fully realized.

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Land swap north of Yellowstone would benefit wildlife, provide access

By Brett French
Helena Independent Record
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Almost two years after work began and 10 years after discussions first started, the Custer Gallatin National Forest has finished writing a preliminary environmental assessment examining a proposed land exchange north of Yellowstone National Park. …“The big purpose is wildlife habitat and public access,” Thom said. “That’s a big migration route for that Northern Yellowstone elk herd. …“The acquisition would also conserve important scenic values in the upper Gardiner Basin,” the EA stated, protecting a portion of the narrow section of the Highway 89 corridor to the park’s Northern Entrance, located about 12 miles north of Yellowstone National Park, from subdivision and development. 

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University of New Mexico biology dept works to prevent wildfires

By Tom Hanlon
UNM Daily Lobo
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Matthew Hurteau

While California begins to repair the devastation wrought by its extreme wildfires, fire scientists are researching ways to prevent such destruction to human life and property in the future. The University of New Mexico’s biology department conducted a study designed to help California learn new fire management techniques. Matthew Hurteau, an associate professor for the biology department and coauthor for the study, said regular, smaller, controlled forest fires are key in preventing fires of the magnitude seen in California in recent months. “One of the things that has been a focus of a considerable amount of past research — and since then, implementation by forest management agencies — is this idea that we need to restore regular surface fire to these forests as a way to reduce the risk of these big hot wildfires,” Hurteau said.

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How the outsourcing of forestry jobs seeps into our public lands debates

By Hal Herring
High Country News
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We were somewhere in Benewah County, Idaho, on a resplendent late April afternoon in 1993. ..None of us knew it then, but we were witnessing the end of a long era of Western woods-work, the end of tree-planting, timber-thinning and most other manual labor on the public lands, at least by American citizens like Davis and me. …The narrative reveals hypocrisy in our national politics on both the left and the right. As I write this, the smoke has just cleared from one of Montana’s worst fire seasons. The state’s new congressman, Republican Greg Gianforte, is planning a “Forest Jobs Tour” to promote the idea that the fires resulted from a combination of U.S. Forest Service inaction and environmental litigation that has shut down public-lands logging and thinning. Absent is any discussion of the Republican Party’s relentless efforts to strangle the budget of that same Forest Service.

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Shaping the forest’s future

By Patrick Reilly
Daily Inter Lake
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A four-year-long revision of Flathead National Forest’s Land and Resource Management Plan is nearly finished. Next month, the U.S. Forest Service hopes to release a final Environmental Impact Statement for the new plan, as well as a draft record of decision to implement it. Once that happens, the public will have 60 days to file objections before it becomes final. With the draft plan and amendments stretching to 575 pages, and the draft impact statement taking up hundreds more, the process may seem opaque and bureaucratic. But once finished, these decisions will shape the future of 2.4 million acres’ worth of animals, plants, waters and fires.

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Learning to live with Western wildfires

By P. Higuera, A. Larson and E. Covelli Metcalf
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
October 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The 2017 fire season in the Western U.S. has been one of the most extensive and expensive on record, with over 8.8 million acres burned and a price tag exceeding $2 billion in federal firefighting costs alone. …It is natural to ask why there was such extensive burning this summer. The answer is clear: drought. After a fire season like 2017 it’s tempting to search for an accountable party on which to place blame. Recent claims that large and severe fires have been caused by litigious environmental groups and declining harvest rates on public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service are not consistent with the current scientific understanding of wildfires. The widespread burning during the summer of 2017 was primarily due to the intense drought in the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest.

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Editorial: Federal forest policy is broken

The Bend Bulletin
October 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., recently zeroed in on some common sense in wildfire prevention and forest health. He pointed out in a Senate committee this week that thinning and prescription burns are good for both. “The only thing that stops us from adopting this strategy, which produces saw logs, makes the forest healthier, makes it fire resistant, is funding,” he said. “Why not concentrate on getting the funding to do these things?” He’s right, but if it was that simple it would get done. …Congress has known for years that the way wildfires are funded drains the money away from preventing fires. It’s called fire borrowing. The costs of fighting wildfires blows right through the wildfire budget and then money that could have been spent on fire prevention is consumed by wildfire costs.

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Timber salvage operations from summer’s fires roll at variable speeds

By Perry Backus
The Missoulian
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

EUREKA — After more than a million acres of forests and prairies burned this past summer in Montana, state and federal land managers are taking a hurried look at the timber that can be salvaged before it loses its value to the state’s timber industry. In some places, land managers are hoping that some of that dead timber can be harvested as early as this winter. In others, the process will take longer. …Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Tim Thier hopes that a salvage operation will help jump-start the healing process in an area that’s been important for wintering elk and deer. …Any salvage work on the estimated 710,000 acres of national forest lands that burned in Montana will likely have to wait until next year as the U.S. Forest Service works through its own process.

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$600K Environmental Protection Agency grant to stop invasive species killing Eastern Hemlock trees

By Jim Harger
Michigan Live
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

GRAND HAVEN, MI – Environmentalists hope a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will help them find and eradicate the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a tiny insect that’s damaging and killing Eastern Hemlock trees in West Michigan. The grant was awarded to the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative earlier this month. “The Eastern Hemlock tree plays a crucial role in the forests in Michigan. Hemlock trees are long-lived and provide habitat for a large variety of birds and animals, offering both shelter and forage,” said Kathy Evans, an environmental program manager at WMSRDC.

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The hidden world of seeds

By Adrian Higgins
Washington Post
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

We tend to ignore seeds, or curse them, but we rarely see them. Not in the way that photographer Robert Llewellyn has by unlocking their secrets using software technology called image stacking. From many photos comes one complete image in perfect macro focus. The project, captured in the book “Seeing Seeds” (Timber Press, 2015), also involved more prosaic manipulation. “Sometimes he had to soak, dry, coax, pry, or pin plant bits to expose seeds,” wrote co-author, Teri Dunn Chace.

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Wildlife Refuge in New England Set for Major Expansion

By Michael Casey
Associated Press in the US News
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

JEFFERSON, N.H. — A plan to significantly expand a wildlife refuge that covers parts of the Connecticut River watershed in New England is running into opposition from the timber industry and governors in several states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this year released a 15-year conservation plan for the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, which covers more than 37,000 acres in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. It identified 197,000 acres that could be added to the refuge. …But the governors in Vermont and New Hampshire have raised concerns that the plan would take lucrative land off the tax rolls.

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Leadbeater protection costs VicForests

By Philip Hopkins
Gippsland Times
October 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WOOD supply cutbacks because of Leadbeater’s Possum protection measures, which decimated supply to a Heyfield sawmill, plunged VicForests into the red in 2016-17, according to the company’s annual report. The company’s result after tax was a loss of $3.2 million because of a $6.9 million decrease in the accounting valuation of the area of state forest available for timber harvesting. Profit from operations before tax was $1.5 million. VicForest chief executive Nathan Trushell said it was a good result, considering the operational challenges they had faced. The loss was the outcome of more forest being placed in reserves, and not a reduction in demand for timber. “Due to an increase in conservation efforts, areas previously available to us have been excluded from timber harvesting over the past year,” Mr Trushell said.

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Forest fires scorch northern Italy, force hundreds to flee

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Switzerland and Croatia have sent aircraft to help Italian firefighters battle forest fires that have scorched parts of northern Italy and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. Authorities in Piedmont and Lombardy are seeking to have states of emergency declared for their regions, which have been hit by an abnormally dry summer, little autumn rainfall and winds that have helped spread the flames. Interior Minister Marco Minniti held a crisis meeting Monday with emergency authorities in Turin, capital of the hard-hit Piedmont region, and said evidence points to arson as the cause for at least some of the fires. The fires have contributed to a thick cloud of choking smog that has covered northern Italy for days.

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Attitude to growing more timber on Scottish farms needs a root and branch review

By Stuart Goodall, chief executive, Confor
The Scotsman
October 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Stuart Goodall

…For example, construction, farming and forestry are three industries that have tended to operate independently, with different cultures and ­identities, and often a sense of rivalry: farming versus forestry, rural versus urban. Yet they are intimately linked and could help Scotland to maintain its positive momentum in meeting climate change targets. Around the world, best practice land use involves diverse systems in which food and wood are produced alongside the provision of other rural services such as renewable energy production, tourism, and nature ­conservation. The most sustainable towns and cities are those which ­utilise renewable materials and which care about where their resources come from. …I suggested to the committee that when farmers plant trees on their land, that should be acknowledged as part of their sector’s contribution to tackling climate change.

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Logging trucks on collision course with protesters over old-growth forest

By Adam Carey
The Age, Australia
October 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmental activists have set up a blockade at a remote old-growth forest in East Gippsland in a last-ditch attempt to disrupt logging plans. Harvesting of native timber is due to begin as soon as Wednesday in a previously untouched part of the Kuark Forest near Orbost, even as environmental lawyers take legal action to have logging in the area ruled illegal.  …The decision was made after the Andrews government approved the work with tougher new conditions imposed on VicForests, which will likely reduce the number of large old trees the agency can harvest. …But the new restrictions have failed to mollify conservationists who want to put a complete stop to timber harvesting in the Kuark. 

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An Operational High-Resolution Forest Inventory

GIM International
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forestry operations currently rely heavily on forest inventories that employ field plot data as a basis for estimating forest attributes. This labour-intensive approach provides limited information and has become a costly bottleneck in completing operations. Remote sensing can be used to obtain more accurate and comprehensive forest inventories with less effort. This article discusses high resolution forest inventory services (HRISs) which combine state-of-the-art remote sensing technologies and computer analytics to produce operational forest inventories that help to improve the efficiency of various forest management activities. …employing forest inventories to quantify existing forest resources within a given area is critical for scheduling forest management activities, valuation, planning, compliance with governmental regulations and decision support.

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PM vows to share S. Korea’s experience in forest restoration

Yonhap News
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SEOUL — Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon pledged Monday to share with the world South Korea’s experience in restoring forests devastated by the 1950-53 Korean War, saying it would help cope with climate change and other environmental challenges. Speaking at a gathering of forestry ministers from the Asia-Pacific area, Lee also called for the region to work together to prevent illegal logging through a multilateral cooperation mechanism. “Despite the hopeless situation (following the 1950-53 Korean War), South Korea succeeded in forest restoration within less than 20 years, and in the process, South Korea received much assistance from the international community,” he said at the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

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Further delay to sale of Whanganui District Council-owned forestry

By Zaryd Wilson
New Zealand Herald
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The pending sale of Whanganui District Council forestry to a foreign buyer has been delayed again and an outcome will not be known until next year. The sale of the district’s forests – McNabs, Te Ara To Waka, Sicilies and Tauwhare – is awaiting approval from the Overseas Investment Office (OIO). …The identity of the buyer remains confidential until the sale is finalised – as does the purchase price – but is believed to be part of a Japanese-based forestry investor.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

BC government announces climate advisory council

Journal of Commerce
October 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The province of British Columbia has created a new advisory council to provide strategic advice to the government on climate action paired with economic growth. The Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council will provide advice on actions and policies that can contribute to carbon pollution reductions and optimize opportunities for sustainable economic development and job creation, explains a release. …The council will hold its initial meeting soon, followed by quarterly meetings where advice and feedback on climate policy will be forwarded to the environment and climate change strategy minister and the climate action secretariat on a regular basis.

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Elevated CO2 and Ozone Improve the Growth of Japanese Cedar Trees CO2

By Tree Physiology
Science Magazine
October 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) is a key silviculture species in Japan, making up approximately 44 percent of the country’s plantation area. Given such prominence, Hiraoka et al. write that “in order to adapt to future environments, tree improvement programs will need to consider rising O3 and CO2 concentrations, as well as other changes in climate” that may occur. Therefore, as their contribution to this effort, the team of seven Japanese researchers investigated the individual and combined impacts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) on the growth of Japanese cedar. …Results of their analysis revealed that C. japonica had a low sensitivity to the negative (growth-retarding) effects of O3. …trees growing in the elevated O3 environment had higher plant dry mass than their ambient counterparts, though the difference were not statistically significant.

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