Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 18, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Saving a forest for a frog that doesn’t live there

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 18, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The Ancient Forest Alliance wants the BC government to purchase an unprotected old growth forest near the town of Port Renfrew. TimberWest, the land owner, says the grove is already in conservation status and they have no plans to deviate from this. Meanwhile, the BC government made changes to their annual allowable cut process that will facilitate “protection of unique or valuable trees”.

Elsewhere: drones are being used to assess the health of BC’s forests after the 2017 wildfire season; new firefighting aircraft are being purchased in Georgia; a fire expert says the status quo approach to fire management is not working throughout the US West; and Oregon State researchers say old growth forests that contain large trees and a diversity of tree sizes and species may offer refuge to some types of birds facing threats in a warming climate.

Finally, the US Supreme Court is hearing a case where the “government seeks to seize control of land it does not own, to protect an endangered species of frog that does not live there“.

Oh – and only seven sleeps left until Christmas!

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

‘The Case of the Missing Frog’

By Henry Miller
Washington Times
December 17, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

Sherlock Holmes it isn’t. But Weyerhaeuser v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a case seeking review by the Supreme Court, could be called, “The Case of the Missing Frog.” In this amphibian equivalent of an Arthur Conan Doyle mystery, the government seeks to seize control of land it does not own, to protect an endangered species of frog that does not live there, force private landowners to tear down a healthy native forest, and install at landowner expense a new forest the landowner does not want. The dusky gopher frog was known as the Mississippi Gopher Frog …once resided in Louisiana, but not, by all accounts, since 1965. …As one of the petitioners to the Supreme Court, the Weyerhaeuser Company, put it in a recent brief, in order to achieve actual habitability for the frog, the FWS is telling owners of this “critical habitat” that they must take several draconian actions.

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Business & Politics

US Forest Service October 2017 Housing Commentary

By Urs Buehlmann and Delton Alderman
Virginia Tech / US Forest Service
December 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

October’s housing data remained tepid. Housingstarts, including new single-family starts, appear to have leveled-off on a year-to-year basis. The bright points in October were total starts and completions. …The December 14th Atlanta Fed GDPNow model projects aggregate residential investment spending to increase 5.1% in Q4 2017. New private construction expenditures are estimated to decrease (-2.1%); the improvement spending forecast is for a 4.8% increase; and the manufactured/mobilehousing forecast is a 30.7% increase. “Everyone needs to remember that a rebound from the September hurricanes likely drove U.S. new home sales to a 10-year high, not a fundamental shift in the conditions which constrain single- familyconstruction. …Labor shortages are poised to put the home building industry under pressure to meet accumulating demand for new homes in 2018, raising wages and the costs of new construction.”

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Wood products workers voice concerns about state’s Cleaner Air Oregon plan

By Dylan Darling
The Register-Guard
December 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

What started with the surprising discovery in Portland of previously undetected toxic chemicals in the air, released by art glassmakers, likely will lead to more stringent air pollution rules and testing statewide. …Eugene-based Seneca Sawmill Co. has spent more than $100 million in upgrades during the past seven years at its lumber mill and wood-burning power plant along Highway 99, Seneca Chief Executive Officer Todd Payne said. …“Now, the real question facing us: Will these recent investments be good enough to meet the proposed, unrealistic standards contained in the draft rules?” …Payne, the top executive at Seneca, was among the critics of the plan. Most of the other commenters also work in the wood products industry, at mills in Lane and Douglas counties, and joined him in criticizing the plan or warning that it could harm businesses.

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Taxpayers paid $50.6m for mill

Gippsland Times
December 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A STATE budget update has revealed the government paid $50.6 million to buy a share of Australian Sustainable Hardwoods. The midyear state government 2017-18 budget update was released on Friday, and confirmed the amount the government contributed after Premier Daniel Andrews announced in July the government would step in and buy the mill if there were no other offers. The government, through its ownership of Heyfield ASH Holdings Pty Ltd, bought shares in Australian Sustainable Hardwoods Pty Ltd, together with land on which it operates its timber mill in Heyfield. In addition, funding has been provided to cover the associated costs of the sale and restructure of the company. 

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Japanese timber imports from Europe grew by 3.3%

EUWID
December 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Japanese imports of softwood timber and planed products from Europe rose again by 3.3% in the third quarter. After increases of 3.7% in the first quarter and volumes on par with those of last year in the second quarter, the imports amounted to 722,551 m³ according to the foreign-trade figures published in Japan Lumber Journal. Whereas the imports from Finland were considerably higher than a year earlier at +12.0% to 259,926 m³ and those from Sweden were up slightly at +1.4% to 193,461 m³, imports from Austria and Romania fell by 10.8% and 7.7% respectively to 81,379 m³ and 53,477 m³.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Top 5: The World’s Tallest Timber Buildings

By Fred Mills
The B1M
October 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

As a new generation of timber towers are rising ever higher into the sky we countdown the five tallest timber skyscrapers.

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Forestry

B.C. ministers to speak on grizzly bears following hunt consultation

CBC News
December 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two B.C. cabinet ministers have more to say about the controversial hunting of grizzly bears in the province. On Monday morning, Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson and Environment Minister George Heyman will make an announcement from Vancouver regarding grizzlies. On Dec. 8 Donaldson said a consultation process was completed to help craft regulations around the future of the grizzly bear hunt in the province. …Under the new rules, it’s illegal to hunt grizzlies for sport, when an animal is killed for its parts — the head, paws or hide — and not its meat. …About 250 grizzlies are killed annually by hunters in B.C., a number Donaldson said is “sustainable” for the population estimated at 15,000 bears, but he said public opinion on the practice has turned.

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Milne says not practical to call off logging

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
December 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne took the unusual step of appearing as a delegate in front of his council’s committee of the whole Dec. 6 to shed some light on how council is dealing with the latest controversy over the Community Forest (SCCF). … As SCCF’s sole shareholder, through Sechelt Community Projects Inc., Sechelt council has been under pressure to call off the planned harvesting. The group Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) has argued that EW28 should be preserved because it has high recreational and ecological value and falls partially within the area marked out in the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan for potential inclusion if the province ever decides to expand Mt. Elphinstone Provincial Park. … “There was no uptake of that notion at the ministerial level… It’s considered by the ministry as part of the working forest and a delay would not really have the affect we have in mind.”

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New rules will strengthen the protection of unique or valuable trees

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of BC
December 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – In a move to better align harvest practices with the intent of the chief forester’s allowable annual cut decisions, changes are being made to how timber partitions are enforced throughout British Columbia. When making allowable annual cut (AAC) decisions, the chief forester can specify portions of the harvest attributable to different timber types, geographic areas or types of terrain. Harvest limits to reflect partitions within individual licence agreements can then be set by ministerial order if voluntary compliance with the partition is not achieved. “The chief forester makes use of partitions to protect the sustainability of B.C. timber supply, and we need the necessary tools to fairly enforce those partitions and track how they are working in the field,” said Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson.

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Drones to help assess destruction, health of B.C.’s forests after fires

By Megan Devlin
CTV News
December 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are using drones to investigate how much damage the 2017 wildfire season wreaked on B.C.’s forests. By flying the unmanned machines over B.C.’s Interior, graduate students and a professor in forestry can not only see the size of the area burned but can also use the drones’ high-resolution images to create 3D models of the forests. “We can observe the effect and severity of the fire on each individual tree and use all this information to really understand the general patterns in which fires occur,” Nicholas Coops, the Canada research chair in remote sensing and a UBC professor, said in a release. Previously, forests were surveyed using aerial imagery and satellite imagery. Those images have a rather coarse resolution, and the ones taken by drones are much higher quality. The new technology enables researchers to see forest details down to the centimetre.

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Forest advocacy group discovers grove of giant Sitka spruce trees on Vancouver Island

By Xiao Xu
The Globe and Mail
December 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C.-based forest advocacy group has recently found an ancient grove, home to one of the biggest Sitka spruce trees in the country, on Vancouver Island. …The forest … is located on lands owned by TimberWest Forest Corp. …According to a statement sent to The Globe and Mail, TimberWest said it has protected the Sitka spruce tree and the surrounding stand for many years, and it isn’t planning to change its operation. “We are committed to the responsible stewardship of our working forest, and actively solicit the input of interested stakeholders to strike the appropriate balance between ecological, social and economic interests. There are no plans to deviate from the conservation status of this grove in our inventory management,” TimberWest’s spokeswoman Monica Bailey said in an e-mail.

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Massive near-record Sitka spruce tree found on Vancouver Island

By Tiffany Crawford
Vancouver Sun
December 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A forest advocacy group says it has discovered an unprotected old-growth forest that is home to a near-record sized Sitka spruce tree on Vancouver Island. The Ancient Forest Alliance says the 3.3-metre wide tree was found on lands owned by TimberWest Corporation, near the town of Port Renfrew, also known as Canada’s tall tree capital. According to the Big Tree Registry, the tree is the tenth widest Sitka spruce in Canada. Now the group, which lobbies to keep old-growth forests from being logged, is petitioning B.C.’s New Democrat government to buy the land from TimberWest.  …TimberWest and B.C.’s Ministry of Forests have been contacted with a request for information about potential plans for the area.

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Logging planned near Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

By Kelsey Dayton
WyoFile
December 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway wends its way through the Absaroka Mountains in the Shoshone National Forest between Cody and the northeast gate of Yellowstone National Park along a route so beautiful that travel guides are known to proclaim the drive alone is worth a trip. But in recent years a change has occurred along a stretch of the highway in a the Clarks Fork ranger district. The trees are dying. An outbreak of spruce budworms, which despite their name attack Douglas fir, has ravaged trees in the area. In response, the Forest Service plans to log about 2,000 acres in the Clarks Fork corridor to remove trees killed by spruce beetles, mountain pine beetles, Douglas fir beetles and most recently spruce budworm, which continue to thrive. The move will require an amendment to the Shoshone’s recently adopted forest management plan.

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O&C Counties seek summary judgment in BLM lawsuit

By Alex Paul
The Albany Democrat-Herald
December 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Association of O&C Counties on Tuesday filed a summary judgment memorandum in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., asking the court to rule on whether the Bureau of Land Management’s resource management plan lives up to a decades-old contract outlining annual timber harvests and resulting payments to 17 counties in western Oregon. Linn County is one of the O&C (Oregon & California) counties that filed the original lawsuit in August 2016. …A summary judgment memorandum is a request by one party in a legal matter asking for a judge to rule in its favor without a jury trial.  …“This is another step in the process,” County Commissioner John Lindsey said of this week’s legal motion. “This management plan severely limits timber management and harvest levels. O&C lands were set aside under an agreement for commercial timber production to benefit counties. “

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Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird species in a warming climate

By Oregon State University
Science Daily
December 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Old forests that contain large trees and a diversity of tree sizes and species may offer refuge to some types of birds facing threats in a warming climate, scientists have found. In a paper published in Diversity and Distributions, a professional journal, researchers in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University reported that the more sensitive a bird species is to rising temperatures during the breeding season, the more likely it is to be affected by being near old-growth forest. Researchers studied 13 bird species that have been tracked annually in the U.S. Geological Survey’s annual Breeding Bird Survey, one of the most comprehensive efforts of its kind in North America. Only two — the Wilson’s warbler and hermit warbler — showed negative effects from rising temperatures over the past 30 years.

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Flathead National Forest releases forest plan

By Perry Backus
The Missoulian
December 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

KALISPELL — After four years, 33,000 comments and countless meetings, the Flathead National Forest officially released its long-awaited land use plan that will guide future management decisions for more than a decade. It’s been 30 years since the Flathead National Forest last fully updated its land use plan for the 2.4 million acres it manages. Over that time period, there have been vast changes to the landscape and the way people use it. When implemented, the plan will provide guidelines forest managers will depend on for everything from managing grizzly bears and timber projects to recommended wilderness areas and motorized recreation. “I believe this plan is a very balanced approach for all the values that are on the table for what is and what will continue to be a healthy and functioning ecosystem,” said Flathead Forest Supervisor Chip Weber.

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Managing wildfire: What works and what doesn’t

By Rich Fairbanks, 44 years of experience in fire management
Mail Tribune
December 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We now have solid science and decades of experience managing western wildfires. But in our hyper-partisan age, the issue of fire management is becoming as politicized as timber management was in the 80′s and 90′s. In an attempt to contribute to a fact based debate, I present a brief summary of respected, published findings on wildfire management.  The fire management status quo is not working.  We are experiencing hotter, drier fire seasons throughout the West. …Large-scale salvage logging does not work. …Areas that were salvage-logged and planted after the initial Silver fire burned more severely than comparable unmanaged areas, suggesting that fuel conditions in salvaged and planted conifer plantations can increase fire severity.   …Legislating Forest Service timber cutting will not reduce wildfires.  Wildfire is largely a problem of private land. …Thinning works. ..Thinning out the smaller trees and dealing with the slash can be very effective. 

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Threatened by a Thousand Cuts

By Jason Nark
Philly.com
December 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Gary Hague

…With about 58 percent of its 28.6 million acres covered in forest, Pennsylvania still honors its namesake, “Penn’s Woods,” as one of the more heavily-wooded states in the country. The largest forests are several hours’ drive from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in north-central Pennsylvania, in counties like Elk, Cameron and Clinton, but unbroken canopies roll across the horizon from all of the state’s big highways.  It’s often assumed that most Pennsylvania forestland is owned and protected by the state, the federal government, or nonprofit conservancies. But clues on country roads, the thousands of “No Hunting” signs tacked to trees and gated gravel roads, reveal what makes Penn’s Woods unique: Nearly three-quarters of it is privately owned. And in a myriad of ways, endangered. No single bogeyman threatens those vast private stands, totaling 11.5 million to 12.5 million acres.

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Thrasher sees potential in West Virginia’s forests

By Brad McElhinny
MetroNews West Virginia
December 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Woody Thrasher

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher says West Virginia’s timber industry has untapped economic potential. “There absolutely are other opportunities,” Thrasher said this past week while taking part in the ceremonial opening of a Division of Forestry district headquarters in Upshur County in the heart of the state’s timber activities. Many of West Virginia’s signature industries have long struggled with raw materials being shipped elsewhere to be turned into final products. “It’s true in petrochemicals, it’s been true in coal and it’s true in forestry,” Thrasher said. “So we want to change that. The governor wants those value-added products locating in West Virginia. He cited this fall’s announcement by Armstrong Flooring in Randolph County that it intends to expand, potentially adding 50 jobs. 

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Thrush delivers firefighting aircraft to Georgia Forestry

By Zachary Logan
WTOC
December 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ALBANY, GA – As firefighters continue to battle blazes in Southern California, the Georgia Forestry Commission is working to prevent those same fires from happening here. The Georgia Forestry Commission has a couple of brand new “firefighters.”  On Friday, Thrush Aircraft Company delivered two new tankers to the Georgia Forestry Commission. These switchbacks have the ability to drop 500 gallons of water or suppressant with pinpoint accuracy in less than two seconds. “The mission is to do an initial attack. Let’s keep a two-acre fire from being a twenty-acre fire and keep everything under control in a controlled environment,” Thrush Aircraft Vice President Eric Rojek said. With timber being one of the state’s biggest resources, the company said the aircraft will help protect the industry.  Rojek said it was exciting to see the company’s products being used in Georgia.

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Brazilian police foil million-dollar fraud to export precious Amazon wood to China

By Dom Phillips
The Guardian
December 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Two Chinese entrepreneurs paid millions of dollars to a Brazilian company that bribed environment officials of an Amazon state to illegally export precious hardwoods to China. But in a rare success against rising deforestation in the Amazon, Brazilian police and prosecutors were able to stop the scheme before exports started in earnest and said they saved the state from $30m worth of potential environmental damage. This week prosecutors presented details of two connected, year-long operations that have seen 31 people charged, including the two Chinese entrepreneurs, Brazilian businessmen, environment officials and the former head of the environmental licensing institute of the state of Amapá, on the eastern edge of the Brazilian Amazon.

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Forest Owners highlight biosecurity risks

By the New Zealand Forest Owners’ Association
Scoop Independent News
December 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Forest Owners Association believes the government appears to have got the balance right in creating a separate Forestry New Zealand, but keeping it as part of the Ministry for Primary Industries. Forest Owners Association President Peter Clark says the need to have a large response capacity to counter a pest or disease incursion, is by itself a good justification for keeping forestry under the government’s wider primary industry umbrella. “In just the past couple of years there’s been two types of eucalypt beetle, as well as myrtle rust, turning up from Australia. None of them appear at this stage to be a disaster for the plantation forest industry, but one day we’ll get a really bad pest or disease which turns up here that needs the whole resource of government to eliminate or control it. That resource is MPI.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

‘We are all stakeholders in the problems we address’

By Catriona Croft-Cusworth
CIFOR Forest News
December 17, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Robert Nasi

As the world ramps up commitments to address climate change, restore degraded lands and achieve sustainable development for all, a great many actors have emerged as stakeholders from the local to the global level. Mediating the viewpoints and demands of these stakeholders is no easy task – but some solutions can be found in the ‘landscape approach’, a concept originating from landscape ecology that aims to accommodate multiple voices in a single discussion. This is the approach taken by the Global Landscapes Forum, a movement led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), which aims to provide a platform for diverse actors to find common ground in addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems. Robert Nasi, CIFOR’s Director General, sat down with Forests News ahead of the upcoming Forum in Bonn, Germany.

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