In This Issue ...
1. Virginia: Fracking Gets Green Light in Largest National Forest on East Coast
2. Protecting Northwest Forests as Bigger Wildfires Burn Longer
3. Montana: Governor Promotes Montana Wood Products
4. Wyoming Fire Season Uneventful; Firefighters Spend More Time Fighting Fires in Other States
5. Arizona: ADOT Partners with State Forestry, Counties on "Healthy Forest Initiative"
6. Op-Eds by SAF Members
1. Draft Forest Plan Adds 700,000 Acres to "Timber Base"
2. Report: Subsidized Logging Costs Federal Government Millions
3. Crews Begin Logging Project in Bitterroot Sapphires
4. Summit County Session to Focus on Forest Management
5. Avalanche of Hostility Over Environmental Analysis Re-Do
1. South Carolina Timber Industry Opposes Giving Bats Endangered Status
2. Town That Thrived on Logging Is Looking for a Second Growth
3. Michigan's Timber Industry Celebrates 20 Years of Loggers' Education
4. Canada, United States at Loggerheads Again over Lumber
5. Record Number of Firms Declare Deforestation Policies but Action Is Inconsistent
1. EPA Reconsidering Biomass
2. Wood Pellet Logs Touted as Way to Fight Interior Alaska's Dirty Air
3. Market Forecasts Bullish at WPAC
4. Should American Wood Fuel European Power?
5. Pellet, Cogen Plants Could Be "Driver for Change" on First Nation
1. For Company's Vegetation Coordinator, Some Trees Are Hard to Trim
2. Ann Arbor Hiring Private Contractors for $368K to Catch Up on Tree Maintenance
3. Renewed Call for Maintenance of City's Urban Forest after Falling Tree Injures Pedestrian
CBSNews.com (November 18) - Over the objection of environmental groups and Virginia's governor, a federal management plan will allow a form of natural gas drilling known as "fracking" to occur in parts of the largest national forest on the East Coast.
The US Forest Service originally planned to ban fracking in the 1.1 million-acre George Washington National Forest, but energy companies cried foul after a draft of the plan was released in 2011. It would have been the first outright ban on the practice in a national forest.
Under the new plan, which is subject to appeal, drilling will only be permitted on 167,000 acres where there are private mineral rights and on about 10,000 acres that are already leased to oil and gas companies.
In Compromise Plan, Limited Fracking Is Approved for National Forest in Virginia
New York Times.com (November 19)
Fracking To Be Permitted in George Washington National Forest
Boston Globe.com (November 19)
KUOW.org (November 20) - This summer, the Carlton Complex wildfire swept through central Washington's Methow Valley. The fire consumed more acres than any other fire in the state's history. Now, ecologists are trying to make forests more sustainable to help prevent these large-scale fires.
Reese Lolley, a forest ecologist for The Nature Conservancy, said he expects three to five times as many wildfires in eastern Washington over the next century. That's why it's important to thin forests and conduct controlled burns now.
FlatheadNewsgroup.com (November 19) - A recent executive order signed by Gov. Steve Bullock recognizes Montana's wood products industry by calling for more use of wood and other indigenous, renewable products in state building projects.
Bullock cited his "Forest in Focus" initiative in his October 17 order, which recognizes the wood products industry as Montana's top manufacturing sector and the need to rely on an integrated forest products industry to manage and restore Montana's forests.
The order also notes that "wood is produced naturally, is the only major building material that comes from a renewable resource, requires less energy to produce than other building materials, and stores carbon over its lifetime."
Greenfield Reporter.com (November 18) - Wyoming saw its least active wildfire season in five years, freeing up state firefighters to help with wildfires in other states, said state Forester Bill Crapser.
The total number of fires and acreage burned in the state this year won't be known until all reports are received early next year, but Crapser said the state firefighting helicopter saw below-normal action and there was only one fire that required tapping into an emergency firefighting fund.
And speaking of using helicopters to fight wildfire…
Military's Self-Flying Helicopter Gets Modified to Fight Wildfires
Wired.com (November 18) - Fighting a wildfire requires a lot of manpower and a lot of equipment, including helicopters and airplanes for aerial support. That's why Lockheed Martin decided to take the self-flying helicopter it developed for the battlefields of Afghanistan and send it to the combustible forests of the United States.
Earlier this month, Lockheed took the copter to an FAA drone test facility in upstate New York to demonstrate its capabilities for experts from the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service-the folks who manage much of the land that's especially susceptible to wildfires.
WHICentral.com (November 18) - To promote a healthy forest, improve commerce, and protect the state's infrastructure following the devastating Wallow Fire, the Arizona Department of Transportation has partnered with the Arizona State Forestry Division and the Eastern Arizona Counties Organization to launch the "Healthy Forest Initiative."
The recently launched two-year ADOT pilot project allows timber industry trucks to carry additional weight on several state highways in the White Mountains region.
The higher weights will greatly enhance the ability of the wood industry to clear forests in the White Mountains and transport wood materials to sawmills, pellet plants, and energy-generating plants in Springerville, Show Low, and Snowflake, while reducing the risk of further catastrophic forest fires to the region, officials say.
How to Fight Climate Change by Harvesting Wood
By Bruce Lippke, Seattle Times.com (November 13)
"To date, our carbon-reduction efforts have been focused on finding more ways to generate energy other than burning coal or natural gas or to, at the very least, reduce the amount of carbon that is emitted when these fossil fuels are burned.
Unfortunately, that is not enough…. Relying more upon solar energy to power electric utilities is one carbon negative technology when it displaces the use of fossil fuels. Another employs the sustainable harvest and use of wood from Northwest forests."
Wyden's O&C Timber Bill Fails Rural Oregonians
By Nick Smith, Register Guard.com (November 17)
"The decision by Sen. Ron Wyden to push a flawed forestry plan during the last days of the current Congress is very bad news for anyone supporting active management of federal forests or economic recovery in our rural communities."
BlueRidgeNow.com (November 16) - Conservation groups are raising the alarm after the US Forest Service unveiled a draft proposal to designate nearly 700,000 acres of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest as suitable for logging in its new management plan for the next 15-plus years.
Environmental leaders say the proposed "suitable timber base" puts logging ahead of restoration and recreation, while undermining the collaborative process now underway by including contentious areas such as Bluff Mountain, Big Ivy, and South Mills River in zones that could be cut.
US Forest Service officials and groups advocating for more logging to benefit game species say the conservationists are overstating the threat.
KTOO.org (November 19) - A new report says the US Forest Service is wasting millions of dollars by propping up a failing Southeast Alaska timber industry. It says the Tongass National Forest should instead invest in projects supporting tourism and fishing, which are growing segments of the economy.
Forest Service Defends Slow Path Away from Old-Growth Harvests
ADN.com (November 19)
Forest Service Criticized over Management of Alaska National Forest
LA Times.com (November 17)
NBC Montana.com (November 18) - Logging crews have begun a 1,100-acre timber harvest restoration project in the Sapphire Mountains, east of Stevensville.
The project should generate 6.7 million board feet of timber, or about 1,400 truckloads.
Crews Begin Work on Three Saddle Restoration Project
Ravalli Republic.com (November 18)
Summit County Voice.com (November 18) - The debate over the future of Colorado's forests is very much alive. With the goal of creating more resilient and diverse forests, one aspect of the discussion centers on differences between active and passive management.
This week, the Summit County Forest Health Task Force will host a panel discussion on forest management. Among those slated to participate on the panel are White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams and Colorado State Forest Service director Mike Lester.
Note: Lester is a past president of SAF.
PlumasNews.com (November 18) - If you didn't know any better, you might think you walked in on an angry game of dodgeball between Plumas National Forest officials and local residents last week in Quincy.
However, it was really a town hall meeting stemming from a 2013 court settlement between the US Forest Service and Snowlands Network, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and the Center for Biological Diversity.
A condition of that settlement requires the Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Region to re-do an environmental analysis of over-snow vehicle use under the National Environmental Policy Act. The study will result in the designation of National Forest System roads, trails and areas for over-snow vehicle use with minimal impact to natural resources.
AllAfrica.com (November 19) - Thirty million trees are to be planted across the country on the National Tree Planting Day on November 29, officials at the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) said.
Forests cover 28.8 percent of Rwanda's surface with the government aiming at a 30 percent forest cover by 2017.
Search for domestic fuel is traditionally the main cause of deforestation in Rwanda with the overwhelming majority of Rwandans using firewood or charcoal, according to a recent study conducted by the RNRA.
CIFOR.org (November 20) - Market-based instruments to conserve ecosystems and biodiversity are becoming increasingly popular over regulatory instruments, but the term is so broad and misleading that it is nearly impossible for policymakers to draw conclusions from them, according to a new study.
The study by researchers at the Center for International Forestry Research and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations analyzed 106 peer-reviewed scientific articles on such market-based instruments (MBIs) and found that many so-called MBIs described had little to do with markets.
Air Traffic Management.net (November 19) - Avinor's Oslo Airport will become the world's first hub to receive regular deliveries of biofuel.
Beginning March 2015, Statoil Aviation will deliver 2.5 million liters of sustainable bio-fuel to the tank facility at Oslo Airport in the first 12 months.
Although the initial sources of bio-fuel will probably come from materials such as used cooking oil, companies in the Norwegian power and forestry industries are exploring the possibility of forest-based large-scale production of bio-fuel for aviation.
CTV News.ca (November 5) - Last week, opposition parties called on the Ontario government to change the rules on control of Crown forests to help save a pulp mill in Fort Frances, and up to one thousand jobs.
The Progressive Conservatives and NDP said Resolute Forest Products is blocking the sale of the shuttered mill to Expera Specialty Solutions of Wisconsin because it still controls the timber surrounding the town near the Manitoba border.
Islandpacket.com (South Carolina, November 18) - A federal plan to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered is drawing enough opposition that the US Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking more public comment before deciding on the proposal next year.
State wildlife agencies and forestry industry groups say the federal government doesn't have enough information to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered in the South and Midwest. As a result, they oppose designating the bat as endangered.
New York Times.com (November 16) - In Sweet Home, Oregon, the old, blue-collar economy might be gone, but the glorious swath of nature-1.7 million acres of Willamette National Forest-is still there. The trees growing mightier by the year and the potential of that forest, as a retooled engine of economic growth, gnaws at Sweet Home city manager Craig Martin day and night.
The forest was Sweet Home's past, but geography and climate dictate that it will also be the future, said Martin. He and others working on what is called the Sweet Home Project-a consortium of academics, and local, state, and federal representatives-said the question was how to tap the riches of those lands in a new way.
MSU.edu (November 13) - Since 1994, logging industry professionals in Michigan have voluntarily participated in specialized "loggers' education courses." These training efforts are part of a nationwide movement aimed at creating safe working conditions for wood workers, while giving them a better understanding of forest ecology and the need for water quality protection.
Today, more than 2,500 individuals have participated in the core loggers' training programs offered in Michigan. It is the hope of the Michigan Forest Products Council that these educational efforts will continue to insure the sustainability of Michigan's forest and water resources for the next 20 years and beyond.
BIV.com (November 18) - With less than a year to go until the Canada-US Softwood Lumber Agreement expires, lines are being drawn on both sides of the border over the future of lumber trade between the two countries.
Canadian producers say they want to extend the agreement, which has brought an uneasy peace to the decades-long lumber war since it was signed in 2006, but their US counterparts say they won't sign on again.
The US Lumber Coalition, a lobby group representing American lumber companies and timber owners, said last week it's not going to renew the agreement when it expires next October. It has expressed its anti-deal position to the US government, but it has yet to say publicly what it intends to do.
SupplyManagement.com (November 19) - CDP, a nonprofit organization that holds climate change, water, and forest-risk data self-reported by firms, has issued a report-"Deforestation-Free Supply Chains: From Commitments to Action,"-based on disclosures from 152 companies.
Based on the report's conclusions, CDP said that, overall, three quarters of companies recognize at least one business risk associated with the commodities connected with deforestation, while almost 90 percent reported seeing business benefits, such as accessing new markets, from sustainably sourcing at least one commodity.
Bend Bulletin.com (November 20) - The Environmental Protection Agency has signaled it may be more open to considering timber byproducts and other biomass as an energy source that fits within the Obama administration's efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
In a memo to all of the agency's regional air directors, Janet G. McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, wrote that the agency is developing a framework to evaluate the carbon dioxide emissions from biomass, with the expectation there will be climate policy benefits to using biomass to generate energy.
NewsMiner.com (November 18) - Contained in the Alaska's proposed air pollution regulations is a list of what is and what isn't acceptable to burn in a solid fuel-burning device, and the wood pellet logs created by a local company got a nod as an effective way to combat dirty air.
Prohibited fuels include painted or stained wood, treated wood, asphalt, rubber or tar products, oily waste products, plastics, pesticides, herbicides, and garbage, to name a few.
Biomass Magazine.com (November 18) - The 2014 Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) annual conference opened with a market outlook that, down to each panelist, indicated that the global pellet industry is in the middle of an era of incredible growth.
Scientific American.com (November 14) - A growing feud over the use of American wood to fuel power production in Europe came to a head recently as an environmental group staged a seafaring protest during a forest industry conference.
Other voices in the forestry sector, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, said that wood-based energy is renewable because wood burned is replaced by other trees that take in carbon dioxide, making the process carbon-neutral.
But some environmental groups argue that it takes too long for trees to grow back and compensate for the carbon dioxide emitted.
Note: This is just one of several articles that members of SAF's LinkedIn group have been discussing during the past week. If you've got a LinkedIn account, join the group and join the conversation.
Northern Ontario Business.com (November 18) - Although the Whitesand First Nation's long-running renewable energy project is still pending final approval from the province, there's no shortage of suitors according to David Mackett, community development officer for the northwestern Ontario community.
In addition to creating power and heat for the community located near Armstrong, the plant will have a pellet mill equipped to produce 60,000 tons annually of residential-grade wood pellets. Both the pellet facility and a cogeneration power plant will rely on wood waste from a sawmill, yet to be constructed, that is also part of the project.
Powersource.Post-Gazette.com (November 18) - As the vegetation management coordinator at Duquesne Light, Jenny Arkett supervises a department that scours thousands of miles of power lines searching for any type of tree, plant, or shrub that might compromise power service. Sometimes that means pruning limbs. Other times that means removing a perfectly healthy, beautiful tree.
Vegetation management has always been a concern for utility companies, but its importance has grown since the 2003 blackout that turned off power in major swaths of the northeastern United States. The scope of the outage was blamed on software issues, but it all started with some overhanging trees in northern Ohio. A few outages, all caused by trees, started to cascade into a widespread issue.
Mlive.com (November 18) - The city of Ann Arbor is hiring two private contractors as it looks to catch up on tree removal, tree pruning, and stump removal needed along city streets.
The tree removal activities under both contracts focus on the highest-priority trees, those listed as priority 1 or 2 removals in the city's tree inventory. Currently, the city has a backlog of 815 priority 1 and 2 tree removals.
SFAppeal.com (November 14) - Citing a lack of resources for tree maintenance, for the last few years San Francisco Public Works has been in the process of transferring the maintenance responsibility for the majority of its 105,000 street trees to the care of private-property owners, despite public demand for a dedicated funding stream for the public maintenance of the city's urban forest.
In response, Public Works, in collaboration with the San Francisco Planning Department, Friends of the Urban Forest, Urban Forestry Council, and San Francisco Recreation and Parks, has crafted a San Francisco Urban Forest Plan, which identifies policies and strategies to proactively manage and grow the city's street trees population.
WatertownDailyTimes.com (November 14) - The hemlock woolly adelgid hasn't yet reached New York State's North Country, but the invasive insect spread into the Finger Lakes region this year and could continue charting new territory unless the federal government steps in to block it, according to Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).
Schumer urged the US Forest Service to commit funding to help communities across the state combat the spread of the invasive species. The Japanese pest re-emerged this year in strong numbers, particularly in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.
The adelgid poses a serious threat to the upstate lumber industry and could kill hundreds of hemlock trees if measures aren't taken to stop its spread.
Purdue.edu (November 13) - Researchers from Purdue and Colorado State universities have discovered that the fungus responsible for thousand cankers disease, a lethal affliction of walnut trees and related species, has a rich genetic diversity that may make the disease more difficult to control.
Adjunct assistant professor of forestry Keith Woeste and fellow researchers analyzed the genes of 209 samples of Geosmithia morbida from 17 regions of the United States to determine the genetic diversity of the fungus, its possible origin, and how it spread throughout the West and to parts of the East.
The researchers identified 57 distinct haplotypes, or genetic races, among the samples-a curious finding for an organism that reproduces by cloning itself. The high diversity of Geosmithia morbida likely indicates that the fungus mutates readily.
WXPR.org (Wisconsin, November 17) - Forestry experts were on hand in Rhinelander last night to answer questions from the public about the emerald ash borer.
Though Oneida County has a relatively low abundance of ash trees, Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Coordinator Don Kissinger says the greatest impact will be in cities, where ash trees are some of the most popular to line streets and backyards.
Massachusetts Announces Quarantine Measures to Get Ash Borer Under Control
NewsMaine.net (November 19) - Massachusetts has brought into effect a statewide quarantine on ash lumber and all hardwood firewood. The move by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation is solely intended to control the population of the emerald ash borer.
Washington Post.com (November 20) - A group of scientists at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, headed by Bill Powell and Chuck Maynard, has announced that it has bred a blight-resistant American chestnut by introducing a gene from wheat.
Powell and Maynard anticipate that getting approval from the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency will take at least five years, and they're spending that time trying to raise 10,000 blight-resistant chestnut seedlings. (They're trying to raise money, too, and donations are welcome.) When the approvals are in, those 10,000 will be the American chestnut's re-introduction into our lives.
Professors Use Crowd Funding to Help Restore American Chestnut Trees
Syracuse Daily Orange.com (November 18)
SUNY ESF Finds Success with Fungus-Resistant American Chestnut Trees
WRVO.org (November 17)
KTVZ.com (November 17) - More than 11 million acres of dry forest in Oregon and Washington are in need of restoration, according to a new study by scientists for The Nature Conservancy and the US Forest Service.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Forest Ecology and Management, is a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of where, how much, and what kind of activities are needed across the fire-adapted forest landscape of eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and southwestern Oregon to restore ecological processes.
US Forest Service (November 13) - The US Forest Service announced that it exceeded its forest restoration goals for fiscal year 2014, highlighting the agency's continued commitment to improving the health of the America's national forests, reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfire, and protecting watersheds.
Projects lessened the threat to communities by reducing hazardous fuels on 1.7 million acres in the wildland urban interface, sustained or restored watershed conditions on 2.9 million acres, and resulted in 2.8 billion board feet of timber volume sold. The agency met its goals in a year where it lost staff time due to the government shutdown and when it continued to confront rising costs of firefighting that drain resources from forest restoration and management activities.
MSU.edu (November 17) - Northern hardwood forest types have traditionally been successfully managed using a single-tree selection silvicultural system. However, changes in ecological and social environments have generated the need for alternative management systems..
Utah.edu (November 11) - Plant diseases attack trees and crops and can hurt lumber and food production, but University of Utah biologists found that pathogens that kill tree seedlings actually can make forests more diverse.
While low rainfall has been blamed for a lack of drought-sensitive trees near the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, the new study answers a mystery about what keeps drought-tolerant trees from that area from living along the wetter Caribbean side of the canal. The answer: disease-causing plant pathogens, the researchers report in their study, which was published online in the Journal of Ecology.
ABC.Net.au (November 17) - Sawmills will soon be able to turn wood waste into high-value hardwood products, helping them increase profits at a difficult time.
Company 3RT has partnered with Flinders University to develop a machine that cuts wood offcuts or softwood into strips, sticks them together, and presses them into blocks.
The aim is to increase hardwood supply sustainably, and create market opportunities for mills, that have been struggling with loss of access to native forests, labor shortages, and competition with cheaper imports.
Daily Cal.org (November 7) - Cal Logging Sports, a traditional sport for old-time male loggers, is just one part of UC Berkeley's forestry and natural resources major. The program is one of only a handful in the state and the most female dominated by far.
Heraldnet.com (November 18) - The historical society and its political partners are receiving national recognition for saving Green Mountain Lookout from destruction.
The lookout is perched on a 6,500-foot mountain ridge in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the structure in 1933. In the following decades, it was used as a fire watch and to monitor the sky for enemy aircraft during World War II. In later years, the lookout housed Forest Service workers for seasonal education programs.
Montanakaimin.com (November 18) - Western Montana's sub-zero temperatures still won't be enough to control its pine bark beetle epidemic.
According to Montana's Department of Natural Resources, neither last year's polar vortex nor this November's cold snap will have much, if any, effect on beetle populations.
Since 2000, pine beetles have infested more than 23 percent of all Montana's forestland, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the southern part of the Bitterroot National Forest and in the Big Hole area of the Beaverhead National Forest.
According to the DNRC website, consecutive days of negative-40-degree temperatures can disrupt the beetle's lifecycle, killing them off, but this year's frigid temperatures have come too late.
The votes have been counted and the results of the 2014 elections are in!
The SAF vice-president for 2015 will be Clark W. Seely, CF
The Newly elected Council Members are:
District 1-Keith A. Blatner, CF
District 4-Jim Thinnes, CF
District 7-Kurt W. Gottschalk, CF
District 10-Ronald Wayne Bell, CF
2014 Ballot Initiatives
Passed-Referendum 1.1: Accept New Articles of Incorporation
Passed-Referendum 1.2: Accept the Revised Bylaws
Passed-Referendum 2: Accept New Mission Statement
SAF's Revised bylaws are available on the SAF website.
Be sure to see the January 2015 issue of The Forestry Source for more on the elections, as well as interviews with the new slate of national officers.
Be sure to renew your SAF membership for 2015 or risk being cut off from the SAF products and services you enjoy, such as reading the latest forestry-related news with The Forestry Source, learning about the latest in forest research in the Journal of Forestry,* and finding your competitive edge with the nation's largest listing of continuing forestry education.
But wait, there's more! Your membership in SAF also gives you access to: the SAF Career Center, the SAF Store, discounted rates on Consulting and Prescribed Fire Insurance, discounted rates on automotive insurance, Certified Forester discounts, discounted life and disability insurance, and discounts and rewards with 1,000+ retailers!
Become a platinum member and receive even more benefits, including three free Continuing Education Quizzes from the Journal of Forestry (a $90 value).
To submit payment by check, just print the e-mail confirmation after joining online and send your payment to SAF at 5400 Grosvenor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-2198. Or, to fax your payment, print the e-mail confirmation and fax your payment to (301) 897-3690. You can also make your payment over the phone by calling (866) 897-8720 x100.
Note: All memberships are calendar year. *Not eligible with Silver Membership Service Level./p>
In response to members' concerns about the functionality of the SAF website, the Society has launched a beta version of its new Membership Portal. Naturally, we want to know what you think about it, so check it out and send us your comments.
The portal is designed to offer easier access to SAF member services, expedite the renewal process, give up-to-date information about members' involvement with SAF (e.g., CFE credits, subscriptions, and so on), provide the latest forestry news, facilitate giving, and more!
Interested in what your colleagues have been reading? Below are the top most downloaded articles from each of SAF's scientific journal publications for the month of October.
The Right to Risk in Wilderness (Journal of Forestry Vol. 79, No. 3)
Interactions among the Mountain Pine Beetle, Fires, and Fuels (Forest Science Vol. 60, No. 3)
To see the complete top 10 most downloaded article lists, visit the Publications page on the SAF website, click on the journal you wish to view, then click "Most Downloaded Articles."
Your GOLD- or PLATINUM-level membership entitles you to free access to all journal content, but you need to register with IngentaConnect to get it.
Questions? Contact Matthew Walls
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