Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Forestry

Forestry

As Canada’s forests become carbon bombs, Ottawa pushes the crisis off the books

By Barry Saxifrage
The National Observer
March 30, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

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Healthy forests mean healthy people

By David Suzuki
The Georgia Straight
March 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

If you look at a forest top from above or below, you might see a pattern of nicely spaced pathways twisting between the trees. This phenomenon is known as “crown shyness.” Attempts have been made to explain it… Others think it could be natural adaptation to help trees maximize access to resources like light and minimize competition. Despite their crown “social distancing,” many trees communicate with each other through underground fungal networks, or “mycorrhizae”. We can’t live without trees and forests. …Numerous studies illustrate how much forest walks can do for heart and respiratory health, immune system function, and lowering stress levels. …Regardless of whether or not you can get out into nature, it’s important now that we take care of each other and ourselves. Let’s take a lesson from the trees and recognize that we are stronger together.

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Innovations in Silviculture

FPInnovations
March 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Semi-mechanized pre-commercial thinning Pre-commercial thinning (PCT) using brush cutters is demanding and costly, particularly in very high-density stands. Compounded by a labour shortage, the situation calls for a dire need for mechanized PCT. It is in this context that FPInnovations carried out semi-mechanized PCT trials in the summer of 2018 on land managed by Gestion Forestière Lacroix in Gaspésie. A 16-tonne eight-wheeled tracked Ponsse Buffalo forwarder reduced stands’ initial density and cut the cost of final brushing treatment. Trials were conducted in a very dense, young stand (an average of 43,371 stems/ha) of balsam fir and white spruce about two metres tall. The goal was a final density of 2,300 free-growing stems/ha.

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Tune in today to the PLT Canada Green Jobs E-Summit

Project Learning Tree Canada
March 23, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) is excited to be hosting its first-ever Green Jobs E‑Summit today from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. PLT Canada is a Youth Employment and Skills Development program partner and an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Diverse youth from across Canada, along with industry professionals and program partners, will provide resources on how to navigate green career pathways, and the kinds of job opportunities that benefit communities, the economy and the environment. This is an important opportunity for participants to learn about the diversity of careers in the forest sector and the important skills they will need to be successful. All youth who have participated in the organization’s Green Jobs initiatives, or those who are interested in learning more about career pathways in the forest and conservation sector, are invited to join in.

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Tree planting on hold in B.C.’s Interior over pandemic safety concerns

CBC News
March 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The plan for an ambitious reforestation season in B.C.’s Interior is at risk from coronavirus. The province’s chief forester is delaying operations for up to 5,000 tree planters for at least two weeks, until early May. “The COVID-19 pandemic is creating huge uncertainty for everyone involved in making the Interior planting season a success; the situation is fluid and changing every day,” said Diane Nicholls… Now that work is on pause and could affect millions of seedlings and thousands of jobs. It comes in a year that was to be one the largest single planting programs the province has ever conducted, according to the letter from Nicholls. …John Betts, the executive director of the Western Forestry Contractors Association says that tree planting is already underway in coastal regions, and crews there are working under new protocols to keep from spreading the virus. Nicholls says those efforts can continue, but new starts should wait.

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Urgent Adams River restoration work to support salmon run

By Jim Cooperman
Pentiction Western News
March 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Urgent restoration work is underway along the Adams River to benefit the Shuswap’s famous salmon run. In recent years, fast flowing high water levels in the Adams due, in part, to logging in the upper watershed (without tree cover there is more snow and faster run-off), resulted in the depositing of debris that blocked the the river’s habitat-rich side channels within Tsútswecw Provincial Park (formerly Roderick Haig-Brown). Concerned fisheries biologists reported 87 percent of the habitat was cut off and many eggs from the 2019 run were killed. In response, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada gave the matter emergency status, stressing a need to stabilize river flow and reestablish four to six kilometres of spawning grounds. …While restoring habitat is key to salmon survival, many experts remain concerned about the major threats to the species in the ocean, including fish farms, warming temperatures, pollution and overfishing.

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District of Kent gets wildfire defense aid from B.C. government

By Adam Louis
The Agassiz Observer
March 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As spring slowly creeps its way in, summer and wildfire season aren’t too far behind. The B.C. government recently announced officials are providing nearly $9 million to 89 local governments – including the District of Kent – to aid in protecting homes and businesses from the threat of wildfires. Of the $9 million, the district will receive $1,300 from the government to assist with fuel management. This marks the third round of Community Resiliency Investment grants given throughout the province. Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are on the front lines of wildfire prevention, and we removed barriers so our Community Resiliency Investment program met their needs,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests.

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VIDEO: How the community of Wilden is restoring forest health on Kelowna’s hillside

By Jorden Puzzella
Kelowna Now
March 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wilden is a community scattered in nature where residents enjoy the closeness of their homes to natural parkland and forests. …The developer of Wilden recently took preventative measures to protect residents, forestry and the surrounding wildlife by conducting fire mitigation. As this process was underway, they collaborated with RJP Holdings forestry consultant Rick Pasutto, who has over 22 years of experience, to share how forest health in Wilden is restored and protected. The primary objective of most wildfire mitigation is to stop crown fires from moving. “One of the ways we’re doing that is by disconnecting the tops of trees so fire can’t jump from crown to crown to crown,” said Rick. These precautionary measures will reduce the risk of the spread of fire. Rick added that although they could remove another 10 to 20 percent of tops, it would shock the system.

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West Fraser Sawmill sawdust bin project helps utilize all fibre

By Mauro Calabrese, West Fraser Timber
The Williams Lake Tribune
March 22, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nico Ainley

The temporary and permanent curtailments in the forest industry have reduced the supply of residual fibre from sawmills and plywood plants. Until the last couple of years, there was plenty of residual fibre produced from mills for other uses. The residual chips, sawdust, shavings and hog material, in the past were viewed as waste, that a primary facility (like a sawmill) needed to get rid of. That is all changing now and the value of the residual fibre is starting to increase. The shortage of residual fibre has even resulted in the increase in the grinding of logging debris to manufacture these residuals. West Fraser Sawmill in Williams Lake recently finished a project that separates out sawdust from other residual material in the sawmilling process. …This will help make West Fraser Sawmill’s long term viability more certain in uncertain times.

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BC government issues warning for Asian giant hornets in Metro Vancouver

By Kenneth Chan
The Daily Hive
March 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has issued a warning to residents of Metro Vancouver’s southernmost communities to be beware of the Asian giant hornet. Residents along Zero Avenue …are being asked to report sightings of the invasive species, as they could emerge from their nests over the coming weeks and months as the weather becomes progressively warmer. These hornets are hard to miss. …Worker hornets are about 3.5 cm in length, while Queens can be up to 4 cm to 5 cm in length with a wingspan of 4 cm to 7 cm. Moreover, they have distinctively large orange heads with black eyes. Specimens of the Asian giant hornet were found near Blaine, Washington State, and another specimen was discovered in White Rock in November 2019. …these hornets are a major honeybee predator, capable of rapidly destroying entire hives. …Sightings should be reported to Invasive Species Council of BC at 1-888-933-3722 or report online.

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Burls cut off cedars in Ancient Forest Provincial Park east of Prince George

By Mark Nielsen
The Vancouver Sun
March 22, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sean O’Rourke

PRINCE GEORGE — Outdoor enthusiasts are raising alarm bells after discovering burls on about a half dozen cedar trees in Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Wudujut Provincial Park have been cut off, exposing the long-lived trees to potentially fatal disease. Sean O’Rourke came across the damage a bit more than two weeks ago when he set out on his snowshoes to check out the “crown jewel” of Ancient Forest Provincial Park. …Greed was the motivation for the acts in O’Rourke’s opinion. …Even the unprocessed burls can go for more than $100.  However, the real cost could be the life of the tree. Portions of the trees’ bark were removed, leaving an unsightly scar and exposing the inner trunk to fungi and pests.

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Quesnel working on forest diversity

by Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
March 22, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Quesnel has been making the news lately about taking seriously the need to diversify and develop business to compliment the dimension lumber and pulp industry, which has been a major employer in the city.  In 2018, the city council, led by Mayor Bob Simpson, promoted the idea of the Forest Innovation Centre.  The $160,000 centre, located on the second floor of City Hall, was officially opened in the fall of 2019, at which time staff involved with the centre were introduced. Forestry Initiatives Manager Erin Robinson and Forestry Initiatives Co-ordinator Lacy Scuff will be responsible for the operation of the new facility.  While it includes offices and research space, the centre also showcases different wood products from the local area, as well as some new innovative ideas about the future of forestry.

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Forestry sector holds promise for Indigenous communities

By Joseph Quesnel
The Winnipeg Free Press
March 23, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

MANITOBA — When you think of Indigenous engagement in the natural resource economy, you usually think of opportunities in the oil and gas industry. However, First Nations are increasingly getting involved in commercial forestry. Certain provinces, including Manitoba, have a sizable forest industry that plays a substantial role in the economy. In March 2019, the province signed a two-year forestry management option licence with four First Nations on the east side of Lake Winnipeg to examine the possibility of setting up Indigenous-led commercial forestry operations. …With the right policy mix and increased access to capital, more Indigenous access to the forest economy could greatly enhance Indigenous economic independence. …Indigenous communities — given their proximity to wooded areas — are uniquely situated to take advantage of commercial opportunities in the forest economy.

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COVID-19 and pulp mill closure a ‘perfect storm’ for Nova Scotia’s forestry sector

The Canadian Press in The Toronto Star
March 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX—The global COVID-19 pandemic is being described as the latest addition to the “perfect storm” facing Nova Scotia’s beleaguered sawmill industry, leading some companies to cease purchasing fresh supplies of logs.  Robin Wilber, the spokesperson for the Wood Products Manufacturers Association in Nova Scotia, says the recent mothballing of the Northern Pulp factory is combining with the challenges of depressed prices for some forestry products due to the global pandemic.  The owner of Elmsdale Lumber says he and some other sawmills in the province will stop buying new supplies of logs as of Friday, and instead use existing inventories of logs on their property as the COVID-19 crisis works its way through the global economy.   Wilber says the pandemic has intensified a crisis the industry was already going through in the Maritimes after the closure of the subsidiary of Paper Excellence in Pictou County.

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2020 Interior Spring Planting and Covid-19

By Diane Nicholls, Chief Forester, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
March 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

 2020 represents the single largest planting program the province has ever managed. This year’s planting program is estimated at 308 million trees in response to legal reforestation obligations, the 2017 and 2018 wildfires and the strategic use of reforestation to mitigate climate change. …One of the main concerns for all parties is that the reforestation season proceeds successfully by implementing all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of workers and the communities they work in. As Chief Forester for the Province of BC and with the support of BCTS and the WFCA, I am recommending that any planting not yet initiated, be deferred until the beginning of May to provide additional time to allow the preparation of a proper response to the COVID-19 pandemic I recognize that some planting is already under way, and my expectation is that these contractors continue so long as they follow the current Health and Safety requirements to help contain spread of the virus. 

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Forest Service says none of their firefighters have confirmed cases of COVID-19

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
March 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service said the agency is not aware of any of their firefighters that have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Kaari  Carpenter, a Lead Public Affairs Specialist, said crews are still responding to wildfires “within appropriate risk management strategies, current guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, and local health and safety guidelines.” She said none of their fire crews have been quarantined due to the pandemic. It remains to be seen how wildland fire management will modify their procedures on small and large fires, including operational period briefings for large numbers of firefighters — as seen in the photo above. [END]

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These national and state parks are closed amid coronavirus outbreak

By Nicquel Terry Ellis
USA Today
March 23, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

UNITED STATES — As the nation makes drastic changes to everyday life to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many national and state parks are closing to the public. The closures come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain social distancing guidelines and a growing number of states impose shutdowns of nonessential businesses. The National Park Service has closed at least a dozen park sites and modified operations at many others. Modifications include closing restrooms and visitor centers or allowing only hiking areas and trails to remain open. …National and state parks that have closed because of the pandemic are listed here.

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Congress considers additional Forest Service funding for COVID-19 pandemic

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
March 23, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A bill introduced in the Senate to help Americans and businesses deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic contained language to beef up the budget of the U.S. Forest Service (FS), but it failed to pass. The $1.8 trillion bill included $71 million… for the FS to address the crisis. The funds were intended for personal protective equipment, health testing for first responders, … to be “allocated at the discretion of the Chief of the Forest Service”, to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” …Since firefighters assembling in groups to suppress a fire can put them at risk of spreading COVID-19, we need to rethink our tactics. This could include making far greater use of aerial firefighting. …Safely fighting a wildfire during a pandemic this year and possibly next, is going to incredibly difficult. I am not sure if it can be done safely even if everyone involved has been tested for the virus

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Why we’re challenging the BLM

By Mike Garrity, ED, Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Billings Gazette
March 29, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The 300,000-acre Elkhorn Mountains are state and federally designated to be managed to prioritize benefits to wildlife above all other uses. Yet the Bureau of Land Management’s Iron Mask Project, which is in the Elkhorn Area of Critical Environmental Concern, authorizes cutting and burning juniper trees and limber pine on 5,397 acres to benefit cattle, not wildlife. The Iron Mask area was acquired by the BLM using funding intended for purchasing critical wildlife habitat. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council challenged the Iron Mask native habitat destruction project in 2018.  The federal court agreed and halted the project last year because the BLM’s analysis was limited to the theoretical positive effects but did not analyze the overwhelming negative effects of burning sagebrush-juniper habitat on wildlife. 

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Judge rules in favor of environmental groups on Hebgen-area logging project

By Brett French
Billings Gazette
March 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In an ongoing court battle, a federal judge has ruled that the Custer Gallatin National Forest failed to properly analyze the impacts on elk hiding cover and wolverines created by a 5,600-acre logging project near Yellowstone National Park’s western border. In an order dated March 26, U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen said the Forest Service violated federal regulations but has until April 8 to submit arguments regarding the appropriate remedy. Christensen halted the same project in 2017 following the same lawsuit’s issues regarding the logging’s impact on Canada lynx.   The groups that sued the Forest Service are the Native Ecosystems Council and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  …Jason Brey, Hebgen District Ranger, couldn’t comment on the litigation but said he remains hopeful the Forest Service can soon move ahead on work to protect homes in the area from a potential wildland fire.

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$2M gift boosts Missoula’s National Forest Service history museum

By Kim Briggeman
The Missoulian
March 27, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bill Cannon

In the midst of a lot of bad news, here’s a nice change of pace: A former forester and forest conservation advocate from Oregon has bequeathed roughly $2 million to shine a light at the end of a long tunnel to an elusive National Conservation Legacy Center in Missoula. Bill Cannon became enamored with the National Museum of Forest Service History after visiting the site west of the Missoula airport and smokejumper center 20 years ago — five years before the capital campaign for the center began but years after the dream of it was hatched. Cannon died peacefully last Nov. 11 at his home in Hood River at age 86. He left behind the national museum’s largest single donation to date.  “It’s always been a dream, but we’ve had lots of ups and downs,” Tom Thompson, president of the National Museum of Forest Service History, said Wednesday from his home in Littleton, Colorado. 

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Arizona forest officials seek comment on restoration project

Arizona Daily Independent
March 29, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Kaibab National Forest is seeking public comment on a proposed vegetation management project on the North Kaibab Ranger District that would improve forest health and vigor while also enhancing habitat conditions in the area.  The Burnt Corral Vegetation Management Project Environmental Assessment and all other project documents and maps are available for review on the Kaibab National Forest website. The project includes treatments designed to improve forest resiliency by creating conditions better able to withstand climate change and other threats such as unnaturally severe wildfire.  The project proposes the use of prescribed fire as well as the management of naturally-caused wildfire on up to 28,090 acres of the North Kaibab Ranger District. This reintroduction of wildland fire across the landscape would be supported by up to 17,765 acres of commercial and non-commercial mechanical vegetation treatments.

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Forest management misrepresented and misunderstood

By Amanda Astor, field forester, American Forest Resource Council
Oregon Mail Tribune
March 29, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Amanda Astor

The Mail Tribune recently published a series of letters as part of a campaign against the Bureau of Land Management’s Bear Grub Vegetation Management Project. From my experience as an active public lands collaborator, grounded forester, wildland firefighter… I believe these attacks lack context and aim to induce fear. First, it’s important to note the lands within the BLM’s Bear Grub project area are at extremely high risk of catastrophic fire that, if left untreated, could leave Ruch, Jacksonville and surrounding communities vulnerable to the kind of devastation we witnessed in Paradise, California. With overly dense forests and a lack of management on these federal lands, this area is a tinder box waiting for a perfectly timed spark. The selection harvest management strategy identified in the BLM’s Resource Management Plan that was proposed in the scoping letter for this project is widely utilized to develop fire resilience across landscapes.

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38th annual forestry contest for students canceled

By Robbie Johnson, Idaho Dept of Lands
My Magic Valley
March 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The 2020 Idaho State Forestry Contest is canceled due to concerns about COVID-19. The annual contest introduces students in grades 5 through 12 to basic forestry and resource management skills. More than 250 volunteers donated their time to help run the contest in past years and a record 700 students from around the state participated in 2019. The contest… is sponsored by the Idaho Department of Lands, Bonner Soil and Water Conservation District, U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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Weyerhaeuser completes sale of Montana timberlands

By Weyerhaeuser Company
Cision Newswire
March 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Weyerhaeuser announced the completion of the sale of its 630,000 acres of Montana timberlands to Southern Pine Plantations for approximately $145 million in cash. The company anticipates it will incur minimal tax liability in conjunction with the sale. “The sale of our Montana timberlands is part of our ongoing effort to strategically optimize our timberland portfolio,” said Devin W. Stockfish, president and chief executive officer of Weyerhaeuser. …The transaction was announced in December 2019, and the company’s three manufacturing facilities in Montana are not affected by this sale.

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How the coronavirus pandemic is crippling California’s efforts to prevent catastrophic wildfires

By Kurtis Alexander
San Francisco Chronicle in the Daily Republic
March 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s ability to prepare for a dry and potentially dangerous fire season this year is being crippled as the coronavirus pandemic prompts fire agencies across the West to cancel or delay programs aimed at preventing catastrophic wildfire. …state and federal fire forces are trying to move forward within new social distancing guidelines, as well as with potentially sick employees, but that’s making their work harder and sometimes impossible to do. The U.S. Forest Service…announced last week that it was suspending all prescribed burns, one of the most effective tools for increasing California’s resiliency to fire. The state’s Cal Fire agency, meanwhile, says it won’t halt its vegetation management activities — at least at this point… In response to the pandemic, the U.S. Forest Service has also called off in-person fire training through at least April 3 and canceled meetings where planning and risk assessment is done for fire season.

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Oregon Department of Forestry invites public comment on state forest management activities

Herald and News
March 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon Department of Forestry is inviting public comment on planned projects, timber sales and other management activities in state-owned forests in fiscal year 2021, according to a news release. Now through May 6, Oregonians can weigh in on draft Annual Operations Plans for state forests, which lay out on-the-ground activities expected to take place in the coming fiscal year. State forests by law must provide economic, environmental and social benefits to Oregonians. To achieve the legal mandate, these lands are managed to create healthy productive forests, high-quality habitat for native fish and wildlife, clean water, benefits and revenues to rural communities and timber-related economies, as well as recreation and educational opportunities.

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Timber harvesting results in persistent deficits in summer streamflow

By Steve Lundeberg
Tillamook Headlight Herald
March 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Summer streamflow in industrial tree plantations harvested on 40- to 50-year rotations was 50% lower than in century-old forests, data from the long-term Alsea Watershed Study in the Oregon Coast Range showed. The research, led by Oregon State University’s Catalina Segura, is an important step toward understanding how intensively managed plantations might influence water supplies originating in forests and downstream aquatic ecosystems, especially as the planet becomes warmer and drier. “Industrial plantation forestry is expanding around the globe and that’s raising concerns about the long-term effects the plantations might be having on water, especially in dry years,” Segura said. Findings were published in the Journal of Hydrology.

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Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Plan has no accountability

By Brett Haverstick – Friends of the Clearwater
The Missoulian
March 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Brett Haverstick

The U.S. Forest Service is currently accepting public comments on the draft environmental impact statement for the forest plan revision on the Nez Perce and Clearwater national forests. The comment deadline is April 20. …The new, single plan for the Nez Perce and Clearwater national forests will potentially guide management for the next few decades. …The Clearwater Basin of North Central Idaho is the northern half of the Big Wild, which is the largest undeveloped watershed complex left in the Lower 48. …The Forest Service is, unfortunately, seeking to exponentially increase logging on the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests in the new plan. …The new draft plan grossly lacks measurable standards. …Eliminating quantitative standards in a forest plan aptly facilitates an increase in logging. …Friends of the Clearwater submitted a Citizen Alternative that the Forest Service has, yet, to analyze in the revision.

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Shasta College dean receives logging conference award

Red Bluff Daily News
March 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Susan Wyche, dean at Shasta College, “piloted” an innovative initiative that launched the Heavy Equipment Logging Certificate program with a grant worth $3.2 million. In recognition of her outstanding assistance to the Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference, Wyche was presented Feb. 6 with the Roy Derek Berridge Award. Delbert Gannon, first vice president of SCLC, and president of Creekside Logging, presented Wyche with the award during the 2020 Sierra Cascade Logging Expo. “Were it not for the open mind, the gift of language, forward-thinking and the ability to harness all of these talents, the logging program could not have taken flight,” said Gannon.

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Women in Timber: Women find acceptance, joy in jobs once reserved for men

By Carisa Cegavske
The News-Review Today
March 22, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sara Phipps, Anne Marie Parkhurst and Whitney Henneman

Silver Butte Timber Co. forester Whitney Henneman jokes she’s got pitch in her veins. She’s a third generation forester whose mother and father were both foresters, too. Even so, as a kid Henneman didn’t expect it to become her profession. “I always grew up saying I would never become a forester,” she said. But that changed, and today Henneman is one of a growing number of women who are filling roles in the timber industry once reserved largely for men. She not only works in the industry, but actively works to promote it as part of the organization Women in Timber. Women in Timber supports timber educational efforts, from teaching kids about tree planting to sharing information about forest management and laws governing the timber industry. Henneman said the group’s goal is to share accurate information about the timber industry and its importance for the whole community.

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How the Coronavirus Crisis May Hinder Efforts to Fight Wildfires

By Kendra Pierre-Louis
The New York Times
March 20, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In San Jose, Calif., just under 10 percent of the city’s firefighters, some of whom also help battle the state’s wildfires, this week found themselves either infected with the coronavirus or in quarantine. And firefighters across the country, in states including Georgia, Indiana and Washington, are under quarantine amid the coronavirus crisis. …Much of the Western United States remains under drought conditions as fire season, which typically ramps up in mid-May and lasts through November, approaches. …Firefighters are finding themselves squeezed from both sides: their close living and working conditions often allow for viruses to spread, but if they are subject to a quarantine, they are not available for emergency calls.

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Sustainable Forestry Initiative collaborating with women changing the face of forestland ownership

By Janet W. Steele, Clemson University
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
March 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Clemson Cooperative Extension is collaborating with other agencies, organizations, and female‑owned natural resource management companies to host workshops to provide information to South Carolina’s women forest landowners. The workshops are based on the successful Women Owning Woodlands (WOW) program. The workshops address the information needs of female forest owners and support women in forest leadership roles. It is a collaborative project of the National Woodland Owners Association and the US Forest Service and supported by a Sustainable Forestry Initiative Community Grant. The project also leverages the expertise of the South Carolina SFI Implementation Committees to enrich the link between people and forests and engage female landowners.

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New Book Tackles Lumber Cruising

Adirondack Almanack
March 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Prolific Adirondack researcher and writer William J. O’Hern’s new book Adirondack Timber Cruising takes the reader on a journey through the development of timber cruising, logging, and forestry and our relationship to forests. O’Hern’s book overflows with compelling stories about the everyday — but by no means ordinary — people who lived and worked in the timber woods before chainsaws and trucks, and illustrates the changes wrought by mechanization. Memories of both famous and nameless loggers and others who worked in the lumber camps and towns populate the pages. It includes hundreds of vintage black and white photographs accompanying the stories.

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Fires Where They Are ‘Not Supposed To Happen’ In Australia’s Ancient Rainforest

By Nathan Rott
National Public Radio
March 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Mark Graham

Nestled in the mountains of eastern Australia are fragments of an ancient world. Damp, dark and lush, they are some of the oldest ecosystems on Earth: temperate rainforests that have persisted since the days of supercontinents and dinosaurs.  The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia — and the hundreds of rare species that call them home — are the ultimate survivors, clinging to wet, wild patches of a continent that’s increasingly developed and dry.  But even these forests could not escape the country’s unprecedented fire season unscathed.  Standing barefoot in a shallow stream in Australia’s New England National Park, ecologist Mark Graham reaches down and grabs a charred piece of wood that’s washed up on a rocky bank. …”These are the deepest, wettest parts of the whole landscape, pure rainforest,” he says. “To see them burning… it was like this dissolution of the biosphere. It was like, ‘this is not supposed to happen.'”

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Brazil lost 7.6 percent of its forests from 2000 to 2018

By Victor Abdala
Agencia Brasil
March 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Brazil’s government statistics agency IBGE published a study showing that the country lost 7.6 percent of its forest vegetation from 2000 to 2018. The area, 4.02 million km² (42.2 percent of the national territory) in 2000, shrank to 3.71 million km² (42.4%), as seen in the latest survey. In other Brazilian biomes—like the cerrado, the caatinga, and the pampas—losses were even more significant, totaling more than ten percent in the same time span. However, in the two last years of the survey—2016 through 2018—smaller losses were observed in both forested areas (-0.2%) and other biomes (-0.7%). The survey also found that the areas dedicated to farming grew 44.8 percent from 2000 to 2018, to 664.8 thousand km²—7.6 percent of the national territory.

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Indonesia ends timber legality rule, stoking fears of illegal logging boom

By Hans Nicholas Jong
Mongabay.com
March 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s trade ministry has scrapped a requirement for wood exporters to obtain licenses verifying their wood comes from legal and sustainably managed sources. The SVLK verification system took a decade to develop and implement and has been accepted by some of the most stringent market regulators for timber legality, including the EU. Scrapping the licensing requirement constitutes a major setback for Indonesia’s timber industry and could open the door to more illegal logging, experts warn. The forestry ministry, which oversees the logging industry and the SVLK system, was not consulted about the trade ministry’s decision, and says it will ask for the new rule to be revised.

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Coronavirus poses lethal threat to great apes, experts warn

By Damian Carrington
The Guardian
March 24, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The coronavirus pandemic could wipe out populations of chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, leading scientists have warned. Our closest living relatives, which share about 98% of human DNA, are known to be susceptible to catching respiratory diseases from people. Even pathogens producing mild symptoms in humans have been lethal to great apes in the past. The fact that Covid-19 is fatal for some humans leads experts to fear it could potentially prove devastating to great apes. No great apes have yet been reported to have contracted Covid-19, so the true impact is unknown. But many great apes are already at risk of extinction due to forest destruction and poaching, so the researchers say closing national parks, reserves and zoos must be seriously considered. National parks in Congo and Rwanda have already shut to tourists and researchers, but the decision is not an easy one. Without a human presence, the risk of poaching rises.

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Public urged not to visit nation’s woods and forests in coronavirus fight

By the Press Association
The Western Telegraph
March 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

UK — People are being urged not to visit the nation’s woods and forests, as the lockdown to tackle the coronavirus pandemic takes hold. Forestry England… issued a statement urging people to heed the Government’s advice to stay at home to save lives. …Forestry and Land Scotland also urged people to make their walk or cycle a local one, saying; “Do not get into your car to travel to one of the woods we manage.” Director-General Hilary McGrady said: “Following the scenes we saw at the weekend, where visitors travelled to coast and countryside, it is really important that we do all we can to discourage travel, and ask people instead to stay local and observe social distancing as guided by the government.

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‘The forest is now terribly silent’: land set aside for threatened species entirely burnt out

By Adam Morton
The Guardian
March 21, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New photos showing the devastating impact of bushfire in east Gippsland forests are sparking renewed calls for the Victorian government to rethink its approach to logging and bring forward the promised 2030 phase-out of the native timber industry.  A series of before-and-after pictures by the photographer Rob Blakers show the impact of last summer’s fires on the slopes of Mount Kuark, known as one of the few places in Australia where cool and warm temperate rainforests grow together.  All shots were taken within a 48,500-hectare area that the premier, Daniel Andrews, announced in November would be immediately exempt from logging to protect the greater glider and other threatened species.  The Goongerah Environment Centre, a local conservation group, said all of Mount Kuark and more than 90% of the newly protected area in Gippsland had been razed.

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