In This Issue ...
1. Oregon: Environmentalists Protest "Test Case" Logging Project
2. Utah: Restoring Aspen on Monroe Mountain
3. Arizona: Cattle to the Rescue: Can Intensive Grazing Remedy Invasive Grass Seeding Blunder?
4. Florida: Goethe State Forest Undergoes Prescribed Burning
5. Washington: Lawsuit Claims Oso Mudslide Was "Man Made"
1. Rural Counties Dealing with Loss of Federal Dollars
2. Senators Work on Central Idaho Wilderness Plan
3. 4FRI Stakeholder Group Responds to Forest Service Plan
4. Cedar Thom Project Moves Forward
5. "Big Burn" on PBS Depicts 1910 Disaster That Shaped the US Forest Service
1. Video Markets State's Forestry Products
2. Why 2015 Will Be the Year of Tall Timber Construction
3. Augusta Forest Management Plan Recommends Logging, Maintenance
4. Record-Level for US Lumber Prices Predicted by 2017
5. Plum Creek, International Paper, MeadWestvaco Announce Fourth Quarter Earnings
1. Zilkha Closes on Last Land Purchase for Arkansas Pellet Plant
2. Stobart Wins Its "Largest Ever" Waste Wood Fuel Deal
3. Wyoming Task Force Report Includes Bioenergy Recommendations
4. Wood Pellets: Green Energy or New Source of Carbon Dioxide Emissions?
5. Green Groups Question Benefits of Biomass
1. Worcester City Councilor Blasts Federal Handling of Asian Long-Horned Beetle Fight
2. Elm Pest Develops Resistance to Pesticide Widely Used to Treat It
3. Schumer Joins National Forest Push against Wooly Adelgid
4. Emerald Ash Borer in Illinois, Utah
1. SAF Names Louise Murgia Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer
2. Forest Policy News
3. SAF Publications News: Allegheny SAF Newsletter, Forestry Source, and Journal of Forestry
4. People in the News and Media Moments
5. Meetings: SAF and Otherwise
Capitalpress.com (January 26) - The US Bureau of Land Management approved logging on 187 acres near Myrtle Creek, Oregon, as part of the "White Castle" pilot project, which the nonprofits Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands believe will set a precedent for harvesting mature forests.
The groups claim the project is a "politically driven" attempt to increase logging on BLM property in western Oregon to buttress "struggling timber-based economies" that should be enjoined by a federal judge.
An attorney for the government countered that the project was designed with the help of highly respected forestry professors-Norm Johnson of Oregon State University and Jerry Franklin of the University of Washington-who have studied how such logging will affect the forest.
Note: For more information about the pilot project, see "Does Federal Forestry Have a Future in Spotted Owl Country?" from the November 2011 issue of The Forestry Source.
Richfieldreaper.com (Richfield, UT, January 27) - Public support is being sought for a proposed project designed to revitalize struggling aspen tree populations on Utah's Monroe Mountain.
Over the years, fire exclusions have caused the forests to become overly dense, conifer have expanded and limited aspen growth, and overbrowsing has resulted in the aspen stands being unable to produce new sprouts to regenerate.
Now, four proposed plans have been combined into one, which calls for approximately 26,000 to 33,000 acres of prescribed burning to take place over a period of 10 years.
Payson Roundup.com (Payson, AZ, January 27) - Rim Country rancher Ray Tanner has teamed up with the US Forest Service, researchers from Northern Arizona University, and others to determine whether concentrating cattle in an area overrun by weeping love grass planted after a fire would help control the invasive species.
The two-year effort enjoyed limited success. It increased the amount of bare ground and encouraged a greater diversity of other grasses. But the effects faded quickly after the rancher returned cattle numbers to normal and stopped concentrating them in certain areas.
Mygtn.tv (Gainesville, FL, January 28) - The Florida Forest Service began its prescribed burning in Levy County. The goal is to burn more than 12,000 acres of land in Goethe State Forest, making it one of the largest controlled burns it's ever done.
Heraldnet.com (Everett, WA, January 28) - A new lawsuit filed over deaths and property destruction from last year's catastrophic mudslide in Oso, Washington, faults the state of Washington, Snohomish County, and a private timber company for causing, "the worst man-made landslide in the history of this nation."
The lawsuit doesn't explain how that claim squares with the evidence geologists say exists of 15 other large slides in the valley over the past 6,000 years, occurring anywhere from 400 to 1,500 years apart. Slides on that particular stretch of hillside have been occurring at least back to the 1930s.
HCN.org (Paonia, CO, January 23) - The Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Act was launched in 2000 as a stopgap program to make up for declining timber payments from national forests and Bureau of Land Management parcels after logging precipitously slowed in the 1980s. Along with Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), the program compensates counties with large, tax-exempt public-land bases.
Now that the program will not be suspended, politicians have tied the fate of SRS and PILT to a grander debate over Western land management and the pace of logging on forests and BLM lands. Rural counties want to see more timber harvesting to manage forests and bring in money.
Central Oregon Timber Payments Face Deeper Cuts
Bend Bulletin.com (Bend, OR, January 27)
Spokesman.com (Spokane, WA, January 28) - US Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), who derailed a 2010 wilderness bill, is now working with US Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) on a scaled-down version of the measure as others attempt to persuade President Barack Obama to designate a central Idaho area a national monument.
The smaller version of Simpson's Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act would create three wilderness areas totaling about 295,000 acres, about 37,000 acres less than the earlier version. However, not everyone is pleased with the latest iteration.
4FRI.org (Flagstaff, AZ, January 16) - The Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) Stakeholder Group has issued a position statement in response to the US Forest Service's Final Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Record of Decision on the first phase of the project.
In summary, the Stakeholders have expressed:
VP-mi.com (Plains, MT, January 27) - Tim Garcia, supervisor of the Lolo National Forest, recently paid a visit to the weekly Mineral County Commissioner's meeting to let them know what changes may be made to the proposed Cedar Thom logging project, which has been in development for almost ten years.
Garcia spoke with the commissioners after they sent him a letter describing their concerns with the plan. The project is the final stages of analyzing an environmental impact statement regarding the site.
Missoulian.com (Missoula, MT, January 28) - It's no spoiler to give away the ending of "The Big Burn"-the fire dies and the US Forest Service lives.
The PBS documentary based on Tim Egan's book of the same name recounts the founding days of the Forest Service, when it was a collection of Ivy League college grads trying to impose order on 200 million acres of newly created national forests. They'd barely had time to rile the rowdies in logging towns like Taft and Wallace when the worst fire season North America has ever recorded blew up around them.
Odt.co.nz (January 27) - The New Zealand Forest Certification Association (NZFCA) has been included in an internationally recognized ecolabel, which could open up new opportunities for forest owners, manufacturers, and exporters.
According to Andrew McEwen, NZFCA chair, an increasing number of New Zealand companies were taking on PEFC chain-of-custody certification, enabling them to manufacture and trade PEFC-certified products under the PEFC label.
CIFOR.org (January 27) - In Brazil's Amazon forest, incentives such as certification of timber products are less effective than fines and other sanctions aimed at curbing illegal logging and clearing of forests, according to a new study.
Reuters.com (January 21) - Cameroon and Malaysia have failed to make progress in tackling illegal logging since 2010, due to corruption, a lack of transparency, and political will, according to a report by British thinktank Chatham House.
Cameroon and Malaysia are two of a handful of timber-producing countries evaluated by Chatham House for the importance of the forest sector to their economies and the volume of timber they export (which was assessed in 2008-2009 and again in 2013-2014).
Postcrescent.com (Appleton, WI, January 26) - A Wisconsin agency has produced a video showcasing the state's forestry products in response to the growing demand for wood flooring, construction materials, and other quality wood products around the world.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's video, "Growing Wisconsin Forestry Products," is designed as a tool to help the state's wood products industry educate customers at home and abroad about the availability and quality of wood products produced from Wisconsin's forests.
Sourceable.net (January 27) - In recent years, the building design and construction industry in many developed economies has witnessed an increased interest in the use of timber framed (TF) construction for low- to mid-rise development projects.
The use of timber has been facilitated and, in some cases, led by changes to building regulations, and further supported by supply chain and technological innovations. This is evident from Finland and Sweden, to the UK and to Canada and the USA and now to Australia.
CentralMaine.com (Augusta, ME, January 22) - A plan for managing Augusta, Maine's wooded properties, which city councilors appeared to favor, recommends logging some parcels, while leaving most others alone.
Forester John Churchill, of Central Maine Forestry in Readfield, presented the 10-year plan to councilors last week. The plan recommends selectively harvesting wood on about 60 acres at Pleasant Hill, which could bring in about $20,000 from wood sales.
IHB.de (January 26) - North American and global economies, as well as softwood lumber markets, are forecast to continue expanding in 2015 and even faster in 2016 and 2017. At the same time, there is a continued tightening of the economic wood supply available from North America's forests, says a recent International Wood Markets report.
The bad news is that the key North American and Chinese markets have been growing at a slower rate than was previously expected and the rate of log and lumber production increases have caught up to the market's demand, creating some short-term weakness or concerns.
Plumcreek.com (January 26) - Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. announced fourth quarter earnings of $68 million, or $0.39 per share, on revenues of $428 million.
For more information, visit the Plum Creek website.
International Paper.com (January 28) - International Paper reported full-year 2014 net earnings attributable to common shareholders totaling $555 million ($1.29 per share) compared with $1.4 billion ($3.11 per share) in full-year 2013.
For more information, visit the International Paper website.
MWV.com (January 26) - MeadWestvaco announced fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations were $0.31 per share; earnings ex-items were up 59% to $0.46 vs. $0.29 on the same basis in the prior year.
For more information, visit the MeadWestvaco website.
Biomass magazine.com (Grand Forks, ND, January 27) - Zilkha Biomass Energy announced this month a close on the purchase of the last parcel of land to be acquired for its proposed 450,000 metric-ton-per-year pellet plant in Monticello, Arkansas. The 80.99 acres were purchased for $80,500 from the University of Arkansas-Monticello.
Letsrecycle.com (London, UK, January 26) - Stobart Group has won its "largest ever" fuel supply contract after securing a 14-year, £110 million deal to supply waste wood to a biomass plant near Margam in south Wales.
Announced January 26, the deal will see Stobart Energy source, process, and supply 250,000 tons per year of recovered waste wood to the Margam plant over 14 years, equating to 3.5 million tons over the life of the agreement.
Biomass magazine.com (Grand Forks, ND, January 26) - In Wyoming, the Governor's Task Force on Forests has issued a report featuring its recommendations for proactively managing the state's forests. Several of the recommendations relate to bioenergy development.
To attract and develop a biomass industry in Wyoming, the task force recommends the governor work directly with the state legislature to diversify state energy sources to include woody biomass. The task force also suggests the governor ask the University of Wyoming to develop a bioenergy research program.
e360.yale.edu (January 22) - Burning wood pellets to produce electricity is on the rise in Europe, where the pellets are classified as a form of renewable energy. But in the United States, where pellet facilities are rapidly being built, concerns are growing about logging and the carbon released by the combustion of wood biomass.
Savannahnow.com (Savannah, GA, January 25) - Georgia's biomass industry is booming, resulting in the shipment of more than a million tons annually of wood pellets to Europe where they're burned as a greener alternative to coal in power plants. But a nonprofit new to Savannah, the Dogwood Alliance, is raising concerns here that the practice isn't so environmentally friendly.
QChron.com (New York, NY, January 22) - MillionTreesNYC, the initiative that aims to plant that many across the city in a 10-year period, is well on its way to achieving its goal, said representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The project, which was kicked off in 2007 by then-Mayor Bloomberg and entertainer Bette Midler, founder of the New York Restoration Project, has already led to the planting of an estimated 938,000 trees in the five boroughs.
The program seeks to increase the city's urban forest by as much as 20 percent.
Theguardian.pe.ca (Montreal, Quebec, January 23) - The Charlottetown City council voted 9-0 at a special public meeting last week to cut down more than half of the American elm trees in the city.
Of the 583 elms, 323 have been infected with Dutch elm disease, an incurable and deadly fungus disease of elm trees. All of the infected trees are either dying or dead and are on public and private property.
The city estimates it will cost in the area of $500,000 to remove the trees, grind the stumps, and properly dispose of them.
Theadvocate.com (Baton Rouge, LA, January 18) - The benefits of an urban forest go beyond water and air quality. A good tree coverage and other landscaping can serve as an economic benefit and make people more willing to spend more in a business district, said Kathleen Wolf, University of Washington College of the Environment research scientist.
Masslive.com (Worcester, MA, January 15) - Eight years after federal officials began working to stem to spread of the invasive, tree-killing Asian long-horned beetle in Worcester, City Councilor Phil Palmieri is saying enough is enough.
Palmieri is accusing the US Department of Agriculture's beetle eradication program of using Worcester as a "lab rat" for its "slash-and-burn" approach, and criticizing the agency for still not having a handle on the situation.
USDA: Setbacks Normal in Long-Horned Beetle Battles
Telegram.com (Worcester, MA, January 4)
Denverpost.com (Denver, CO, January 24) - Even as experts and urban foresters watch for the spread of emerald ash borer-the exotic insect found in Boulder in 2013-a chronic elm pest, European elm scale, has developed resistance to the pesticide widely used to control it.
Ithacajournal.com (Ithaca, NY, January 27) - US Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), has joined the call to wipe out the hemlock wooly adelgid in Finger Lakes National Forest.
A public meeting and hike are scheduled for January 31, during which forest rangers will discuss their plans for killing the invasive pest.
"I urge the USDA to implement this plan as soon as possible and to expand its efforts to all of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier counties where this pest is beginning to take hold," Schumer said in a news release.
Will County Forest Preserve Puts Up Fight against Emerald Ash Borer
Theherald-news.com (Frankfort, IL, January 26) - A small crew working in the Forest Preserve District of Will County recently removed trees as part the continued battle against the emerald ash borer.
District officials budgeted an additional $250,000 this year to remove infested trees deemed dead, or clearly dying, and thus a safety hazard for trail users.
State Prepares for Invasion of Emerald Ash Borer, a Devastating Tree Pest
Deseret News.com (Salt Lake City, UT, January 22) - The emerald ash borer, which has already wiped out an estimated 50 million trees in eastern states, arrived in Boulder, Colorado, in September 2013.
Even though the pest has yet to arrive in Utah, the state and several cities are making proactive battle plans, forming a task force, and bracing for the destructive, invasive beetle.
Capital Press.com (January 28) - A pine tree genetically engineered for greater wood density can be grown without restrictions after the USDA decided it lacks the authority to regulate the variety.
The finding has alarmed critics of genetically modified organisms who fear the new cultivar will cross-pollinate with trees in the wild, resulting in unknown consequences for forests.
Bendbulletin.com (Bend, OR, January 28) - Last year, the Global Owl Project fitted 30 burrowing owls in the Northwest and Canada, including three from the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana, with tiny backpacks containing satellite transmitters. The devices track their migration routes and destinations and, hopefully, will give researchers insight into the birds' population decline.
US Forest Service (Southern Research Station, January 20) - Recently published research by US Forest Service scientists provides important first-time analyses of the potential impacts of introducing plantations of freeze-tolerant eucalyptus into the South.
Eucalyptus, a fast-growing tree native to Australia and Indonesia, is planted across large areas of Asia, Africa, and South America as a major source of hardwood fiber for paper and biofuels. Because of its sensitivity to freezing temperatures, eucalyptus hasn't been planted extensively in the United States, where fiber markets are dominated by softwood from pines grown in the Southeast.
Coloradocountycitizen.com (Columbus, TX, January 27) - 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Created in 1915 by the 34th state legislature, the agency is mandated to "assume direction of all forest interests and all matters pertaining to forestry within the jurisdiction of the state." In 1993, that the service's mission was expanded by the 73rd legislature to include "coordination of the response to each major or potentially major wildland fire in the state."
VT.edu (Blacksburg, VA, January 22) - Trust is an important driver of collaboration, conflict resolution, and enhanced group performance in the business world as well as in the management of natural resources.
For example, a study of Podocarpus National Park in Ecuador, US Virgin Islands National Park, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee found that local opposition or support could be predicted with nearly 80 percent accuracy based on local trust for park managers alone.
Polypost.com (Pomona, CA, January 26) - Cal Poly Pomona's Landscape Architecture Department partnered with the United States Forest Service for a joint venture that seeks to understand the relationship between parks and the communities around them.
The US Forest Service wanted to learn how parks are used and treated to improve overcrowded and underdeveloped lands, and reached out to Millburn for help. The research will help the Forest Service devise a plan to decrease human impact on the environment, and work toward an environmental education program.
The Society of American Foresters (SAF) has named Louise A. Murgia, CF, as its Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer. Murgia assumed the position on January 1, 2015.
In this role, Murgia will be responsible for managing the staff and day-to-day operations at SAF's headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. Murgia will join SAF Chief Executive Officer Matt Menashes and Chief Financial Officer Jorge Esguerra in charting a course of action for the organization as it works to achieve its strategic goals. Murgia's new role includes leading SAF's information technology strategy, ensuring effective and efficient internal operations, and maintaining a high-performing staff.
The SAF policy team worked with the Colorado-Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, and Washington SAF policy committees to thank their Senators for signing on as original cosponsors to the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act reintroduced in the Senate on January 22.
SAF President Bob Alverts was also quoted in a press release applauding the efforts of Senators Wyden, Crapo, Cantwell, Baldwin, Bennet, Daines, Gardner, and Risch for joining the bill as original cosponsors.
For more SAF policy news, see the February 2015 issue of The Forestry Source, which contains two articles about recent SAF policy activities-SAF Continues to Engage on Bat Endangered Species Listing and SAF's Work on Carbon Yields Results, But Work Still Remains.
Allegheny SAF Newsletter
The Winter 2015 edition of the Allegheny News is now available on the state society's website.
Journal of Forestry
The January 2015 issue of the Journal of Forestry is now available.
The Forestry Source
The February 2015 issue of The Forestry Source is now available on the SAF website.
And speaking of The Forestry Source, there is still time to take the Reader's Survey. The survey takes only a few minutes to complete and your answers will help ensure the Source stays useful and relevant.
Also, the Source is looking for submissions of essays from forestry students and "photos that tell a story" for its new "Forestry Photo of the Month" column. For more information about these opportunities to contribute, contact Source editor Steve Wilent by email or by calling (503) 622-3033.
Forester Teaches Tree Owners Management
Capitalpress.com (January 29) - In this article, SAF member Chris Schnepf, University of Idaho Extension area educator in forestry, talks about his work outside the UI Extension office.
Boucher Honors Former Instructor with Scholarship Endowment
MSU.edu (January 16) - Michigan State University has announced the Maureen H. McDonough Endowed Scholarship for Social and Community Forestry, which will be awarded to students whose focus is social and community forestry.
SAF member Cara A. Boucher, CF, former state forester of Michigan, said her goal in starting this scholarship was to help students understand that the social science aspect of forestry is just as important as the biological science of forests.
Stripling Receives Vice Chancellor's Award
TAMU.edu (College Station, TX, January 6) - The Texas A&M Forest Service honored geospatial systems coordinator Curt Stripling with the Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for Public Service in Forestry.
The Award in Excellence for Public Service in Forestry is one of 17 awards presented each year by the Vice Chancellor for Agriculture and Life Sciences as a way to recognize and celebrate the commitment and contributions made by those working under the umbrella of Texas A&M Agrilife. The forestry award, in particular, is presented to an individual "who consistently goes above and beyond, making exceptional contributions and displaying exceptional commitment to the agency's mission."
In case you missed it…
Buck Vandersteen: The State of Louisiana's Forests
TheTownTalk.com (January 21)
"Trees cover half of our state and forests are the single greatest land use in Louisiana. It is still the most valuable agricultural crop although tree farmers certainly don't have a harvest every year. The latest figures from the Louisiana State University AgCenter show forestry is an $11 billion industry providing about 45,000 jobs in the state and generating about $700 million in state and federal taxes."
Note: Vandersteen is general chair of the 2015 SAF National Convention, which will take place in Baton Rouge November 3-7, and treasurer of the Louisiana SAF.
Granite State SAF Winter Meeting
Friday, February 13
Attitash Grand Summit Hotel & Conference Center, Bartlett, NH
Category 1-CF Hours: 3.5
Contact: Tim Fleury
Phone: (603) 796-2151
Allegheny SAF Winter Meeting
Holiday Inn-Wilkes Barre, East Mountain, Wilkes Barre, PA
Category 1-CF Hours: 10.5
Contact: Robert Remillard
Phone: (585) 764-8611
Southwestern SAF Annual Meeting
Windermere Hotel & Conference Center, Mesa, AZ
Category 1-CF Hours: 7.0
Contact: Andy Mason
Phone: (571) 214-5536
New England Society of American Foresters
95th Annual Winter Meeting: Changing Silviculture in a Changing World
Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont on March 25-27
For more information, visit the NESAF website.
2015 North American Forest Ecology Workshop Call for Abstracts-Deadline Extended
NAFEW.org (undated) - The 10th North American Forest Ecology Workshop (NAFEW) will take place June 14-18 in Veracruz, Mexico. Organized by the Colegio de Postgraduados in association with Colegio de la Frontera Sur, the Mexican Academy of Forest Sciences, and the University of Veracruz, the workshop will offer forest ecologists from around North America a chance to share ideas, knowledge, experiences, and challenges on forest ecosystems of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The program will include three days of oral and poster presentations, as well as one day of in-conference field trips. Oral presentations will consist of invited plenary speakers and volunteer presentations.
The deadline for abstract submission for both oral and poster presentations is February 28, 2015. The organizing Committee will work on making arrangements for a group of presentations to be published in a special issue of a top-ranked forest ecology journal.
For more information, see the Call for Abstracts on the workshop's website.
For additional meetings and workshops, visit the Event Calendar on the SAF website.
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