The Tree Frog News
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Maine man hooks fishermen with 1900s reproductions
By Micky Bedell
...Apparently we live in a world where people will spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on old fishing lures. But not any old lure. Collectors are attracted to wood lures in particular because they’re true Americana; wood fishing lures didn’t happen anywhere else in the world — not Europe, Africa, South America — and only between 1900 to 1950. Before 1900 nobody’d ever mass produced wooden lures and after WWII plastics dominated the market.
White Mountain lessons go unlearned with 4FRI
The 2.4 million-acre Four Forest Restoration Initiative isn’t the first major forest thinning project in Arizona. In 2004, nearly a decade before 4FRI began the Forest Service began, the 10-year White Mountain Stewardship Project revved into gear in eastern Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. ...With 4FRI ramping up just as the White Mountain project was winding down, the eastern Arizona thinning work presented an ideal learning opportunity. And yet, as 4FRI heads into its fifth year, some of the same challenges and struggles are resurfacing in this even bigger, more ambitious forest thinning initiative.
5 Environmentally Friendly Forestry Practices
As the stewards of 114,000 acres of forest and one of the largest purchasers of timber in the region, Timber Products cares deeply about how forests are managed. Michigan California Timber Company (MCTC), an affiliate of Timber Products located in Yreka, CA, voluntarily submits to annual third-party audits to maintain our Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification, which we have held for over 15 years. Timber Products Company’s log and timber procurement program is also third-party SFI certified and holds a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certification. The following sustainable forestry practices are integral to the Timber Products' philosophy, and we encourage all timberland owners to apply them to their land.
State forester: Most Yarnell recommendations implemented
A deputy director for the Arizona forestry division says four of the seven recommendations by the Yarnell Fire investigative task force have been put into practice, and two others are ongoing. A seventh recommendation that involves bringing a "human factors" expert to evaluate the tragedy has not been incorporated. "We are still evaluating whether that is a door we want to open at this point," said Joy Hernbrode, Arizona Forestry Division Deputy Director of Administrative Services. The task force's recommendations include the approach to mitigating wildfires, developing protocols on when to use "emerging fire suppression tools" such as large air tankers, implementing stricter guidelines regarding when to call in large air attacks, and improving the communications plan between supervisors and crews.
U.S. judge dismisses most lumber companies from spotted owl case
A federal judge has dismissed all but one plaintiff lumber company from a lawsuit demanding the U.S. sell more Pacific Northwest timber from government land in Oregon which is also home to the protected northern spotted owl. The lawsuit is the third lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia demanding the Interior Department sell timber from six government land districts. Eleven lumber companies, a timber trade group and three individuals brought the latest lawsuit in August 2015.
Beetle that kills ash trees has struck in Cortlandt
The ash tree’s insides bore a sinister-looking serpentine mark. It was a tell-tale sign: the emerald ash borer, a green invasive beetle that's destroyed 50 million ash trees in the U.S., infested the tree on a residential property in Cortlandt Manor. Trevor G. Hall, an arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts in Elmsford, spotted the affected tree on the property recently. As per law, he reported the infestation. Cortlandt Manor is now under a quarantine banning transport of wood to and from affected areas by the state Department of Environmental Conservation....Hall said the beetle does not mean all ash trees will die. "Inspection and treatment are key, before infestation occurs," he said. Hall said insecticidal treatments can be injected either into soil or the tree's trunk.
Timber industry, Tomblin dispute reason for forestry layoffs
The West Virginia timber industry is blaming Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for state Division of Forestry layoffs that affect 37 employees who battle wildfires and monitor logging sites. Tomblin aides counter that the industry refuses to support a severance tax rate that’s necessary to keep the foresters on the state payroll. On Wednesday, the West Virginia Forestry Association, which represents logging operators and timber owners, alleged Tomblin could have shifted funds from discretionary accounts to save the state foresters’ jobs. “The governor’s willingness to play politics with the lives of these individuals and the safety of the citizens of West Virginia is deeply troubling,” said Frank Stewart, president of the forestry association. Earlier this week, Tomblin offered to call off the layoffs, provided the timber industry would support a severance tax that fully funded the Division of Forestry. Industry officials rejected the proposed deal.
37 WV foresters to lose jobs
Thirty-seven West Virginia foresters will lose their jobs. The state Division of Forestry employees fight forest fires and police the timber industry. In recent days, they’ve picked up chainsaws, waded through swollen streams and hauled supplies to victims of the flash floods that have devastated West Virginia. The foresters will be unemployed effective July 15. Politicians have pointed fingers at who’s to blame for the layoffs. “This is a political battle in an election year where 37 people got caught in the crossfire,” said Tim Casto, a forester on the layoff list. State Personnel Board members voted 4-1 to approve the layoffs during a meeting Tuesday at the state Capitol Complex. ...The 37 foresters make up about a third of the agency’s workforce. State officials have said the cuts will cripple the division’s ability to regulate logging in West Virginia’s forests.
World's oldest white oak, age 600, may soon die
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — A 600 year-old white oak tree, believed to be the oldest of its kind in the world, is showing signs of age and is worrying local residents. The tree is located beside a church built in 1717, where it has stood for 300 years before that. English evangelists James Davenport and George Whitefield preached to more than 3,000 people beneath the tree in 1740, and George Washington picnicked under it. The tree has survived war, natural disasters, droughts, and over a thousand storms. Churchmember Jon Klippel, said that residents were hoping the celebrated tree would spring to life once the weather warmed, but it hasn't.
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World Bank’s new Forest Action Plan questioned
After several years’ delay and with few opportunities for public input, the World Bank released its new Forest Action Plan (FAP) in April (see Observer Winter 2016, Autumn 2015). The five-year plan builds on the Bank’s 2002 forest strategy, and was proposed by the Bank following a highly critical 2013 evaluation by the Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (see Observer Winter 2014, Update 84). The FAP identifies two focus areas for the Bank: sustainable forest management and forest-smart interventions in other areas. ...In an April blog, Frances Seymour of US-based think tank Center for Global Development, welcomed the plan, but called on the Bank to dedicate adequate funding to it: “Allocating regular budgets toward implementation of the FAP will signal that forests are central to the Bank’s core agenda rather than an optional add-on.
South African firefighters paid according to Alberta laws, government says
Labour dispute ends for 300 dancing, singing South African firefighters
Nearly 300 firefighters from South Africa who came to Canada last month to help fight the massive forest fire in the Fort McMurray area have been paid according to Alberta labour laws, the government said Wednesday. Officials with the South African agency Working on Fire have confirmed for the Alberta government that the workers have been paid. They were paid "in the same salary range as Alberta wildland firefighters," the government said in a news release Wednesday. "We are grateful that these women and men came to help us in our time of need. We are pleased to get confirmation that they have been paid in accordance with our province's labour laws," Oneil Carlier, minister of Agriculture and Forestry, said in a statement.
Editorial: Fort Mac fire chief makes sense
Fort McMurray Fire Chief Darby Allen was very much the face of the courageous effort to save the city from even greater devastation by wildfire. To his great credit, now, Allen is the voice of reason as the community begins to rebuild, arguing construction should embrace materials that would prevent a future fire from doing great damage. Having sustained so much loss, it only makes sense that homes and businesses utilize supplies and designs that would mitigate costs — and prevent the loss of lives — if a fiery horror ever returns to Fort McMurray. ...The city and the province should act on Allen’s recommendations and implement measures that can be justified — steps that would provide a clear benefit at reasonable cost and wouldn’t infringe too steeply on property owners’ rights.
Crews battle forest fire near Tunkwa Lake
If you see smoke in the air on Thursday, it may be from a forest fire burning near Kamloops. The BC Wildfire Service is fighting a forest fire in the Kamloops region, north of Tunkwa Lake in the Kamloops Fire Zone. The Wildlife Service said smoke and fire activity may be visible from Kamloops, Logan Lake, Kamloops, Savona and across Kamloops Lake. Forty-three firefighters, one helicopter, tankers and skimmers were working Thursday afternoon to contain the blaze. This fire was estimated at five hectares at dinner time Thursday and grew to 15 hectares by darkfall. But the Wildfire Service said Thursday night that there had been minimal growth and less aggressive fire behaviour, with no communities or structures threatened.
Fire northeast of Yellowstone grows to 20 acres
A fire burning northeast of Yellowstone National Park grew to 20 acres overnight, according to a Shoshone National Forest spokesperson. The fire is located three miles west of the junction of Highway 212 and Highway 296, between the Beartooth Pass and Cooke City, along One Mile Creek. Crews are working to confine the fire to the One Mile Creek drainage. Additional resources have been ordered to include a helicopter and the La Grande Interagency Hotshots for a total of 37 personnel. On Tuesday a Shoshone National Forest engine responded to the area and found the fire burning in rugged terrain, the same area as the 1988 Clover Mist fire. In fires that year, more than 799,000 acres burned in nearby Yellowstone National Park.
Deadly California wildfires spark debate about development
By Scott Smith
FRESNO, Calif. • A speeding wildfire in California that turned hundreds of homes near Lake Isabella to piles of rubble has forced a conversation about how to minimize destruction in the most populous state experiencing the effects of climate change. Wildfires in the last few years have killed several people in California, a drought-prone state experiencing a five-year dry spell. Weather is one factor, but more critical is the state’s exploding population, spawning communities in the once sparsely inhabited ranch and timberland regions long known to burn, experts say. “We know this is going to happen,” said Kevin Ryan, a former U.S. Forest Service fire scientist, and now a fire sciences consultant. “We need to manage to take the crisis out of it.”
Wind and heat are driving wildfires in the West
Fast-moving wildfires fanned by strong, erratic winds and high temperatures are burning in California and Arizona. Here's a look at fires across the West: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA -A wildfire charged through inaccessible terrain and climbed up a steep canyon near Sacramento, forcing the evacuation of at least 400 homes.... SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA -A massive blaze that killed two people and destroyed more than 250 buildings in rural mountain communities was more than halfway contained Wednesday.... ARIZONA -Firefighters were mopping up Wednesday after a blaze in central Arizona came close to homes, forcing evacuations and the intermittent closure of a major interstate.
Public-Private Partnership Aims To Reduce Wildfire Risk
The federal government and a nonprofit group say they’ll work with private property owners to reduce the risk of major wildfires and protect rivers in the West. The U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the the American Forest Foundation said Tuesday the $5 million program will include California, Colorado, Montana and Oregon. Another project will be selected in the Four Corners region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
New cameras keep electronic eye on Western wildfires
By Haven Daley
ELDORADO NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. — As the summer wildfire season heats up in the West, a growing network of online cameras installed on forested mountaintops is changing the way crews fight fires by allowing early detection that triggers quicker, cheaper and more tactical suppression. The network of roughly 20 high-definition cameras being installed around the Lake Tahoe region can pan, tilt and zoom into fires. They can rotate 360 degrees. And the cameras even have night vision to supplement human lookouts that only work during daylight hours.
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Amazon fires: how we make rainforest more flammable
Human disturbances are making the Amazon rainforest more flammable, according to researchers. This is one of the conclusions of a two-year study of the Brazilian Amazon, which has revealed that even areas of protected forests are degraded by human activity, including logging and fragmentation - increasing the likelihood of wildfires. While the Brazilian Amazon is protected from large-scale deforestation, this new study - published in the journal Nature - suggests that more effort is needed to "safeguard the hyper-diversity of tropical forest ecosystems".
Company & Business News
U.S. Lumber Coalition Comments on United States - Canada Softwood Lumber Trade Agreement Negotiations
The U.S. Lumber Coalition
WASHINGTON, -- The U.S. Lumber Coalition welcomes the joint statement by President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau regarding common goals for pursuing a new and durable agreement on softwood lumber trade. The Coalition supports continued negotiations between the two nations aimed at designing an effective framework for offsetting trade distortions and job losses in the U.S. market caused by unfairly priced Canadian imports. ... The U.S. lumber industry's overarching goal is to restore an environment in which it can invest, grow to its natural size, and better be able supply the U.S. market – which will help restore the thousands of jobs lost to unfair trade, and can only happen if the domestic industry is not being impaired by unfairly traded imports. For a new agreement to be durable, it must establish border measures that are effective in all market situations and be sufficiently robust to prevent Canadian producers from exceeding the target market share.
What 'good' free trade looks like
Canada is America's biggest trading partner and home to some of the fiercest trade disputes. Here's why you never hear about them.
MADISON, MAINE — American jobs lost to a wave of cheap imports under a free-trade agreement. An unfavorable currency swing. Illegal state subsidies. And excess capacity. Blame China? Nope, Canada. Last month, the cavernous, blue-roofed pulp and paper mill in one-stoplight Madison, Maine, shut down, ending more than a century of paper production on the banks of the Kennebec River. ...The paper dispute echoes a much larger cross-border battle over Canadian lumber – the longest-running trade dispute between the two nations in modern times. The issue is how much duty, if any, the US should impose on Canadian timber that is extracted from government-owned land.
Obama, Trudeau: ‘Signficiant differences remain’ in summit softwood talks
by Peter O'Neil
OTTAWA — A settlement remains elusive but Canada and the U.S. have edged closer to a job-saving settlement on the softwood lumber dispute, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said here Wednesday. “The United States and Canada have made important progress in our negotiations, but significant differences remain,” they said in a joint statement. Thousands of jobs are at stake in the $20-billion Canadian industry that supports 370,000 jobs, primarily in B.C. but also in Quebec and Ontario, Canada’s second- and third-largest exporters, government and industry officials have recently warned. They said their officials will “maintain an intensive pace of engagement” with the goal of striking a deal before this autumn’s expiration of a 2006 peace accord.
Joint statement by the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States on softwood lumber
Given the great importance of the softwood lumber industry to the economies of the United States and Canada, on March 10, 2016, we instructed the United States Trade Representative and the Canadian Minister of International Trade to intensively explore all options and report back on the key features that would address the issue. In response to these instructions, our Ministers and their teams have been meeting diligently on softwood lumber over the past three months. These discussions have been challenging but productive. ...The United States and Canada have made important progress in our negotiations, but significant differences remain regarding the parameters of the key features.
Washington plays hardball with a softwood bat
By Carl Grenier - by led the Free Trade Lumber Council from 1999 to 2006. He now teaches at the University of Laval, and l’École nationale d’administration publique
Surprises are always possible, but as things stand now, Canada and the United States are not entering a new softwood lumber agreement any time soon. ...The last time around, the Americans enjoyed a special bonus, a $1-billion gift of Canadian industry money promised and delivered to the U.S. government and industry by former prime minister Stephen Harper’s government. ...Canada never seems to answer the bully’s threats in this dispute. Instead of warning that there will never again be a cash payout, Canada is offering money before being asked. ...Instead, Canada exudes weakness. Last week, Canada sent to Washington its assistant deputy minister and lead trade negotiator, then its Trade Minister, begging the bully to kick but not shoot. It’s no way to act on a playground, and no way to conduct international trade. Predictably, they got nothing.
Edson Forest Products seeking letter of support from county council
The downturn in oil and gas activities has also affected the forest industry, specifically how mills dispose of its hog (bark) waste. Edson Forest Products General Manager Albert Oliveira and its safety-environmental coordinator Christine Burt appeared before Yellowhead County Council at the June 28 meeting requesting a letter of support from the county. The company is requesting an extension on the company's certificate of Variance that was granted on Feb. 5. The extension, which was scheduled to run out June 30, would allow the mill to continue to burn its bark waste wood in its thermal oil heating plant. Since the downturn in oilfield activity, mills in Alberta have not been able to sell its waste wood on a regular basis to oil companies, which used the wood for oilfield environmental purposes.
TimberWest putting in debarker at Crofton
By Lexi Bainas
TimberWest is moving forward with the installation of a new debarker near the Catalyst pulp mill in Crofton. The forest company has been operating out of foreshore property near the mill for a long time, using log booms as part of its log export business. “What we’re doing right now is working with Catalyst to improve the dock facility we’ve been using there for many years,” said Monica Bailey, TimberWest’s communications director. “One of the elements of that is adding a debarker. We’ll be moving some of the logs out of the water onto the land, transitioning it into a land sort. And the debarker is going to be used to supply Catalyst with the bark for their pulp mill,” she said.
Investigation continues into death of Bible Hill man at Irving sawmill
By Raissa Tetanish
VALLEY - An investigation into the death of a 28-year-old man at a sawmill is likely to take some time. Scott Nauss, senior director of inspection and compliance with the Department of Labour, confirmed the investigation is continuing on site. “These types of investigations can take upwards of a few years,” he said. “There are a lot of moving parts and evidence that has to be sifted through so we can make sure we have a thorough investigation. It’s too early to say how long this one will take.” On Monday, an employee of the J.D. Irving Limited sawmill on the Valleydale Road was pronounced dead at the site. According to the labour department, he had been struck by a front-end loader.
US hardwood exports to China rise
By Zhong Nan
The value of United States hardwood exported to China rose 4.8 percent year-on-year to $520 million between January and April. That was thanks to China's fast-growing real estate and eco-friendly building materials markets, said the heads of US exporters. "Rising wages in China have created an exploding middle class, and new, additional demand for US hardwood products," said John Chan, regional director for Southeast Asia and China of the American Hardwood Export Council. "All the new homes, hotels, shopping centers, restaurants and office blocks being built in China need flooring, cabinetry, doors and windows, as well as building materials made using wood products," he said. "The potential is immense."
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Metsä Group's Finnish sawmills to become part of Metsä Fibre
Metsä Group’s Finnish sawmills will become part of the Group’s pulp industry Metsä Fibre in a group internal transaction. Until now, the sawmills have been part of the Group’s wood products industry Metsä Wood apart from the Svir sawmill in Russia which has already been part of Metsä Fibre. The transfer is expected to take place by the end of 2016, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The transfer is done to fully utilize the industrial synergies between pulp production and sawmilling. Use of wood raw material and logistics costs can be optimized even better than so far in a combined entity.
Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Sacramento clean-energy companies may benefit from dead-tree program
By Mark Anderson
Sacramento area clean-energy companies may benefit from an emergency effort by the state to see hundreds of thousands of acres of dead forests used to generate electric power, to avoid becoming fuel for massive wildfires. On Tuesday, the California Energy Commission released a grant funding solicitation of up to $23 million to spur research on technology to convert waste timber into energy as a way of dealing with the massive tree die-offs in California’s forests. Five years of drought, bark beetle infestations and fires have left California forests with more than 60 million dead trees, creating an enormous hazard. In December, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency and called on the Energy Commission to put together grant funding from the state’s Electric Program Investment Charge.
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Chinese Station biomass plant contract in limbo
The 20-megawatt biomass plant outside Chinese Camp that burns wood chips to produce electricity is still without a new long-term contract, leaving the future of the facility uncertain. The plant’s short-term contract extension to sell electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric ends July 31. This comes as the Forest Service has more than doubled its estimate of Sierra Nevada trees killed by drought stress and beetle infestation. The ongoing tree mortality crisis is considered a statewide emergency. The Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station plant on Enterprise Drive can burn 540 bone-dry tons of wood chips and wood waste every 24 hours, 320 days a year.
Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Professor presents research into natural fibers and rotomolding
By Bill Bregar
The rotomolding industry talks a lot about foaming and other technologies, but nobody’s talking about composites using natural fibers, according to university professor Denis Rodrigue. And he said rotomolding has an advantage when using wood fiber and other materials — the fibers do not always have to be pre-dried before using, since they spin through the rotomolding oven along with the part. Rodrigue is a professor at the Université Laval in Quebec City. The university did research on a dry blend wood flour to reinforce parts rotomolded with the biopolymer polylactic acid, both foamed and regular parts, he said. The plastics researchers used the Laval University’s wood products laboratory.
VIDEO: Is This City Ignoring Building Code Violations?
Local Albuquerque, New Mexico news affiliate KOB4 is reporting that all may not be well within the city's building code enforcement division. Brian Seylar is a structural engineer who worked for the city's code enforcement department. He can look at detailed home building plans approved in the city's permitting process and understand they represent a promise builders made to buyers -- that they will account for every piece of wood and screw noted. However, Seylar said the builders and their subcontractors too often leave those details out during construction. Seylar said the city knows it and is allowing homes to pass on inspections. Home construction may look and seem like an art, but he said it's a lot less subjective than it looks.
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Is walnut graded lower than other hardwoods? Well, it is graded differently
By Bucky Pescaglia. president, Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co.
Woodworker and commentator Scott Wunder recently posed this question: Why is walnut lumber graded lower than other hardwoods? Having spent the last 36 years in the walnut sawmill business - including eight years as a lumber inspector - I was very curious to read the article. But as soon as I did, I knew that I had to set the record straight, and give Scott a view from a different perspective. There were some statements and opinions that Scott shared that I want to help clarify, both as president of our family-owned walnut sawmill in Fayette, Missouri, and in my role as president of the American Walnut Manufacturers Association. (I’ve also served on the National Hardwood Lumber Association NHLA Rules Committee for 20 years.)