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Category Archives: Forestry

Forestry

Shaping the Standards: Forest Certification as a Sustainability Solution

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
July 2, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

…SFI’s standards, when leveraged with our three other pillars of work – conservation, community and education – provide practical, scalable solutions for markets and communities working to leverage this growing commitment to a sustainable planet. …A regular, transparent process for revision of the SFI Standards is a critical part of SFI’s commitment to continual improvement. By leveraging expertise across our network through focused engagement, and by including open comment periods, SFI creates standards that are grounded in science, include diverse perspectives, and benefit consumers, communities and ultimately forests across the U.S. and Canada. …On October 23, 2019, SFI officially launched the start of the SFI 2022 Standards Revision with a 30-day public comment period and a two-hour facilitated workshop at the SFI Annual Conference. This first comment period kicked off a two-year process which will conclude with a suite of new SFI standards and rules for release by January 2022.

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Canada’s Forest Products Sector Announces 2020 Green Dream Bloggers

The Forest Products Association of Canada
June 30, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada announced its 2020 Green Dream Bloggers – winners of its annual summer internships contest. The national Green Dream Bloggers program provides students working in the forest products sector with an opportunity to promote their work experiences over the course of the summer. “Despite COVID-19, our team was happy to see such great interest in the program again this year from both forestry companies and summer interns,” said FPAC President Derek Nighbor. …This year’s winners are:

  • Ty Edwards, Tolko Forest Products, Meadow Lake, SK
  • William Gauthier, EACOM Timber Corporation, Sullivan, QC
  • Gabrielle Gauthier, Resolute Forest Products, St.-Thomas, QC
  • Julia Hollingsworth, Weyerhaeuser, Grande Prairie, AB
  • Brelynn Howard, Resolute Forest Products, Thunder Bay, ON
  • Jaime Jacques, Weyerhaeuser, Grande Prairie, AB
  • Arianna Loogman, Mercer International, Peace River, AB
  • Francis Perron, Resolute, Maniwaki, QC
  • Jordan Rock, Tolko Forest Products, Prince Albert, SK
  • Lina Sbai, Resolute Forest Products, Gatineau, QC
  • Jace Timmer, Tolko Forest Products, Meadow Lake, SK

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The Canadian Logging Industry’s Spin Cycle

By Jennifer Skene
NRDC Blog
July 2, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Deny. Minimize. Deflect. …In response to NRDC’s recent Issue with Tissue report, industry representatives like the Forest Products Association of Canada have once again mobilized spin against science to avoid accountability for their unsustainable practices. The industry’s first tactic is to deny that there is anything to worry about at all. Logging in Canada, they claim, is “world-class,” distinct from the forest catastrophe happening in Brazil. The second industry tactic is to minimize its role in driving the crisis. In the case of toilet paper, the logging industry’s constant refrain is that logging in Canada’s true purpose is to make long-lived lumber. …The logging industry’s other common tactic is deflection—often through pointing the finger at naturally occurring phenomena as the real drivers of forest loss. In the boreal, fire is the primary environmental scapegoat, which industry often portrays as an equivalent disturbance to logging.

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SFI’s Proposed Updates Offer Greenwashing, Not Solutions

By Courtenay Lewis
Natural Resource Defense Council
July 1, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is infamous in the world of forest conservation. SFI is a forest and forest products certifying body which claims to provide “supply chain assurances” about the sustainability of products. Logging industry associations created SFI as an alternative to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which was established in the 1990s through the collaboration of environmental organizations, human rights groups, and companies concerned about global deforestation. SFI continues to be industry-dominated in its decision-making and policies, and for years, NRDC and other environmental groups, academics, and industry watchdogs have publicly exposed its certification as greenwashing. Dozens of major companies have committed to distancing their supply chains from SFI. …Because SFI represents itself as a legitimate alternative to the much more robust FSC, it threatens to confuse members of the public who mistake the SFI logo with evidence of sustainably sourced forest products. 

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Trees, Tech, and Climate Change

By Patricia Miller
Innovation & Tech Today
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Kathy Abusow

From paper goods to lumber and wildlife habitat to recreation, our forests provide value in countless ways. …Forest management has advanced rapidly since the days of lumber mills and surveyors. The sector is exploding with technological advancements that are improving data collection, enhancing efficiency, and helping to maintain the delicate forest ecosystems on which we rely. One such technology is LIDAR… Forest management services can now use LIDAR to map forest canopy surfaces, tree structures, and underlying forest topography. Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, shared, “LIDAR helps people see how things are being managed, which is really important so they see this emerging transparency in the supply chain. The technology is increasingly being used to help us understand biodiversity needs as well because you can’t send people everywhere all the time. LIDAR is just an amazing tool for a forest manager and planner.”

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American enviro group rolls out toilet paper scare tactics

By Brian Lilley
The Calgary Sun
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Brian Lilley

They helped to inflict incredible damage to Canada’s oil sands with a well-financed plan, now a New York City-based environmental charity is hoping to inflict the same kind of damage on Canada’s forestry industry by targeting toilet paper. Yes, the No. 1 requirement for No. 2 that became the must-have item of the COVID-19 pandemic is being used as a tool to try and shut down logging in Canada. All using big American money. The Natural Resources Defense Council has issued an updated report on toilet paper that makes outrageous claims about Canada’s forest management practices. These claims, best described as coming from the “mud hut brigade” of the environmental movement, are easily disputed. …“By making toilet paper from ancient forests essential to the climate fight, tissue companies are flushing away our forests and our planet’s future,” said Shelley Vinyard, NRDC’s Boreal Campaign Manager.

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Industry, mild winters clear way for white-tailed deer ‘invasion’ in Alberta’s boreal forest

By Wallis Snowdon
CBC News
July 3, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Herds of invasive white-tailed deer continue to migrate north in Alberta’s boreal forest — bolstered by milder winters and human development that cuts through the vast wilderness, a new study suggests.  The survey, recently published in the journal Nature, used 62 trail camera to track the movements of white-tailed deer near Fort McMurray, Alta., over three years. …The survey makes clear that deer are now, by far, the most prevalent large mammal in the habitat, said Jason Fisher, study author and wildlife ecologist at the University of Victoria.  Fisher describes it as a “deer invasion.” …”With all these white-tailed deer around, that’s pushing wolf numbers up. With more wolves around, they’re hitting caribou harder. …”This isn’t fully a climate-change problem,” he said. “As long as there is ongoing disturbance in the landscape without restoration, then the white-tailed deer are going to be there.” 

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B.C. introduces temporary outdoor job program for youth up to age 29

The Canadian Press in the Prince George Citizen
June 29, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The British Columbia government has launched a program aimed at creating work for 15-to-29-year-old youth in community service while their job prospects are dramatically affected by COVID-19. Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark said Monday that almost 25 per cent of youth are unemployed in B.C. and the program would give them an opportunity to work outdoors on initiatives such as building trails or cleaning beaches. The $5-million program would provide up to $10,000 in grants for community projects lasting up to 16 weeks. … The Youth Community Partnership Program … would give youth a training stipend of up to $2,000 per four-week period to a maximum of $8,000 for work until the end of October. Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson  urged community groups to get their applications in quickly to benefit youth who could work during the summer.

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West Kootenay logging blockader files police complaint, is sued by company

By Bill Metcalfe
Nelson Star
June 29, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jessica Ogden

A local woman has initiated an internal investigation into the actions of RCMP during her blockades of logging roads near Balfour, Argenta, and Meadow Creek in 2019. At the same time, Jessica Ogden is being sued by Cooper Creek Cedar for their alleged losses caused by Ogden’s blockades of the company’s logging operations. The police investigation is being carried out by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission. … During the blockades, Ogden stood on logging roads, blocking loggers from getting to cutblocks. She said she was objecting to over-cutting and degradation of watersheds. “I call myself a water protector, not a protester,” she said. Ogden says she was trying to bring attention to the professional reliance model (sometimes called industry self-regulation), in which decisions about what, when and how to cut timber are made by professionals working for the timber companies, not by the forests ministry.

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City seeking $1.7 million grant to train forestry workers of the future

By Sasha Sefter
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
June 29, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Quesnel is seeking a grant for $1.7 million in order to develop a training school in Quesnel for single grip harvesters and forwarders over the next three years. The Forestry Initiatives Program, along with project partners the College of New Caledonia, UBC Natural Resources Finland, F.P. Innovations and Forest Liaison Inc., are currently in the process of applying for a Research and Innovation grant through the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction.  … West Fraser recently had to source a crew from Alberta who had this expertise for a commercial thinning project. Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson … said that he feels that the training will be popular with younger generations since the process involves using a more thoughtful approach and being selective with tree removal rather than clear cutting an area.

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Humans cause half the wildfires in Vancouver Island north

By Zoe Ducklow
North Island Gazette
June 30, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the last 10 years, people have caused 218 wildfires on northern Vancouver Island. That’s more than 20 per year, and most of them were started from open fires – unattended campfires or bigger open fires on work sites. This time of year, the Coastal Fire Centre wants to remind everyone of basic fire safety practises to avoid these kinds of preventable fires. Of the 218 fires between 2009 and 2018… , mechanical incidents were the second leading cause. This is often from industrial work, such as friction or engine sparks. Twenty-three of the fires are believed to have been deliberately set. Cigarettes started 13 fires over the 10-year period, and the remaining are from miscellaneous causes. Throughout those ten years, 249 fires were caused by lightning, which is just over half (53 per cent) of the total. The rest, come from humans.

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Wildfires at historical low in B.C.

By Ria Renouf
News 1130
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — B.C. is seeing historical lows for wildfires this year, and crews hope to keep it that way. This weekend is the first since the province began the third phase of its pandemic restart plan. It’s also the first weekend of summer, a time traditionally marked by camping, and campfires. “With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, people are, I know, wanting to get out,” said Karley Desrosiers, information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service. “Looking into the weekend, there is a lot of precipitation in the forecast.” With June being a wetter month so far, there are currently not wildfires burning in the province. There have been 177 wildfires in the province this year, though, with a total of 665 hectares burned. The 10-year average is 338 fires and around 25,000 hectares burned.

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Maximize the return on your LiDAR investment: Webinar

Forsite Consultants Ltd.
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Join Forsite Management Specialits for a live webinar – Maximize the Return on Your LiDAR Investment. Thursday, July 9th from 10:30-11:30am. Learn how LiDAR data can be used to improve forest management outcomes while reducing costs and safety issues. The webinar will cover new approaches/tools for advanced forest inventories, operational planning, watershed management, wildlife habitat management, and more. Presentation by strategic planning forester, Cam Brown RPF, and forestry supervisor and LiDAR Team Lead, Jamie Black RPF. A meeting link will emailed to registered attendees the day prior to the webinar. If you have any questions about the registration process, please contact Carleigh Drew, Marketing & Sales Coordinatorccdrew@forsite.ca.

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Alberta wildfire season off to a quiet start

By Anna Junker
The Edmonton Journal
June 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta has seen fewer than half the number of fires this year compared to last year. Alberta Wildfire information officer Melissa Story said the province has had a quiet start to the 2020 wildfire season. So far this year, 323 wildfires have ignited across the province that have burned just over 700 hectares. “Last year at this time, we had around 650 that had burned almost 475,000 hectares of land. …“The five-year average for us at this time is 700 wildfires and the five-year average is burning about 240,000 hectares.” …While the wet weather has played a main role in reducing the number of fires, Story said the pandemic may have also helped with more people staying at home. “That certainly reduced the amount of people that are out in the forested areas, which could have been a result in less human-caused wildfires for us,” Story said.

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Tsain-Ko, BC Timber Sales defend Egmont logging plans

By Sophie Woodrooffe
Coast Reporter
June 27, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

About 130 people attended a virtual meeting on June 25 about a sweeping logging operation that could start as early as July and clear cut more than 150 hectares in the community of Egmont.  Over the three-hour session, representatives of Tsain-Ko and B.C. Timber Sales addressed at-times heated questions and repeatedly defended their efforts to reduce the size and change the shape and locations of cutblocks, commission environmental studies and seek public input.  …Rick Craig, president of the North Lake Residents’ Association, acknowledged that BCTS and Tsain-Ko had addressed several of their concerns, but described the logging as still having the potential to “leave a lasting legacy that could be very damaging.” 

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Continuation of Silviculture Operations During Covid-19

Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Since the beginning of May, the silviculture sector has been operating under communicable disease prevention guidelines issued by the Provincial Health Office (PHO of British Columbia). Although conditions have continued to improve, COVID-19 remains a threat to public health, and there is still no viable treatment or vaccine available. Public activity is now entering Phase-3 of the COVID management plan with increased travel and opening of dining service industries. However, a formal revision of silviculture guidelines by the PHO is not likely to occur until at least the fall season, and is expected to be part of a larger revision of guidelines for all remote and camp-based workplaces. In the meantime, isolated silviculture crews with no signs of COVID-19 infection over multiple weeks of operation have been seeking to make changes in their operations to protect the mental health of employees, respect their civil liberties, and support efficiency of operations.

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Anti-pesticide organization appeals to Powell River city council

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sheryl McCumsey

City of Powell River Council has been asked to write correspondence to regulatory agencies regarding pesticide application by Western Forest Products in the Powell River region. At the June 24 city council meeting, Sheryl McCumsey, speaking on behalf of Pesticide Free Powell River, said the organization believes the use of herbicides in forests needs to stop. McCumsey said if Western Forests is using so little pesticide, her organization asks two things: why not just stop using it then? Why not just let the trees grow or manually gird them? …McCumsey said pesticides are not tools, they are poisons, which they do not consent to. “They destroy perfectly good trees and upset diversity,” said McCumsey. “We cannot increase our fire risk by using them.”

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Controversial moose cow-calf hunt done in name of caribou, government says

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Limited entry hunting of moose cows and calves is drawing fire from two Central B.C. [Liberal] MLAs John Rustad and Donna Barnett. …However, Jennifer Jennifer Psyllakis, the director of the wildlife and habitat branch in the Ministry of Forests… said the hunt is only being carried out… where their numbers overlap with endangered caribou herds as part of what Psyllakis said is a complex relationship between the two species and their common predators. Wildlife biologists contend that areas that have been logged generate the type of habitat that attract moose. Predators, notably wolves, follow and in the process encroach on the safe havens caribou use to avoid their attackers. …While culling wolves would seem to be the obvious solution, it’s expensive and has drawn flack from environmental groups. Instead, scientists have suggested a complementary strategy of keeping moose populations under control through hunting of their cows and calves in areas where there are caribou.

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Quesnel prepares to train forestry workers of the future

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

The City of Quesnel is seeking approximately two million dollars in funding to become a training centre of excellence for the kind of forestry that companies will be doing in the future. Mayor Bob Simpson says the new harvesting regimes will require almost a forest technician behind the joy stick of this new equipment… Simpson says they feel it will appeal to the younger generation who are not out doing large clearcuts, as he says they will actually be doing some pretty interesting, innovative and thought provoking work on a regular basis on some pretty interesting pieces of equipment. …He says they are working in partnership with the college, West Fraser, and other major licensees and contractors. Simpson says he is confident that they will be successful in getting the funding, and he says the plan is to start in September.

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It’s been a bad season for forest fires in N.B., and it’s not over yet

By Laura Brown
CTV Atlantic
July 2, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

FREDERICTON — Fires have burned through five times more acreage of New Brunswick forest than the 10-year average and it’s only halfway through the season. With waterfront views of the St. John River, Heritage Country Camping in Lower Queensbury is an oasis for New Brunswickers looking to get away, but COVID-19 isn’t the only concern this camping season. “Very, very, very dry,” said co-owner Diann Estey. “We haven’t mowed for two weeks. We finally did it yesterday, so we’re hoping it doesn’t burn out.” …There have been 1,166 hectares of New Brunswick forest that have burned so far this season. The 10-year average is about 200. “We do have some drought conditions when you get down into the lower parts of the ground, and the top layers, we need some rain to get down to that area,” said Roger Collet, a wildfire prevention officer with the province of New Brunswick.

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A recent tornado in NW Ontario caused extensive forest damage

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
June 29, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

LONDON, Ont. — A research group that collaborates with Environment Canada to find and document tornadoes has confirmed that a remote area of Northwestern Ontario experienced the province’s first tornado of 2020. It happened on June 8 near Brooks Lake, approximately 35 kilometres northeast of Nestor Falls. David Sills, executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University in London, says aerial images have allowed his team to confirm the damage to the forest in that area was caused by a tornado. … “Once the satellite data became available after the fact, we started seeing evidence of a large damage track,” he said. Sills said the site is isolated, and there is no known structural damage, but the devastation to the forest is significant.

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‘We’re getting hammered’: Gypsy moth outbreak devastating Eastern Ontario forests

By Blair Crawford
The Ottawa Citizen
July 3, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Gypsy moth caterpillars are munching their way through Eastern Ontario forests this summer in numbers not seen in 30 years, stripping leaves from sugar maples, oaks and evergreens so quickly you can almost watch the forest canopy disappear. “Our forests are under attack here in Eastern Ontario,” said Jim McCready, a forester and arborist with nearly 50 years experience. “We had the forest tent caterpillar. Now we’ve got the gypsy moth. And you’ve got the drought. We’re getting hammered. McCready… said this year’s gypsy moth hatch is as bad as the past peak of the destructive pest in the late 1980s. Gypsy moths are an invasive species that escaped from a failed silkworm breeding experiment in Massachusetts in 1869.  A single caterpillar can devour a square metre of foliage in its very hungry path before it pupates and hatches into a small, non-descript greyish-brown moth later in the summer.

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Asian longhorned beetle declared eradicated in the cities of Mississauga and Toronto

By Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Government of Canada
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, with the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan, announced today that the Asian longhorned beetle (ALHB) has been eradicated from the cities of Mississauga and Toronto in the province of Ontario. This was the only known population of ALHB in Canada. ALHB is a highly destructive wood-boring pest of maples and other hardwood trees including poplar, birch and willow. It has the potential to devastate Canada’s hardwood and maple syrup industries. The ALHB was discovered in the cities of Mississauga and Toronto in August 2013, after previously having been eradicated… To prevent the spread, CFIA established a regulated area within the cities of Mississauga and Toronto that restricted the movement of nursery stock, trees, lumber, wood, and wood products, including all firewood unless given prior authorization.

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Forest fires started by ‘machine tracks’ prompt calls for temporary ban on logging

By Emma Smith and Phlis McGregor
CBC News
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Some Nova Scotians are calling for a ban on logging during hot, dry weather after it was revealed that machinery in the woods caused two forest fires that spanned more than a hundred hectares in Kings County last month. Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment determined a 13-hectare fire in McGee Lake and a 120-hectare fire near Springfield were started in late May by “metal machine tracks creating sparks on rocky terrain.” The department didn’t respond to questions about what machine made those tracks and what kind of work was being done, however logging machines such as feller bunchers and forwarders could create those kind of tracks. …Bev Wigney, who runs the Facebook group Annapolis Royal and Area Environment and Ecology wants Nova Scotia to follow the lead of New Brunswick, which last week closed all Crown land, except provincial parks, to recreational and industrial activity, including forestry. 

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Forest activity ban relaxed as fire risk falls

CBC News
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The risk of forest fires in New Brunswick has fallen “significantly” since last Friday, but there are still several burning and restrictions on activity in the woods will continue through the weekend, says the minister of natural resources and energy development. There are nine fires burning in the province, according to the provincial government’s latest fire activity report — one in the Edmundston area, two in the Bathurst area and six in the Miramichi area. All of them are under control. …The Crown land activity ban was relaxed Thursday to allow forestry and recreational travel outside of the highest risk hours. …Compliance with the order has been very good, said the minister, and there’s been “very little” pushback from anyone, including the forestry industry.

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This land is our land | Does logging have a place on our national forests?

By Bill Aney, forester and wildlife biologist living from Pendleton
East Oregonian
July 1, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bill Aney

Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot should be rolling in their graves. A recent column by Bend-area ecologist George Wuerthner (“Chain saw medicine is not the solution, it is the problem”) argues that logging has no place on the national forests of Eastern Oregon. His position is used by those that don’t trust the U.S. Forest Service to do the right thing when using timber cutting to manage our public forests and reduce fire risk, and seem to equate a timber sale contract as a deal with the devil. …So, how did we get to this place, with people pushing for a hands-off approach to management of our national forests? I maintain that there is an issue of trust underlying this argument, and that people holding on to this mistrust are actually making forest conditions worse by stalling much-needed work. …So yes, there is a place for logging on the national forests, when done right and for the right reasons.

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The debate over wildfire management

By Frank Carroll, PFMc Professional Forest Management
The Times-Independent
July 2, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent trend to allow wildfires to burn across the West to improve forest health is hitting some fierce opposition. It has long been a matter of fire management doctrine that letting some fires burn will improve wildlife habitat, watershed conditions, reduce fuel buildup, and promote species diversity. Prescribed fires are designed with these elements in mind and many successful prescribed fires have improved conditions. A more troubling and problematic development has been the advent of allowing wildfires to burn to meet various public land management needs. At issue is the practice of evacuating private landowners from the fire area and then lighting that private land on fire on purpose to try to control the main fire. These purposefully set, running-head fires often burn every tree along with homes, and anything else on developed ground that can burn, and often with very little impact on the main fire.

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Oregon Department of Forestry prepares for fire season

KATU News
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With much of the northwest still experiencing drought conditions, we are turning the corner into what could be a very active and potentially destructive fire season. Kiel Nairns, a firefighting expert from the Oregon Department of Forestry sat down with KATU to discuss the upcoming fire season. He says things are starting to ramp up in Hood River and Wasco counties, along with eastern Oregon. Nairns says fields are drying out, which could fuel flames. The Fourth of July Holiday is always a concern for the Department of Forestry because of fireworks, but Nairns says they will be ready for whatever happens. The pandemic has also changed things this year, but Nairns says their ultimate goal is to put the fires out as small as possible. Nairns says crews will do their best to follow CDC guidelines about social distancing and wear masks when appropriate.

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Sustaining all forest values

By James Burchfield, former dean of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana
The Missoulian
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

James Burchfield

Montana can be proud of the legacy it has provided to the nation in its dedication to the conservation and management of public lands. …The June 12 visit to Missoula by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to announce his Secretarial Memorandum on new agency priorities reminds us how easily we may be lured in the wrong direction. His mandate to “increase America’s energy dominance” and “reduce regulatory burdens” comes on the heels of a June 4 Presidential Executive Order that orders federal agencies to set aside environmental impact requirements because of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainly, the nation must take assertive measures to restore the economy, but a command to exploit complex ecological systems without appropriate environmental reviews, guaranteed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), abandons the sound principle of “look before you leap.” 

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Our national forests are not crops

By Adam Rissien, ReWilding Advocate, WildEarth Guardians
The Missoulian
June 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Adam Rissien

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue flew into Missoula on June 12 to sign a “modernization blueprint” memorandum directing the U.S. Forest Service to essentially double down on its continued push to prioritize logging, mining, drilling and grazing, all while limiting environmental reviews. During the campaign-style signing event, Secretary Perdue even bragged “we see trees as a crop.” Missing from the secretary’s statements was any recognition that America’s national forests, 193 million acres in all, are actually diverse ecosystems that are home to hundreds of imperiled fish and wildlife species, and contain the last remnants of wildlands in this country that millions of people cherish. The secretary failed to mention how numerous communities rely on national forests to provide clean drinking water, or the fact that intact forests do more to remove atmospheric carbon than do stumps.

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Gold-Butterfly: Bitterroot Forest prepares for work to begin on largest project in memory

By Perry Backus
Billings Gazette
June 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There’s a race of sorts happening in the upper reaches of the Sapphire Mountains east of Corvallis.  Driven in part by a warmer climate and a hundred years of humans suppressing natural fire, the insects and parasitic mistletoe have a head start.  This spring, crews from the U.S. Forest Northern Region Timber Strike Team have fanned out across the timbered ridges and hillsides on portions of the 4,800 acres of the Gold Butterfly Project slated for commercial timber harvest to identify the trees that will be left behind.  Armed with cans of specially formulated orange paint, the foresters spend a good deal of their day craning their necks upward to look for the deep green crowns that indicate the trees have survived a years-long onslaught from spruce budworm and mistletoe.  

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‘There’s literally no downside’: Reagan-founded PAC pushes Trump to preserve Alaska’s Tongass Forest

By Abby Smith
Washington Examiner
June 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A political organization founded by former President Ronald Reagan is on a mission to convince President Trump to preserve the country’s largest national forest from more logging.  Citizens for the Republic, a political action committee founded by Reagan in 1977, just before he ran for president, has for months been calling on the Trump administration to reverse course on its proposal to lift protections for the more than 16-million acre Tongass National Forest in Alaska. In October, the U.S. Forest Service proposed to exempt the Tongass from the so-called “roadless rule,” a decision that, if finalized, would open up 9.5 million acres of untouched forest to logging and development. …Opening up the Tongass to logging would benefit the Chinese, the main purchasers of the region’s timber, at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, Citizens for the Republic argues.

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Federal court blocks timber sale in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

Associated Press in Anchorage Daily News
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JUNEAU — A federal judge has blocked what would have been the largest timber sale in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest in decades. Wednesday’s ruling ends the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to open 37.5 square miles of old-growth forest on Prince of Wales Island to commercial logging, CoastAlaska reported. The ruling by Judge Sharon L. Gleason also stops road construction for the planned 15-year project. Conservationists had already successfully blocked the federal government’s attempt to clear large amounts of timber for sale without identifying specific areas where logging would have occurred. Gleason allowed the forest service to argue in favor of correcting deficiencies in its review and moving forward without throwing out the entire project, but ultimately ruled against the agency.

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Forest Service chief announces new regional forester for Eastern Region

US Forest Service
US Department of Agriculture
June 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Gina Owens

USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen announced today the appointment of Gina Owens as Regional Forester for the Forest Service’s Eastern Region. As Regional Forester, Owens will oversee management of more than 12 million acres of the National Forest System spread across 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Northeast and Midwest. Owens will continue to foster and maintain strong ties with 20 states and the District of Columbia as well as partners and private landowners to support state and private forest lands in a spirit of shared stewardship. “Gina’s diverse experience and leadership skills include an extensive understanding of both rural and urban communities’ connection to public land,” said Chief Christiansen. “She brings a well-rounded resource background, as well as extensive relationship and partnership abilities to the table that will be a tremendous asset to the region, our partners and the entire agency.”

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Forest fire detector is powered by the movement of trees

By Ben Coxworth
New Atlas
June 26, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Although various groups have previously developed prototype tree-mounted forest fire sensors, the devices have mostly tended to be battery- or solar-powered. …Looking for a more practical alternative, scientists at Michigan State University looked to the triboelectric effect. …the phenomenon in which an electrical charge accumulates in one material, after it’s separated from another material with which it was in contact… The Michigan State device is a multilayered cylindrical triboelectric nanogenerator. In its simplest form, it incorporates two cylindrical sleeves of different materials, one nested inside of the other. While one of these is anchored solidly in place, the other is attached to the branch of a tree. As that branch sways back and forth in the wind, it pulls the cylinder with it, sliding it in and out of contact with the anchored cylinder. This generates a triboelectric charge, which is stored in a carbon-nanotube-based micro supercapacitor.

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Salem named Tree City USA

The Wicked Local – Salem
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The city of Salem was named a 2019 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, in honor of the city’s commitment to effective urban tree management. Salem achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. “Over the past several years Salem’s commitment to our public trees has grown substantially,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll. …The Arbor Day Foundation recently launched the Time for Trees initiative, with the unprecedented goal of planting 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspiring 5 million tree planters by 2022. 

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“Make That Paper” – a new forestry game for teaching employability skills

By Mary Anne Lane
Georgia Public Broadcasting
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Make That Paper: Careers in Forestry, a new game from Georgia Public Broadcasting in collaboration with the Georgia Forestry Foundation, is a scenario-based game that teaches students about working forests and real-world forestry jobs by simulating workplace scenarios and testing forestry industry knowledge through a fun and quirky email inbox interface. In the game, students take on the role of a manager in three different forestry industry career tracks. A branching conversation system with humorous and content-rich dialogue simulates face-to-face interviews that teach players how to present your best foot (hoof? paw?) forward and begin an exciting career in the forestry industry. Student objectives include maintaining sustainable, efficient, and successful management of the forest and production of forest products, and using best practices when hiring and managing staff.

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Indonesia bracing for forest fires, human factor blamed

By Bambang Purwanto
Xinhua News Agency
June 27, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA — While fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia now has also to face land and forest fires as this year’s droughts are coming even earlier. Almost in every dry season Indonesia is hit by land and forest fires which produce thick smog… The natural disaster has also disturbed operations of public transportation due to the very short visibility caused by the thick smokes, forcing schools to suspend teaching. The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency reported that 17 percent of the dry season in the country occurred in April, 38 percent in May, 27 percent in June, and the rest could happen in July, August and September this year. …forest fires in Indonesia occur mostly due to human behaviors like slash and burn practices as well as disposal of smoking butts… Those conducts are punishable by law in Indonesia. 

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Consultation closing on Nelson City Council’s forestry management

By Skara Bohny
Stuff.co.nz
June 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Consultation on how Nelson City Council manages its commercial forests will close this week.  The council is seeking public feedback on its plan to seek Forest Stewardship Certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a globally-recognised forestry standards authority.  The city council owns several forestry blocks, managed by PF Olsen, in the Brook, Maitai, Roding, and Marsden Valley.  PF Olsen has prepared a Forest Management Plan for the next five years, from June 2020 until June 2025, to achieve the certification.   The plan includes reference to Nelson Council’s plan to convert some of its commercial forestry blocks from Douglas Pine, which is prone to spreading, to either radiata for continued commercial harvesting, or back into native forest.  The FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organisation which promotes environmentally, socially and economically beneficial forestry management.

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Old-growth forests get reprieve from forestry

By Peter Hannam
Sydney Morning Herald
June 25, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA – The Berejiklian government has suspended plans to remap old-growth coastal state forests after last summer’s bushfires burnt large swathes of woodlands including almost half the remnant primary forests of the north-east. The mapping was to have been used to identify sections of forest that might have been used for logging. The Natural Resources Commission announced the suspension on Thursday, noting bushfires had scorched more than 5 million hectares of NSW. Of the 890,000 hectares of native state forest burnt, more than 100,000 hectares of that was old growth. Environment Minister Matt Kean told the Herald…, “It’s a common-sense approach, especially following in the wake of the bushfires, that we protect and preserve our old-growth forests.” The commission said that where the forest canopy had been burnt, remote-sensing technology “cannot be accurately applied”. “Our assessment found that over 45 per cent of mapped old growth in North Coast state forests experienced full or partial canopy burn in the 2019-20 fires,” it said.

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