The Tree Frog News
Battle against fires starting to turn
Crews appear to have gotten a handle on central B.C. wildfires heading into the Labour Day long weekend. Rain to the east of Prince George and the Fraser River has reduced the fire danger rating in that area to low to very low, information officers Jillian Kelsh and Sandra Wagner said Thursday. To the west, the rating remains high to extreme going towards Vanderhoof, although Kelsh, who speaks for the Prince George Fire Centre, expected that to change over the next 24 to 48 hours with rain passing through. The Northwest Fire Centre just lifted its campfire ban, Kelsh noted, while there is no such ban in this area.
Area-based tenures report released
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
VICTORIA - Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minster Steve Thomson has issued the following statement today: “I would like to thank Jim Snetsinger for his comprehensive and professional report on government’s proposal to enable conversions of some volume-based forest licences to new or expanded tree farm licences. “His report contains 35 recommendations covering the full spectrum of economic, social, environmental, First Nations and administrative issues surrounding the proposed conversion of volume-based forest licences to area-based tree farm licences.
Wildfire season will rank among B.C.’s worst
This summer’s wildfire season will go down as one of the most destructive on record in B.C. As of Thursday, fires had burned up more than 330,000 hectares across the province and are expected to soon surpass the 337,000 hectares destroyed in the 2010 fire season. This year is still far short of 1958, when 856,000 hectares burned, but 2014 could move into fifth place if it surpasses 1950′s 343,339 hectares, or even third if it tops the 351,000 lost in 1971.
Trees feeling stress of the summer sun
Lower than average rainfall impacting trees
Some Whistler trees are stressed out. It has been drier than usual this summer and that is causing drought and making some area trees vulnerable, according to Whistler arborist Paul Duncan. It also makes the surrounding forest more vulnerable to wildfire. According to Environment Canada, it is too soon to say if this will be one of the driest summers on record in the municipality, but June and August (so far) were quite a bit drier than normal. ...But trees are feeling the pain already.
The fire next time
The summer of 2014 has seen its fair share of wildfires in the Okanagan. Fires broke out on Mount Boucherie and in Smith Creek in West Kelowna, forcing hundreds to evacuate their homes. Over the past decade or so, a series of major wildfires, including the Okanagan Mountain Park fire, Rose Valley fire, Trepanier fire and the Glenrosa fire, have resulted in thousands of hectares of dead trees across the landscape. In some cases, these burned areas have been salvaged – the dead trees removed and disposed of through lumber milling or chipping.
Water bomber that crashed on lake during forest fire was overloaded, TSB report
Halifax — A water bomber owned by the Newfoundland and Labrador government that crashed on Moosehead Lake last year took on too much water, which was a central cause in the plane failing to get airborne, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said Thursday. The aircraft owned by the government’s air service division came to rest upright on the lake and partially submerged, the board said in releasing its investigation report into the accident.
Waterbomber crew took on too much water: TSB crash report from The CBC
Oregon Spotted Frog Listed Under Endangered Species Act
The Oregon spotted frog, once abundant in the Northwest, now lives in a few scattered wetlands across the region. Over the years, it’s lost up to 90 percent of its habitat. Now, the frog will receive protection under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species. ...The Oregon spotted frog has been a candidate for the Endangered Species Act for more than 20 years. ...Klamath County commissioners in southern Oregon are worried the decision will hurt the local ranching and logging industries. “It’s just another encroachment on the citizens’ private property rights and rights to use public lands,” said Commissioner Tom Mallams.
Eye on Boise: Politics hinder wildfire funding bill
A year ago, Idaho GOP Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, along with Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, gathered at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise to push the federal government to tap disaster funds when firefighting costs balloon above allocated amounts. Their goal is to stop cutting into fire-prevention and forest management programs that could prevent future fires. Their bipartisan legislation had been picking up support in both houses – Idaho GOP Rep. Mike Simpson is among the House sponsors, along with Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon – but paradoxically suffered a setback earlier this year after President Barack Obama not only endorsed it but included it in his budget.
NM forest health study now available
The public, forest managers, and scientists now have the most comprehensive inventory of forest health trends in New Mexico's history. Through a successful partnership between the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and the New Mexico State Forestry Division the results of a multi-year forest study are now available. Given that 44 percent of New Mexico's forests are tied to private and tribal lands, it was critical for the U.S. Forest Service and the State to work together on the inventory. "
Contractor logging worries some users of 9-mile northeastern Michigan hiking trail
OSSINEKE TOWNSHIP, Michigan — Trail users in Michigan's northeastern Lower Peninsula are raising concerns that upcoming logging operations could damage a 9-mile pathway. State Department of Natural Resources forestry manager Cody Stevens tells the Alpena News state contractors are preparing to cut some oak and aspen trees near Chippewa Hills Pathway. He says the DNR approved the sale a few years ago and the cutting should improve wildlife habitat and hunting conditions. The Thunder Bay Trails Association vice president says loggers could
damage the pathway used by hikers, bikers, horseback riders and
cross-country skiers. Volunteers help maintain the trail.
Douglas fir needle midge damage showing up in Christmas tree plantations
Douglas fir needle midge larvae cause galls to form on current-year needles. Infested needles drop from the tree in the fall, usually just before harvest. Severe infestations can cause needle loss, a serious problem for Christmas trees.
Over the past few years, we have seen an increase of damage to Douglas fir in Christmas tree plantations caused by the Douglas fir needle midge, Contarinia pseudotsuga Condr (Cecidomyiidae). Severe infestations can cause unacceptable needle loss, an especially serious problem for Christmas trees (Photo 1). Even moderate needle loss can reduce the value of Christmas trees and heavily damaged trees may be unsalable. Douglas fir needle midge over-winters as larvae in the soil under infested trees.
No logging in the Pilliga and Goonoo - Nature Conservation Council
Conservationists are dismissive of the 'ecological thinning' the Natural Resources Commission has recommended take place in the conservation areas of the Goonoo and Pilliga State Forests in New South Wales . Campaigners from the Nature Conservation Council say that allowing any commercial logging into Nature Conservation Areas is taking an unacceptable risk with endangered species which live there. Activist Karl Beckert is currently touring the Brigalow and Nandewar Community Conservation Area at the request of locally-based conservationists such as the Dubbo Field Naturalists.
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End of Tasmania’s forest peace deal heralds more uncertainty
Tasmania’s parliament yesterday passed new forestry laws to undo the state’s forest “peace” deal. The laws are the most significant step so far in delivering the Liberal government’s pledge to “tear up” the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, formed in 2013 between the forest industry, government and environmental groups. The law undoes around 400,000 hectares of reserves created in the agreement. These will be shifted into a new land category — Future Potential Production Forest Land.
Company & Business News
NS: Woodlot association meeting turns into forum for ecosystem, sustainable forestry talk
The meeting was called after the board of directors saw the need to act as discussions around Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp. heat up. The loudest voice in the crowd is the one that tends to be heard the most. That wasn't quite the case Wednesday night during the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association public meeting at the Wellness Centre. The meeting was called after the board of directors saw the need to act as discussions around Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp. heat up.
West coast log exports up, lumber exports down in second quarter of 2014
Pacific Northwest Research Station
PORTLAND, Ore., —Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska totaled 515 million board feet in volume in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of more than 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014, the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station reported today. During this same period, West coast lumber exports decreased by 4 percent to 247 million board feet.
Stoltze announces cutback at lumber mill
Blaming a recent court case that closed some state forest lands to logging, F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co. announced Aug. 27 that it plans to partially curtail production at its lumber mill in Columbia Falls. Stoltze announced that effective Sept. 29, sawmill production hours will be cut back from 80 hours per week to 60. Nine to 10 workers would be laid off as a result. The company says an Aug. 21 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy that blocked plans to build new logging roads in the Stillwater State Forest north of Whitefish affected two logging contracts held by Stoltze.
Columbia Falls sawmill announces layoffs, cites timber blocked by litigation from The Missoulian
California Redwood Company to leave redwood lumber business: Up to 80 jobs affected by transition to Douglas Fir
Green Diamond Resource Company officials announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary is getting out of the redwood lumber business, transitioning to Douglas fir lumber by year's end. The shift will affect up to 80 workers. The California Redwood Company, according to a Green Diamond press release, will continue to process its remaining redwood log inventory and supply customers from existing redwood lumber inventories over the next few months while exiting the business. "Despite our best efforts, CRC has not been able to achieve positive results for redwood lumber manufacturing and sales over the last several years," President Douglas Reed said in the release.
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Crossett Residents Address Air Quality Concerns with Georgia-Pacific Plant
CROSSETT, AR - The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) hosted an open house Tuesday night.It's part of a continuing effort to address questions from the public on operations at Georgia-Pacific LLC's local plant. Along with Georgia-Pacific, were other public operation representatives, such as the Crossett Water Company. One of the groups that spoke with us at the open house, the Concerned Citizens for Crossett, tells us community members are having issues with their health. They tell us these health issues are coming from pollutants that Georgia-Pacific is releasing. They feel these pollutants have caused residents in the town to get sick.