Region Archives: US East

Business & Politics

Domtar Kingsport Packaging Mill fined for exceeding permit emissions

By Allison Winters
The TimesNews
April 16, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

KINGSPORT, Tennessee — Domtar was fined $64,650 for exceeding permit emission limits, failure to maintain treatment equipment and pollution. A Director’s Order was issued by the Division of Water Pollution Control to Domtar on April 8. The order states an upfront allocation of $25,954 is due by 31 days of the receipt of the order. The remaining penalty is determined based on further compliance with the order, including corrective actions. “The Order shall be considered closed one year following Division approval of the final report, provided all requirements of the Order have been met, any outstanding penalties have been paid, and the Respondent is in substantial compliance with the Act,” the order states. …“We have not yet received a formal notification,” said Jan Martin, director of communication and public affairs for Domtar. “When we do, we will thoroughly review it and respond appropriately. 

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Greif Prepares For Opening of New Manufacturing Facility in Dallas, Texas

By Greif, Inc.
GlobeNewswire
April 16, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

DALLAS, Texas — Greif, a producer of industrial packaging products and services, is finalizing construction on their new bulk corrugated manufacturing facility in Dallas, Texas. Scheduled to open later this spring, the new facility will significantly expand Greif’s capacity in the bulk corrugated business and create opportunities in the South and Southwest regions of the United States, as well as Mexico. …Chris Zimmerman, VP – Containerboard & Corrugated Sales… “Equipped with highly automated machinery, this facility will enable us to respond swiftly to customer demands while maintaining superior lead times and product quality.” The Greif CorrChoice Dallas plant will primarily make triple wall sheets and jumbo boxes and will have capabilities that include inline gluing and stitching. These products will serve the industrial and agricultural industries. 

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Smurfit Kappa expands to Anderson County, North Carolina

By Greg Wilson
The Anderson Observer
April 9, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

NORTH CAROLINA — A global paper-based packaging company has purchased a 259,000 square-foot building in Anderson County at Exit 27 on I-85. Smurfit Kappa has committed to bring 200 new jobs and a $68 million investment as part of the new facility. The Irish firm currently operates at 350 sites in 36 countries, with 46,000 employees worldwide, and specializes in cardboard packaging manufacturing, producing 11 billion square meters of such products a year. The company is also active in the paper-making and recycling sectors. The company expects to acquire a new 259,000-square-foot facility. Burn said the building, an industrial spec building, is another example of the benefits if private investment is benefiting the county. The building is part of Hunt Midwest’s Evergreen 85 Logistics Park.

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Two Rivers Lumber plans $115 million sawmill project in Coosa County, Alabama

By Jerry Underwood
Alabama News Center
April 11, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

ALABAMA — Governor Kay Ivey announced today that Two Rivers Lumber plans to invest $115 million to build a state-of-the-art sawmill in Coosa County as the company’s second operation in Alabama. Demopolis-based Two Rivers Lumber has committed to creating 130 jobs at the new Alabama sawmill, which will specialize in the production of Southern yellow pine dimensional lumber. …Two Rivers was established by the McElroy family, owners of McElroy Truck Lines in Cuba, Alabama, and Roy Geiger, owner of Sumter Timber in Jefferson, Alabama. The company opened its first sawmill in Marengo County in 2017. Today, the facility near Demopolis has an annual capacity of 200 million board feet and 145 full-time employees. …Peak North America is leading construction of the facility in Kellyton, with a start set for June.

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RoyOMartin Announces $30 Million Modernization of Timber Manufacturing Facility in Southwest Louisiana

Louisiana Economic Development News
April 11, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

OAKDALE, Louisiana – Martco, parent company for timber sourcing and manufacturing company RoyOMartin, announced it will invest more than $30 million to install technologically advanced production equipment at its Allen Parish plant that produces oriented strand board for the housing industry The RoyOMartin OSB plant is one of the parish’s largest employers, and as a result of this expansion, the company will retain its 232 full-time employees who earn an annual average salary of $75,000. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will also result in nearly 600 indirectly supported jobs in the state, for a total of 831 retained and indirectly supported jobs. …RoyOMartin has its headquarters in Alexandria and additional plants in Chopin, Louisiana, and Corrigan, Texas. To win the Oakdale project, Louisiana Economic Development offered a competitive incentive package that includes a performance-based Retention and Modernization Tax Credit valued at $455,400.

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Spearfish timber mill lays off quarter of its staff

By Lee Strubinger
South Dakata Public Broadcasting
April 11, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

The Black Hills’ largest sawmill is announcing layoffs and reductions at its Spearfish facility. Nieman Enterprises says it’s laying off 50 employees—roughly a quarter of its staff at Spearfish Forest Products. The timber mill says the layoffs are a “direct result of reductions to the Black Hills National Forest timber sale program.” “We have done everything possible to prevent this unfortunate outcome that will impact these employees, our community and ultimately the health of the forest,” said Jim Neiman, president of Neiman Enterprises, in the layoff announcement. Timber sales have dropped significantly since 2018. …Large wildfires in the early 2000s, the mountain pine beetle epidemic and aggressive timber harvesting as a result have led to a reduction in sawtimber. …This year, state lawmakers rejected a proposal to place $20 million in federal pandemic aid money into a grant for the timber industry.

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Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association elects 2024 officers

By Larry Adams
Woodworking Network
April 10, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Truss Beasley

PITTSBURGH — Members of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association (SCMA) elected officers for 2024 at the association’s Annual Meeting on March 25, in Charleston, South Carolina. Truss Beasley, Beasley Forest Products, Hazlehurst, Georgia, was elected SCMA president. He joined BFP in 2014 and is currently serving as vice president of business development for the Beasley Group sawmills and flooring plants. …Mike Shook, Norcross Supply Company, Peachtree Corners, Georgia, was elected vice president. Shook joined NSC in 1991, and currently serves as president and chairman of the board. For more information about the SCMA, visit CypressInfo.org.

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Former Allegheny Wood Products owner now facing criminal charges after plant closure

By Chris Lawrence
West Virginia MetroNews
April 10, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

MOOREFIELD, West Virginia — The former president of the now defunct Allegheny Wood Products has been hit with criminal charges in Hardy County Magistrate Court over failed payment to a pair of independent loggers. A criminal complaint, filed March 25 by Hardy County Sheriff Steve Dawson, charged John W. Crites Jr. with two felony counts of obtaining goods by means of false pretense. Court documents indicated loggers Mark Rexrode and Victoria Dyer each delivered loads of logs to the Allegheny Wood Products yard. The checks used to pay both individuals bounced because the account with United Bank had been frozen. …Crites’ attorney said.. “The bank declared a default and froze AWP’s operating accounts. For valid reasons, people are angry. Yet, a company not paying bills after a bank seizes its money doesn’t rise to the level of a criminal case. This is a civil matter. …The criminal charges should be dismissed”.

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SFPA/SLMA hosts 2024 Spring Meeting for Southern Pine Lumber Community

LBM Journal
April 10, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Southern Pine lumber was front and center during the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association’s and Southern Forest Products Association’s 2024 Spring Meeting held March 20-22 at The Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. The 2024 Spring Meeting brought 246 Southern Pine industry professionals together representing 154 companies directly involved with the production of Southern Pine lumber, from sawmills to equipment manufacturers to service providers. A trade expo was also held during the spring meeting, with 39 companies showcasing their services to support the manufacturing and delivery of Southern Pine lumber. “This was a can’t-miss opportunity to network within the Southern Pine industry,” said Bryan Smalley, SLMA’s president.

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Canfor to close aging Jackson, Alabama mill, expand nearby Fulton facility

By Canfor Corporation
Cision Newswire
April 10, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

ALABAMA — Canfor Corporation announced that it will optimize its footprint in southern Alabama by permanently closing its Jackson facility and expanding production at its Fulton facility with a second shift. These steps, together with the previously announced construction of a new, state-of-the art greenfield sawmill in Axis, will grow the Company’s regional manufacturing platform by 100 million board feet of production capacity and consolidate operations at modern facilities that are well positioned to be competitive for the long-term. …Lee Goodloe, President, Canfor Southern Pine said, “To this end, we are making the difficult decision to close the aging Jackson mill at the end of June, while expanding production at our nearby Fulton facility. …We expect the majority of our [Jackson] employees will have an opportunity at either our expanded operation in Fulton, which will add a second shift, or in Axis once the new facility opens later this year.”

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Peak Renewables in late stages of commissioning pellet plant in Dothan, Alabama

By Maria Church
Biomass Magazine
April 9, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Peak Renewables’s flagship pellet plant in Dothan, Alabama—a joint venture with Rex Lumber—is in the late stages of commissioning. With a 150,000 tons-per-year nameplate capacity, the plant will run 100% on dry shavings. Peak Renewables’ unique ownership structure as one of six vertically integrated companies owned by the Brian Fehr Group, as well as its ability to refurbish and relocate equipment from other acquired assets, resulted in an impressive turnaround. Groundbreaking to start-up took just nine months. ….The joint venture with Rex Lumber is both in the company’s ethos of partnering locally and a practicality of today’s market, Woolard says. Rising capital costs, fiber costs, transportation costs—the list goes on to whittle away at the bottom line for pellet producers. …With their Sustainable Biomass Program certification and Europe’s Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification in hand, Dothan’s wood pellets will soon be heading overseas.

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Internationally renowned forestry expert dies at 90

Legacy
April 6, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Hester Barres

Mystic, Connecticut — Herster Barres, an internationally renowned forestry expert who pioneered programs to combat climate change and diversify crops for small farmers, died March 7, 2024, at Yale New Haven Hospital after a short illness. He was 90. Dr. Barres founded and directed the nonprofit organization, Reforest The Tropics (RTT), which today manages more than 1480 acres of research forests on 17 farms in Costa Rica. More than 100 U.S. forest sponsors rely on over 500,000 trees planted on these farms (over the past 25 years) to offset their carbon emissions. “He single-handedly conceived of an improved reforestation model that solved many of the historical challenges to long-term forestry projects on private farms,” said Greg Powell, who took over as RTT director when Dr. Barres retired in 2019. …After graduating from Yale University and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, he earned a doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. 

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AHF Products Announces Acquisition of Two Sawmills

Floor Covering Weekly
April 5, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

MOUNTVILLE, Pennsylvania — AHF Products announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire assets related to Allegheny Wood Products’ (AWP) sawmills in Smoot, Greenbrier County, and Norton, Randolph County. According to AHF president & CEO Brian Carson… AHF will retain approximately 80 direct jobs at the two mills, which were originally slated to close at the end of March, and is expected to create approximately two times that, with new jobs being created for loggers, truckers and suppliers in the region. The supply of Eastern hardwood lumber in the U.S. is currently 65% of what it was pre-pandemic and 40% of what it was before 2007. The purchase of the two sawmills recovers 100% of the lumber supply AHF would have lost due to the closure of AWP. These two mills combined will supply 25 million board feet annually.

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CEO of Beadles Lumber and Beal Award recipient dies at 87

Legacy
April 7, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Clarence Victor Beadles

GEORGIA — Clarence Victor Beadles, III, a 65-year resident of Moultrie, passed away on Thursday, March 28, 2024, at the age of 87. Mr. Beadles attended and graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Beadles soon became the Chairman and CEO of Beadles Lumber Company, a wholesale manufacturer of southern yellow pine lumber. His professional contributions to the lumber industry included being a founding member, board member, and President of the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association. He was also a board member representing the State of Georgia on the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau and served on the Norfolk Southern Advisory Board. He was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue to serve two terms as a board member of the Georgia Forestry Commission. He was the recipient of the Beal Award for his outstanding service to the southern pine lumber industry.

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April nor’easter with heavy, wet snow pounds Northeast, knocks out power to hundreds of thousands

By Dave Collins
The Associated Press in the Atlanta Journal Constitution
April 4, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

A major spring storm brought heavy snow, rain and high winds to the Northeast, downing trees and power lines and leaving nearly 700,000 homes and businesses without power at one point. A woman was killed by a falling tree in a New York City suburb and a second woman died in a New Hampshire fire caused by the weather. Two feet of snow was expected in parts of northern New England by Thursday evening, with wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph in coastal areas and inland, according to the National Weather Service. Moderate to heavy snow was forecast to continue in the evening and into Friday in areas of higher terrain. Maine and New Hampshire bore the brunt of the power outages, with about 310,000 and 125,000, respectively, as of Thursday night, according to poweroutage.us. Local officials said the heavy, wet snow was to blame for bringing down trees and power lines.

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AHF Products Acquires Two West Virginia Sawmills From Allegheny Wood Products

By Curtis Tate
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
April 2, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

WEST VIRGINIA — AHF Products has acquired two sawmills in West Virginia, aiming to ensure a stable lumber supply for its solid wood flooring manufacturing facility in Beverly, West Virginia.  The purchase is a strategic move to secure the company’s future success. AHF’s president/CEO, Brian Carson, stressed the importance of the investment in maintaining a reliable lumber supply. The acquisition will not only protect around 80 jobs but is also expected to create new employment opportunities. COO Jake Loftis highlighted the positive impact, noting that it will provide more than 20% of the required supply for flooring production. This move is crucial for AHF’s long-term success.

In related coverage: Workers At 2 Allegheny Wood Products Mills Could Get A Reprieve

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

North Carolina updating fire code following deadly SouthPark fire

By Morgan Frances
Queen City News
April 17, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — It was one of the darkest days in Charlotte’s history when a 5-alarm fire engulfed a SouthPark apartment complex under construction, trapping two workers inside. …Now, because of that fire, changes are on the way. …The State Fire Marshal’s Office plans to adopt the most recent National Fire Protection Association standards, which was released in 2022. North Carolina adopts changes to the state fire code every six years. …The standards target fire safety, specifically, at wood-framed sites. One change will require property owners to designate a Fire Prevention Program Manager for the site. That person will be responsible for maintaining a fire safety plan. “This daily inspection is going to allow them to identify fire safety as the building is going up,” said Robin Zevotek, for the National Fire Protection Association. The prior version did not have that daily inspection requirement. …The changes are expected to be implemented in January 2025.

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Mass timber construction reaching new heights in Ontario

Timmins Today
April 11, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, US East

Ontario’s forest products industry is welcoming the government’s move to allow mass timber buildings to reach greater heights. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said it will be amending Ontario’s Building Code in the coming months to permit for construction of these buildings to be upsized from its current 12 storeys to 18. Steven Street, the executive director of WoodWorks Ontario, applauded the decision. …“The move will support greater adoption of industrialized approaches, utilizing factory-built benefits that can expedite the supply of critical infrastructure in a sustainable way.” …Approximately 150 mass timber projects have been completed, are under constructed, or are being planned. …Rick Jeffery, Canadian Wood Council president-CEO, congratulated the government for taking a leadership role to supporting the industry. …Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Graydon Smith said Ontario’s abundant natural resources and the skill of the industry’s workforce will meet the current demand for housing.

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Forestry

DNA science cracked case of stolen walnut trees on Mark Twain National Forest

By Lucas Davis
News Talk KZRG
April 17, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

MISSOURI — A recent investigation of illegal tree harvesting on the Mark Twain National Forest that led to the indictment of a southern Missouri man used DNA from an illegally harvested log. This case marks the first time that tree DNA was used to investigate a federal timber poaching case in the eastern US. …After identifying eight freshly cut walnut stumps at the site, a Forest Service special agent investigated a nearby lumber mill, where he found one log with dimensions matching one of the stumps. …The special agent contacted Richard Cronn, a USDA Forest Service research geneticist in Oregon, who pioneered the use of tree DNA in illegal logging investigations. …Cronn’s lab showed that the samples were identical across 80 genetic markers. …The defendant pled guilty in July 2023 to one felony count of depredation of Government property.

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John Ralph wins prestigious Marcus Wallenberg Foundation

By Chris Hubbuch
University of Wisconsin-Madison
April 17, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

John Ralph

The world’s top prize in forestry research has been awarded to University of Wisconsin–Madison biochemistry professor John Ralph for work that has led to new uses for one of the world’s most abundant natural resources. The Marcus Wallenberg Foundation awarded the 2024 Marcus Wallenberg Prize to Ralph and collaborator Wout Boerjan, a professor at Ghent University in Belgium, for their groundbreaking research on the molecular structure of lignin, one of the main components of plant cell walls. Dubbed the “Nobel Prize for forestry” as the highest award in the field, the prize honors scientific achievements that contribute to knowledge and technical developments in forestry and the forest products industry, from growing trees to using forest-based products. …The winning scientists developed and innovatively applied advanced analytical techniques in ways that enhance understanding of lignin biosynthesis and structure in trees and provide a basis for new ways to deconstruct wood and use lignin.

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Scientists Discover Forests That May Resist Climate Change

By Lauren Milideo
The University of Vermont
April 17, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

A new University of Vermont (UVM) study is flipping the script on what we know about forests and climate. The study, published in Ecology and Evolution, explores forests that experience “cold-air pooling,” a phenomenon where cold air at higher elevations drains down into lower-lying valleys, reversing the expected temperatures—warm at the bottom, cold at the top—that typically occurs in mountainous areas. That is, the air temperature drops with descent from mountain to valley. “With temperature inversions, we also see vegetation inversions,” says lead study author Melissa Pastore. “Instead of finding more cold-preferring species like spruce and fir at high elevations, we found them in lower elevations—just the opposite of what we expect.” “This cold-air pooling is fundamentally structuring the forest,” says study coauthor and UVM professor Carol Adair. This insight “can help …preserve cold-loving species as the climate warms,” says Adair.

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New Hampshire rejects plan to dedicate most of state’s largest private forest to carbon credits

By Roberta Baker
The Union Leader
April 17, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

CONCORD, New Hampshire — The state has rejected a proposal by the owner of New Hampshire’s largest private single-tract forest to reduce logging there and sell more credits on the carbon stored in the trees, saying the plan violates a conservation easement. The New Hampshire Department of Natural & Cultural Resources said the 10-year management plan proposed for the 146,000-acre Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Forest, located mostly in the Coos County town of Pittsburg, defies the easement’s stated purpose — to ensure the North Country parcel “largely remains an undeveloped productive working forest.” “Responsible forestry play a large part in New Hampshire’s long and proud tradition of environmental stewardship,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. “As proposed, the plan would have detrimental impact on the traditional forest use, conservation of wildlife habitat and take a serious economic toll on the North Country.

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Clearcut can reset a forest toward a healthier future for trees and landowner

By Jake Peer, Peer Family Forestry Consulting
Ashland Times-Gazette
April 17, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Jake Peer

There tends to be a negative reaction when you hear the word “clearcut.” That term tends to be associated with destruction of forests… However, a clearcut is a silvicultural harvest technique that creates an even-aged, early successional forest. One of the big reasons a forester might recommend you use a clearcut is because the forest has been mistreated and it needs to be reset. If the forest has had all the quality timber removed in a high-grade harvest, the best option may be to start over entirely. …Another reason to do a clearcut is if you want to manage for trees that are shade intolerant. …My favorite reason to recommend a clearcut harvest is to create specialized wildlife habitat. Ohio has a lot of mature forests with very little early successional forest. …Clearcuts are an under-used tool but can be an exciting opportunity to create a dynamic ecosystem on your property. 

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The U.S. Endowment Initiates the Steps for a National Forest System Land Regional Risk Assessment

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
April 15, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc. has gained approval from the Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) for their proposed methodology and sponsorship of a Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) for national forests. The scope of the assessment includes the national forests in the lower (contiguous) 48 states, and the USDA Forest Service is a key partner for the project. The Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) is a procurement and traceability standard that assures biomass is sourced from legal and sustainable sources. The SBP is not a forest certification standard—i.e., the standard applies to those purchasing material, not to the landowner or manager—and the completion of an SBP RRA process does not result in certification of any specific lands or forests.  The scope of the SBP RRA includes identifying and mitigating risks associated with sustainable sourcing of fiber. …The goal is to support biomass market opportunities for wood sourced from national forests.

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Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Hosts Job Corps Students for All-Female Assignment

By Joshua Boisvert
The US Department of Agriculture
April 15, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

For the second year in a row, the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia welcomed women from the Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers as they participated in an all-female fire assignment. The varied skill levels among the crew allowed everyone to learn from one another as the 10-person module conducted a prescribed fire assignment. “Having all women creates a different culture and environment that is really supportive,” said Rebecca Roller, lead firefighter of the Cabin Lake Wildland Fire Module, with the agency’s Pacific Northwest Region. “it was a very different experience that I will cherish and will be a very important experience in my career for the rest of my life.” Women in the Forest Service have a long and dedicated history of stewardship on public lands. Coupling them with students in the Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers encourages and trains women from diverse backgrounds to excel in the traditionally male-dominated field of wildland firefighting. 

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Forest fires: From research to resilience

The US Department of Agriculture
April 15, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

NEW JERSEY—Amidst escalating risks posed by wildfires in the eastern United States, fire researchers at Silas Little Experimental Forest are making significant contributions to better understand the relationship between fuels and the way fires spread across the landscape. With over a century of data for reference and a mature culture of wildland fire management that spans federal and state agencies and private landowners, the Silas Little Experimental Forest is the “model landscape” for scientific fire research.

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Loggers and top Democrat decry Maine alliance with biggest landowners

By Billy Kobin
The Bangor Daily News
April 14, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

AUGUSTA, Maine — Loggers behind one of Maine’s heritage industries claim the state and its biggest landowners are sharing confidential information about them through a forest certification program. Tension between logging contractors and the state forest service along with the influential Maine Forest Products Council has existed for years but flared more publicly in Augusta this month through a bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, a fifth-generation logger. The loggers say the state and forest products group use a certification program to exchange information about them — such as names, locations and potential violations — if they face investigations but have not yet been notified of the probes. Loggers said it has added to the pressure they face. The Maine Forest Service pays dues to Maine Forest Products Council to remain in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, one of several certification programs the state uses. [to access the full story a Bangor Daily News subscription is required]

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University of Florida program breeds, improves pine trees over decades

By Seth Johnson
Maine Street Daily News
April 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

With rows of trees stretching for more than 2,000 acres, individual pine trees blur into the next at UF’s Austin Cary Forest off Waldo Road in Alachua County. But on roughly 10 acres nestled in the middle, Aaron Smith keeps track of each tree, individual branches on the trees and the specific strobili on each branch. From January through March, Smith gets face-to-needle with the trees using a mechanical lift. He carefully selects a labeled bottle of yellow pollen, covers a branch with a special-made hood and fertilizes the strobili with the pollen. The male pollen and female strobili were matched long before Smith climbed the lift as part of the Cooperative Forest Genetics Research Program (CFGRP). The program has worked to enhance the quality and quantity of loblolly and slash pines through genetic breeding since 1953. The CFGRP now estimates that 99% of southern pine seedlings planted in Florida are products of the program.

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Forest products industry gathers for Spring Celebration

By R.R. Branstorm
Daily Press
April 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

HARRIS, Michigan — The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association — the same organization that unites members and aficionados for the Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo — brought its Spring Celebration to the Island Resort and Casino Tuesday. The convention featured speakers, 50 exhibitors, a luncheon, an award presentation and prizes. …With the industry in a slump, the gathering of loggers and truckers discussed the state of the sector. Marty Ochs from the Green Bay Innovation Group addressed the perceived need to bring saw mills and logging jobs back to local hands. Ochs spoke specifically about Wisconsin, mostly, but the American Loggers Council (ALC) said the problem isn’t restricted to the Great Lakes Region. Nationally, within the last 15 months, 50 mills have closed, resulting in the loss of 10,000 jobs, reported Scott Dane, executive director of the ALC. “We’re not having any less demand for wood products; we’re just importing it from other sources,” Dane said.

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Prescribed Burns, more than just a wildfire management technique

By Liam Healy
Rochester First
April 10, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Despite the recent rain it still is fire season in New York State, and crews from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies remain hard at work managing forests – performing what are known as prescribed burns. Forest Rangers with the DEC, like Captain Ryan Wickens, use these controlled burns as they’re also referred, to maintain forests and remove excess burnable material that could help a wildfire spread. That’s not always the primary goal. In many cases these burns can help pave the way for a healthier ecosystem. “What that fire does is, right before those warm season native grasses start to grow, we set fire to the old organic material. And any weeds that would have popped up early in that cooler weather, they get burnt,” said Captain Wickens. “It dumps the nutrients back into the soil. So you get a lot of nitrogen. Phosphorus, things like that.”

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National Alliance of Forest Owners executive presents 2024 Carlton Owen Lecture

By Vanessa Beeson
Mississippi State University
April 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Carlton Owen

Kate Gatto

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The chief strategy officer for the National Alliance of Forest Owners presents the 2024 Carlton Owen Lecture, an annual event presented by Mississippi State’s College of Forest Resources held in anticipation of Earth Week. Kate Gatto will lead the April 16 public program “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Forestry as a Bipartisan Solution” at 2 p.m. in Tully Auditorium, Thompson Hall. “Forestry is one of the unique areas of society where economic and environmental values are inextricably linked,” Gatto said. “No other sector of our economy has such a strong story to tell about what happens when economic and environmental values align.” …The Owen Lecture Series was established more than 30 years ago in MSU’s CFR by Carlton Owen, a Greenville, South Carolina, resident and 1974 MSU graduate. The program focuses on natural resource conservation issues.

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Forest supervisor seeks to set record straight on water quality and management practices

Mike Chaveas, Shawnee & Hoosier National Forests
The Herald-Times
April 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

You deserve to have the facts about how the Forest Service cares for our public forests and wildlife. That’s why I’m compelled to set the record straight concerning some recent inaccurate claims about the scale of our management, the reasons for it and its impacts. In this column on water quality — part two of a series — I’ll share information on laws, facts and scientific data and consensus that help us determine how to manage our public lands. We’ve heard concerns about how forest management may affect water quality. The Forest Service was founded with a mission to protect water quality, and we continue that mission by managing for diverse, healthy forests and restoring stream health in and around the Hoosier National Forest. For example, we remove under-sized culverts and restore stream flow with future sustainability in mind. This decreases sedimentation and improves aquatic wildlife habitat.

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University of Cincinnati wraps up long-term study of Ohio forest damaged by tornado

By Michael Miller
University of Cincinnati
April 9, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

A long-term study at the University of Cincinnati has documented the rise of invasive species in a forest devastated by a tornado 25 years ago. The EF-4 tornado on April 9, 1999, carried wind speeds of more than 200 miles per hour through suburbs north of Cincinnati. …And it devastated a good part of the 64 acres Harris Benedict Nature Preserve and deciduous forest that UC oversees. …Since the storm, biologists in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences have documented the forest’s recovery in four detailed botanical surveys. Their findings are shedding light on how major disturbances can have lasting and unexpected consequences for biodiversity, lead author and UC Professor Theresa Culley said.The study found that forests have the capacity to regenerate after a major disturbance but often with fewer native species and more nonnative, invasive ones. …Researchers also found large stands of Callery pear trees, a tree introduced by horticulture that has spread to many wild forests.

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Scientists from dozens of countries coming to Purdue for forestry collaboration in Science-i Bridging Worlds Workshop

By Lindsey Berebitsky
Purdue University
April 9, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — In the summer of 2023, the skies throughout the Upper Midwest were hidden behind a blanket of smoke. …The gray haze had come all the way from forest fires in Canada. Jingjing Liang, an associate professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, said that the whole world feels the impacts of deforestation and forest degradation in different ways. “The forest ecosystem is a global commodity. We share their risks and benefits, so everybody is responsible for protecting the forests.” In the spirit of building a community to manage and protect the world’s forests, Liang and his colleagues in Science-i created the Global Big Ideas Competition and the Bridging Worlds Workshop. The workshop will be held at Purdue on May 6-7, with an optional reception May 5. Anyone is welcome to attend the free event and can register online by April 12.

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Forestry Immersion Program returns for a second year

The Daily Bulldog
April 5, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

BREWER – In 2023, Maine TREE and the Brewer School Department collaborated to introduce a Forestry Immersion Program. This program allowed students to spend six weeks in the forest while earning high school credits. The program is returning in 2024 thanks to a generous grant from the Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative. This year, the program is fully funded and will offer an unparalleled opportunity to fifteen students to immerse themselves in Maine’s forests and enhance their education in a unique way. The program aims to empower young adults by strengthening their essential life skills and creating better opportunities for their future. It focuses on honing skills such as teamwork, communication, a strong work ethic, and problem-solving abilities. Over the six weeks, participants camp in the Maine woods four nights a week, visit job sites, engage in online academics, and go on hands-on discovery tours in the forest to learn and grow.

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Choctaw Forestry Department moves into new home

By Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr.
Biskinik
April 5, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Oklahoma – The Choctaw Nation Tribal Forestry Department recently moved into their new home in Talihina. …The department has grown so much since it was founded in 2022 that more space was needed for growth and the overall efficiency of the program. The Tribal Forestry Services Department is a forestry wildland fire-fighting unit within the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Located in Talihina, Oklahoma, the department serves the CNO Reservation. The department provides services such as wildfire suppression, wildfire prevention programs, forest timber assistance, Hazardous fuels reduction, and feral swine removal assistance. I’m pleased (and more than a little proud) to say our Tribal Forestry Services Department is the nation’s first tribal-led wildland fire module, sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service. …The Choctaw Nation firefighters are almost like a SWAT team but for firefighting. The unit is made up of tribal members, expertly trained to prevent wildfires.

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House investigative committee begins 3-day wildfire hearings in Pampa

By Michael Cuviello
Amarillo Globe-News
April 3, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

PAMPA, Texas – The Panhandle Wildfire Investigative Committee, chaired by state Rep. Ken King of House District 88, kicked off its first day of hearings designed to improve the state’s response to disasters such as the Smokehouse Creek fire… Over three days, the statehouse committee is holding hearings to determine what went wrong with the response and what can be done to ensure that the resources are available to respond to a fire of this magnitude. …The first day consisted of five panels with local and state emergency response leadership and other experts who could give input and answers about the recent fires. …One of the principal areas of debate was the lack of air support to fight fires in the Texas Panhandle. …In the afternoon panel, local fire chiefs emphasized the need for more funding for rural departments, many of which are staffed by volunteers. 

Additional coverage in the Texas Tribune, by Stephen Simpson: Utility pole inspection company declines to testify at Texas Panhandle wildfire investigation hearing

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Keeping track of carbon in the Adirondacks’ forests

By Chloe Bennett
Adirondack Explorer
April 11, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

Nearly five years ago, New York state passed an ambitious climate law intended to reduce and counteract fossil fuel emissions contributing to climate change. Storing carbon dioxide, a gas released from burning fuel, is key to achieving the goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Much of that can be accomplished through protecting carbon-absorbing forests across the state. Although the Adirondacks has millions of acres of forest, most land in the state is privately owned. Which puts a critical network of interconnected properties at risk of development. To achieve goals set in the climate act, experts say the state needs to roughly double the size of its carbon sink by fostering new forests and avoiding further loss. Researchers with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry developed an accounting system with detailed satellite imagery to help agencies identify where forests are most vulnerable.

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Trouble in the wood basket: How a global push for renewable energy took advantage of rural Mississippi

By Alex Rozier
Mississippi Today
April 9, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

When Georgia Pacific closed its paper mill in 2008, it gutted the local Gloster economy. …In the last decade, towns like Gloster turned to what they saw as a new hope: the emerging wood pellet industry. While the industry is now grappling with a variety of environmental objections, the state and local governments have invested millions of dollars in wood pellets, through tax exemptions and other incentives, in an attempt to stem rural disinvestment. In 2022, the world’s largest wood pellet producer came to another Mississippi town, Lucedale, 160 miles east of Gloster. The town was in a similar economic predicament. …Enviva, was bringing one of the largest new wood pellet operations in the world to Lucedale. …But in the process, the wood pellet industry has turned parts of rural Mississippi into venues for a climate and public health debate that’s traversing the globe. 

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Researchers develop better way to make painkiller from trees

By Chris Hubbuch, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phys.Org
April 8, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have developed a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable way to make a popular pain reliever and other valuable products from plants instead of petroleum. Building on a previously patented method for producing paracetamol—the active ingredient in Tylenol—the discovery promises a greener path to one of the world’s most widely used medicines and other chemicals. More importantly, it could provide new revenue streams to make cellulosic biofuels—derived from non-food plant fibers—cost competitive with fossil fuels, the primary driver of climate change. …Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, is one of the most widely used pharmaceuticals, with a global market value of about $130 million a year. …the drug has traditionally been made from derivatives of coal tar or petroleum. …The paracetamol molecule is made of a six-carbon benzene ring with two chemical groups attached. Poplar trees produce a similar compound called p-hydroxybenzoate (pHB) in lignin…

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