Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Forestry

Forestry

Reinforcement geosynthetics: A solution to weak unpaved roads

FPInnovations Blog
July 31, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Roads built over weak soils reduce allowable truck payloads, inhibit vehicle traction, pose a safety hazard, and lead to higher road maintenance costs over time. Critically weak road sections also reduce transportation efficiency thus limiting access to fibre. To address this challenge, FPInnovations published the Geosynthetics Design Guide: Reinforcement Solutions for Unpaved Roads to provide users with a tool to guide them in the design of geosynthetic reinforced unpaved roads. Geosynthetics are a proven solution for mechanically improving the performance of critically weak soils by providing confinement, drainage, separation, wicking, and filtration. They have been used in the forest and mining industries as well as civil engineering projects.

Read More

Private forest land improvement ideas shared

By Jim Hilton
BC Local News
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest land often needs some human intervention to maximize a range of forest values. I was recently invited to see some examples of forest stand improvement projects on private land near Rose Lake. After many years working in the forest industry, Rick McLeod has been doing some thinning and pruning trials on his spruce and pine stands. He was thinking about fertilization options and was looking for some advice about how it might improve the stand yield. During my visit I admitted not having much experience with fertilization of pine stands but a few days later I was able to find a good resource about some work done near his place. An article by R.P. Brockley about thinning and fertilization on the growth and development of young lodgepole pine showed tree radial growth increased with thinning intensity, whereas per-hectare growth was greatest at the highest stand density.

Read More

Cutting permit threatens caribou

Letter by Bill Bryce
BC Local News
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mountain caribou is an iconic large mammal that is seriously threatened with extinction in Southern BC. The southernmost herds of the Selkirks and Purcells have already disappeared and an area of winter habitat for a small remnant herd at the north end of Kootenay Lake is threatened by logging. Cooper Creek Cedar is applying for a permit on the Argenta-Johnsons Landing Face, an area where this shrinking herd is known to forage. With the extirpation of these large mammals through habitat loss, it is incumbent upon our governments to move with extreme caution when considering whether or not to proceed with resource extraction. The loss of these animals through destruction of their habitat simply to extract a short-term economic gain would be sad commentary on our priorities. Why are we standing by as government after government leaves the problem of vanishing species to the future? If not now, when?

Read More

1992 study reveals recreation, ecology, viewscapes trump logging in municipal forest reserve

Letter by Larry Pynn
Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Almost three decades ago, North Cowichan’s Forest Advisory Committee retained a consultant to review municipal logging on Maple Mountain and to ask people and organizations to fill out a questionnaire on what they value in our forests. … The questionnaire was sent to “government agencies responsible for resource management,” forest companies operating in the municipality, resource groups using the area, water licensees, and individuals who expressed interest. … Respondents “identified the highest resource values as aesthetics, hiking and other recreational activities (and) indicated the Forest Reserve must be viewed as providing many resource values besides those associated with timber harvesting.” … The municipality has currently suspended public consultations on the future of the forest reserve for 60 days. It’s a good time for the public — and council — to reflect on what we really value … and to put the lie to claims that continued logging is the highest and best use of our forests.

Read More

Paul George named to the Order of British Columbia

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul George

Paul George of Gibsons is among the 13 people named this week to the Order of British Columbia. …The official bio supplied by the province notes that over the past 40 years George has “helped to steward a contemporary view of B.C. beyond a province of just resource extraction with the creation of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee.” …George and friends founded the Western Canada Wilderness Com-mittee, now known as the Wilderness Committee, in 1980 and in the years that followed helped found North America’s first Green Party, the Green Party of B.C., and led dozens of campaigns for wilderness protection. The official bio calls George “an inspirational leader [who] came up with ideas for unique campaigns, tactics and strategies that no other environmental group had used.” …He said that he’d like to see the government acting now to protect areas like Vancouver Island’s old growth stands and Mount Elphinstone.

Read More

First Nations work together to increase wood-fibre use

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A $1-million grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. will increase use of waste wood fibre, bring more wood products to market and support forestry jobs in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. is a joint venture company owned by the Tŝideldel First Nation (Alexis Creek First Nation) and the Tl’etinqox government (Anaham First Nation). The first phase of this project began in early 2017, when a $3.4-million grant from FESBC allowed the company to reduce wildfire risks and rehabilitate forests impacted by mountain pine beetles west of the Anaham community. The $1-million grant that FESBC provided in 2019 funds the second part of the project. Beginning in September 2019, it focuses on recovering and using at least 200,000 cubic metres of waste wood fibre that accumulated during the first phase of the project. 

Read More

Environment minister says he shares concerns of B.C. hunger strikers

By Carl Meyer
National Observer
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two people are on a hunger strike on Vancouver Island, demanding an end to logging of old-growth forests in B.C., and Canada’s federal environment minister says he shares their concerns over biodiversity loss. During a media teleconference Tuesday, National Observer asked federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson about James Darling and Robert Fuller, who are on their ninth day of no food, protesting in front of the office of Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley. Darling and Fuller, who are representing Extinction Rebellion, have written a letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan saying they won’t eat until he implements a ban on old-growth logging. …“In general, I feel that politicians are really good at saying the right things and expressing their concerns for the environment, and saying they want to protect species. But we’re living, globally, in a mass extinction event that’s driven by human activity,” Darling said.

Read More

Save the last of B.C.’s endangered forests

Letter by Paula Foot
Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to the respected Sierra Club, very few old-growth forests are still standing across the province — and most of them are slated to be logged. …the daily area of 500 soccer fields of old growth forest is being clearcut in B.C. These forests support our health and wellbeing, are critical for endangered species and salmon habitat, provide essential carbon storage, support jobs in tourism, and help defend our communities from flooding and other worsening impacts of climate change. The last of these highly endangered, globally rare ecosystems are being logged to the brink and unless concerned citizens write to our government about it, the last giant trees will vanish. …please write and request the support of legislature, starting with John Horgan and Sonia Furstenau… I am calling on all who care about the future of our planet and our families to act now before it is too late to save the last of B.C.’s endangered forests.

Read More

Thompson Rivers University funded for wildfire research chair position

The North Thompson Star/Journal
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

Thompson Rivers University has been granted a new research chair position to examine the impact of wildfires in British Columbia. Through a $5 million provincially funded endowment, the new B.C. research chair in predictive services, emergency management and fire science is expected to help the province forecast, prevent and respond to wildfires. The chair will head a team, lead research, direct and supervise graduate students and work with researchers at TRU and other universities. The chair’s research will support wildfire data modelling and help explore the relationship between climate change and its effect on wildfire risk. TRU president Brett Fairbairn said… “This research chair is going to help chart a new course for wildfire protection and response in British Columbia”. …Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson said the research will help provide more information about the changing nature of wildfires.

Read More

Program offers young people work experience with BC Parks, Conservation Officer Service

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Young people interested in environmental management and conservation will have opportunities to gain experience, skills and training through a new government program that offers employment with BC Parks and the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS). “These new positions give young people an opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience in the natural environment protection sector and reflect our commitment to an inclusive and diverse workforce,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Creating job opportunities… for young British Columbians, whose jobs have been hardest hit by COVID-19. We all benefit from enhancements to BC Parks and stewardship of our natural environment.” The $1.8-million Youth Employment Program (YEP) offers employment opportunities for young people through the fall and winter months. …The duties will range from public outreach and education, facility and trail maintenance, to invasive species removal and supporting conservation and recreation projects.

Read More

Starving for Old Growth Forests

By Natasha Simpson
The Tyee
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On July 27, James Darling and Robert Fuller stopped eating. Equipped with signs and lawn chairs, they set up camp in front of the office of Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MLA for Nanaimo. In a letter to Premier John Horgan and all MLAs, the two men said they were launching a hunger strike until the government ended old growth logging in B.C. …A hunger strike is “an extreme thing to do,” Darling told The Tyee. “But at this point in history, I think this sort of thing is absolutely necessary.” The NDP government isn’t taking current climate and ecological issues seriously, Darling says. “It seems incredibly shortsighted and stupid to be cutting and wiping out these rare ecosystems that are still intact.”

Read More

Province announces $3.8M for renewal at the Hinton Training Centre

RDNnewsnow.com
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Work will commence shortly on $3.8 million in updates to maintain the Hinton Training Centre, the provincial government announced on Tuesday.  This world-class facility develops and delivers technical and safety training programs for forest and wildfire management, providing services to more than 10,000 clients each year.  The province says the funding announced Tuesday will allow for interior updates in the Mountainview and Valleyview residences to support a better learning environment and experience at the centre.  “Alberta’s government is spending about $8.6 million on four Hinton infrastructure maintenance projects,” Premier Jason Kenney noted in a release. “This is part of an almost $2 billion investment into capital maintenance and renewal projects throughout the province that can be actioned quickly so we can keep companies operating and Albertans working.”

Read More

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

By Tom Fletcher
Aldergrove Star
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson has had an independent report on old-growth forest preservation on his desk since May, but it will be some time before it is released and longer before any of its recommendations are acted upon.  Donaldson appointed two experts to conduct the “strategic review” in October, with the forest industry struggling with poor economic conditions, the B.C. government’s latest logging restrictions and continued protests calling for a moratorium on old growth logging.  Questioned on his ministry’s $489 million budget at the B.C. legislature, Donaldson said the report is expected to be released soon, but that will be followed by engagement on the recommendations. …Donaldson made a couple of things clear in his answers to B.C. Liberal MLA John Rustad. He isn’t considering any change to the province’s definition of old growth forest, or a moratorium on old-growth logging for an industry that has seen steady increase in protected areas and restrictions on the Crown land base.

Read More

Government of Canada protecting species-at-risk habitat in British Columbia

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – Protecting nature is an essential part of addressing biodiversity loss and fighting climate change. …Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the Government of Canada has invested $2 million over four years in Kootenay Connect—a program that aims to help protect and restore species-at-risk habitat and ecological connectivity in four biodiversity hotspots in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. This funding, provided through the Nature Legacy’s Canada Nature Fund, enables partners to advance the protection of habitat vital to the survival of iconic Canadian species. Kootenay Connect focuses on the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor, Creston Valley, Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor, and the Columbia Valley Wetlands and will help to conserve important habitat for 28 species at risk including grizzly bears, northern leopard frogs, western screech-owls, American badgers, Lewis’s woodpeckers, little brown myotis (bats), and many other important species.

Read More

Methods to maximize the use of forest residual material

by Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester
BC Local News
July 31, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the impacts of beetles and wildfires all options should be considered to make up for the timber shortfalls. Considerable research has been done on the restoration of B.C. logging roads, skid trails and landings which are often compacted by harvesting activities.  “In the Interior of British Columbia, log landings typically occupy about three per cent of the harvested area in the working forest (Thompson and Osberg 1992). If landing rehabilitation could be successfully conducted on all soil and slope conditions, it may be feasible to return as much as two-thirds of the landing areas to productive forest, and thereby increase the amount of forest land available for growing trees. Corresponding gains (up to two per cent) in the Long Run Sustainable Yield and Allowable Annual Cut could also be realized.”

Read More

Staying the course: US Forest Service 2019 Termiticide Report

By Dr. Thomas Shelton, Dr. Juliet Tang, Donald Fye and Dr. Mark Mankowski
Pest Management Professional magazine
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (USFS) termiticide testing program provides updated data on standardized field studies performed with candidate termiticide products collected over the previous year. What follows is a formal summary of the data collected during the 2019 field season. In this report, the USFS publicly provides only data on those products that have obtained federal registration. …these studies provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the field data to support or refuse federal registration of candidate termiticide products. …Our policy has been to not report on any products that do not obtain federal registration; due either to withdrawal or a product’s failure to meet the EPA’s performance standards. …It is hoped that this information enables people to make informed decisions concerning the protection of the wood framing in their homes and other structures from termite damage. 

Read More

Can Oregon’s timber Industry make a comeback?

By Christopher Booker, Sam Weber & Connie Kargbo
PBS Newshour
August 2, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

In 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to revitalize many of the country’s most iconic blue collar industries. In Oregon, where the timber industry has lost tens of thousands of jobs over the past few decades, candidate Trump promised those jobs would come back. Newshour Weekend’s Christopher Booker set out to Oregon to learn about the state’s historic timber industry, and how, if it all, the fortunes of those who work in it have changed.  …As Donald Trump campaigned throughout america in the run-up to the 2016 election, he pledged to revitalize some of the country’s most iconic blue collar industries. From coast to coast, then-candidate Trump told audiences that their jobs were coming back, including those who worked in Oregon’s timber industry.

Read More

US officials seek limits on “habitat” for imperiled species

By Matthew Brown
The Associated Press in the Washington Post
July 31, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

BILLINGS, Montana — The Trump administration is moving to restrict what land and water areas can be declared as “habitat” for imperiled plants and animals — potentially excluding locations that species could use in the future as climate change upends ecosystems. An administration proposal released Friday would for the first time define “habitat” for purposes of enforcing the Endangered Species Act, the landmark law that has dictated species protections efforts in the U.S. since 1973. A final decision is expected by year’s end, with broad implications for how lands are managed and how far the government must go in protecting plants and animals that could be sliding toward extinction. Democratic lawmakers and wildlife advocates said the proposal ignores shifting threats to wildlife and plants due to climate change and habitat loss. …Legal observers said the definition of habitat would limit what areas the government can designate as critical to a species’ survival.

Read More

Foresters Could Lead on Carbon Drawdown

By Margaret Morales
The Sightline Institute
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sarah Deumling

The temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest are the Olympic athletes of the carbon world. They can store more carbon, acre for acre, than nearly any ecosystem on earth. A single acre of old growth in the Oregon or Washington Cascades holds the equivalent of a year’s worth of emissions from 250 cars. But most standard, plantation-style commercial forests in the region perform like once-premier athletes sidelined by injury: they hold less than a third the carbon of old-growth stands. In the face of mounting pressure to reduce emissions, this shortfall offers an opportunity. Sarah Deumling is one of a handful of foresters in the region harnessing more of the carbon drawdown potential of their land, modeling forestry for a rapidly warming world. … Deumling’s unconventional training may be the reason [her land] looks nothing like a typical logging operation, with a mix of tree species and ages, and an absence of clear cuts. 

Read More

In California, forest fires spark a babel of birdsong, study shows

By Jennifer Ann Thomas
Mongabay.com
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In the bird world, singing is the way to win a partner or scare off a rival. Whether in love or in war, these sounds convey important messages for a species’ survival. In California, a group of researchers from the Department of Fish and Wildlife recorded the songs of the species known as the hermit warbler (Setophaga occidentalis) and created the first descriptions and mapping of sounds. …With data collected since 2009, the American researchers found that the diversity of sounds increased in areas that had been affected by forest fires. The results showed that three factors impacted the songs: the fires; the massive effect of bird dispersion, which makes room for individuals from other groups to insert their dialects; and the time interval. …The researchers said the hermit warbler seems to be especially sensitive to fire during shorter periods of time. 

Read More

Forestry plan could allow extensive logging in Nooksack watershed

By Tim Johnson
Cascadia Weekly
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The upper Nooksack is a rugged, forested landscape that carries glacial melt and rainfall to feed more than 1,400 stream and river miles that comprise a vast watershed. Most of the upper watershed is under federal control, and in recent years was spared the wrost ravages of commercial forestry. Until now.  In a reversal of ecological policy that’s become common in the Trump administration, the U.S. Forest Service has apparently scrapped its integrated conservation and enhancement plan (NICE) for the upper reaches of the Nooksack River and proposes instead a more extensive logging plan for the North Fork and its tributaries.  …If approved, the project would allow commercial logging of nearly three square miles of forest habitat, with selective thinning on an additional 2,000 acres.

Read More

Injunction warranted in California roadside salvage logging

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
August 3, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An environmental group should have won an injunction against a 4,700-acre roadside salvage logging project in California’s Mendocino National Forest, a federal appeals court has ruled.  In 2018, roughly 300,000 acres of the national forest were burned in the Ranch Fire, which led the Forest Service to authorize a hazard tree removal project.  Trees within 200 feet of roadways that are 50% or more likely to die can be logged under the project, which was challenged by the Environmental Protection Information Center last year.  A federal judge rejected the environmental group’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking the project, but a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has now ruled 2-1 that such an order is warranted.  The Forest Service had decided the project was exempt from a detailed environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act under a “categorical exclusion” for road repair and maintenance.

Read More

Judge Halts Montana Logging Project Pending Lawsuit

Associated Press in Montana Public Radio
August 3, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal judge has blocked a western Montana logging project pending the resolution of a lawsuit over its potential environmental harm.  U.S. District Judge Susan Watters halted the Bureau of Land Management project in the Elkhorn Mountains near Townsend in a ruling last week. The agency wants to cut conifer trees on 7 square miles and burn another 2 square miles.  The project also called for allowing livestock grazing when other grazing allotments are unavailable due to circumstances such as drought or wildfire, the Independent Record reported.  Opponents had successfully sued to stop the project in 2018 after the court determined the land bureau had not adequately studies its effects. The agency issued another decision and began some burning this year.

Read More

Southern pine beetle: beware of this tree killer

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The southern pine beetle is the most harmful insect pest to Mississippi forests. This is evidenced by its scientific name, which is translated to mean “tree killer”.  There is good news and bad news relating to the southern pine beetle. The good news is that Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) state-wide surveys have indicated a low level of southern pine beetle activity in 2020.  The bad news is that the “tree killers” have been detected in a Pontotoc County this summer. It is important for timberland owners to stay diligent, even during years without large scale outbreaks.   … Southern pine beetles are native insects. The adult beetles are generally about the size of a grain of rice. They are attracted primarily to slow growing and weakened pine stands.  … The adult beetles, their larvae, and the blue stain fungi they introduce contribute to the death of pine trees. 

Read More

Can Vermont’s forests help save the planet?

By Christine McGowan
Vermont Biz
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Long valued for timber, recreation, wildlife habitat, and solace, Vermont’s forests are being recognized for providing another, more global, benefit: carbon storage. Situated within the largest remaining intact temperate broadleaf forest on the planet, Vermont forests are part of a critical natural resource in the fight against climate change. Biologically adept at both drawing carbon out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis, and storing carbon within their roots, trunks, and leaves, trees have an important role to play in the global effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a healthy planet for future generations. And, thanks to a combination of growing carbon markets and some innovative thinking by Vermont’s forest industry, landowners stand to benefit from managing their forests for carbon storage.

Read More

New EPA guidelines on cost-benefits analyses are path to better forestry and much more

By Brad Perkins, Ohio Forestry Association
Crain’s Cleveland Business
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Brad Perkins

OHIO — A new proposal to overhaul how to weigh the costs and benefits of federal environmental regulations is especially timely and valuable to the forestry industry here in Ohio. There is probably no sector of the American economy where conservation is more intertwined with long-term economic success, or which better illustrates the need for regulatory improvement. After a multi-year review of regulatory procedures, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler on June 4 laid out specific steps to impose more discipline on cost-benefit analyses. The guidelines represent a common-sense approach to incorporate more consistency and transparency on how metrics are developed, communicated and applied when imposing EPA regulations. If we can finally get this right it will be an important step for ensuring environmental laws work as intended, instead of merely perpetuating legal battles.

Read More

State forestry department nurseries grow millions of seedlings for landowners, reforestation

Augusta Free Press
August 1, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Virginia Department of Forestry’s seedling nurseries in Augusta and Southampton counties produce millions of tiny trees for landowners, foresters and conservationists. The Garland Gray Forestry Center in Courtland yields 32 million pine seedlings annually for landowners throughout Virginia and beyond. The Augusta Forestry Center grows, processes and ships a popular variety of hardwood seedlings, providing dozens of species to beautify landscapes and serve landowners. The VDOF seedling program has been active for more than a century, restoring millions of acres of Virginia forestland. Both nurseries are state entities that are entirely self-funded and employ dozens of part-time and seasonal workers. …Josh Bennicoff, the center’s manager, said the 80 acres of baby loblolly are the future of Virginia’s woods. Landowners intent on reforestation typically plant about 500 trees per acre.

Read More

Young trees have special adaptations that could save the Amazon

By Kat Eschner
Popular Science
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Amazon rainforest’s future is in peril. Biologists and environmental scientists have known for some time that government policies that oppress Indigenous rights and allow logging have weakened the forest’s cohesion, while climate change has led to unprecedented drought. Scientists worry we are nearing a tipping point for the Amazon, where loss of the forest will reach a level where the forest system as a whole won’t be able to sustain all-important local weather patterns and the movements of plants and animals essential to its well being. In time, some have predicted, the Amazon could become a desert. But new research suggests there may be some hope from juvenile trees. Young trees might be able to respond to the loss of their larger compatriots—canopy trees of the same species that currently get the bulk of the light—resulting in a radically changed forest rather than total devastation.

Read More

Brazil invites private sector to ‘adopt’ the Amazon

By Andres Schipani and Bryan Harris
Financial Times
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Brazil’s government is poised to create an “Adopt a Park” programme to let the private sector pay to preserve chunks of the Amazon, as Jair Bolsonaro comes under mounting pressure to stop illegal deforestation. Ricardo Salles, the country’s environment minister, told the FT the programme would give major investment funds a way to channel criticism of Brazil into concrete action. He was speaking after more than two dozen international financial institutions in June warned that deforestation — which has surged during the Bolsonaro administration — had created “widespread uncertainty about the conditions for investing in or providing financial services to Brazil”. Mr Salles said: “The Brazilian government’s response is: we have structured instruments for you, the funds, to come and help us take care of the Amazon. Participate, supervise, act together with us.”

Read More

Forestry businesses in “unimaginable distress” over successive government ‘fire alerts’

By Natasha Donn
The Portugal Resident
August 7, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

PORTUGAL — Forestry businesses are demanding “solutions” following over a week of successive government ‘fire alerts’ which have stopped them all working. ANEFA, the national association of businesses working in forestry, agriculture and the environment, says authorities are using the alerts as a form of “legal subterfuge” to avoid facing up to their own responsibilities. Said the association’s president Pedro Serra Ramos: “If the State cannot monitor and check the forests then it needs to find ways for doing so”. …Serra Ramos said the blanket bans on ‘any kind of activities’ in the forest throughout the country make no sense at all. “ …“We just can’t understand it”, Serra Ramos told Lusa news agency. “The risk of fire is not the same all day, it isn’t the same every hour and isn’t the same in every region.”

Read More

Indonesia inches forward on community forest goal, hobbled by pandemic

By Harry Jacques
Thomson Reuters in The Jakarta Post
August 7, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Indonesia has cut back its planned transfer of state forests to local communities this year by half – an area twice the size of Los Angeles – because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Bambang Supriyanto, the ministry’s director general of social forestry and environmental partnership, said social distancing measures from March to June had halted the technical work needed on the ground to certify the handover of land. The pandemic will see this year’s target of 500,000 hectares (about 1.2 million acres) reduced by 50%, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In 2014, President Joko Widodo pledged to hand over 12.7 million hectares of state forests to rural communities within five years, an ambitious bid to resolve intractable land conflicts while helping curb planet-warming emissions.

Read More

Trade and climate change increase pest threat to Europe’s forests

By Alex Whiting
Horizon – The EU Research & Innovation Magazine
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Europe’s forests face a growing threat from pests due to global trade and climate change, but scientists are developing techniques that can give an early warning of infestations to help combat damaging insects and diseases. Pests are responsible for damaging 35 million hectares of forest around the world every year. In the Mediterranean region alone an area the size of Slovakia – five million hectares – is affected by pests annually …  And the threat posed by insects and pathogens appears to be growing. Climate change is allowing some native pests to breed more frequently, while international trade is spreading exotic insects and pathogens more widely. Only a tiny proportion of exotic pests that arrive in Europe end up damaging trees. ‘But these are very harmful, and there are more and more (of them),’ said Dr Hervé Jactel … On average, six new species of tree pests are being introduced to Europe every year,

Read More

Trade and climate change increase pest threat to Europe’s forests

By Alex Whiting
Phys.org
August 6, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Europe’s forests face a growing threat from pests due to global trade and climate change, but scientists are developing techniques that can give an early warning of infestations to help combat damaging insects and diseases. …In the Mediterranean region alone, five million hectares is affected by pests annually, according to the UN FAO. And the threat posed by insects and pathogens appears to be growing. Climate change is allowing some native pests to breed more frequently, while international trade is spreading exotic insects and pathogens more widely. …On average, six new species of tree pests are being introduced to Europe every year, up from two a year in the 1950s, says Dr. Jactel. They arrive in potted plants and wooden products or packaging.

Read More

Illegal deforestation in Brazil soars amid climate of impunity

By Herton Escobar
Science Magazine
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has risen sharply in the past year—again. Estimates set to be released this week by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research will show clearings have increased by at least 28% during the current monitoring year, which runs from August through July, compared with the previous year. It is the second steep hike under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has made good on his campaign promise to loosen environmental law enforcement and step up development in the Amazon. The numbers come from Brazil’s Real-time Deforestation Detection System, which uses low-resolution satellite images to quickly identify new forest clearings and alert authorities to possible illegal deforestation. More than 8700 square kilometers of primary forest cover has already disappeared from the images since August 2019… compared with 6800 km2 in the previous 12 months. 

Read More

Firefighters cautiously optimistic this fire season shaping up to be better than the last

By Peter Gunders
ABC News, Australia
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

While it has not been enough to break the drought, winter rain has given firefighters hope ahead of this year’s bushfire season. The increased moisture in the soil and vegetation has meant more hazard-reduction burns in August in key areas in southern Queensland, including state forests. “We’re getting some really beautiful low intensity fires with mosaic burning patterns,” explained John Welke, acting Area Director Queensland Rural Fire Service (QRFS). After the intense bushfires of the 2019–20 season, authorities are cautiously optimistic ahead of this year’s season. “Last year we had poor soil moisture, the timber was stressed, and it made hazard reduction burning almost impossible,” Mr Welke said. …While the conditions are looking more favourable than last year, and there are more firefighters, the QRFS is asking landholders to stay vigilant. 

Read More

Tesco calls for deforestation-free food in the UK

Tesco PLC
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Setting fires to clear land for crops or grazing is destroying precious habitats like the Brazilian rainforest. It must stop. That’s why we support Greenpeace’s aim to prevent further Amazon deforestation. We have worked alongside Greenpeace on this issue over many years and we are ready to do more directly and as part of a national and industry level solution. We acknowledge that as the UK’s largest retailer, we have a responsibility to lead on this issue and that has driven our actions to date and will continue to do so. We stand ready to play our part, and today we call for our government to mandate food companies, as part of its National Food Strategy, to introduce effective due diligence across supply chains to make sure all food sold in the UK is deforestation-free.

Read More

Community anger as deadline for controls around toxic gas methyl bromide waived

By Tony Wall
New Zealand Stuff
August 5, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Two years ago, the Environmental Protection Authority told Stuff that after October 28, 2020, anyone using the ozone-depleting gas methyl bromide for pest fumigations would have to recapture and destroy all emissions. It was a “hard deadline” set in 2010, said the EPA…. If industries such as forestry couldn’t show they were using recapture technology for all fumigations, “you’re not going to be able to use [methyl bromide] in New Zealand”. …In July, the EPA … agreed to waive the deadline for six months, until April 28, 2021, just as community groups feared would happen. The EPA is currently considering an application by the forestry group Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction (STIMBR) to re-assess the recapture controls – it was against this background that the deadline waiver was granted. STIMBR had argued that it needed the extension because of the long lead-time for log exports to India, and how these might be affected by the decision-making process.

Read More

Studies shed new light on how biodiversity influences plant decay

By eLife
Phys.org
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Scientists have provided new insights on the relationship between plant diversity in forests and the diversity of organisms involved in their decay, such as bacteria and fungi.  Plant litter decomposition is a major ecosystem function, linking plant biomass to carbon stocks in the soil and atmosphere, and releasing nutrients including nitrogen and phosphorus that influence soil biodiversity. Two new independent studies, published today in eLife, report how plant biodiversity impacts decomposition processes and could help predict how the loss of species might affect forest ecosystems.  For the first study, researchers based in China and France analyzed the relationship between the diversity of plant litter and decomposition across 65 field studies in forests around the world. Their results show that plant decomposition is faster when litter is composed of more than one species.

Read More

Brazil Records Big Increase in Amazon Forest Fires

By Victoria Sinla
Nature World News
August 3, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The number of fires in the Amazon region showed a dramatic increase compared to July last year, according to official figures from Brazil. Brazil’s National Space Agency revealed that there are 6,803 fires, a 28 percent increase. In July 2019, there were 5,318. Last month, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) recorded 2,248 fires, compared to 1,880 fires recorded in the same month last year. Since the reports of increased fire last month, concerns are mounting that this year’s fires would exceed the blazes from last year. In August 2019, fires peaked to 30,901, thrice the number recorded in 2018. Erica Berenguer, an Amazon ecologist and a senior research associate at the University of Oxford, said that she was alarmed by the numbers as July is the burning season. “This is an indicator that the rest of the burning season is going to be very intense,” she said.

Read More

Are very long-lived trees immortal and what can they teach humans?

By Anna Salleh
ABC News, Australia
August 4, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

While humans are all too familiar with the ravages of getting older, many trees seem to handle ageing a lot better. Certain trees can live for thousands of years and appear to be immortal. …could humans with their relatively puny lifespans have something to learn from these ancient trees? Some scientists think so. …the oldest tree in the world is generally regarded as a single-stemmed bristlecone pine called Pinus longaeva. …What’s amazing is that scientists have not so far been able to show that getting older directly affects the health of such millennial trees, plant biologist Sergi Munne-Bosch from the University of Barcelona says. …Professor of biomedical engineering at the University of New South Wales, Melissa Knothe Tate is one researcher who is inspired by millennial trees. …Only a small percentage of an individual long-lived tree may be alive, but she argues it’s all about survival of the cells that are able to regenerate the tree.

Read More