Region Archives: US East

Special Feature

Ian Aftermath Even Harder to Fix With Supply Chain Tattered

By Jen Skerritt, Olivia Rockeman, and Sabrina Kharrazi
Bloomberg
September 30, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States, US East

The difficult job of rebuilding communities pummeled by Hurricane Ian is expected to be made even worse by a problem that’s lingered since the early days of the pandemic: snarled supply chains. Ian tore a path of destruction across Florida…with damage estimates ranging from $65 billion to $100 billion. Construction groups warn that labor shortages and supply-chain difficulties are likely to hamper rebuilding efforts. “Across the board, we are seeing challenges in obtaining all types of building materials in a reliable time frame,” said Steve Cona III, of Associated Builders and Contractors in Florida’s Gulf Coast. …Compounding those challenges are ongoing labor shortfalls, supply-chain issues and the fact that material costs remain unpredictable, he said. 

While there is an oversupply of material in North America, disruptions from Ian may cause logistical issues transporting lumber, according to Kevin Mason of ERA Forest Product Research. Russ Taylor, of Russ Taylor Global said “the whole building sector is going to shut down for a while until things dry out and waters recede. While supplies from lumber mills have been improving in 2022, there are still issues getting wood to market due to a shortage of rail cars and trucks. The storm will slow deliveries to affected areas, creating a glut of lumber and sending prices lower. On Thursday, lumber futures in Chicago fell as much as 6.9% to touch the lowest price in more than two years. …Scott Harris an insurance claims consultant, said “properties flooded with several feet of water, that are boarded up, devoid of light or airflow are quickly at risk of mold damage.”

In photos: Scenes of destruction following Ian’s landfall in Florida

Next: Biden declares emergency in South Carolina as storm intensifies

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Business & Politics

WestRock to close Corrugated Medium Operations at St. Paul, Minnesota Facility

WestRock Company
October 5, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

ATLANTA–WestRock Company announced it will permanently close the corrugated medium manufacturing operations at its St. Paul, Minnesota, recycled paper mill. The production of coated recycled board at this location will remain in operation. WestRock is committed to improving its return on invested capital as well as maximizing the performance of its assets, and the corrugated medium machinery at the St. Paul location would require significant capital investment to maintain and improve going forward. The shutdown of these assets will result in the reduction of 200,000 tons of annual corrugated medium production. “Shutting down operations and impacting the lives of our employees is a difficult decision to make,” said David B. Sewell, chief executive officer at WestRock. “…we are incredibly appreciative for the many contributions this team has made. We plan to assist these team members in exploring roles at other WestRock locations and with outplacement services.”

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Drax to acquire remaining 10% interest in Alabama Pellets

By Drax Group
Biomass Magazine
October 5, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Drax has agreed to acquire the remaining 10 percent minority interest in Alabama Pellets joint venture, from Two Rivers Lumber Co. for a cash consideration of US$22 million. The acquisition of Pinnacle Renewable Energy in April 2021 included a change of control provision over Alabama Pellets, in which Two Rivers held a 10 percent interest. Alabama Pellets is comprised of the Aliceville and Demopolis pellet plants. Aliceville has a nameplate production capacity of 300,000 metric tons per annum. Demopolis, which is co-located with a Two Rivers sawmill, has a nameplate production capacity of 360,000 metric tons per annum. The acquisition will provide Drax with net economic control over a further 66,000 metric tons of sustainable biomass production capacity. …Completion is expected to take place in October 2022.

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WestRock Paper Mill preparing for lockout

By James Giles
WTVM TV
October 5, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

A strike could be on the horizon for workers at one of Russell County’s largest employers. The employees say their issue is not wanting more money, but keeping what they already get. A labor dispute is brewing at the WestRock Paper mill in Russell County, which could soon lead to a strike or a lockout. Valuable family time outside of work is what Bobby Watson says the union workers he represents are unwilling to give up for less money. As a result, WestRock will no longer be paying a lot extra to work, for instance, on a day off or a Sunday. “They ask our people to work all these hours and give away all that time for their profits. We don’t get that time back. They want to start squeezing, taking away from us.” said Watson. 

Additional coverage by the Steelworkers: WestRock Illegally Locks Out Union Workers

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Pixelle to restart paper machine in Chillicothe, Ohio

Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC
October 4, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Pixelle Specialty Solutions, a manufacturer of specialty papers in North America, has announced plans to restart a paper machine in the Chillicothe, Ohio facility. The company is investing $21 million to upgrade and restart the #24 paper machine and plans to hire 52 full-time employees to operate and maintain it. Pixelle will also fill 50 temporary positions to support construction and engineering requirements related to the restart. “This rebuilt machine will add 75,000 tons per year of capacity to serve our customers in the food packaging, commercial inkjet and other specialty paper segments,” said Timothy Hess, Pixelle’s CEO. …Pixelle idled the machine in 2017 based on declining supply-demand market dynamics at the time. …Pixelle expects the machine to be fully online shipping quality specialty papers in early first quarter 2023.

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What a Post-Pandemic Future Looks Like for North Carolina’s Forestry Sector

By Andrew Moore
North Carolina University – College of Natural Resources News
October 3, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

NORTH CAROLINA — Money may not literally grow on trees, but sustainable timber harvests certainly provide economic benefits for North Carolina — $32.8 billion and 138,100 jobs to be exact, according to a recent report from NC State Extension. “Forestry is a major contributor to the economic well-being of North Carolina,” said the report’s lead author Rajan Parajuli, at NC State. …Compared to 2019, the state’s forestry sector sustained close to a $2 billion loss in total economic output and a 6% decline in total value added, the latter of which largely occurred in the logging and solid wood products industries. …North Carolina’s forestry sector ultimately lost about 10,000 jobs in 2020… Parajuli added that North Carolina’s logging industry will likely continue declining as the workforce continues to pursue other professions, mostly as a result of people realizing the physical demands and safety hazards of logging.

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WestRock, unions preparing for possible strike at Russell County paper mill

By Chuck Williams
WRBL News
October 3, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

COLUMBUS, Georgia — A potential work stoppage is looming this week at one of the largest employers in Russell County. Talks between WestRock and its three unions have stalled. And the current agreement expires this week. The agreement between WestRock and its unions expired 11 months ago. Extensions have been issued. Contract talks have been ongoing. But there is no new agreement. …Three unions affiliated with the United Steelworkers — Local 971, Local 1471 which works with the trees, pulp, and front end of the process; and Local 1972, which represents the maintenance workers – represent the unionized labor force. Leaders of those unions say talks with WestRock have stalled and the company and the unions are preparing for Thursday’s work stoppage. …WestRock believes their offer to be fair and competitive and is hopeful an agreement can be reached with union membership before the current contract expires.”

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Enviva Reports Minimal Impact from Hurricane Ian

By Enviva Inc.
Business Wire in the Financial Post
October 3, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

BETHESDA, Maryland — Enviva reported that Hurricane Ian has resulted in minimal impact to operations and provided details on third quarter and fourth quarter of 2022 expectations, along with an update of certain 2022 financial guidance metrics. …We expect the storm to have minimal overall financial impact to our results for 2022, with disruption limited to weather-related ship loading delays at three of our deep-water marine terminals, which have since fully resumed normal operations,” said John Keppler, Chairman and CEO. …Similar to what was described in Enviva’s most recent earnings release, Enviva expects third-quarter 2022 adjusted EBITDA to be over 50% higher than reported results for second-quarter 2022, and that fourth-quarter 2022 is expected to represent over 40% of full-year 2022 adjusted EBITDA. The second half of the year is traditionally Enviva’s seasonally strongest period.

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Georgia-Pacific investing $425 million in new Dixie facility following city land purchase

By Angele Latham
Jackson Sun
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

JACKSON, TN—Georgia-Pacific Manufacturing has announced that it will be investing $425 million into Jackson for the building of a Dixie manufacturing facility on the 241 acres of land recently purchased by the city in an elaborate land deal. The project is the largest single investment in Jackson’s history. The facility will mark the first new Dixie Manufacturing plant built since 1991. The facility, which will provide over 200 jobs, will sit on the land … which was purchased by the City of Jackson in December and sold to Georgia-Pacific manufacturing in February. …Construction is slated to begin by the end of the year, with startup in summer 2024, according to the official statement made by Georgia-Pacific. Once operational, the 900,000 square-foot plant will produce tableware products, including the Dixie and Dixie Ultra plates and bowls.

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Sappi Leaders Recognized for Excellence

By Sappi North America
News Direct
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Rebecca Barnard

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) has bestowed Rebecca Barnard, Sappi Forestry Certification Manager, with the Young Forester Leadership Award for her dedication to sustainability and responsible forestry. “We are thrilled for Rebecca’s achievement,” says Anne Ayer, Vice President, Pulp Business and Supply Chain. “Rebecca is a tremendous asset to Sappi with her wealth of industry knowledge and expertise. This award is a testament to her commitment to responsible forestry… It could not be more well deserved.” The Young Forester Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leadership by a young forestry professional in the development and promotion of an individual program or project or for a sustained leadership role benefiting the practice of forestry and SAF. Recipients, who must be 40 or younger, are evaluated based on outstanding leadership in the profession, outstanding leadership in SAF, and sustained leadership roles benefiting the practice of forestry.

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Dunn Paper to close Port Huron mill after 98 years

By Liz Shepard
Port Huron
September 21, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Dunn Paper will close its Port Huron location Nov. 18. Ashley Carpenter, vice president of human resources for Dunn Paper, said the Port Huron plant currently has about 100 employees. Carpenter said the closure is due to “…ongoing challenges to generate positive cash flow in the face of adverse economic factors.” She said none of the six other Dunn Paper locations are being considered for closure. Dunn Paper has one other location in Michigan, in Menominee. The Port Huron mill started operation in 1924 …Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County CEO Dan Casey said the closure didn’t come as a surprise as the paper industry has been facing challenges, including the closure of the Domtar paper mill last year. In August 2021, Domtar Corp. announced it would be closing its Port Huron mill at 1700 Washington Ave., eliminating about 200 jobs. That mill had been in operation for more than 130 years.

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The Jay mill closure will be a major blow despite its recent decline

By Michael Shepherd
Bangor Daily News
September 21, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

The announcement that the Jay paper mill would close in January and lay off 230 workers evoked the many closures that have hammered Maine’s paper industry over the past decade. This one is not like the others, but it remains a major blow on many levels. Both Jay and Livermore Falls were early centers of papermaking and the birthplace of International Paper in 1965. At its peak, it employed 1,500 people. It was the scene of a bitter 1987 strike against International Paper, which sold it in 2006. …Pennsylvania-based Pixelle Specialty Solutions bought it just two months before a catastrophic digester explosion in April 2020. Nobody was injured, but the workforce has shrunk as the mill pivoted and scaled back operations, idling one paper machine and declining to rebuild the damaged pulp mill. At the time, the mill’s pulp component made it an outsized part of Maine’s forest products industry, buying wood chips from sawmills and loggers.

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Maine paper mill damaged by 2020 blast to close for good

The Associated Press
September 20, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

JAY, Maine — A paper mill that was site of an explosion in 2020 is going to close in the new year, leaving 230 workers without jobs, the company said Tuesday. The Pixelle Specialty Solutions mill lost its ability to produce pulp but continued to operate a pair of paper machines after the explosion. The mill will close in the first quarter of 2023. “Economic forces beyond our control have combined to make profitable operations at the mill unsustainable,” Timothy Hess, CEO of Pennsylvania-based Pixelle, said. …The explosion in April 2020 shook the ground and sent debris and a slurry of chemicals raining down on nearby cars and buildings. No one was injured. But in the aftermath, the paper machines had to use pulp purchased from other mills, compounding the financial pressure on the mill, the company said.

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Snavely Forest Products Joins Trex Distribution Network

Trex Company
Business Wire
September 19, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

WINCHESTER, Virgina — The world’s largest manufacturer of high-performance, wood-alternative decking and railing, and leader in low-maintenance, eco-friendly outdoor living products has bolstered its service in the growing Texas market with the addition of long-time distributor partner Snavely Forest Products to its South Central network. …Bret Martz, VP for Trex…“As Trex continues to experience broad-based demand driven by strong consumer interest in outdoor living, expanding our alliance with a known and highly respected distribution partner like Snavely will enable us to serve our channel partners across the region more efficiently and effectively.” …Snavely will supply Trex products throughout Texas and the surrounding markets through its distribution centers in Dallas and Houston.

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Finance & Economics

Southern Yellow Pine Lumber Prices Stabilize; Is More Volatility Around the Corner?

By John Greene
Forests2Market Blog
September 19, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States, US East

By late June, the price for finished southern yellow pine (SYP) lumber had tumbled 59% from its 2022 high mark of $1,136/MBF. Prices then subsequently bounced back, but weekly price movement has been between ~$100 for the last 12 weeks. Forest2Market’s composite SYP lumber price for the week ending September 9 was $488/MBF, a 2.4% decrease from the previous week’s price of $500/MBF, but a 14.9% increase over the same week last year. Price movement over the last 12 weeks has been muted compared to 1Q and 2Q suggesting there is now some stability in the supply/demand relationship as well as a new floor price in the +/-$470/MBF range. …Forest2Market’s data suggests that flat/decreasing demand from the home construction sector and expanded mill inventories have created a market that is better attuned to current needs. This should limit substantial price reactions in either direction and provide some much-needed stability. But for how long?

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Project of the Year Finalist Best Project, Higher Education/Research San Jacinto College

By Bruce Buckley
ENR Texas & Louisiana
October 3, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

HOUSTON, Texas — With an eye toward sustainability, the $42-million Anderson-Ball Classroom Building, designed by Kirksey Architects, adds a striking new mass timber structure to the San Jacinto College campus in Houston. And at 122,000 sq ft, builder Tellepsen touts it as the largest instructional building built of mass timber in the nation. …Due to the nature of mass timber, the team was able to reuse a substantial amount of the existing building foundations. …Crews were able to erect the entire structure in 14 weeks with a single crane and a crew of six erectors. Reducing crew size and work hours resulted in a safer and cleaner working environment, according to Tellepsen. The contractor reported an OSHA incident rate of 0.74 and no lost-time accidents over 268,781 worker-hours. The project, which broke ground in May 2020, was completed on time and below budget in January 2022.

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Massachusetts seniors’ residence to feature an all-timber structure

The Construction Specifier
September 26, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

BKSK Architects have proposed a multifamily housing for 55-plus-aged occupants in the well-connected heart of downtown Northampton, Massachusetts, which will be based on a structure built completely from mass timber. Inside, the building’s timber structure will be partially exposed to reveal warm wood columns, beams, and ceilings, providing a key part of the interior aesthetic. The construction will also achieve Passive House standards by slashing heating and cooling costs with a reliance on rooftop solar panels and an exceptionally airtight building envelope. …The development is a combined project of Live Give Play… and Spiritos Properties, a longstanding real estate industry organization, committed to building mass-timber developments. …“By building to a carbon-negative, net-zero ready design, we’re proving how mass timber construction and Passive House certified standards are not only viable options for all multistory buildings including rental housing, but they are also its future.”

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Columbia Property Trust Reveal the Newly Transformed 80 M Street, with Three New Floors of Mass Timber Space

By Columbia Property Trust
Business Wire
September 21, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

WASHINGTON — Columbia Property Trust announced that it has completed an innovative three-floor expansion atop 80 M Street in Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Riverfront district. The 108,000-square-foot overbuild is D.C.’s first commercial office space constructed from environmentally friendly mass timber and is proving to be one of the most attractive office environments in the submarket. Columbia worked with D.C.-based architectural firm Hickok Cole, construction manager DAVIS Construction, and engineering consulting firm Arup to design and plan the unique mass timber expansion. …These efforts have helped Columbia secure 140,000 square feet of new leases and renewals at the Capitol Riverfront office building since the start of the project. With more than half of the new space allocated to the American Trucking Association’s new headquarters and bp America’s offices, only 24,000 square feet of the expansion space remains available for lease.

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Hybrid mass-timber and concrete office block on the United Nations campus in Geneva is completed

Global Design News
September 21, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

GENEVA, Switzerland — “Already one of the landmarks of International Geneva, Building H is an important investment for the future of the United Nations family,” states Tatiana Valovaya. Under-Secretary-General Director United Nations. “This state-of-the-art construction has been designed as a healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving office building that is fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals principles.” Burckhardt+Partner and SOM have completed the UN’s new 24,000-square-metre hybrid mass-timber and concrete office block on the United Nations campus in Geneva. …This state-of-the-art construction has been designed as a healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving office building that is fully aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals principles. …The building’s structure is a hybrid of concrete columns with floors supported by alternating mass timber and concrete beams, which are visible in the offices, meeting the Swiss Minergie sustainability standards.

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Cross-laminated timber demonstration project aims to expand forest market

Mainebiz
September 19, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

As new timber technologies emerge for the construction industry, Dirigo Center Developers in Westbrook is preparing to build a cross-laminated timber tower and retail demonstration that will expand markets for Maine’s new forest products. The company was recently awarded $250,000 for the project, from the U.S. Forest Service’s Wood Innovations Grant program. Dirigo Center Developers was one of four Maine businesses to be awarded nearly $2.5 million from U.S. Forest Service’s Wood Innovations Grant program and Community Wood Grant program. The goal of the federal funding is to strengthen Maine’s forest products sector and expand markets for the industry. …The money will provide support to the four companies, which are finding new customers for their wood products, which include cross-laminated timber, new pine resources and wood biomass fuels. 

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Wisconsin building officially declared world’s tallest mass timber structure

The Construction Specifier
September 19, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has certified the 86.6-m (284-ft), 25-story Ascent building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the tallest mass timber structure in the world in two categories—the tallest timber building overall, and the World’s Tallest Timber-Concrete Hybrid Building. In 2019, CTBUH certified Mjøstårnet in Brumunddal, Norway, as the tallest timber building at 85.4 m (280 ft). …Milwaukee architect Korb & Associates designed Ascent, with New York engineer Thornton Tomasetti providing structural design services. Swinerton Builders was the supplier for the structural timber used in the project. …While Ascent broke ground in August 2020, it took approximately two years of research, testing, planning and collaboration with external stakeholders to get it there. The process has established a model for tall timber projects. It is estimated the use of mass timber for the structural system decreased construction time by approximately 25 percent, compared to a conventionally constructed concrete building of the same scale.

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Forestry

Maine School of Forest Resources to honor Distinguished Alumni

The University of Maine
October 4, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Pat Strauch

Ken Laustsen

Mike Dann

The School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine will present Patrick “Pat” Strauch, Ken Laustsen and Mike Dann with Distinguished Alumni Awards in Nutting Hall on Oct. 14 …The award recognizes graduates of the school’s programs who have made significant contributions to the forest resource professions and society. Typically, one alum is recognized each year, but public presentations of the award were canceled in 2020 and 2021. Strauch ’81, ’90G, the 2022 honoree, is currently the executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council, where he leads a diverse membership involving all aspects of the industry. …Laustsen ’74, the 2021 honoree, worked as Maine’s Forest Biometrician for the Maine Forest Service for more than 20 years until he retired in 2021. …Dann ’68, the 2020 honoree, has represented the forestry profession on numerous advisory boards, including the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, the Maine Forest Service, the Maine Forest Products Council and the Forest Resources Association. 

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The health of Maine’s forests is improving, but threats remain

By David Vail, Bowdoin College and Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
The Bangor Daily News
October 3, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

David Vail

Jym St. Pierre

Two decades ago, Henry David Thoreau’s iconic Maine woods were in trouble. Are Maine’s forests and forest economy on a more sustainable path today? This look-back is our first take at an answer. In 2001 we highlighted three major threats: Massive land sales and speculative real estate development, unsustainable timber harvesting, and loss of backcountry wildness. A landscape scale overview shows progress toward sustainability, but also reveals deficiencies and emerging challenges. After the sale of millions of acres, forest industry land divestment is largely complete, though today the share of foreign-owned land in Maine’s northern counties is the highest in the U.S. …In the late 20th century, large areas were clearcut in response to a massive spruce budworm outbreak. In 2019, less than 7 percent of logged acres were clearcut, commercially important spruce-fir stands are rebounding and 10 million acres have been green certified. …There has been progress on forest conservation. 

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Governor helps open forest business center at University of Arkansas-Monticello

By I.C. Murrell
Arkansas Online
September 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Asa Hutchinson

MONTICELLO — What was promoted as a ribbon cutting for the new Arkansas Center for Forest Business was actually a log breaking outside the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s Chamberlin Forest Resource complex. Gov. Asa Hutchinson broke off an end of a round log that revealed a large sticker for the new center during a dedication ceremony Thursday morning. The center is part of UAM’s College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources — the only forestry school in the state — and was created by the state legislature last year, with $841,000 in state funding going toward the center July 1. “The governor and the state legislature have provided us funding, so we will be hiring additional people — technical experts in forest business to promote the growth of the forest industry in the state of Arkansas, and do it in a sustainable manner,” said Matthew Pelkki, UAM’s forestry chair.

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Lawsuit challenges nearly 4 thousand acres of logging at Daniel Boone National Forest

By Keaton Hall
Mountain News WYMT
September 27, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: US East

RED BIRD, Ky.  – A lawsuit from Kentucky Heartwood is challenging the logging of nearly 4,000 acres of trees at the Daniel Boone National Forest. Kentucky Heartwood officials claim the logging could increase landslides, harm important ecological habitats and remove old growth trees. “A lot of the streams in the Red River Project area are designated critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, in order to protect the Kentucky Arrow Darter… that are only in the Upper Kentucky River water shed,” said Kentucky Heartwood Ecologist Jim Scheff. Scheff says documents point to the Forestry Service knowing the risks from previous logging projects in the area. …The U.S. Forestry Service would not comment on the litigation, but according to their website, the logging is part of the larger ‘South Red Bird Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project’ which aims to improve the habitat by making room for newer forests through removal of older ones.

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Forestry: Hurricane Ian bringing increased wildfire risks to state

By Mary Sell
Alabama Daily News
September 28, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

The Alabama Forestry Commission says wildfire risks are higher starting today because of winds expected from Hurricane Ian and urges caution in any outdoor burning. “Alabama will be seeing lower than normal relative humidity and stronger winds across the state, meaning conditions are favorable for wildfires to start easily, spread rapidly and be difficult to control,” forestry said in a statement. “Because Alabama is already experiencing dry conditions heading into the event, this critical weather behavior will elevate fire danger for the state.” Hurricane Ian, now a Category 4, is expected to make landfall on Florida’s west coast later today. Alabama is on the “dry side” of Ian’s expected path and gray skies, but no rain, are expected for much of the state through the weekend.

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It’s getting harder for Maine hunters to find moose

By Pete Warner
The Bangor Daily News
September 26, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

When the state held the first modern moose hunt in 1980, it was common to see the huge animals in northern and western Maine. Expansive clearcuts — created by the forestry industry to eradicate trees infected by the spruce budworm infestation — enabled hunters to observe moose from long distances. …More than four decades later, moose can be difficult to spot. As a result, moose hunters must be willing to adapt their tactics by taking into account changes to moose habitat and weather to improve their chances of harvesting an animal. Maine still is home to an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 moose. …The changes in moose habitat began in 1989 when harvest limitations were placed on commercial logging operations under the Maine Forestry Practices Act. It reduced the size and scope of cutting, prohibited clearcuts of more than 20 acres.

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Hurricane Ian Threatens Stressed Timber Supply Basin

By John Greene
Forests2Market Blog
September 27, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Hurricane Ian is slated to build significant momentum in the coming days as it crosses the western side of Cuba and barrels towards the west coast of Florida. By mid-week, Ian will likely become a Category 4 hurricane packing sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph, which are capable of causing catastrophic damage in combination with flooding rains and storm surge. The silver lining is that Ian is forecast to lose strength quickly before approaching the Florida panhandle as a Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane. While diminished, a storm of this strength can still cause widespread devastation not only to coastal communities, but also to valuable timberland holdings across the region. This particular wood basin has experienced a great deal of supply- and demand-side pressures over the last five years, and Ian could further impact those challenges in the near term.

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Does Apple still own 3,600 acres of forestland in Brunswick County?

By Gareth McGrath
The Gaston Gazette
September 24, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

NORTH CAROLINA — In 2015, Apple teamed up with an environment group to buy 3,600 acres of forestland bordering the Green Swamp in Brunswick County, NC. The purchase, funded by Apple, was the smaller component in a deal that also included the group buying 32,000 acres of forest in Maine. Apple said the purchase was part of its broader environmental push to assist in maintaining the nation’s working forests while managing them in a sustainable way. The goal was to keep the forests in production, using the timber as packaging…, with a long-term plan of rehabilitating the pocosin forest and eventually turning it over to a third party for management. …The “Brunswick Forest,” is being managed under the “Sustainable Forestry Initiative.” That work has included planting 185,000 trees across 300 acres, including Atlantic white cedar that provides a home for the rare Hessel’s hairstreak butterfly.

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University of North Carolina Wilmington Designated a “Tree Campus Higher Education University”

By Andrea Monroe Weaver
University of North Carolina Wilmington
September 23, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

University of North Carolina Wilmington’s efforts to sustainably manage and preserve its natural areas and to replace lost trees due to storms and construction have earned UNCW the Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree Campus Higher Education University” certification. “UNCW actively maintains our natural areas for the benefit of our students, faculty and staff as well as the community,” said Roger Shew, senior lecturer in Earth and Ocean Sciences and Environmental Sciences, who applied for the designation on behalf of the UNCW Sustainability Program. “The natural areas serve as outdoor classrooms for students and educators, recreational areas for walkers and bikers, and habitats for wildlife.” …The Tree Campus Higher Education program “celebrates the unique role that anchor institutions play within their community forest,” according to the foundation. UNCW is one of 27 institutions to join the program in the past year; overall, more than 400 universities nationwide are participants.

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Purdue to boost climate-smart forestry practices among private landowners

Perdue University
September 21, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University has received $12 million of a $35 million project led by the American Forest Foundation and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities to help family forest owners practice climate-smart forestry in Indiana and eight other states throughout the eastern half of the U.S. The project’s other partners are The Nature Conservancy, the Center for Heirs Property Preservation, and Women Owning Woodlands. The project could sequester an estimated 4.9 million tons of atmospheric carbon—a greenhouse gas that affects climate—over a 20-30-year period. “Our digital forestry group has been working on various tools and thinking about how to apply these tools to real-life problems,” said Songlin Fei, who directs Purdue’s Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative. “This is an opportunity to apply our expertise to solving part of the climate-change puzzle.”

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A&A Brochu Logging recognized by Maine Forest Products Council with Outstanding Logger Award

The Piscataquis Observer
September 22, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

NEWRY – The Maine Forest Products Council awarded A&A Brochu Logging with the organization’s Outstanding Logger Award at its 62nd Annual Meeting on Sept. 19. The award, presented by MFPC Board Member Chris Fife, recognized the company for exemplary on-the-ground performance while conducting early commercial thinning, its commitment to the well-being of its employees, the community and Maine’s logging profession. …A&A Brochu has nine crews cutting for landowners across Maine. A&A Brochu trucking has grown to over 60 trucks with 25 dedicated to hauling logs to mills in Maine. “For their professionalism, safety and important contributions to the Maine forest products industry, it was my pleasure to present the Maine Forest Products Council’s 2022 Outstanding Logger of the Year Award to A&A Brochu Logging,” said Board Member Chris Fife.

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Sen. Baldwin Introduces Resolution to Establish National Loggers Day

WJJQ Northwoods 92.5
September 23, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

The logging industry plays a critical role in the Northwoods economy, and a new bipartisan bill in Washington would recognize October 12 as National Loggers Day. The goal of the resolution, introduced by Democratic senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Republican Susan Collins of Maine, is to highlight the many contributions and economic benefits of the logging industry in the country. Baldwin said in announcing the resolution, “I’m proud to…spotlight the importance of logging businesses and workers who keep our forests healthy and support our Made in America forest products supply chain.” She added, “Wisconsin’s logging economy provides good-paying jobs and revenue for rural communities and the National Park System. Healthy forest management also provides public recreational opportunities that make the Wisconsin way of life a national treasure.” …This resolution is supported by the American Loggers Council and Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association.

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Want to know how cold it was in 1490? Ask a tree

By Juan Siliezar
The Harvard Gazette
September 20, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Harvard Forest scientists study tree rings to track extreme climate events —which are growing more common — over centuries. Four teams of researchers, led by Harvard Forest ecologists, searched for a patch of ancient trees deep in the woods of western Pennsylvania this summer as part of a project to study how climate changes affected trees over the centuries.  The project goal is to find and core the oldest trees in the Northeast. Studying the color and size of their rings offers scientists a glimpse into the past, allowing them to see how trees and forests responded to extreme climate events, like droughts or late-spring frosts in the past. …They presented evidence that droughts and harsh spring frosts from 250 years ago affected different forests across hundreds of miles in the Southeast. The disturbances abruptly killed some trees but accelerated the growth of others.

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The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Announces its 2022 Grant Recipients

The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities
September 20, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Greenville, SC and Bethesda, MD – The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (the Fund) today announced the recipients of its 2022 grants. The projects funded this year will help conserve more than 3,000 acres and protect ecologically sensitive bottomland hardwood forests in the Virginia-North Carolina coastal plains. Including those announced today, the Fund has awarded 29 projects totaling more than $3,100,000 in grants over the past seven years. An estimated 33,000 acres will be protected when these projects reach completion. The forests conserved as a part of the Fund help clean drinking water, purify the air, buffer structures from storms, and provide habitat for many species of wildlife, while at the same time, providing jobs and economic opportunity for rural families and private landowners.

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The East Coast Will Not Escape Fire

By Kendra Pierre-Louis
The Atlantic
September 19, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

The lawns are dead. Trees that should be green have turned brittle and brown. And highway signs caution drivers not to flick cigarettes out the window. These conditions have become the norm of summer and its high fire risk in the western US. But this is not California. This is New Jersey.  Data from the U.S. Drought Monitor show that roughly two-thirds of the United States is facing unusually dry conditions ranging from abnormally dry to extreme drought. …With climate change, the destruction is in the details. The Northeast is now primed for more frequent droughts that will harm agriculture, intermittently reduce drinking-water supplies, and increase wildfire risk. The East will not emerge unscathed from the infernos that are quickly becoming a hallmark of western summers. …Because of climate change, small risks will become larger risks. And somehow, we’re going to have to prepare for them all.

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America’s century-old hardwood forests… stripped bare to provide wood pellets for European energy plants

By James Reinl
UK Daily Mail
September 15, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Environmentalists warn that hundreds of thousands of acres of forest are being torn down each year in the U.S. southeast to make wood pellets to fuel European power plants in a deluded bid to fight climate change. The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and other groups say logging in woodlands stretching from Texas to Virginia is ravaging a biodiversity hotspot, including century-old hardwood trees that will take decades to replace. More than two dozen pellet mills operate across the so-called North American Coastal Plain, which has already lost some 70 percent of its historic vegetation thanks in part to a $11 billion global industry that is set to grow to $20.5 billion by 2030. The European Union this week voted to phase out the multibillion dollar subsidies that make wood pellet fuels economically viable, but environmentalists say it is too little, too late.

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Mississippi State College creates forest resources student development fund in honor of former dean

By Vanessa Beeson
Mississippi State University
September 15, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s College of Forest Resources is partnering with the Mississippi Forestry Association to create the George M. Hopper CFR/MFA Student Development Endowment Fund in honor of the retired dean. The Mississippi Forestry Foundation is a nonprofit organization started by the MFA, which aims to promote and execute programs in the state to advance forestry and natural resources. The organization recently presented a check for $50,000 to create the George M. Hopper CFR/MFA Student Development Endowment Fund. …Hopper, the longest serving dean in the college’s nearly 70-year history, made student success a cornerstone of his tenure. While his leadership resulted in accomplishments across all aspects of the university’s land-grant mission, he made it clear that students always came first. During his time as dean and director of MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center, he saw student enrollment double, along with a 75% increase in degrees awarded and a 20% increase in scholarship funding.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

World’s largest wood pellet plant opens in Lucedale

By Cory Johnson
WKRG News 5
October 3, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

LUCEDALE, Miss. – The world’s largest wood pellet plant is nearly fully operational in Lucedale, Mississippi. The plant is owned by Enviva Biomass, based in Bethesda, Maryland. The company has hired 90 full-time employees to support plant operations in Lucedale. The $140 million construction project supported about 400 cumulative jobs after the October 2019 groundbreaking, Enviva says. The company expects to generate an annual economic impact of $250 million in the region. The company says the Lucedale plant will support more than 200 indirect jobs in the region in adjacent industries like logging and trucking. “By utilizing low-value wood, Enviva has created a new market that, in turn, provides landowners and loggers with additional income while also incentivizing forest growth,” said Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson. “We are so proud that Mississippi wood is being used in Enviva’s pellets to power homes and industry all over the world.”

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USDA grants $30 million for increased carbon storage in New England forests

By Susan Sharon
Main Public Radio
September 14, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

The U.S Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday funding for what’s being called a potentially transformational pilot program to help forest landowners in Maine and the rest of New England mitigate climate change. The goal of the program is to remove more carbon from the atmosphere by growing more and better quality wood, verifying the results and building markets for climate-friendly wood products. The New England Climate Smart Forest Partnership Project is one of 70 projects announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to sequester and store carbon and reduce other greenhouse gas emissions. “During the life of these projects, we’re hopeful of recording more than 50-million metric tons of CO2-equivalent reductions and greenhouse gas reductions and carbon sequestration benefits. That’s equal to about ten million cars being taken off the road,” Vilsack said.

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