Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Forestry

Forestry

False claims and sloppy journalism confuse the deforestation issue

By John Mullinder
Pulp & Paper Canada
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Most Canadians find it hard to believe that the forest industry is accountable for only four per cent of Canada’s deforestation. And that Canada has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world (0.01 per cent). The widespread public confusion springs partly from the definition of the word itself in international agreements. Chopping down a tree or a section of forest, for example, does not equal deforestation when its harvest is followed by the regrowth of that forest. In Canadian law, logging companies must replenish or restock the resource they have harvested either through natural or artificial regeneration (tree planting and seeding). Because they do this – replacing the forest they have harvested earlier – the net deforestation they are responsible for is minimal. In fact, the four per cent represents the new permanent access roads that the industry needs to get into the harvest areas, rather than the harvest itself.

Read More

The Petawawa Research Forest: Establishment of a remote sensing supersite

By Natural Resources Canada
Forestry Chronicle
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

NRCan has established a remote sensing supersite at Canada’s oldest research forest (Petawawa Research Forest). A remote sensing supersite is a benchmarking site with requisite reference and baseline data for evaluating the capacities of new technologies, algorithms, and approaches. It enables transparent, rigorous assessments of sensors, data streams, and information outcomes. The supersite offers a focus area for collaboration, an innovation incubator with reduced investment risk (i.e. data acquisition costs), an opportunity to leverage more value from public investments in data, and a means to ensure consistent and transparent data sharing. The pace of technological change in forest inventory and monitoring over the past 50 years has been remarkable, largely as a result of the increased availability of various forms of remotely sensed data. Benchmarking sites can be extremely valuable for sparking innovation, as well as for enabling transparent and scientifically sound assessments of technologies, new data streams, and associated information outcomes. 

Read More

Sechelt residents angered by logging activity on neighbouring property

By Jon Henandez
CBC News
January 18, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The tall inferno lit up a night sky last week in the small Sandy Hook neighbourhood near Sechelt, BC. Calls went out to the fire department and the BC Wildfire Service after a slash pile was lit by loggers mere metres from several homes. …The fire was the latest in a series of ongoing disruptions residents say they’ve endured thanks to a private logging operation next door that covers about 69 hectares — the list also includes erosion, flooding, and trees falling onto properties. …Despite lawsuits filed against the company, regulators haven’t found any violations relating to the lot. But local and provincial politicians say the system that regulates and monitors private logging in B.C. doesn’t hold companies and landowners to a high enough standard.

Read More

Forest mapping project aims to protect Gulf Islands’ endangered ecosystems

CBC News
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

The federation of local governments that serves British Columbia’s Gulf Islands wants to map forests within its boundaries as part of its efforts to conserve sensitive ecosystems and mitigate climate change. Islands Trust recently issued a request for proposals to map connected forests of the 13 major islands and more than 450 smaller ones between the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island.  Kathryn Martell, an ecosystem protection specialist with Islands Trust, says the federation is working to protect the sensitive Coastal Douglas-fir zone — one of the most threatened in B.C., which includes the endangered Garry Oak ecosystem — as part of its conservation plan. “We know that one of our best ways of mitigating the effects of climate change is to protect intact forest ecosystems,” Martell said. 

Read More

Conservation of Black Bear Dens on Vancouver Island

BC Forest Practices Board
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A professional biologist with black bear expertise submitted a complaint on April 8, 2019, asserting that black bear dens in large diameter, old trees are being lost to harvesting of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island. The complainant’s concern is based on research that found black bears on Vancouver Island den almost exclusively in large old trees and structures derived from them, including stumps, logs, or root wads, unlike interior mainland black bears.i These old growth features that provide denning habitat are important to the Vancouver Island black bear population because cubs are born in them during winter hibernation. Since most second growth forests are harvested before trees can attain the necessary size for denning, the complainant is concerned that the declining availability of large trees will eventually affect population numbers.

Read More

Applications open for BC Parks Student Ranger Program

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Young adults keen to work outdoors this summer and to acquire a diverse range of job skills can now apply for the BC Parks Student Ranger Program. Now in its third season, the Student Ranger Program provides 48 young adults with training and employment opportunities in B.C.’s parks and protected areas. Indigenous students are encouraged to apply as the program has a 30% Indigenous hiring target. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, the Student Ranger Program offers hands-on work experience through a variety of projects related to conservation, recreation, community outreach and Indigenous relations. Twelve crews made up of four student rangers will be located throughout the province, focusing on initiatives such as ecosystem restoration, invasive species control and outdoor education, as well as trail building and maintenance.

Read More

Efforts needed to save B.C.’s forests

Letter by Taryn Skalbania, Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance
BC Local News
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Taryn Skalbania

In 1945 when the Sloan Report by the Chief Justice of B.C. laid the policy foundation for the Forest Act including granting industry full access to our forests through tenure to ensure the taxpayers of BC a “perpetual supply of raw material for forest industries, with consequent stability of industrial communities and assurance of permanent payrolls,” it is doubtful he had today’s depleted industry scenario in mind. …While radical to some, to save the remnants of the forestry industry we must first save the forest, to save reduced jobs in forestry we have to save trees, too keep some mills afloat we will have to shutter others. Our forests have been permanently, radically altered, now our forest industry must follow. …B.C. must dramatically change how forestry is managed and governed if it hopes to reverse today’s troubling trends.

Read More

Another 69 Canadians headed to help fight bushland fires in Australia

Canadian Press in The Kelowna Daily Courier
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA – Another 69 Canadians are heading to Australia this week to help fight the country’s worst bush fires in recent memory. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says the deployment comes after Australia asked for more help. More than 200 bush fires continue to rage across Australia, with the two most populated states of New South Wales and Victoria bearing the brunt of the damage. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre says 27 incident management staff will leave for Melbourne Thursday, followed by two more incident managers and 40 firefighters on the weekend. This is the sixth wave of Canadians helping out in Australia, bringing the total number to more than 160 people. …Champagne said last week Canada would consider any assistance Australia needs but its government had only asked for additional people so far. 

Read More

Biologist wants to save Slocan Valley tree that’s likely bear den

By Bill Metcalfe
BC Local News
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Slocan Valley bear biologist wants a logging company to spare a tree that he says shows all the signs of being a bear den. He wants them to leave a strip in their cutblock and move the planned location of a road. But Wayne McCrory says the company, Yucwmenlúcwu, owned by the Splatsin First Nation located near Enderby, has refused to move the road. The cutblock is located in the Valhalla Range just north of Valhalla Park and Slocan Lake. …He said the company told him they would try to save the den tree but might have to “stub” it to make it safe by WorkSafe BC rules. Then they would cap it so a bear might be able to use it later. …“This is symbolic of what is wrong with our resource management policies today when you don’t protect high biodiversity areas like this,” he said.

Read More

As the Birds Vanish

By Andrew Nikiforuk
The Tyee
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

News of the scale of the ongoing bird holocaust arrived as part of a daily flood of information last fall in a study published by Science magazine. Both Canadian and U.S. researchers, using a combination of bird survey counts and radar data on biomass readings in the sky, found North America had lost about three billion birds in the last 50 years. …In 1970, 10 billion birds, the most studied of all the planet’s wildlife, filled the continent with song and flight. Now, only seven billion remain. …The reasons were all predicted. We destroyed their homes by ploughing grasslands, developing coastal wetlands or felling forests. Or we simply poisoned them. …More than half of the continent’s grassland birds have disappeared, 717 million in total. The forests, including the great boreal, have lost more than one billion birds.

Read More

Estuary in Great Bear Rainforest bought from settlers’ family to maintain wildlife habitat and local use

By Susan Lazaruk
Vancouver Sun
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. has a new conservation area near Bella Coola in the Great Bear Rainforest after a descendant of the settlers who had owned the land for decades sold it to a land trust. The area is near the mouth of the Bella Coola River and close to the town on B.C.’s Central Coast. The estuary covers 70 hectares, about 20 per cent of the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. It has been renamed the tidal flats conservation area, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) was scheduled to announce Tuesday. The trust will protect the area’s intertidal marshes, mudflats and tidal channels, and continue to provide a home for animals and birds as diverse as grizzly bears, salmon and the threatened marbled murrelet. It was necessary to conserve the estuary to prevent private development or forest clearing, said the NCC. The country’s largest private land trust will spend $1.6 million on the project…

Read More

A pause before we obliterate our forest industry

Letter by Lulu Schmidt
Cowichan Valley Citizen
January 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Endless political talk for what feels like an eternity for local forestry families has led nowhere. As the light shines on the B.C. forest industry and the strike continues into the seventh month another more personal conversation is building. We have all heard: the forestry industry is bad for our environment. In fact, this opinion, for some environmentalists, is more like a religious belief. But is this true and can a fixed opinion be swayed? Perhaps, an unbiased Netflix documentary showcasing all the positive contributions of this vital profession set to folk music could change ones mind, such as the documentaries created by environmentalists. But will this ever happen? I, for one, do not think so. This physically gruelling profession has little or no support or value in the mind of the average citizen. Shrouded in darkness and wrapped tightly in a hi-vis cloak of masculinity people struggle to know this profession. Therefore forestry workers have only themselves to lean on and promote their industry, which becomes a lonely slog.

Read More

Logging crews prevented from working in Clack Creek cutblock

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
January 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) says it has turned back logging crews heading to work in the area known as the Clack Creek Forest.  ELF has been trying to stop the harvest of cutblock A93884, but a BC Supreme Court judge rejected the group’s petition, filed last April with support from West Coast Environmental Law, against the sale of the cutting rights.  BC Timber Sales (BCTS) awarded the cutblock to a Squamish-based company, Black Mount Logging, giving it the right to remove roughly 29,500 cubic metres of timber.  Since the loss of the court challenge, ELF has been calling on Forest Minister Doug Donaldson to offer the company a different area to log. The group also staged “Living Forest Institute” classes in the cutblock and placed more than 1,000 felt hearts on trees in the cutblock

Read More

Ontario proposes full return of spring bear hunt

CBC News
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province has announced it plans to bring back a regular black bear spring hunting season, subject to annual review. On Friday, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski announced the start of government’s consultation on the proposal. “Ontario is home to a healthy bear population,” said Yakabuski. “The province will continue to monitor black bear populations, harvest results and sustainability indicators to inform an annual review and ensure bear populations are managed sustainably.” The bear hunt was cancelled by the province in 1999.  In 2014, Ontario re-introduced a spring black bear hunting season, and the pilot has continued each year since then.

Read More

Forests in northern Ontario could be growing less resilient to fire, scientist says

CBC News
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

“Short-interval fires” have scientists with Natural Resources Canada concerned.  A new study has shown that the increase in forest fire activity means that forests are becoming less resilient to fire.  Daniel Thompson is a Forest Fire Research Scientist with Natural Resources Canada. He said that in the past, boreal forests could go anywhere from 75 to 200 years between fires. The interval now is shortening,  Thompson said, to as little as 10 years between fires.  “Basically what happens is that once these fires we typically think of as being really large, and sort of wanting to burn that older forest which is maybe full of spruce, but only when these fires get really large during these really dry periods are they able to burn into younger forest which typically has more aspen, more willow,” Thompson said. “More of that sort of really leafy green stuff that normally doesn’t burn.”

Read More

N.S. forester concerned the woods are ‘taking a backseat to business’

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wade Prest

Wade Prest knows there are people in the forest industry who need help now. But as Nova Scotia’s forestry transition team has its second meeting Tuesday, the veteran harvester says he’s hoping to hear more about long-term goals and plans. “We’ve sort of got the forest on the ropes right now, ecologically. A lot of our forestland is right on the tipping point, where it used to be productive forestland, and it’s not going to be able to be productive anymore if you continue to treat it the same way,” said Prest. A good start would be reducing the capacity of harvests in the province, he said. “We have to understand that we cannot continue to harvest young stands. We’ve got to commit ourselves to turning towards rotations of 80 or 150 years to grow sawlogs and very little pulpwood.”

Read More

Forest Service chief emphasizes timber sales

Tri-State Livestock News
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Vicki Christiansen

Vicki Christiansen, chief of the U.S. Forest Service, an Agriculture Department agency, highlighted increased visitor access and the highest timber sales in 21 years, in a year-end report. “In 2019, through Shared Stewardship agreements, we forged new partnerships and built on existing ones to better collaborate and share decision space with states, partners and tribes,” Christiansen said. “We also opened hundreds of thousands of acres of national forests to visitor access and sold more timber in this year than we have in any of the past 21 years, providing a sustainable flow of forest products and supporting rural economies.” The Forest Service added that it had surpassed expectations and sold nearly 3.3 billion board feet of timber in 2019 — 75 million board feet more than the 20-year high set in 2018.

Read More

Will Montana leaders stand up to Weyerhaeuser?

By Ben Long
The Missoulian
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ben Long

Montanans enjoy the world’s greatest backyard. But much of that heritage is up for grabs.  I am referring to 1,000 square miles now owned by Weyerhaeuser Co. Historically, timber companies — Champion, Plum Creek and Weyerhaeuser — allowed people to use these lands to hunt, fish, pick berries and whatnot.  …The buyer is Georgia-based Southern Pine Plantations. While the company says it has no plans to change access policies, it’s naïve to take that at face value. The company has a track record of selling land to developers and billionaire land hogs who buy up acreages in Idaho and Montana, locking out traditional uses and blocking access to adjacent public land.  There are very good reasons why Montana’s elected officials need to engage. One is the hundreds of good, family-wage timber industry jobs that are at stake. Second is the damage done to our economy and outdoor heritage if these lands are locked behind no-trespassing signs. 

Read More

State works to draft 10-year forestry plan to include climate change, fracking

By Beth Burger
The Columbus Dispatch
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Ohio Division of Forestry is in the process of putting together a 10-year plan for the state’s forests. Ohioans can expect some changes. The deadline is March 1 to comment. Ten years ago, most southeastern Ohio landowners had no fracking well pads on their property. Most people had heard of climate change, but it wasn’t built into the social consciousness at the level it is now, with people across the globe experiencing extreme weather in the form of droughts, massive wildfires. …Ohio has 7.9 million acres of forestland. Of that, 85% is privately owned, with the remaining 15% owned by local, state and federal government.

Read More

The Tongass National Forest is a Wilderness on the Chopping Block

By Alex Robinson
Outdoor Life
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It doesn’t take much to get Mark Hieronymus worked up. We’re walking down an old logging road next to a creek outside of Juneau, and the guide is going back and forth on the two hottest topics in Alaska: fishing and logging. …Like most people who spend their lives on a river, his personality shifts from laid-back to intense, depending on the topic of discussion. The Trump Administration and governor Mike Dunleavy have reignited interests in old-growth logging in this region. So eventually I ask Hieronymus about the perspective that it’s mostly outside environmentalists who are hell-bent on fighting logging—not real Alaskans. That’s when I see his fiery side. …He shoots back with some facts about the timber industry supporting less than 1 percent of the jobs in the region.

Read More

Legislators told collaboration will produce answer to Wilderness Study Area deadlock

By Brett French
The Helena Independent Record
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MONTANA – Finding a way to reach a compromise on the long-stalled delisting of Montana Wilderness Study Areas, or conversely the adoption of those lands as wilderness, will take partnerships. “Collaboration is the driving force,” said John Hagengruber, Forest Service liaison to the state. Hagengruber was one of many people who spoke to the Environmental Quality Council, which is tasked under Senate Joint Resolution 20 with formulating “options for Congress to address the disposition” of the 663,000 acres contained in seven Montana WSAs. …While several speakers with wilderness, hunting and logging ties championed collaborative groups as the best means to reach a decision, a few testified that the composition of the group, as well as the information it possessed, could sway decision making. 

Read More

Guest View: Innovation must drive Elliott State Research Forest

By Josh Laughlin, executive director of Cascadia Wildlands
The Register-Guard
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Josh Laughlin

The Register-Guard’s editorial headline “Elliott Forest plan could be a win for everyone in 2020” (Dec. 30) is correct. A change in management of the Elliott State Forest is a tremendous opportunity for Oregonians to protect salmon and wildlife habitat, store carbon to combat runaway climate change and conduct cutting-edge research with a focus on jobs-based, restoration forestry. But Oregon State University’s initial concept for creating an Elliott State Research Forest falls short of these goals. OSU’s College of Forestry has run modeling scenarios that would clearcut tens of thousands of acres of forests, spray the forest with up to three rounds of herbicides after the cut and perform “animal control,” that typically means killing black bears and mountain beavers. Although it’s called “research,” there is little to learn from clearcutting the Elliott. …we need to use older forests … as a refuge for salmon, marbled murrelets, Pacific fishers and other  old-growth dependent species.

Read More

Forest Service clarifies vital thinning contracts

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Still bedeviled by biomass, the Forest Service has made two key changes in the offered contracts to thin nearly a million acres of forest in the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) area that includes much of the Rim Country and the White Mountains. The changes would make it clear any bidders would get a full, 20-year contract and better define how much biomass in the form of branches, saplings and down and dead wood the contracts will have to remove. The 4FRI will therefore postpone until March 3 the deadline for bids — and hopes to award the first round of contracts before the end of the year, according to Acting Regional Forester Elaine Kohrman. The Forest Service received more than 100 technical questions from dozens of potential bidders when it issued its request for proposals from bidders seeking 20-year contracts to thin some of the nearly 1 million acres in four forests included in the request for proposals. 

Read More

Help Us Understand Logging And Timber Practices Across Oregon

By Tony Schick and Rob Davis with Maya Miller
Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For decades, the timber industry drove the economy in Oregon… Today, the industry has changed. Logging in federal forests, once a major source of lumber, is a fraction of what it was before environmental restrictions. Dozens of mills have closed. Stands of trees that once required a crew of loggers to cut can now be felled by one person in a single machine. …Reporters Tony Schick of OPB and Rob Davis of The Oregonian have been tracking forestry topics closely for years. …Now, OPB, The Oregonian and ProPublica are teaming up to better understand the forces that are shaping the modern timber industry and the effects of those changes on the state, communities and timber workers. …Please fill out this questionnaire if you work, or have worked, in the timber industry, …regularly interact with the timber industry, or have been affected by the timber industry because of where you work or live.

Read More

Oregon Governor Proposes New Wildfire Protection Plan

By Cassandra Profita
Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is calling for a major expansion in the state’s wildfire response plans in a new legislative concept lawmakers heard on Tuesday. The draft proposal outlines the governor’s long-term vision for how the state should adapt to wildfire, reduce wildfire risks on forestland and improve fire suppression. The plan echoes a 110-page reportfrom the Governor’s Council On Wildfire Response, which spent about a year developing recommendations for improving the state’s ability to prevent and respond to wildfires. It calls for land-use planning changes, new building codes and requirements for “defensible space” around homes to reduce the risk of wildfires damaging residential areas. It requires new standards for residential smoke filtration systems to protect people from the health risks of wildfire smoke.

Read More

Ninth Circuit allowing Helena-area Forest Service project to proceed

By Tom Kuglin
The Helene Independent Record
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Montana — A federal appeals court is allowing a Forest Service project southwest of Helena to proceed while also allowing the agency to reevaluate a portion of its original decision. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over claims brought by Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council that the agencies failed to adequately analyze the impacts of the Telegraph Vegetation Project on threatened grizzly bears and Canadian lynx. The court also agreed to allow the Forest Service to withdraw a portion of the project that it admitted used inaccurate mapping. Under the ruling, the 5,600-acre Telegraph project located 15 miles southwest of Helena will be allowed to proceed. …Last year a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the groups. 

Read More

Experts say lands Weyerhaeuser sold likely lack mature timber

By Kianna Gardner
The Daily Inter Lake
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Why does Weyerhaeuser intend to sell its timberlands so cheap? That’s the question still looming after the company announced the pending $145 million cash sale of its 630,000 acres of timberlands in Northwest Montana. …According to leaders in Montana’s forest industry, there’s still only speculation as to why the timberlands sold for only $230 per acre — a number that pales in comparison to other timberlands in the state that recently have sold for as much as $700 per acre. But one possible explanation… is that the sale price is tied to how much timber is actually available for harvest on the lands. “We are all wondering what is happening there with respect to timber volume,” said Peter Kolb, an extension forestry specialist with Montana State University. 

Read More

Forest Service clarifies vital thinning contracts

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Still bedeviled by biomass, the Forest Service has made two key changes in the offered contracts to thin nearly a million acres of forest in the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) area that includes much of the Rim Country and the White Mountains.The changes would make it clear any bidders would get a full, 20-year contract and better define how much biomass in the form of branches, saplings and down and dead wood the contracts will have to remove.The 4FRI will therefore postpone until March 3 the deadline for bids — and hopes to award the first round of contracts before the end of the year, according to Acting Regional Forester Elaine Kohrman.

Read More

Genetically Modified Poplar Trees Emit Fewer Hydrocarbons And Are Just As Hardy

By Jeff Kart
Forbes Magazine
January 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Trees don’t just emit oxygen as part of photosynthesis. Some, like the poplar tree, also emit gases which can harm air quality. But before you start clear-cutting, know this: Field trials in Oregon and Arizona show that poplars, which emit trace amounts of isoprene gas, can be genetically modified without stunting their growth. That’s according to a research collaboration led by scientists as the University of Arizona, along with the Helmholtz Research Center in Munich, Portland State University and Oregon State University. A lot of trees also emit isoprene and other gases. If you’ve ever smelled a pie forest, you’re smelling a group of complex organic molecules called terpenes, which are stored in the needles to ward off insects. Isoprene is bad because it worsens people’s respiratory health and warms the atmosphere. It’s a hydrocarbon that reacts with gases produced by tailpipe pollution to produce ozone, a greenhouse gas.

Read More

As Seas Rise, a Florida Keys ‘Ghost Forest’ Makes A Last Stand

By Jenny Staletovich
The Tampa Bay Times
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

On a stretch of the Lower Keys… sea water and mud cover much of the rocky ground. …A pine rockland forest once stood here, maybe a century ago. Not that long in tree years. …Just three decades ago, healthy pineland grew on at least 10 islands. Today, the forests are thinning or gone. The only healthy tract stands on Big Pine. …A June study published in the journal Nature Climate found the Gulf Coast has lost about 57 square miles of forest over the last 120 years. …But the story in the Keys is different. The underground freshwater lenses that once fed the pineland are shrinking. With no place to retreat, the forests are simply vanishing.

Read More

Clones will help Maine’s famous elm tree named Herbie live on — for now

By David Sharp
Associated Press in the Bangor Daily News
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Frank Knight

YARMOUTH, Maine — A massive elm tree nicknamed Herbie is long gone, but it is going to live on, thanks to cloned trees that are being made available to the public. At 110 feet and more than 200 years, Herbie was the tallest and oldest elm in New England and survived 14 bouts of Dutch elm disease because of the devotion of his centenarian caretaker, Frank Knight, the late tree warden of Yarmouth. The duo became famous after Knight spent half of his life caring for the tree, which he referred to as “an old friend.” Knight realized he couldn’t save the town’s elms as they succumbed by the hundreds to Dutch elm disease. So he focused his efforts on one of them: Herbie.

Read More

Penn State wants to burn Pennsylvania forests

By Marcus Schneck
Penn State Live
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Forest landowners, other than state agencies, in Pennsylvania generally use very little prescribed fire on their lands. They’re missing out on an effective management tool that could be helping them to promote the growth of desired tree species, spur new growth to provide food and cover for wildlife, control invasive plants, suppress Lyme-carrying ticks and more, according to Jesse Kreye, assistant professor of fire and natural resources management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. …State agencies, like the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, have been using prescribed fire for at least a decade. …Because there was considerable interest by state agencies in bringing fire back to help restore the landscape, the General Assembly in 2009 passed legislation called the Prescribed Burning Act.

Read More

Spotted lanternfly costing Pennsylvania $50M annually

By Michael Rubinkam
The Associated Press in the Billings Gazette
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest from Asia that is wreaking havoc on valuable trees and vines, is costing the Pennsylvania economy about $50 million and eliminating nearly 500 jobs each year, according to a Penn State study. The study represents researchers’ first attempt to quantify the destruction caused by the large, colorful planthopper. First detected in the U.S. in 2014, in Pennsylvania’s Berks County, it has since overrun the state’s southeastern corner and spread into nearby states including New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. Economists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences estimated the financial impact on nurseries, vineyards, Christmas tree growers and hardwood producers. …The state’s $19 billion forest products industry would be especially vulnerable. Pennsylvania, with its vast unbroken stretches of forest, is the nation’s No. 1 producer of hardwoods.

Read More

Aphid-munching beetle could help save hemlock forests

By Gabriel Popkin
Science Magazine
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A potential ally for one of North America’s most embattled trees has passed its first big test. A tiny predatory beetle that researchers have been rearing and releasing into forests appears to be doing damage to an aphidlike pest that poses a deadly threat to ecologically important eastern hemlock trees, a 5-year study has found. The result marks a rare success for forest scientists aiming to use introduced insects to battle pests, a strategy called biocontrol. Researchers caution that hemlocks are far from safe, however, because it is unlikely the beetle alone can defeat the pest. But the news “gives some cause for encouragement,” says Aaron Ellison, an ecologist at the Harvard Forest, who is not involved in the work. …Since the 1980s, however, hemlocks have come under an ever-widening assault from the hemlock woolly adelgid, a tiny insect native to Japan that sucks sugars from hemlock needles, killing trees.

Read More

International Lidar Mapping Forum Announces First Keynote of 2020 Conference Program

By International Lidar Mapping Forum (ILMF)
Yahoo Finance
January 15, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON, DC — The International Lidar Mapping Forum (ILMF) has announced that Tara O’Shea, Director of Forest Programs at Planet, will give a keynote presentation titled Combining Remote Sensing & Analytics Technologies: Emerging Environmental Applications. This highly anticipated keynote, the first of several available to both ILMF and the co-located ASPRS Annual Conference attendees, will kick off three days of conference programming on March 23, 2020, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. During her presentation, Tara will examine the explosion in the availability of remotely sensed data over the past decade and its impact on emerging environmental and climate applications. …Registration for the 20th edition of ILMF, taking place with the ASPRS Annual Conference and the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference, as part of Geo Week 2020, is now open.

Read More

Fires set stage for irreversible forest losses in Australia

By Matthew Brown & Christina Larson
Associated Press in The Helena Independent Record
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Australia’s forests are burning at a rate unmatched in modern times and scientists say the landscape is being permanently altered as a warming climate brings profound changes to the island continent.Heat waves and drought have fueled bigger and more frequent fires in parts of Australia, so far this season torching some 40,000 square miles (104,000 square kilometers), an area about as big as Ohio.With blazes still raging in the country’s southeast, government officials are drawing up plans to reseed burned areas to speed up forest recovery that could otherwise take decades or even centuries. But some scientists and forestry experts doubt that reseeding and other intervention efforts can match the scope of the destruction. The fires since September have killed 28 people and burned more than 2,600 houses.

Read More

‘Big impacts’: Almost half of areas in East Gippsland approved for logging burnt

By Sumeyya Ilanbey
WAtoday
January 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Almost half the areas approved for native logging in East Gippsland have been burnt, with Premier Daniel Andrews bracing for what he says will be a “significant” impact on the forestry industry. The devastation wrought by the recent bushfires came just months after the Labor government announced native logging would be completely banned in 2030, and the cutting of old-growth forest would end immediately. Mr Andrews said 40 per cent of coupes – areas approved for logging – as part of VicForests’ timber release plan in East Gippsland were destroyed by the fires that have so far burnt more than 1.4 million hectares across Victoria. “So there’s going to be a significant impact … there’s going to be big impacts on the forestry industry,” Mr Andrews said on Monday morning. “We’ve said for a while now that the sustainability of this industry could be directly impacted by a significant fire event and that’s exactly what’s happened here.”

Read More

French forest industry not taking advantage of ever-growing forests

By Daniel Eck
Euractiv.com
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The forest continues to expand in France, according to industry figures, but the industry is not making the most of it. The metropolitan forest has gained a lot of ground, with 16.8 million hectares (i.e. 31% of the entire territory), compared to 19% of the country’s land area in 1908. But France’s timber industry wants to get moving. The sector, which represents one of the leading wood resources in Europe, currently presents a fragmented landscape. For example, Germany, which has a smaller forest area, generates three times more jobs. Optimising the wood-energy sector is key for France to attain its objective of becoming carbon neutral in 2050. However, 60% of forests in the country are left unmanaged nowadays. 

Read More

Logging makes forest fires worse: experts

By Dominica Sanda
Yass Tribune
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Allowing logging in national parks would increase the intensity of bushfires by boosting the amount of flammable fuel and creating additional “kindling”, experts have warned. Millions of hectares have been scorched in raging bushfires across Australia since October and scientists claim fires burned at a higher intensity in heavily-logged forests. Australian National University Professor David Lindenmayer says while the main driver of fires is the climate, logging makes forests drier and leaves behind flammable debris on the ground. “Forests that have been logged and regenerated are significantly more likely to burn at higher severity,” he told AAP. “Very substantial areas of forest which were logged in East Gippsland and southeastern NSW have been burnt this summer.” …Recent calls by the forestry industry to selectively log national parks in a bid to reduce the bushfire risk are “lacking science”, Prof Lindenmayer argues. He says the industry proposal would actually make areas more fire-prone.

Read More

Rare tree nurtured in Edinburgh set to save species

Herald Scotland
January 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Martin Gardner and Sadie Barber

For more than 40 years it has stood in splendid isolation, the only species of its type among thousands of others. But now a cutting from a tree cultivated by conservationists in Edinburgh in 1977 could help save a threatened population of its kind 6,000 miles away – near the spot where it was first taken from a native example. Botanists from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh brought samples of the endangered conifer Amentotaxus argotaenia, also known as the catkin yew, back from Hong Kong. Now, after an appeal from botanists in Hong Kong, rooted cuttings propagated from the original tree in Scotland have been flown across the world to help save the region’s now-scarce population.  The Scottish specimens are uniquely suitable to bolster the Hong Kong population as they are an exact genetic match. 

Read More