Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 2, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

As if the US newspaper business didn’t have enough troubles

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 2, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

A single paper mill in Washington State could rock the newspaper industry in 2018, if as expected, President Trump slaps duties on groundwood paper from Canada. The higher costs will squeeze US newspapers already coping with 28 straight years of declining circulation and increased competition from the internet. “Witless protectionism” according to Allan Golombek of the White House Writers Group. 

In other news: Quesnel’s mayor worries that the Site C dam will hurt BC’s biomass industry; Northern Pulp is accused of bullying its Nova Scotia critics; a rare tree find may help to repopulate Ontario’s nearly doomed American chestnut; and plastic bag bans and bioplastics are challenging the oil industry’s growth plans. 

Finally, in his year end report, Tim Ryan signs off as BC Forest Practices Board Chair and board members Bill McGill and Ralph Archibald complete their terms.

We hope you had a great holiday break.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Forests could keep the buzz in your coffee

By Barbara Fraser
CIFOR Forests News
January 2, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

From friends meeting over cappuccino in the local café to students pulling all-nighters, we humans count on coffee to put zip in our lives. …But a warming climate could stir up the coffee world. Changes in temperature and rainfall may reduce coffee production in some areas, while making new places suitable for the crop. …There’s some good news for coffee lovers, though: maintaining healthy forests near those crops could help keep the buzz in your morning joe, according to a new study. “At a time when agricultural production is threatened by climate change, the ecosystem services provided by forests—in this case, pollination—can help farmers cope and adapt,” says Bruno Locatelli.

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Business & Politics

Tariff Decision On Canadian Newsprint Could Have ‘Severe’ Impact On Newspaper Industry

By Paul Fletcher
Forbes
December 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A single paper mill in Washington state has started a process that could rock the newspaper industry in 2018. The mill, North Pacific Paper Company, or NORPAC, has asked the government for import duties on groundwood paper from Canada. …The Commerce Department is expected to make a preliminary determination on Jan. 8. And except for NORPAC, which is owned by a hedge fund, most of the stakeholders are against the petitions, which, if approved, would add duties of as much as 50 percent. …They added, “The irony is that this trade dispute – brought by only one company with 400 employees – could accelerate the decline for an entire industry and may put small-market newspapers out of business.” There are 175,000 jobs in the industry at stake, they said. The ITC commissioners voted unanimously, 4-0, to let the investigation go forward.

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Newspapers’ bad news in U.S. gets worse, courtesy of trade spat

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg Markets
December 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

As if the U.S. newspaper business didn’t have enough trouble coping with decades of lost readers and advertising dollars. An escalating trade dispute with Canada is poised to make every edition cost a lot more to publish. Newsprint prices have jumped since October to a three-year high and may keep increasing if, as expected, the administration of President Donald Trump slaps duties on imported paper from Canada next month. America’s northern neighbor accounts for about three quarters of what gets used in the U.S., from the Wall Street Journal to local news providers like the Idaho Press-Tribune. The higher costs will squeeze U.S. newspapers already coping with 28 straight years of declining circulation and increased competition from the internet. Many publications have closed as print-advertising revenue plunged 80 percent since 2005. 

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In Alabama, support for U.S. softwood stand has deep roots

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
December 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Alabama timberland owner Hayes Brown has seen the enemy in the softwood-lumber dispute, and it is Canada. His extended family members have emotional and financial ties to the forest industry dating back to the 1950s, when his father and uncle first acquired land. The woods carry deep significance for Mr. Brown, 57, who inherited his one-sixth stake in the properties in the 1990s. He argues that under the U.S. system of soliciting bids, private-timber rights are sold based on market forces, which means lumber goes for competitive prices from buyers seeking to chop down trees on his family’s properties. …”You distort market prices if you own a large part of the market,” as the provinces do, Mr. Brown said in an interview from Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama.

 

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Quesnel mayor worried Site C approval will lead to forestry downturn in 2018

By Andrew Kurjata
CBC News
December 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson is worried the approval of Site C will have an immediate impact on forestry towns, as BC Hydro will have a reduced need for biomass from the lumber industry in order to meet energy needs in the province. The provincial power provider has several contracts in place to purchase power produced by companies that convert wood waste, or biomass, into electricity. Sources include wood chips and sawdust from mills, and slash from roadsides and logging sites. Simpson said now that the provincial NDP has granted approval for the Site C dam to proceed, he believes BC Hydro will choose not to renew those contracts as they will no longer need the electricity that biomass produces. …In an email, BC Hydro spokesperson David Conway confirmed contracts are being renewed at lower rates but said Site C was not the reason.

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Fortress Paper announces US$5,000,000 credit agreement

By Fortress Paper Ltd.
Canada Newswire
December 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Fortress Paper Ltd. reports that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc., has entered into a credit agreement with a private arm’s length lender, who will provide a secured revolving credit facility in the principal amount of up to US$5 million to FSC, subject to certain borrowing base restrictions. The Loan will mature on December 30, 2020 and will accrue interest at a rate of LIBOR plus 5.75% per annum. The Loan is secured by FSC’s wood fibre inventory located at the FSC mill, consisting of round wood, wood chips, and dissolving pulp and excluding certain non-eligible inventory. FSC intends to use the proceeds of the Loan for general corporate purposes.

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‘This issue constantly divides the community’: Nova Scotia pulp mill accused of ‘bullying’ critics

By Graeme Hamilton
National Post
December 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

For years, Wes Surrett had to deal with guests’ complaints about the stench from a nearby pulp mill. The smell improved when the mill introduced new technology in 2015, but now the general manager of Pictou Lodge in Nova Scotia is bracing for the mill’s next plan — to pipe treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait, roughly two kilometres from the beach resort.  … “The air, the poison they’re dumping in the water and the clear-cutting of the forest.” Surrett says he wanted to know how to counter the argument that pollution is the price to be paid for steady factory jobs. News of Surrett’s comments traveled fast, and within an hour he had a message that the mill’s general manager urgently wanted to speak to him. …Critics say this kind of strong-arming is nothing new in Nova Scotia, where jobs are scarce and employers tend to have strong support from the province.

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Fire at Kenora mill destroys two kilns

By Doug Diaczuk
TB Newswatch
December 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

KENORA, Ont. – Fire crews in Kenora were kept busy Friday night and early Saturday morning as they battled a fire at Kenora Forest Products that destroyed two kilns. …“We worked on protecting exposures around it,” Skene said. “In the end, we protected all the buildings around it and let the building burn itself out.” Skene added that as of Saturday evening, the fire is still not completely declared out and crews remain on scene monitoring the situation. There were no reports of any injuries and there is no word yet on the cause of the fire. Skene said due to the extensive damage the building sustained, it will take some time to determine how the fire started.

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Witless Protectionism Now Puts a Bull’s Eye on Your Local Newspaper

By Allan Golombek, White House Writers Group
RealClear Markets
January 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

An anti-dumping petition launched by a hedge fund has the potential to drive up the cost of newspapers and even drive some small-town newspapers out of business, leaving their subscribers with less access to information about what is happening in their own community. …Let’s take a close look at what is actually being alleged here: A Canadian government is being accused of making newsprint cheaper for users, thereby helping small newspapers across the United States stay alive and continue to provide a source of information for readers about their local communities. What a dastardly scheme! …An anti-dumping decision against imported newsprint paper would cost more jobs than it would save. Most importantly, it would levy a heavy cost on the consumers who might no longer have access to a local newspaper at a reasonable price.

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CLT Logging Inc. Pays $1.95 Million in Settlement for Six Rivers and Klamath National Forest Fires

By the United States Department of Justice
Sierra Sun Times
December 30, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — CLT Logging, Inc. has paid $1.95 million to settle allegations by the United States relating to a wildfire that scorched 318 acres of national forest land, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced on Friday. The “Dillon Fire” started in Siskiyou County on August 3, 2012. Investigators determined the cause to be a trailer carrying improperly secured logging equipment, which dragged against California Highway 96, throwing sparks that ignited dry grass in 21 separate locations. The fire burned 182 acres in Six Rivers National Forest and 136 acres in Klamath National Forest. “As wildfires continue to sweep across California, my office stands committed to protecting our national forests and holding accountable those who endanger them,” U.S. Attorney Talbert said. 

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Bob Boeh, longtime Idaho Forest Group executive to retire

Coeur d’Alene Press
December 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Bob Boeh

COEUR d’ALENE — Idaho Forest Group announced the upcoming retirement of Bob Boeh, vice president of government affairs. Boeh, who will retire in 2018, has a distinguished career in the timber sector, working for Plum Creek Timber Company, Riley Creek Lumber, and most recently with Idaho Forest Group. During Boeh’s tenure at IFG, the company has seen tremendous growth. IFG is now the eighth-largest forest products company in the U.S.

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Wood manufacturer to build $3.3m, 100-job Tennessee facility

Area Development
January 2, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MILAN, Tenn. — Escue Wood Treated Products will build a new manufacturing facility in Milan, Tennessee. The pressure treated wood manufacturer will invest $3.3 million and create 100 new jobs in Gibson County. The new facility will be able to produce 60 million board feet of treated pine lumber annually. Escue Wood is a leading manufacturer of treated southern yellow pine wood. Founded in 2013, the company manufactures its products in Milan and distributes them in five states.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Montreal’s citywide ban on plastic shopping bags comes into effect

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
January 1, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Montreal implemented its long-planned ban on plastic bags on Monday, making it the first major Canadian city to do so. The ban covers the distribution of lightweight plastic bags with a thickness of less than 50 microns as well as biodegradable bags, which contain an additive that causes them to decompose in heat and light. …”We use roughly 2 billion of these bags annually and only 14 per cent are reintegrated in recycling plants,” said Jean-Francois Parenteau, the city council member responsible for the environment. …Thicker plastic bags, paper bags and cardboard boxes will also be allowed.

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Cross-laminated timber could ‘forge new links between lands and people’

By Deanna Duff
The University of Washington
December 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Trees line the Madison Park neighborhood that Susan Jones calls home. A big vine-leaf maple shepherds guests to her front walk. This block is an urban forest, a blend of trees and concrete, Douglas fir siding, and cedar-and-steel fences. It’s Mother Nature and architectural marvels. Jones’ home fits right in—and not just because the two-story abode features vertical warm wood paneling and sharp angles. What you can’t see is that this home is constructed of cross-laminated timber (commonly referred to as CLT), a next-generation forest product that promises to revolutionize forest management, economic growth, architecture and the construction industry. And that’s just for starters. Its real superpower? The ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

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Oil’s dream to expand in plastics dims as Coke turns to plants

By Anna Hirtenstein
Bloomberg
January 1, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Companies that make packaging from plants instead of fossil fuels are starting to challenge the oil industry’s ambition to increase the supply of raw materials for plastics. Use of bioplastics made from sugar cane, wood and corn will grow at least 50 percent in the next five years, according to the European Bioplastics Association in Berlin… Bioplastics … about 1 percent of the plastics market … are made by processing sugars from plants and tend to have a smaller carbon footprint than their conventional counterparts. …“Alternative raw materials must be competitive,” Stora Enso’s Chief Financial Officer Seppo Parvi said … anticipating eventual price parity with crude plastics. “I’m confident we’ll be able to do it.” Demand for bioplastics also needs to grow among retailers and consumers, according to Coke.

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Wood not the only solution for building

By Rob Gaimster, Concrete New Zealand
Stuff.co.nz
January 1, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

If you want to build something properly then you should be free to choose the best product for the job. …Yet the Labour Party’s Forestry Policy states that it will “give preference to new buildings that are constructed out of wood” and that “all government-funded project proposals for new buildings up to 10 storeys high shall require a build-in-wood option at the initial concept”. While forestry plays an important role in helping to achieve New Zealand’s emissions target, and wood can enhance our built environment, that does not mean wood is the best material for every construction project. …If implemented, this pro-wood policy would exclude safer, more cost-efficient, and durable options, which could compromise building programmes, such as the Government’s ambitious KiwiBuild.

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Multi-Functional Lego-Like Plywood Building Blocks Create Limitless Design Solution

By Lindsey Leardi
Arch Daily
December 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Out of 200 applicants, London-based Gilles Retsin Architecture won the Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2017 competition with their temporary outdoor installation. Participants were challenged to use the fabrication abilities of Estonian wooden house manufacturers in a new and creative way. Jury member Martin Tamke said the Retsin proposal is, “characterized by outstanding aesthetic and intellectually challenging, as it questions current beliefs and trends in architecture.” Retsin engineered CNC-cut plywood building blocks which, like Legos, can create many different design solutions. … The block’s connection derives from off-the-rack threaded rods, used in suspended ceilings which allow the building blocks to function as column, beam, and cladding simultaneously.

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Forestry

Eye on BC Forests – Winter 2017/18

BC Forest Practices Board
December 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tim Ryan, Bill McGill, Ralph Archibald

The work at the Forest Practices Board is rewarding for so many reasons, the most important of which is the opportunity we have to interact with the people of BC…  The Board works for all of you.  It is accountable for its work, and I think we all share the same commitment to stewardship – to carefully and responsibly manage the public resources entrusted to our care. This is the essence of stewardship. …My appointment as Chair at the Forest Practices Board has come to an end.  I would like to say it has been a thoroughly enriching and rewarding four years.  The Forest Practices Board staff have been a pleasure to work with, and I would like to personally thank everyone I have met and interacted with.  It has been my honour and privilege. …On December 31, 2017, the appointments of Bill McGill, Vice-Chair, and Ralph Archibald, member, expire.

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Local residents hoping to halt logging near Seven Sisters Provincial Park

By Gordon Hoekstra
The Vancouver Sun
December 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A small northwest B.C. environmental group hopes a renewed call by the B.C. Forest Practices Board to institute formal consultation on logging cutblocks will help them get the B.C. government to act on their concerns about proposed logging adjacent to Seven Sisters Provincial Park. Nancy Pedersen, a member of Friends of the Seven Sisters, said they realize it is likely too late to stop planned logging adjacent to the park but hope it will be the last timber harvesting that takes place. The Friends of the Seven Sisters, most of whose less than one dozen members live in the area of the Seven Sisters Park, want to protect permanently a large bite-shaped area originally left out of the park boundaries when they were created in 2000.

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Court issues temporary injunction against EW28 logging

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
December 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lawyers for Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) have succeeded in getting a temporary injunction against harvesting and road work in the Sunshine Coast Community Forest’s (SCCF) EW28 cutblock. EW28, often called the Chanterelle Forest, is one of the three cutblocks the Community Forest put out for tender last month. The injunction, issued by BC Supreme Court Justice Lisa Warren on Dec. 22, runs until Jan. 2 when another hearing is to be held in Vancouver. It was unclear how much work logging contractors were planning to undertake between Christmas and New Year’s Day. ELF has long opposed harvesting in that area, and argued in court that the cutting permit was issued “unreasonably and without procedural fairness.” 

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Rare chestnut find: ‘This tree, it’s a survivor’

By Andrew Lupton
CBC News
January 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dan Brinkman

Dan Brinkman — a self-described tree nerd — knew he’d hit the jackpot when he was told about a tree … near Mount Brydges. To most, the tree looks like any other. Brinkman, a stewardship technician with the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, was pretty certain this was an American chestnut, a species that once thrived in southern Ontario but has been nearly wiped out by blight in the past century. …It’s believed that up to two million American chestnuts once grew in southern Ontario’s Carolinian zone, a stretch of land that covers much of the area from Lake Huron to Lake Erie. But a tree-killing fungus has nearly doomed the species. …Now, with the permission of the landowner, there are plans to use the tree to grow others. 

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‘Caribou have a right to live,’ says First Nation chief trying to save the animals

By Liam Casey
Canadian Press in Prince George Citizen
December 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A once-thriving herd of endangered caribou on a northern Ontario island is weeks away from being killed off by a pack of wolves, says a First Nation that is working with the provincial government to get the animals moved to a safe location. Michipicoten First Nation said the woodland caribou population on Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior, which numbered about 680 four years ago, is now down to about 30. …”The caribou are the ones who are going to be wiped out if we don’t do something and don’t do something quickly,” she said. Tangie is worried that bureaucracy — the ministry has to put the bid out for tender — will delay the rescue.  The ministry said the contract process will be completed “as soon as possible.”

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Forest access roads are dangerous for snowmobilers

The Bay Today
December 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Winter is a busy season in the Ontario logging industry, and snowmobile enthusiasts unfamiliar with the region and terrain are often unaware of the high volume of truck traffic on remote industrial forest access roads in winter warns a news release from Workplace Safety North. …An average of one person is killed, and many more are injured every year in Ontario on these industrial roads. Last March, an Ontario snowmobiler died after colliding with a logging truck on a bush road. …“Industrial logging roads in northern Ontario are built, used, and maintained, to a high degree by forestry firms,” says Tom Welton, Industrial Director at Workplace Safety North.

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Scorched by fierce fires, parts of California, West may never look the same

Tampa Bay Times
January 2, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO — As hotter and bigger fires blaze through the West and yet another year passes with a disastrous toll, America’s wildlands are having a harder time bouncing back. …The fiercer fires are killing more of the vegetation needed to provide seeds for regrowth, and scientists are learning that even when new trees sprout, many are struggling with the warmer and more extreme weather wrought by climate change. …The latest research on forest regeneration, published last month in the journal Ecology Letters, found that as much as one third of the areas burned since 2000 saw no trees return, about double the treeless land that resulted after fires before 2000. In 54 percent of the areas burned this century, the research suggests, too few trees grew back to ensure a full forest recovery.

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Loggers, enviros partner on Idaho forest projects. Their main obstacle is now money

By Rocky Barker
Idaho Statesman
December 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Loggers are racing wood-boring insects and decay to salvage as much timber as they can from the 190,000 acres that burned across the Boise National Forest in last year’s Pioneer Fire, before the wood loses its worth. The U.S. Forest Service planned to harvest 70 million board feet of timber from about 7 percent of the area burned in the massive wildfire. But insects, fungi and rot have deteriorated the standing trees so much that it will be lucky if it can get 50 million to 60 million board feet, said Brant Peterson, Idaho City District ranger. “I’ve never seen it so bad in 58 years,” said Roger Jackson, a Boise County commissioner and a logger cutting blackened trees near Edna Creek. Nevertheless, the salvage logging has put to work every available logger, logging truck and piece of harvest equipment in the region since July.

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Missoula’s foremost tree hugger: Philanthropist steps up to save treescape

By Breanna Roy
The Missoulian
December 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Karen Sippy

When Kansas native Karen Sippy and her husband Brian drove through Missoula’s University District for the first time in 2003, the bare branches of the maple trees lining the streets gave her a sinking feeling.  Sippy told her husband the urban forest was dying. … A 2013 citywide inventory of the city’s street trees found that 30 percent are Norway maples, almost all at the end of their lives. … As executive director and a founding member of the nonprofit advocacy group Trees for Missoula, Sippy seeks out donations from wealthy, supportive friends for projects that make a difference for city trees. So far, Trees for Missoula has raised more than $60,000, mostly donations from Sippy’s friends’ charitable foundations. …One quarter of the money helped the city purchase two electronic imaging devices to measure internal tree health.

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Senate endorses forest equity for Coquille Tribe

KCBY
December 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COOS BAY, Ore. — After more than 20 years, the Coquille Indian Tribe “finally may be freed from unfairly cumbersome forest management rules,” the tribe said in a news release Friday. The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to pass the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act, which “decouples” the Coquille Tribal Forest from federal land management rules, the tribe said. The Coquilles are the only U.S. tribe bound by those rules. “We are tremendously relieved and grateful to have the Senate address the disparity that has burdened our forest for so long,” said Tribal Chairwoman Brenda Meade. Sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., the bill cleared the House in July – the latest of DeFazio’s repeated attempts to decouple the Coquille Forest. Until Thursday, the legislation had never passed in the Senate.

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Private forests need to be part of the dialogue

Letter by Roy Keene, timberland broker and forest consultant
The Register-Guard
December 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Roy Keene

In his Dec. 13 guest viewpoint, Travis Joseph, CEO of the American Forest Resource Council, claims that federal forests have been burning or dying at an alarming rate due to forest fires, disease and a lack of management. Echoing the timber industry’s archaic mantra for public forests — log them or lose them — Joseph declares, “We need to act now”! A Forest Service report, “Forest Health Highlights in Oregon 2016,” presents a far less dramatic view of forest health. …In spite of media hype, 2017 saw fewer Oregon forest acres burned than 2012, 2014 or 2015. …Log exports and the overcutting of private forests put unfair pressure on our public forests to make up the shortfall. A dialogue that ignores the management of Oregon’s private forests, especially the industrial component, is simply short-sighted and deceptive, not “constructive.”

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Thoughts on trees and forestry issues

Letter by Keith Schnare
The Herald Journal
December 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Keith Schnare

There were two good articles in the Friday, Dec. 29, issue of the Herald Journal. As a forester, logging engineer, and firefighter on some of the largest wildland fires in the U.S. for 36 years with the U.S. Forest Service, I agree and disagree with some of the thoughts in the articles. First, remember that some tree species live longer than we do and they die at some point from disease, bug infestations, fire, drought, or man’s activities such as harvesting, thinning, and Christmas tree cutting. …The fire policy article by Paul Larmer brings out some good points about proactive forestry policies to reduce forest fire intensity and hazard. The article about prompting LHS students to work to save a stand of older and diverse trees from logging activities is teaching the wrong principles of ecosystem management.

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Mountain pine beetles in decline, but Douglas-fir beetles could thrive after summer fires

By Holly Michels
Helena Independent Record
December 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Although Montana has turned a corner on the number of new forested acres infested with bark beetles, there’s concern that one particular type of bug that thrives in burned trees could make a comeback after the summer’s massive fires. “When trees get fire-scorched they may not die, but they become susceptible to bark beetles,” Amy Gannon, forest pest management program manager with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, told the state Land Board last week. Of particular concern is the Douglas-fir beetle, which can establish itself and thrive in burned trees, then build up large enough populations to take over healthier forests. “After the fires, we anticipate quite a bit of mortality. 

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All the king’s horses can’t make wildfires go away

By Dominic DiPaolo, Dominick A. DellaSala and Dennis Odion
The Mail Tribune
December 31, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sen. Alan DeBoer

State Sen. Alan DeBoer recently convened town hall meetings on last summer’s wildfires and actions under consideration at the state Legislature. What we hoped would be an informed discussion became a venue for DeBoer to promote unfounded theories, point fingers and dismiss real dialogue. As ecologists who have studied forest ecosystems for decades, we realize that wildfire is alarming, smoke unhealthy, and everyone is looking for solutions. However, we take issue with DeBoer’s unhelpful ideas and offer caution about using forest thinning as a panacea to all issues surrounding wildfires. DeBoer started both meetings by giving the floor to William Simpson, who proposes introducing feral horses to control flammable vegetation in the Siskiyou Mountains. …Worse yet, DeBoer spent much of his time insinuating that the Forest Service’s (nonexistent) “let burn policy” resulted in this summer’s large wildfires. 

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State Forester to Head Virginia Agriculture, Forestry

By Clara Vaughn
Lancaster Farming
December 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Bettina Ring

After more than a decade in the Virginia Department of Forestry, Bettina Ring will be the commonwealth’s next secretary of agriculture and forestry. She will replace Basil I. Gooden in the role that oversees the state’s largest private industry, agriculture, which combined with forestry provides more than 442,000 jobs, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. …Ring was appointed Virginia state forester in 2014 by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Before heading the Department of Forestry, she was senior vice president of family forests at the American Forest Foundation, where she oversaw the largest and oldest sustainable woodland program in the country.

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Forestry’s new setback model explored in Marlborough

By Geoff Vause
Stuff.co.nz
December 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Pushing forestry back from the edges of the Marlborough Sounds will cost forest owners millions of dollars, with industry saying it could be seen as land confiscation. Coastal scientists and industry players know forestry contributes to the runoff mud suffocating the seabed in the Sounds. But they agree forestry is not the only culprit and should not bear the brunt of the blame. Industry spokesman Vern Harris said the Marlborough District Council should be congratulated on its scientific modelling of causes and remedies for chronic sedimentation plaguing the Sounds. He said the Marlborough Forestry Industry Association he leads was finding answers with the council in an approach which could also serve the industry across the country as the Government looks to plant a billion trees.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Report shows positive impact of Burgess Biopower on local economy

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
December 29, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Berlin, New Hampshire — A report published in late 2017 illustrates the positive impact of Burgess BioPower on its local community and the state of New Hampshire. The report was completed by PolEcon Research and released by Advance NH. The 75 MW Burgess BioPower facility is located on the site of former pulp mill in Berlin, New Hampshire. The pulp mill closed in 2006. Burgess BioPower began commercial operations in 2014. …The report shows the total annual impact of Burgess BioPower in New Hampshire during 2016 was 221 jobs, $13.9 million in labor income, and $63.4 million in output of goods and services.

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Fighting Climate Change, One Laundry Load at a Time

By Stanley Reed
The New York Times
January 1, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

COPENHAGEN — A Danish biotechnology company is trying to fight climate change — one laundry load at a time. Its secret weapon: mushrooms like those in a dormant forest outside Copenhagen. In the quest for a more environmentally friendly detergent, two scientists at the company, Novozymes, regularly trudge through the mud, hunting for oyster mushrooms that protrude from a fallen beech or bracken fungi that feast on tough plant fibers. …Enlisting enzymes to battle dirt is not a new strategy. Over thousands of years, mushrooms and their fungi cousins have evolved into masters at nourishing themselves on dying trees, fallen branches and other materials. They break down these difficult materials by secreting enzymes into their hosts. Even before anyone knew what enzymes were, they were used in brewing and cheese making, among other activities.

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