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Forestry

National Park News: Pine beetle update

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Dec 17, 2014
The Fitzhugh

Jasper National Park has been monitoring and responding to mountain pine beetle (MPB) populations since they were first recorded in the park in 1999. Forest diseases and insects like MPB provide a natural disturbance that is important in keeping forest ecosystems healthy, resilient and diverse. Increased populations however, could pose a threat to the forest industry adjacent to the park. Populations have increased steadily in the past few years.

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Rangers hope to reduce Northern Colorado fire risk

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Dec 17, 2014
Colaradoan

Canyon Lakes Ranger District is seeking the public’s input on a plan to cut trees on 54 acres of land near Crystal Lakes and Red Feather Lakes to reduce fire risk. This portion of the Manhattan Fuels Reduction Project would mitigate hazardous fuels in the area and improve overall forest health, according to the district. The acres in question were previously treated, but require more treatment and fuel reduction because of damage by the mountain pine beetle. If approved, trees would be cut down and removed with mechanical equipment in 2015 or 2016. The public is invited to comment on the plan.

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Work begins on 20-year ash tree removal plan

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
Dec 17, 2014
Ames Tribune

The city of Ames Public Works Department began removing ash trees in public right-of-ways in Ames’ Northridge Heights neighborhood Wednesday morning, marking the initial step of a 20-year response plan to the emerald ash borer insect that devastates the tree species. Wednesday’s tree removals in the northwest part of the city came after a Dec. 9 City Council decision to amend the response plan it approved in October in order to limit the appeals process for trees in public right-of-ways — the areas between curbs and sidewalks — so that work could begin this winter. Tree removals will continue through the winter, with stump removals to follow in the spring.

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Big data and the science of the Christmas tree

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
Dec 18, 2014
Phys.org

Often called the "Cadillac of Christmas trees," the Fraser Fir has everything a good Christmas tree should have: an even triangular shape, a sweet piney fragrance, and soft needles that (mostly) stay attached and won't leave tiny stabs in your fingers. But even Frasers eventually turn, and by the New Year, what was once a beautiful sapling has started to smell like decomposing wood and litter its needles across your living room floor. So scientists who refine the breeding of these and other practically perfect crops are always looking for new ways to understand how trees grow best.

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Blushing fungi tunes into bells of wrens and barks of ravens

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Dec 17, 2014
The Guardian

Something is growing from a dead elder trunk: a cluster of growths that look like a little camouflaged satellite dish or old-fashioned radio receiver, some kind of listening post. The growth is a fungus called the blushing bracket, which is killing the tree with white rot. It sent its flat, half-biscuit shaped, fruiting body brackets, out in autumn to release a million or so spores. Now though it has hardened into something like Bakelite and opening wide appears like an ear growing out of the tree. The fungus is streaked with dark browns, orangey browns, ochre and black – the same colours worn by the buzzard that drops heavily from an old horse chestnut, making a low pass across the field.

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A day off from the Rolling Stones tour at the World Parks Congress

Chuck Leavell, co-founder of MNN and keyboard player with the Rolling Stones, took a break from his music to discuss global parks and how we can make them better.

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Dec 17, 2014
Mother Nature Network

Sometimes my passions for music and the environment come together in strange and wonderful ways. The recent Stones tour of Australia played in Sydney in November. This happened to be the same day that the sixth World Parks Congress opened, with both events in Olympic Park, home of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The World Parks Congress only happens once a decade, bringing together thousands of park managers with policymakers and politicians, scientists, landowners, indigenous peoples and many others for a bewildering smorgasbord of workshops, demonstrations, multimedia installations, and general craziness, sprawling across multiple buildings and courtyards across from the arena where the Stones played.

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Tasmanian land-clearing limits deferred

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Dec 18, 2014
AAP

Tasmanian farmers have won over the federal government, which will lift a ban on broadscale private land clearing before it has even begun. In a deal between federal and state Labor governments, private landowners were limited to clearing 20 hectares over five years, which was down from a cap of 40ha a year. The measure, due to commence in January, has been delayed for at least a year, Liberal senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck confirmed on Thursday. "I have spoken with Tasmanian farmers who raised concerns about the negative impact the land-clearing ban would have on their businesses, potentially impacting their ability to expand and take advantage of new opportunities," he said.

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Company & Business News

Former Terrace mayor remembered for getting the job done

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Dec 17, 2014
Terrace Standard

FORMER mayor Jack Talstra, who passed away Dec. 5, 2014, very rarely lost his temper in public. But when he did, it was for a direct effect. It was mid-1997, the first months of uncertainty following the news that forest products giant Repap and its B.C. subsidiary, Skeena Cellulose, was in deep financial trouble. Closure of the company’s sawmill here, a showcase when it opened in 1988, and which drove the city’s and area’s employment and business base would bring on a crisis.

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Vancouver port could be hit by Christmas strike, union warns

Vancouver-area ports could be shut down once again by striking truckers if the province doesn’t budge on recently introduced payment rates

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Dec 16, 2014
Business in Vancouver

Vancouver-area ports could be shut down once again by striking truckers if the province doesn’t budge on recently introduced payment rates. “They’re very unhappy,” said Gavin McGarrigle, B.C. area director for Unifor. “All options are on the table.” McGarrigle warned that if movement doesn’t happen soon on the file, “it could be a rocky Christmas.” Two groups of container truckers went on strike last March for a total of 29 days: 1,000 non-unionized workers organized as the United Truckers’ Association (UTA) and 250 members of the Vancouver Container Truckers’ Assocation (VCTA), represented by Unifor.

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Building of S&W Forest Products in Maple Ridge destroyed in fire

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Dec 17, 2014
Global News

Fire crews in Maple Ridge are mopping up this morning after a blaze at S&W Forest Products. Flames broke out at the office of the business on 288th Street around 11 last night. When crews arrived, the office was fully engulfed in flames. The Maple Ridge fire department had to call for assistance from crews in Mission because there were no fire hydrants in the area and water had to be shuttled in to fight the blaze. Asst. Chief Michael Vandop with Maple Ridge Fire Department told Global News the damage to the building is significant, but luckily no one was inside when the fire started.

Maple Ridge firefighters need help to contain mill office fire from The Vancouver Sun

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Old lumber mill in southwestern Nova Scotia heavily damaged by fire

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Dec 18, 2014
Chronicle Herald

A defunct mill in Caledonia was partially destroyed by fire Tuesday evening. It took firefighters about 90 minutes to get the blaze under control and by that time the back half of the approximately 60-metre long building had been destroyed, said North Queens Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Lohnes. The area was wet and hard to work in. “It looks like a reenactment of Dieppe around here,” Lohnes said during a telephone interview late Wednesday night. ...The operation was owned by Douglas Lumber, then L&S Lumber and is now owned by Hefler Lumber, he said.

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Put wood supply on hold: mayor

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Dec 17, 2014
Fort Frances Times

Fort Frances Mayor Roy Avis has asked Natural Resources and Forestry minister Bill Mauro to put Resolute Forest Products’ local wood supply on hold until the future of the company’s shuttered mill here is determined. In a letter to Mauro last week, the mayor said while he understands the asset is owned by Resolute, he thinks the minister is in a unique position to influence decisions by the company. “Now is the time for you to inform Resolute that the wood supply from the Crossroute and Sapawe forests should not be built into their wood supply plans,” Mayor Avis wrote. “This wood should be held by the minister until the fate of the Fort Frances pulp mill is determined,” he stressed.

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Hearing on Port Townsend Paper’s boiler upgrade draws small crowd; comment period set to end Friday

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States; US West
Dec 17, 2014
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A public hearing to gather input for a boiler upgrade at the Port Townsend Paper Corp.’s mill drew a sparse crowd this week. About 30 people attended Monday night’s hearing at Fort Worden Commons, with half of that number representing the state Department of Ecology, Port Townsend Paper Corp. and the media. The hearing represents the last stage of the comment period for the upgrade, which is required to meet stricter environmental standards that go into effect in January 2016. PT AirWatchers spokeswoman Gretchen Brewer said the light attendance at Monday’s hearing was due to the holiday season, along with the company’s claim that the boiler upgrade will not significantly affect the mill’s odor output.

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Finally, hope for local Christmas tree sellers (video)

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States; US West
Dec 16, 2014
ABC News

SAN DIEGO - For the past six years, San Diego tree companies have taken a beating, as the economic downturn has meant fewer customers and meager profits. Some local sellers tell 10News that this season they're finally seeing a turnaround in this downward trend. "It's a tough business, a very tough business," said Mike Osborne of Pinery Christmas Trees. "You do all of your sales in 30 days, and you're dealing with a product that only lasts four to five weeks."

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Rally scheduled for Bucksport mill employees on final day of work

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States; US East
Dec 18, 2014
Maine Sun Journal

BUCKSPORT — Some came out with grim faces while others smiled and stopped to shake hands and chat with friends about days gone by. But all millworkers who filed out of the Verso Paper mill Wednesday got applause from a crowd of more than 100 people who gathered at the main gate to mark the final shift at the 84-year-old papermaking facility. “It’s pretty down,” millworker Travis French, 36, of Ellsworth said of the mood in the mill that day as he stood across the street. He held his toddler daughter, Harper, in his arms as he walked away from his last shift at the mill, where he has worked since 2009.

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ANZ says it does not have power to cancel Timbercorp investor debts (radio)

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
Dec 18, 2014
ABC News, Australia

The ANZ bank has told investors in the collapsed company Timbercorp that it doesn't have the power to cancel their debts. Thousands of people lost millions of dollars when the timber plantation business went under in 2009. Some say they weren't made aware of the risks when they took out loans from ANZ to invest in the forestry schemes, so they want their debts erased. ANZ's chairman David Gonski told the bank's annual general meeting in Melbourne says the matter is out of his hands.

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Experts unable to determine cause of Nannup timber mill blaze

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
Dec 17, 2014
ABC News, Australia

Investigators have been unable to determine the cause of a fire that caused between $2-2.5 million damage to a Nannup timber mill. Nannup Timber Processing is only running at half capacity after fire last week broke out in the drying kiln and storage shed. General manager Vincent Corlett said investigators were unable to pin down the cause of the fire but determined it was not suspicious. "Well the FESA investigators were unable to pin down the cause the of fire, I think the conclusion was inconclusive other than it wasn't suspicious circumstances," he said. Seven to 10 people will not have full-time employment until the mill is restored.

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Hope springs for Tokyo’s Tama wood

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
Dec 17, 2014
The Japan News

Next fiscal year marks the 10th since the Tokyo metropolitan government started working with forestry-related organizations to sell lumber made from cedar and cypress trees grown in the Tokyo cities of Ome and Hachioji. The project aims to market the “Tama-made” lumber to spur the replacement of regular cedar with those that produce less pollen, while also revitalizing the forestry industry. “Trees planted by those before us are logged, with the profits used to nurture the forest for the next generation,” said Nobuhiro Tatsumi, 49, the metropolitan government’s forestry chief. “We’re hoping to promote this virtuous cycle and develop Tokyo’s forestry industry.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

USDA improves forest health by harvesting biomass for energy

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States
Dec 17, 2014
Biomass Magazine

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that more than 200,000 tons of biomass were removed from federal lands through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. BCAP, reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provided incentives for the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management lands for renewable energy, while reducing the risk of forest fire. This summer, 19 energy facilities in 10 states participated in the program.

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Mono County biomass project in California receives $215,000 grant

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States; US West
Dec 17, 2014
Biomass Magazine

California’s Mono County thermal biomass project is one of three ventures awarded funding through the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Grant Program. The project received $215,000 to remove and replace the current propane boiler system at the County Road Shop and Parks/Facilities building in Bridgeport with a new 2.5 MMBtu per hour or less thermal biomass boiler system to heat the approximately 12,855 square-foot building. The boiler system will utilize biomass residue resulting from activities associated with reducing forest fuel loads in the general vicinity of the project.

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Wood & Paper Products & Green Building

Charming stools, side tables beautifully repurposed from ash logs, sawdust

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada
Dec 17, 2014
Globe and Mail

The Ash A356.0 series of stools and side tables, by Toronto’s experimental Stacklab studio, is absurdly cute. The collection looks a bit like giant onions or mushrooms, but stylized, as though each were ripped from a charmingly illustrated children’s book. But the pieces’ sweet, innocent appearance belies a near ruthless efficiency on the part of the designers. Almost nothing is wasted in the chairs’ creation, which is, in fact, made from over 90-per cent repurposed materials.

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