Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 2, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Making hay from fire — forestry debates abound

October 2, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

When it comes to forest management in Nova Scotia: Joan Baxter (activist / journalist) says clearcutting and herbicide spraying is a cycle that has been repeating itself for half a century; Leslie Corkum (retired forestry worker @ 95) says let’s face it: most elected forestry officials do not have any practical experience; and Jim Guy (Cape Breton University professor) says the clearcutting review is timely.

Lots of opinion on the forestry and fire front as well:

In Wood Product News, researchers explore the use of wood pulp to lightening up cars, Northeastern University’s Peter Weiderspahn says “the trouble is more with construction methods than with the material” (in response to calls to roll back the building code in Mass.), James Day references the Roman Empire to criticize the Timber Innovation Act, and Trex continues to chip away at wood decks’ market position.

Finally, BC municipal leaders voted against a resolution to support the iconic and nostalgic Martin Mars water bomber due to its cost effectiveness.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Rob McCurdy of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Pacific

Markets Insider
September 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rob McCurdy

VANCOUVER – Rob McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., the longest-established wood pellet producer in Western Canada, is this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Pacific winner.  “Rob is helping grow a successful, sustainable Canadian business,” says Lui Petrollini, Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific program Director. “Some of the world’s largest energy generators are turning to wood pellets as an alternative to fossil fuel to create renewable electricity. Rob has played a vital role in helping Pinnacle succeed in developing a cultural shift towards safe, sustainable energy sources.”

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Quebec lumber and supplies headed for Puerto Rico and southern U.S.

By Marlène Joseph-Blais
CBC News
October 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A cargo ship will depart Baie-Comeau, Que., on Sunday to deliver supplies to Puerto Rico, ravaged by the passing of Hurricane Maria. Most of the U.S. territory’s 3.4 million residents remain without power and are struggling to find clean water and fuel. Resolute Forest Products said an employee at its Montreal headquarters, who is originally from Puerto Rico, brought the idea forward. …Resolute Forest Products is also working out the final details to send construction materials to Houston, Tex., badly hit by Hurricane Harvey at the end of August, as well as southern Florida, pummeled by Hurricane Irma in September. …The company has partnered with the international aid organization Habitat for Humanity.

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Port Hawkesbury Paper celebrating five years of staying open

By Nancy King
Cape Breton Post
September 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

POINT TUPPER – Five years ago this week, many in the Strait of Canso area breathed a collective sigh of relief when its largest single employer restarted production after a yearlong shutdown. The reopening of what is now Port Hawkesbury Paper came after a year of legal wrangling and negotiations with the various groups that have a stake in the future of the mill, formerly NewPage Port Hawkesbury, which had shut down when its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States. It’s a very different company than when it shut down in September 2011. Only one of the mill’s two paper machines — the newer supercalendered machine that produces paper for the magazine and catalogue market — went back into production, cutting the number of employees by about half to around 300.

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Sempervirens Fund board member resigns, donors cry foul over timber lobby leader’s seat

By Nicholas Ibarra
Santa Cruz Sentinel
September 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Rich Gordon

What constitutes a conflict of interest is not always easy to define, but a longtime Sempervirens Fund board member and number of donors say the fact that the head of the timber industry’s lobbying arm now sits on the conservation organization’s board is a clear-cut case. Former state assemblyman Rich Gordon joined the board in April, bringing to bear decades of political experience, a six-year stint in Sacramento and self-described passion for conserving watersheds and forests. He said he was surprised in June by an “out of the blue” offer to head the California Forestry Association, a trade association for the state’s timber industry. …Gordon notified the board of his appointment and offered to resign if the appointment was seen as a conflict, but the executive committee met and determined he could balance the two roles…

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Roseburg Forest Products buys 158,000 acres of timberlands in southeastern U.S.

By Sherri Buri McDonald
The Register-Guard
September 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A unit of Roseburg Forest Products recently bought 158,000 acres of timberland in parts of North Carolina and Virginia. The purchase was the Springfield-­based company’s first timberlands acquisition outside of Oregon and California in the firm’s 81-year history, spokeswoman Rebecca Taylor said Friday. The purchase price was not disclosed. The acquisition is part of Roseburg’s continued push into the southeastern United States, which the company views as a solid market with strong demand for wood products. “This acquisition advances Roseburg’s planned expansion into the southeastern U.S., where steady housing starts and healthy markets create stable demand for high-quality timber,” Roseburg Chief Executive Grady Mulbery said in a statement. “The region’s welcoming business environment and potential for growth also factored into our decision to add the property to our portfolio.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Trex Chips Away At Wood Decks’ Market Position

By Gene Marcial
Forbes Magazine
October 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Trex continues to astound investors with its solid performance.  Indeed, investors in the composite decking market leader are reaping the benefit of the company’s persistent push to take market share from the wood industry. When I last wrote about Trex in this column in March 2016, the stock was trading at $43 a share.  In the last 18 months, the stock has more than doubled, closing recently at over $90 a share. …As Jim Cline, CEO of Trex, recently told me in an interview, the outdoor decking industry is experiencing strong growth as owners of existing homes are investing in new decks that do not require constant upkeep and annual maintenance. …And more homeowners appear to be opting for Trex decks at the expense of the wood deck industry.  Wood represents about 82% of the decking market, and every one-point increase in share equals $50 million in new revenues for Trex.

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Don’t give up on building with wood

By Renee Loth
Boston Globe
October 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Devastating fires at local building sites this summer have prompted calls for more regulation or even restrictions on wood-frame construction, which is on the rise thanks to new building codes that allow wood to be used in taller, multi-unit housing. The blazes in Dorchester, Waltham, and Weymouth drove residents into the street, threatened whole neighborhoods, and cost developers millions. …It would be a shame to limit such a useful material when the state is trying to rapidly increase construction of affordable housing. “Wood is one of our best, most environmentally friendly resources,’’ said Peter Weiderspahn, who teaches courses in building technology at Northeastern University’s School of Architecture. “It’s the only truly renewable building material we have.” …Beautiful, sustainable, and as safe as any other material when a building is ready for occupancy, wood deserves its place in the contractor’s toolbox. Like any tool, it needs to be handled with care.

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Don’t subsidize wood buildings

Letter by James Day
The State
October 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

COLUMBIA, SC — While it is true wood is one of the oldest building materials around, there’s a reason you would be hard-pressed to find an original wood-frame building more than a century or two old. Compared to the concrete structures of the Roman Empire that have stood for nearly two millennia, wood simply can’t compete in terms of resiliency. That’s why it’s disconcerting to see advocates of the wood industry now making the case that building our communities with wood would benefit the economy, trumping critical factors like safety and durability. …The fact is that wood and other combustible building materials are inherently more vulnerable than concrete and steel to not only fire but molding and warping. The Timber Innovation Act is not sound policy that would benefit South Carolina, and our representatives would be wise to reject it.

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Researchers explore vehicle use of cellulose nanofiber-based parts

By Nancy Owano
Tech Xplore
October 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The US Department of Energy says “Reducing a vehicle’s weight by just 10 percent can improve the fuel economy by 6 to 8 percent.” Scientists in Japan are busy working on the role of wood pulp as a potential ingredient in lightening up cars. Virginia Harrison reported on their work on Friday for BBC News. “Researchers in Japan are working to create a strong material out of wood pulp that could replace steel parts in vehicles within a decade,” she wrote. …The BBC quoted Vivek Vaidya, senior vice president at Frost & Sullivan, who said parts manufacturers might struggle to keep pace with auto production lines. “Most components are supplied on-demand, [so] whether a wood or organic material can be made available in a just-in-time way is definitely a question mark.”

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Forestry

Saving trees improves urban lifestyle quality

By Barry Gerding
Kelowna Capital News
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Michael Rosen

Lake Country council was recently deliberating over a property rezoning application to allow for a 40-lot subdivision on a vacant forested lot. …The discussion led the council to make a commitment to develop a tree retention policy, a move that is applauded by Tree Canada president Michael Rosen. Rosen feels it’s a discussion and policy planning shift that all municipal councils across the Okanagan need to embrace in order to curb the growing loss of urban forests, a Canada-wide phenomenon. “It’s always a better option to retain existing growth in the face of development rather than bulldozing a site and trying to grow new trees, which tend to have a lower success rate,” Rosen said. 

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B.C. municipal leaders vote against Martin Mars firefighting contract

By Jennifer Saltman
Vancouver Sun
September 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Municipal politicians will not urge the provincial government to sign a long-term deal with the company that owns the Martin Mars water bomber. The City of Port Alberni suggested a resolution at the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual conference asking for a 10-year contract with Coulson Group, which is based in the city and owns two of the firefighting aircraft, and for Coulson to upgrade the aircraft to meet operational requirements. The province’s previous contract with Coulson expired in 2013. “Think about how people feel when they hear this plane come over,” Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan told his fellow conference delegates on Friday. “It’s iconic. It embodies safety — it embodies we are going to be saved.” But the resolution was defeated after a lengthy debate.

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Exploring the nostalgia for B.C.’s Martin Mars water bomber

By Maryse Zeidler
CBC News
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This past week at the annual meeting of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, Port Alberni put forward a last-minute resolution asking the province to ink a new 10-year commitment to maintain the Martin Mars water bomber. On Friday, that motion was denied. …But wildfire fighting tactics have changed over the past few decades, and the aircraft’s services are no longer needed as much as they once were — much to the chagrin of many in the province with nostalgic memories of the aircraft. …The Martin Mars was seen as a powerful solution to the province’s fire woes at the time — and for many, it still is. 

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Forestry taught to students at McLean Mill

By Karly Blats
Alberni Valley News
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 300 Grade 4 and 5 students in the Alberni Valley participated in logging demonstrations, stream riparian and fish discussion, wildfire prevention activities and much more under the forestry umbrella at McLean Mill on Sept. 28 for National Forest Week. The event was put on by Port Alberni’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources office in partnership with local environmental organizations and forestry companies. Students learned everything from types of trees, to fish habitats to fighting wildfires and how First Nations use cedar to weave. “The kids are so excited, they’re learning so much,” said Rhonda Morris, district manager, South Island natural resource district. “Hupacasath and Toquaht First Nations are both here today, some of their elders are sharing their crafts with cedar, bark stripping and making jewelry and paddles. 

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B.C. student’s science project makes national exhibit

By John Arendt
Pentiction Western News
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Grant Mansiere

Grant Mansiere’s science fair project, examining trembling aspens, was one of 30 projects on display in Ottawa last week. Mansiere, a Grade 12 student at Summerland Secondary School, was one of just two British Columbia students at the exhibit in Ottawa. He began his study on the trembling aspens last year, when he saw a grove of trees with their leaves fluttering. “But there was no wind, so how could the leaves be trembling,” he wondered. As he researched the trees, he discovered trembling aspens are a monoculture. Each tree is genetically identical to the others. “If an insect infestation or a fungal infestation occurs, all of these trees are very susceptible,” he said. However, the trembling aspens have two defences against infestations. The leaves flutter in low or no wind, and can generate enough force to fling an insect off the leaves. Trembling aspens also have hydrophobic leaves, which repel water.

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Columbia Shuswap Regional District wants more consultation on forestry projects

By Barb Brouwer
Salmon Arm Observer
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Michael Bragg

It’s a start, but it’s not enough. Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors welcomed representatives from Tolko Industries Ltd. and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations to the Sept. 21 board meeting in Salmon Arm, but asked for increased and more detailed consultation on proposed cutblocks. Michael Bragg, Tolko woodlands manager, and Tom Hoffman, manager of external and stakeholder relations attended the board meeting in order to explain who they are and how their forest planning process works. Hoffman also assured directors that Tolko has heard complaints that forest companies do not communicate with the public. “We’re trying to rectify this,” he said. “This is just a start, we’re willing to come back.” 

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Clearcutting and herbicide spraying: the story never ends

By Joan Baxter, VP IMPACT
The Chronicle Herald
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Joan Baxter

It’s a cycle that has been repeating itself for half a century in Nova Scotia, ever since Scott Paper set up in Pictou County and set out to transform the diverse forests in the province into pulp plantations to feed its voracious pulp mill — and it starts with clearcutting. …Either way, next comes spraying — often from a helicopter — of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Monsanto’s Vision or Vision Max, which kill off any pesky hardwood upstarts that dare to try to rise out of the destruction of a clearcut. After a few decades, it starts all over again. …Rod Cumberland, a former provincial biologist with New Brunswick’s Department of Natural Resources, has found that glyphosate harmed the province’s white-tailed deer population by reducing their food supply. Yet governments in both provinces continue to endorse spraying, promoting pulp forestry. 

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Take the bias out of forestry policy

By Leslie Corkum
The Chronicle Herald
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Let me introduce myself. I am a nearly 95-year-old veteran who has spent a lifetime working in forestry, private industry and the Department of Lands and Forests. When I first started to work for Lands and Forests, I was carrying out grassroots foot service, but being fortified with my new graduation certification, I felt fully qualified. … Let’s face it: most elected forestry officials do not have any practical experience, nor academic backgrounds. In most cases, they would choose a popular, ill-founded route over scientifically well-founded advice. Surely forestry is too important to be administered in this manner. Give forestry a well-deserved 150th anniversary gift. Let our forests be administered by an unbiased group such as a commission. In this way, the government can evade criticism over making decisions concerning a very complicated issue. One way or another, the forest will thank you.

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Clear-cutting review for Nova Scotia is timely

By Dr. Jim Guy, Cape Breton University – Political Science
Cape Breton Post
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dr. Jim Guy

Steven McNeil’s government will conduct a review of how we practice to conserve and regenerate our provincial forests. It is a timely initiative administered by the Department of Natural Resources. What’s important is that a new policy model be embraced, not just another redundant study of forestry practice.  …The public believes that clearcutting is conducted with careful supervision and careful planning. That assumption needs to be critically examined as part of this review. Under the current model every single marketable tree is cut down. In the industry itself, clear-cutting is thoughtlessly regarded as the cheapest way to harvest an economically profitable resource. 

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Zinke shows thoughtful approach to wildfire

By the Editorial Board
The Bend Bulletin
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

To hear his critics talk, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is asking for too much and too little. Zinke wrote a memo Sept. 12 to the heads of the department’s bureaus, including the Bureau of Land Management, asking for a more aggressive approach to preventing wildfires. …Zinke recognizes the dangers wildfires pose. His memo was written in response to those dangers. He didn’t give explicit instructions about what should be done. He did note, however, that as his department urges Western communities to adopt Firewise standards, it should model those same standards in planning, development and maintenance of its facilities. Some critics of the agency and its leader took that as a directive for a one-size-fits-all plan for fuel reduction on BLM land. Yet, the memo says nothing about specifics.

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Salt River Project Forest Thinning Project Ramps Up in Northern Arizona

By Ryan Heinsius
KNAU.org
September 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Salt River Project is continuing a forest-thinning initiative at several sites throughout northern Arizona. Company representatives and officials say it’s crucial for watershed health and to prevent catastrophic wildfires. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports. The project partners SRP with private businesses, the U.S. Forest Service, and other agencies and non-profits. Officials will thin 50,000 acres of public land over the next five years, and say it’ll make the watershed of the Verde and Salt rivers more resilient to fire. The project will also improve the reliability of drinking water for the Phoenix area. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake recently joined other officials for an update at a thinning site near Flagstaff. It’s the imperative. We have to protect these forests from catastrophic fire … Having these kind of partnerships that are innovative are the only way we’re going to do it. It’s going to take a lot of outside-the-box thinking,” Flake says.

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Sisters, schools clash over tree removal

By Allie Colosky
The Bend Bulletin
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A loose definition of “light tree thinning” resulted in the city of Sisters placing a halt on any further tree removal by the Sisters School District after a wooded school campus sported a noticeably clearer cut. In retrospect, the agreement between the city’s urban forestry board and the school district was not definitive enough, City Manager Brant Kucera said. The misunderstanding led to the removal of too many trees in front of Sisters Middle School and the city’s halt order stopped any further tree removal until both parties could confer. The two agencies began collaborating in late August after the school district removed a few trees in front of Sisters Elementary School that were on city property. Representatives from the city and the school district then met with members of the urban forestry board for a tour of other school district sites that were slated to have trees removed and decided together which trees could be taken out because they were dead or diseased, Kucera said.

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Summer of fire won’t be forgotten

The Missoulian
September 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sliderock. Moose Peak. Little Hogback. They could have been rock bands. Instead they are among the many bones of a summer of fire and smoke in Montana that will take a long time to process. Some 600,000 acres west of the Continental Divide have been touched or torched by fire since June, more than half of them on the Lolo National Forest. Roughly 75 buildings burned down, including at least a dozen homes or cabins. The historic dormitory at Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park was gutted on the last day of August, a day after Lake McDonald Lodge was shut down for the season for the smoke from the guilty Sprague fire.

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Cool, damp weather brings relief to US wildfire outlook

The Associated Press in Billings Gazette
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA — Cool, damp weather has brought relief from wildfires in the northwestern U.S., northern Idaho and western Montana, but the fall fire season is getting underway in Southern California, forecasters said Sunday. …The forecast calls for average risk of big wildfires over much of the nation through the end of the year, although parts of the Midwest and South could face elevated danger. Wildfires have burned more than 13,200 square miles nationwide this year, putting 2017 on pace to be one of the worst in a decade. The U.S. Forest Service, the nation’s primary wildfire-fighting agency, has spent more than $2 billion on fire suppression this year, a record. 

 

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834 million dead trees put Colorado in danger of disaster

By Jacy Marmaduke
The Coloradoan
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Colorado’s forests are a living graveyard where 834 million dead linger among the survivors. Death’s growing share makes up 1 in 15 standing trees on Colorado’s 24.4 million forested acres, a testament to the lethal whirlwind of overpopulation and the forces of nature. Death is a part of life. But not like this. The influence of the lingering dead — the product of decades of misguided forest management — trickles down to nearly every Colorado resident. It puts the state in the crosshairs of devastating wildfire and compromises the delicate relationship between forests and the people who rely on them for clean and plentiful water. The forests that coat Colorado’s western terrain tell a story of loss, both past and future: the High Park Fire and beetle kills, smoky skies and barren branches.

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Making hay from fire

By Jack Duggan
Mail Tribune
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The impact of many natural disasters has certainly led to increased talk of climate change. That issue is definitely a part of the discussion surrounding a severe wildfire season here in the Northwest. A larger issue, however, is the rush by politicians, industry and environmentalists to make hay from fire, using the fires as ammunition in the “timber wars.” Indeed, politicians, industry front groups and numerous environmental groups have based their fundraising efforts on the huge cost of wildfires. …It seems the tribal warfare over our forests will never end. With every event, every timber sale, every conservation effort, one or another special interest group draws a line in the sand. …Most troubling of all is that these different factions all have truth, in some form, on their side. Yet there is one thing they all agree on: better forest management.

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Same old, tired songs

By David Jones, 34-year veteran of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Mail Tribune
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Numerous people are tiring of the same old “tired songs” by interest groups, spreading misinformation regarding current forest management. …Our forests are greatly overstocked, increasing annually in volume and number of trees. They do need to be thinned of various sizes and include logging to reduce fire danger, keep fires that do occur down on the ground by reducing the number of trees, and also ladder fuels which cause fires to get up into crowns, then race across landscapes. …State and federal agencies must be allowed to carry out their mandated responsibilities to professionally manage our forests, including logging to help prevent or reduce devastating wildland fires. Such efforts will significantly reduce tremendous costs of fighting these fires, save valuable forest resources and significantly improve the safety of firefighters while providing millions to state and county budgets.

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Working forest right for Katahdin national monument

By Dana Doran, executive director, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
Central Maine
September 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Dana Doran

The poet Alexander Pope once famously said, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.” Maine’s professional loggers can’t help thinking something similar each time they read opinion pieces in our state’s newspapers opposing the idea of timber harvesting in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. An editorial by this newspaper, published Sept. 19, “Our View: Leaked report feeds sense of uncertainty on Katahdin national monument,” is an example of flawed but deeply entrenched beliefs about logging that continue to frustrate hard-working loggers across Maine. Like so many articles and editorials before it, this piece plays on outdated fears about logging that cast it as the archenemy of the forests. This is an undeserved insult to modern Maine logging and the men and women who work in this industry that contributes almost $1 billion annually to the Maine economy and is arguably one of the most environmentally conscious, sustainable, and responsible legacy industries in America today.

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Nantahala, Pisgah forest planning focuses on recreation

By Karen Chavez
Asheville Citizen-Times
September 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…In the last Nantahala Pisgah National Forest Management Plan, released in 1987 and amended in 1994, rock climbing was a footnote, and mountain biking was not even mentioned. The plan revision is required by federal law to guide management of the forests for the next 15-20 years in areas including geological resources, water, air, wildlife, rare habitats and threatened and endangered species. The plan will also consider the handling of timber, invasive species and fire. …Recreation opportunities now range as widely as the vast swaths of forests… “No doubt recreation is a significantly larger piece of the puzzle than in the last plan,” said Dave Casey, ranger for the Pisgah District.

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‘Outraged’ at Mohican Forest issue

Letter by Carole A. Pore
Mansfield News Journal
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

I was outraged when I saw the articles in the News Journal this week, revealing a proposed breach of past promises to protect the rare, old-growth Mohican Memorial State Forest from the removal of pine trees, which make up 40 percent of the 4,500-acre forest. It appears that this new plan would remove special-designation protection from nearly half the forest, allowing for commercial logging in 1,700-plus acres! I thought this was settled 20 years ago. I am certainly not an expert in forestry management, but I do agree with Loudonville resident Ashley Clark that forests have managed themselves long before we were here. The giant redwood forests have been living for over 2,000 years with no human intervention. I think the people who should have the most say about the forest are those who live in the Loudonville-Mohican area and are taxpayers, like Annette McCormick, who also served on the Forest Ad Hoc Advisory Council.

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Harvard Forest presents an homage to the hemlock

By Nancy Sheehan
Worcester Telegram
September 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

PETERSHAM — [In the] Eastern U.S. a tiny insect has been encroaching ever northward sucking the green lifeblood out of any hemlock it finds, then moving on leaving behind only wooden skeletons on the forest floor. It’s not a slow demise. The still verdant but thinning stands of hemlock …will virtually disappear from Massachusetts by 2025, scientists say. Climate change has opened the door for the insect, the woolly adelgid. The only thing known to stop its progression is extreme cold and, with warming temperatures, that thwarting threshold is in retreat. …A new outdoor site-specific exhibition at the Harvard Forest, called “Hemlock Hospice,” tells the story of the demise of the eastern hemlock within the context of climate change and the future of our New England forests.

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Jack pines harvested to provide seeds and regenerate forests

Associated Press in Bristol Herald Courier
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BRIGHTON, Mich. — Officials say about 33 acres of overgrown jack pine trees in Livingston County are being harvested to provide seeds for new trees around Michigan. The trees are at the Department of Natural Resources’ Tree Improvement Center near Brighton. Jack pine cones need heat to open, which under natural conditions would come from a forest fire or sunlight. The DNR will pick pine cones from the cut trees and heat them in kilns to release the seeds. They’ll be planted statewide to regenerate jack pine forests.

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University research focuses on little-studied forests

By Helen Sabrowsky
Minnesota Daily
October 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Jennifer Powers & Leland Werden

An experiment led by University of Minnesota researchers sheds light on restoration efforts in an often-overlooked environment. The research, conducted with foresters in Costa Rica, identifies trait-based screenings — which use measurable plant characteristics — as the best way to choose plant species for restoration projects in tropical dry forests. Some experts say these areas have been under-studied and hope the findings will be useful in climate change research worldwide. …This region is a tropical dry forest, an environment common in Central and South America that covers more area worldwide than tropical rain forests. This type of forest has a strong dry season of at least three to four months with little to no precipitation, which makes restoring the areas especially difficult. …The study suggests that plant functional traits are the most efficient way to determine which species will survive in the degraded soil. In the tropical dry forests, drought-tolerant species had higher survival rates in the vertisols, Werden said.

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Forest protection well below target in Finland, despite UN obligations

Yle Uutiset
September 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A small percent of Finland’s southern forests are protected, despite a UN biodiversity agreement that binds the country to conserving 17 percent of its natural environment. Experts say that reserving what little old-growth forest that is left will not be enough to preserve Finland’s ecological diversity. Old-growth forests are hard to find in Finland, the home of a historically dominant paper and pulp industry with an inexhaustible appetite for timber. Last year Finland was one of 167 countries that agreed to the UN’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the so-called Aichi Targets. One of the strategic goals included in the targets is that by 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas would be conserved through protection or conservation measures.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

U.S. cuts to Energy Star could spell trouble for Cdn climate plan

By Mia Rabson
The Canadian Press in the Victoria Times Colonist
October 1, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Jim Carr

OTTAWA — Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr is adding cabinet weight to a lobbying effort against proposed U.S. budget cuts to the popular and effective Energy Star program. If the U.S. goes ahead with a plan to slash the Energy Star budget by 40 per cent it could cripple the program and put at risk up to one-third of the emissions reductions Canada hopes to achieve from its national climate change action plan. “It’s a very important program for us and has been for some time,” Carr told The Canadian Press Friday. U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to eliminate the entire $50 million funding for Energy Star in his spring budget proposal, suggesting it is an area that could easily be privatized.

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Government organizations contribute to our success

By Gord Murray
Canadian Biomass Magazine
September 29, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada
Since 2010, Canadian wood pellet exports have increased by 240 per cent, from one million tonnes in 2010 to 2.4 million tonnes in 2016. Last year’s exports totalled $408 million. Pellet producers have invested in new plant capacity, employed more people and paid more taxes while continuing to grow an industry using a raw material that was formerly a waste product of the sawmill industry. Obviously, the lion’s share of credit must go to pellet company owners, investors, and management for leading the way. However, not many people know that two government organizations have played a key role in our industry’s success, namely Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Forestry Innovation Investment (FII).

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Ancient bristlecone pine forests are being overwhelmed by climate change

By Louis Sahagun
Los Angeles Times
October 1, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

For thousands of years, wind-whipped, twisted bristlecone pines have been clinging to existence on the arid, stony crests of eastern California’s White Mountains, in conditions inhospitable to most other life. Their growth rings provide a year-by-year account of the struggle to survive: It’s a tortuous cycle of dying off almost entirely, leaving only a few strips of bark that then continue to grow diagonally skyward or sideways along the ground. But the world’s oldest trees may never have experienced temperature increases as rapid as those of recent decades. …One of the oldest of the bunch is Methuselah, at about 4,768 years old. Its precise location is carefully guarded to avert vandalism.

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