Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 1, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

New Brunswick and BC make waves on Softwood Lumber

December 1, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The New Brunswick government plans to takes steps to help its lumber industry, including hiring the ‘best experts’ to review the province’s forestry market, while BC Premier John Horgan says “BC won’t back down“. Elsewhere, the Mayor of Port Alberni and the local union rep are putting pressure on WFP to “reopen its Somas mill or sell it to someone who will”.

In Forestry news, the BC Forest Practices Board released its review of government’s monitoring of forest practices [good but not great]; the Ancient Forest Alliance seeks policy changes to protect Vancouver Island lands with “high conservation, cultural or recreational value”; and forestry icon Chick Stewart released a memoir on his working life in BC’s sawmill industry.

South of the 49th: Grizzly bear managers in Montana face hurdles on way to ‘federal delisting’; the US Forest Service is combating tree mortality with biochar; and a new study assesses the impact of beetles on Montana’s logging and saw milling costs.

Finally, the ‘seduction of wood‘ takes value-added wood products to a new level.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

Canfor Pulp Announces Temporary Production Outage at Northwood

By Canfor Pulp Products Inc.
Canada Newswire
December 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER  – Canfor Pulp Products Inc.  announced today that it has taken a temporary and unscheduled outage on one production line at its Northwood Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (“NBSK”) Pulp mill located in Prince George, British Columbia (“BC”), as a result of a tube leak in the number five recovery boiler. Canfor Pulp anticipates the number five recovery boiler to be down for approximately two weeks, and is currently projecting 15,000 tonnes of reduced NBSK pulp production during the fourth quarter 2017, as well as higher associated maintenance costs and lower projected shipment volumes.   To mitigate the impact of the incident, Canfor Pulp is continuing to operate the second production line at the Pulp mill and will advance certain mill maintenance activities previously scheduled to be performed in the first quarter of 2018. 

Read More

Difficult Christmas ahead for Williams Lake Tolko mill workers

By Greg Fry
CFJC Today Kamloops
November 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Christmas won’t be very merry for more than 100 Williams Lake mill workers. A fire earlier this month has forced Tolko Industries to rebuild its Lakeview operation. “I’m thinking it’ll be 140-150 laid off for a period of time,” says Paul French, Local 1-2017 vice-president with the United Steelworkers, who adds Tolko has told them it will likely be six months before the rebuild is complete. …”So, it’s not as bad as we originally feared but it’s still a lot of work to do.”…”They’ve created an extra shift. So about 20-40 people will be going over there to work,” he says.”But basically it’s EI or look for a temporary job for everyone else in the short term.”

Read More

B.C. won’t back down on softwood lumber

By John Horgan
BC Local News in Clearwater Times
December 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan

The softwood lumber dispute affects tens of thousands of B.C. jobs, and forest-dependent communities across B.C. …Our government has responded. We’re fighting for a fair deal that’s good for B.C. workers, for the industry, and people in our communities. And we won’t back down. …The reality is the U.S. lumber industry cannot produce enough lumber to meet U.S. demand. A reliable source of softwood lumber products from B.C. and Canada will ultimately benefit the U.S. housing industry and American home-buyers. Despite this, the U.S. continues to attack its closest friend, neighbour and ally while bowing to the U.S. lumber coalition and pursuing protectionist measures to constrain Canadian lumber imports and drive up U.S. lumber prices. …B.C. is a fair and competitive trader. …You can count on us to keep fighting for a fair deal.

Read More

Port Alberni, union blast Western Forest Products on shuttered Somass mill

By Andre Duffy
The Times Colonist
November 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mike Rattan

PORT ALBERNI — The City of Port Alberni and its forest industry took direct aim at Western Forest Products on Thursday, telling the coastal forest giant to put its money where its mill is. Using the empty lot of the idle 42-acre Somass sawmill site as its backdrop, the union representing coastal forest workers and its supporters demanded Western Forest Products either invest in and reopen the mill or sell the site to someone willing to put the Alberni Valley to work. “I’m calling on Western to either invest in this site and reopen or make the bold decision to sell it to someone who is prepared to do that,” Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan told a group of more than 200 United Steelworkers and other supporters. “This business of holding the workers, holding the city and this area hostage is not OK. 

Read More

Somass Mill rally hears of investment interest

By Mike Youds
Alberni Valley News
November 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Butler

At a rally next to the shuttered Somass Mill in Port Alberni Thursday, local politicians and union management drew rounds of applause, asking Western Forest Products to reinvest or sell the plant. The news was not strictly about the mill’s closure and job losses, though. A crowd of about 100 people, mostly millworkers, also heard from a forest company interested in purchasing and reopening the mill, which has been closed for almost a year. WFP announced in August that it has “indefinitely” curtailed the sawmill operation —representing the potential long-term loss of about 100 union jobs — though it has yet to make the closure a permanent one. “This rally is really about the jobs in the valley, the lack of investment, the lack of interest on the part of Western Forest Products in anything to do with Alberni Valley,” said Norm MacLeod, business agent with Local 1-1937, at the Tyee Landing gathering.

Read More

Westville urges caution to Northern Pulp

By Sam MacDonald
The NG News
November 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Westville council is drafting a letter to provincial and federal ministers, calling for caution and respect for the Northumberland Strait and all industries potentially affected by Northern Pulp’s operation. The call comes with the impending 2020 closure of the mill’s Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility and a proposed new system. The letter was directed by council to show support for all industries in the area, but states that the Town of Westville doesn’t support the disposal into the Northumberland Strait of effluent from Northern Pulp. Deputy Mayor Lynn MacDonald voiced concern to other members of council that if proper measures aren’t taken, Northern Pulp could end up doing damage to the ecology of the Northumberland Strait in its solution following shutdown of the Boat Harbour facility.

Read More

Mill well past best-before date

Letter by Billy MacDonald
The News
November 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

It always seems communities are slow to change, even when the danger of total collapse is close at hand. Why are we unable to see new vision and let go of the old ways? I personally feel the pulp mill in Pictou County must close and the people of the county face their fear of losing jobs. Families in the town of Pictou and surrounding areas deserve clean air and a restored landscape. Money must be directed not only to Boat Harbour but to taking down the mill site so that the next 50 years can involve healing the communities and environment for future generations. The healing powers of nature will also begin at Boat Harbour when the flow of the mill stops. …Time to cut the delusions and reckless waste of money going into this mill. Enough is more than enough.

Read More

Statement From Forest NB on Behalf of New Brunswick Lumber Producers

By Forest New Brunswick
Canada Newswire
November 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON – Today the Province of New Brunswick announced its plan regarding sawmills impacted by softwood lumber duties on shipments to the United States. A dedicated effort on this important file is crucial to the survival of New Brunswick’s forest products sector as we know it today.  Sawmills are the lifeblood of many rural communities. Hundreds of New Brunswick woodlot owners and wood producers depend on these sawmills. A successful sawmill is the vital source of wood chips to the value chain of products made throughout New Brunswick – from particleboard in St. Stephen to tissue in Dieppe, pulp in Edmundston and paper in Saint John. Thousands of New Brunswick jobs and local suppliers depend on this sector which impacts more communities than any other industry in the province. Maintaining New Brunswick’s historic 35-year exclusion requires the unity and support of all political parties.  

Read More

Province will hire experts to review forestry market for fight against U.S. duties

By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon
CBC News
November 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Roger Melanson and Rick Doucet

The New Brunswick government will hire an expert firm to review the province’s forestry market as part of its ongoing fight against softwood anti-dumping duties announced by the U.S. Commerce Department earlier this month. The province maintains the U.S. duties are “unfair trade actions” against the New Brunswick softwood lumber industry and Thursday announced the steps it’s taking to protect the “very valued” industry that employs thousands. … The measures, developed in consultation with stakeholders, are designed to “manage the unfair pressure on the industry while working towards a positive resolution,” said Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet. ​”We stand by our New Brunswick lumber producers and the local communities who rely on this important sector,” Doucet said during a news conference held at the Hugh John Flemming Forestry Complex in Fredericton.

Read More

First Nations Take Ground-breaking Position in Hornepayne Businesses

By Hornepayne Lumber LLP
Wawa News
November 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Unique as the North, a ground-breaking partnership points to a model for future resiliency across the North and beyond. The Missanabie Cree, the Chapleau Cree, and the Netamisakomik Anishinabek (Pic Mobert) First Nations are now significant owners in two Hornepayne businesses. Having partnered through the newly formed Northeast Superior First Nation Investment LP, the three First Nations now hold a $4 million equity share in Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power Inc. A memorandum of understanding towards the equity stake of more than 30 percent was signed in July, and today marks the completion of the deal.

Read More

Caribbean bloc ups tax on US wood imports at Guyana’s behest

Associated Press in Charlotte Observer
November 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Caribbean Community trade group has agreed to raise import taxes on U.S. and Canadian wood because of complaints from member state Guyana. Caribbean Community Secretariat spokesman Bernard Black says a tax on imported pine would rise from 5 percent to 40 percent in January. The new tariff would run for 24 months. Guyana sought the taxes after producers in the South American country complained about competition from cheaper imports. Guyana’s economy is heavily dependent on the timber industry, though the country hopes to shift to oil from offshore deposits.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

First Growth Reclaimed transforms discarded lumber into festive trinkets

By Lucy Lau
The Georgia Straight
November 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Salvaged lumber typically sees new life as reclaimed-wood furnishings, fixtures, and small household objects. But one local maker is preserving the precious resource by transforming it into a collection of particularly festive pieces: Christmas-tree ornaments. …Garet Robinson, founder of First Growth Reclaimed Design… producing the one-of-a-kind and extremely giftable curios are simply a way to reuse first-growth lumber, wood grown naturally in forests over hundreds of years that he rescues from residential teardowns around town. Although much of this timber is no longer sent to landfills… the self-taught woodworker felt compelled to showcase the durability and rough-sawn character of the material in a tangible object.

Read More

For Wood, It’s Time to Shine

By Ming Liu
The New York Times
November 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

It’s a humble material found throughout our homes and offices as well as in the forests and gardens outdoors. In some traditions, it has been the makings of a gift to mark the early years of a marriage. But recently, wood also has been taking pride of place among the finest gems and watches. Both Boucheron and Annoushka have created wood-themed jewelry collections around the material, while Van Cleef & Arpels and Glenn Spiro have infused touches of it into their high jewelry lines. As for watches, Piaget and Patek Philippe have introduced special watches with dials crafted in wood marquetry. A fondness for recherché materials is partly the seduction of wood, combined with a sense of, if you will, returning to roots.

Read More

Nation’s first large-scale mass timber residence hall breaks ground in Arkansas

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
November 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Cross-laminated timber may finally be having its heyday in the United States. The nation’s first large-scale mass timber residence hall recently broke ground at the University of Arkansas. The Stadium Drive Residence Halls project and living learning setting is the work of a design collaborative led by Leers Weinzapfel Associates, the Boston-based architecture practice behind the nation’s largest cross-laminated timber academic building at the University of Massachusetts. …“Crafted with a palette of timber, glass, and metal, it is a bold demonstration of sustainability that signifies a path to potential economic development for Arkansas’s burgeoning timber industry,” says the project’s press release. …Beautiful timber surfaces will be celebrated and left exposed in the interior from the structural wood ceilings to the timber columns. 

Read More

The Tree That Rocked The Music Industry

By Robert Benincasa
NPR in Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Dan Katz has two cellos. The better one — the one he prefers to play with the orchestra — is 200 years old and has rosewood tuning pegs. When the orchestra went on an 11-concert European tour in January, he purposefully left it home. “I worry with that instrument about international travel now, because of those pegs,” Katz said …New regulations on the international movements of rosewood have hit hard in parts of the music industry, which has long relied on rosewood as a “tonewood” used in many kinds of instruments, including guitars, cellos and clarinets. …Nationally, music retailers lost $60 million in sales in the first quarter of this year. U.S. manufacturers saw acoustic guitar exports drop by more than a quarter, to $24 million, according to an analysis by Music Trades magazine.

Read More

New zero-impact house made solely from biowaste products

By Stephen Gadd
The Copenhagen Post
November 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Earlier in the year, a unique house designed by the Danish architects Een Til Eeen, which was supported by the Environment Ministry, opened at the new Biotope eco-park in Middelfart. ‘The biological house’ is novel in that it has been constructed exclusively from agricultural waste products that otherwise would have been burnt – with the resultant environmental pollution – such as grass, straw and seaweed. The house, therefore, leaves almost no impact on the environment, reports World Architecture News.com. The cladding used on the outside of the house has been developed in Norway. Called Kebony, it is made of sustainably-sourced softwoods that have been heated with a bio-based liquid that polymerises the wood’s cell walls, giving it high durability, hardness and dimensional stability.

Read More

City’s first street library is made with wood & parametric design

By Kimberly Mok
Treehugger
November 30, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

BULGARIA — The digital revolution may be here to stay, but when it comes to paper books, many of us are still fans of the printed word. Yes… there’s nothing like holding a real, good book in your hands and leafing lovingly through the pages (not to mention the hidden environmental footprint of e-readers). To promote the love of books in an urban setting, this open outdoor library has popped up in the city of Varna, Bulgaria. Created by a team of local designers with wood, using parametric design tools, the structure welcomes the public in to wander and peruse its open shelves. …Constructed with 240 wooden pieces that were cut using a CNC machine.

Read More

Forestry

Review of government’s forest practices monitoring released

BC Forest Practices Board
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board has released a new report on monitoring of forest practices: A Special Report on the Forest and Range Evaluation Program. The board examined the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s program, created as part of the implementation of the 2004 Forest and Range Practices Act, and finds the program is not yet meeting its intended outcomes. …“Our review found that a great deal of monitoring and some good evaluation work has been done for some forest values, but others like wildlife habitat and soils still do not have effectiveness monitoring protocols or data collection in place – the program was never fully implemented,” said board chair Tim Ryan. …The board has made five recommendations to government, including reviewing the design of the program and implementing effectiveness monitoring for all the forest values included in the act.

Read More

Safety Innovation: Wheel Loader Outfitted with Leading-Edge Technology

TimberWest
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

TimberWest has a number of very large mobile machines working at our sort yards and logistics facilities. These specialized machines perform a number of tasks such as unloading trucks, transferring logs within the facility and moving logs shipside for loading. When you see these industrial machines in motion, the sites look like a well-orchestrated ballets. Every machine operator knows his or her part in the dance, and every member of the ground crew understands the importance of maintaining the prescribed machine /human separation. Given the nature of this work, safety systems are critical. Anywhere possible, we engineer the risk out, which is complemented by very clear standards and procedures that rely on compliance with appropriate supervision. At TimberWest, we are always looking for ways to make the job site safer.

Read More

Federal government to get Alberta caribou recovery plan next month: minister

By Brenda Neufeld
Global News
November 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s environment minister said Wednesday her government has not submitted its plan to save threatened caribou herds to the federal government yet because it wants to get it right. Shannon Phillips was reacting to criticism from several First Nations and environmental groups who said Tuesday that the federal government needs to step in and take over management of endangered herds on Alberta Crown land. The deadline to submit the draft plan was in October, but Phillips told News Talk 770’s Danielle Smith her government’s plan will be ready sometime in December. “There’s a lot of things to balance, and that’s what we’re committed to doing, and filing our plans with the feds in December,” Phillips said. Alberta’s NDP government has promised to work together with the energy sector to try and reverse the decline of the caribou population.

Read More

Islanders asked to update list of protected scenic areas

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Years after Teal Cedar spoiled Skidegate Narrows with a glaring clearcut, forestry planners hope to safeguard other scenic areas on Haida Gwaii. A planner is visiting Skidegate, Masset, and Sandspit this weekend to ask people what scenic views are most in need of protecting. “I want people to tell me which views they really value,” says Kristina Patterson, a Whistler-based planner and landscape architect. “We’ll put those on maps and start doing fieldwork — that involves photographing, visiting the sites, looking at the existing visual quality there, and then mapping what is visible.” …Hired in September, Patterson’s company, KSalin Land Planning, is working on an update of Haida Gwaii’s “visual landscape inventory” with B.C.’s forests ministry and the Council of the Haida Nation.

Read More

Province rejects Elphinstone Logging Focus’s elk argument

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The new NDP government and officials with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRO) appear to have rejected Elphinstone Logging Focus’s (ELF) latest arguments against allowing logging on the Wilson Creek cut block EW28, also known as the Chanterelle Forest. …In a letter, forwarded to Coast Reporter and others, FLNRO’s director of resource management for the south coast says the ministry has reviewed that report. Scott Barrett said the ministry has no evidence to suggest Roosevelt elk are suffering from lack of winter range on the Sunshine Coast, and that there is currently “no legal requirement for forest licensees to specifically address elk winter range or habitat requirements in their Forest Stewardship Plans.”

Read More

Beetle trees coming down around Jasper

By C. Gilbert
The Fitzhugh
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some pretty visible FireSmart work is about to take place in Jasper. As early as next week crews contracted by the municipality will be felling mountain pine beetle affected trees near the municipality, specifically along the sharper slopes on the Pyramid Bench on the town’s west flank. The town’s legislative services manager told the Fitzhugh on Wednesday that Infinite Forestry Consulting of Grande Prairie was selected from a number of bidders to carry out the work. The town has about $200,000 in its FireSmart war chest now and is hopeful another $200,000 will come in the new year. …“With more fuel accumulating over time and with the impact of the mountain pine beetle on our forest, we need to supplement those efforts to improve community protection in the event of a wildfire,” Mayor Richard Ireland said.

Read More

Groups demand protection of Island’s old-growth forests

By Dawn Gibson
Victoria News
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ken Wu

B.C.’s old-growth forests will not go down without a fight. More than 200 people, including members of the Sooke, Port Renfrew, and West Shore chambers of commerce, First Nations, local governments and environmental groups, gathered in Victoria on Tuesday demanding the provincial government create policies to protect old-growth forests. …But 75 per cent of B.C.’s original old-growth forests have already been logged, and only eight per cent of Vancouver Island’s old-growth forests are in protected areas. The Ancient Forest Alliance is seeking to have short and long-term policy changes implemented by the government. The longer term policies would involve a law to protect forests, and annual funding that would allow the government to buy and protect lands of “high conservation, cultural or recreational value.”

Read More

Book review: It Can be Done illuminates B.C. sawmill industry and working life in the 20th century

By Tom Sandborn
The Vancouver Sun
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chick Stewart

Born on a hard scrabble Manitoba chicken farm in 1928 (hence his lifelong nickname) Donald “Chick” Stewart has always been a hard worker, and this charming memoir tells stories from eight decades of working life-selling eggs, setting pins at a bowling alley, selling magazines door to door, working in saw mills, owning and operating sawmills on the Fraser River. …Told in fluent, simple prose that has been deftly polished and organized by his co-author Michelle Carter… this book offers more than charming anecdotes of work, play and family life. …It is also a valuable account of decades of experience in the sawmilling industry. …But some readers, including this reviewer, will find his account of helping to defeat a unionization drive at a neighbouring mill troubling.

Read More

Forestry changes needed – step back in time

By Ken Alexander
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It seems like Quesnel has been a forest industry powerhouse forever. Back in the day, forest harvesting and fibre processing was booming and there were a lot of people pulling in good paycheques. … Those were the good old days when generations of families worked in the forest industry doing a variety of jobs. …Then “forestry” changed, and there were rules and regulations and tenure.  …But a new generation of knowledge came along and that practice went by the wayside. …Now, we have to look at ground fuel mitigation to supply timber to the mills and protect our wild land/urban interface, which, in turn, will protect our communities from the next wildfire season, as Mayor Bob Simpson suggested recently. …So, the forest industry is still in play, but we have to adopt new practices.

Read More

The forests need your help

Letter By Brian L. Horejsi – forester
Castanet
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I can’t imagine any rational or knowledgeable observer believing forest management or conservation of forest landscapes and ecosystems have been “done right” in this province.  That’s any rational or knowledgeable observer outside of “public” servants and privileged corporations who have been so deeply embedded in the exploitation of B.C. forests for the past 50 years they can no longer think beyond “get as much as you can, as fast as you can.” But, hold on. A reporter for the Victoria Times (see the Penticton Herald, Nov. 20) apparently likes what he sees; “rushing in to extract” value is something he admires.  If there were such things as scientific standards, conservation or protection of old growth and biodiversity, and a regulatory permitting decision process, he parrots the corporate timber industry and thinks we should “overturn” those standards.

Read More

No one really knows what’s in fire retardant — but it’s affecting fish and plants

89.3 KPCC
November 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

So far this year California has dropped 15 million gallons of fire retardant on burning forests and hillsides across the state. But here’s the thing: No one really knows what it’s made of — or its full environmental impact. The ingredients are protected as trade secrets under federal law, but they’re affecting plants and animals and humans. …It’s considered a vital firefighting tool, but this year California has dropped a new record amount, that’s double what it was three years ago. So, with the increase in drops, what are the repercussions on the environment? …Because their main active ingredient is ammonia… it’s been found that these retardants become a powerful fertilizer for plants in the aftermath of fires. This is true for invasive non-native plants in particular.

Read More

Grizzly managers face hurdles on way to delisting

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

…The keystone predator on the brink of extinction in 1975 now raids vineyards in Flathead County and cornfields near Valier. And it does so from a recovery area just 1 percent or 2 percent of its original range before conflicts with American pioneers nearly wiped it off the landscape. “We’re seeing a lot more bears than normal sucked into agricultural areas,” Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks bear manager Jamie Jonkel said during the NCDE regional meeting in Missoula on Wednesday. “We had 40 grizzlies in the Ovando-Helmville area during a peak period of August when it got really dry.” And bear challenges continue to grow. …Wednesday’s gathering of bear managers aimed to finish their strategy for moving grizzlies from federal to state control by next summer.

Read More

Forest Service combats tree deaths with recycled wood

By Jason Cowan
Calveras Enterprise
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Scientists began a study Monday in a part of the forest near Arnold, where evidence of historically arid conditions earlier in the decade can be seen in trees that have been devastated by bark beetles nearby. The goal is to try to save and rejuvenate the forest. Workers pour what amounts to recycled trees – turned into biochar after being roasted without oxygen – onto the soil with hopes it will hold more ground moisture to feed the struggling canopy. It would pay off in the summer months when conditions turn dry. If the ground holds more water, effectively watered trees would be able to better fight off attacks from bugs that thrive when their victims cannot produce enough sap to deter invasions, said Debbie Page-Dumroese, a research soil scientist for the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the United States Forest Service.

Read More

Study analyzes impact of mountain pine beetle on Montana sawmills

Belgrade News
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new study authored by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station examines the impact of the mountain pine beetle on costs, operations and timber product value related to harvesting, processing, transporting and sawmilling trees killed by the beetle in Montana. The study authors are BBER’s Dan Loeffler and the research station’s Nate Anderson. Over the past 15 years, the mountain pine beetle has caused considerable pine tree mortality across Montana, affecting more than 9 million acres of forest. …Loeffler and Anderson found that trees in the red or gray stage of mountain pine beetle mortality comprised about one-quarter of Montana sawmill log supply from 2010 to 2014, but dropped to 5.8 percent of sawmill log supply by 2015. …Loeffler and Anderson also found that logging, loading, hauling and sawmilling costs increase 15 to 18 percent.

Read More

Oregon’s O&C timber counties to get $1.4M in federal payments

Associated Press in Statesman Journal
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ROSEBURG, Ore. — Oregon counties that rely on logging revenue will receive nearly $1.4 million that has been withheld by the federal government due to sequestration. The Association of O&C Counties — commonly called the “timber counties” — said Thursday the counties will see the funds soon. The 18 counties have received a share of timber receipts from logging on 2.1 million acres to compensate them for the loss of revenue when the U.S. Bureau of Land Management took over the acreage. But nearly 7 percent of those timber receipts were withheld in 2016 because of a government-wide mandate to cut federal spending.

Read More

Department of Natural Resources faces forest harvest controversy

By Jack Spaulding
The Greensburg Daily News
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Jack Spaulding

“A forest is more than trees for timber.” If you followed recent media coverage of the sale at Yellowwood State Forest, you might be surprised to read this statement. …The truth is both the well-meaning people who opposed the sale and the DNR love our state forests, but differ on how to care for them. The preservationist’s approach for the backcountry woodland is hands-off, letting nature take its course. The DNR’s is to scientifically manage the ecosystem. …Indiana law dictates the DNR “protect and conserve timber, water resources, wildlife and topsoil in forests owned and operated by the division of forestry” and use “good husbandry” to remove timber with substantial commercial value “in a manner that benefits the growth of saplings.”

Read More

Largest new forest in decades to be planted in Northumberland

By Janet Hall
Northumberland Gazette
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

More than 600,000 trees will be planted near Wooler over the next two years, after England’s largest woodland planting scheme in decades was given the go-ahead by the Forestry Commission today. Doddington North Moor has been given consent to plant a new 350-hectare forest – the largest of its kind to be planted in England for more than 30 years. The forest, which will span the equivalent of more than 650 football fields, will help to enhance populations of the iconic red squirrel, while storing more than 120,000 tonnes of carbon and helping to manage flood risk in the area. With the forestry and timber processing industry a major employer in the region, the project is also set to bring a boost to local businesses and will generate a number of new jobs.

Read More

Victorian logging could trigger ecosystem collapse, researchers say

By Calla Wahlquist
The Guardian
November 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Decades of unsustainable logging has created an “extinction debt” in Victoria’s central highlands that will trigger an ecosystem-wide collapse within 50 years without urgent intervention from the state government, ecologists have warned. According to modelling produced by Australian National University researchers Dr Emma Burns and Prof David Lindenmayer, there is a 92% chance the mountain ash forests will not be able to support its current ecosystem of arboreal animals, like the critically endangered leadbeater’s possum, by 2067. If current logging practices continue, or if the forests experience another Black Saturday level bushfire, the likelihood of collapse approaches 100%. “Anything in the next 50 years that requires a tree old enough to bear a hollow is in trouble,” Burns said. …The expert panel tasked with resolving the future of the central highlands declared itself unable to come to agreement and disbanded in February.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Destruction of forests a big carbon problem

Letter by Michael Walkley
Cowichan Valley Citizen
November 30, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the Citizen printed Nov. 24 a letter from Peter Lake in which he proposed that there was no net affect on carbon levels in our environment from the release of carbon from forest fires, since new trees, when they mature, will sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and maintain a balance. This statement would only be true if new trees maturing equalled old trees lost. The reality is that the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere from forest fires is accelerating, and 2015 was the worst year for which data has been published (the data only goes as far as 2015). …People who believe that climate change is only caused by the burning of fossil fuels deny the broader vision of others.

Read More