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Interim Forest Service chief named
President Donald Trump’s administration moved quickly Thursday to install a female wildland firefighter to lead the U.S. Forest Service after the agency’s former chief stepped down amid sexual misconduct allegations. The appointment of Vickie Christiansen as interim chief came as lawmakers from both parties called for more aggressive efforts to combat a culture of harassment and retaliation within the Forest Service. The problems mirror recent misconduct within the nation’s other major public lands agency, the Interior Department. For more, click here...

Horse logging tradition carries on for these Canadians
Scott Taylor harnesses up his huge 12-year-old Percheron horse, Mike, and they head off into to the woods. They're continuing a tradition that's been carried out for generations on P.E.I. — horse logging. "The first time I went into the woods with horses, I was 12 years old and it was with my father and my late grandfather," said Taylor, 36. "I learned everything I know from them." Scott and his father Kevin Taylor are working together, thinning a woodlot in Caledonia, P.E.I. "This is the best place in the world to be," said Kevin, as he walks through the woods, looking for poor quality trees to cut down with his chain saw, while Scott and his horse drag the logs to a clearing. For more, click here...

Aspen Planers expecting larger timber supply with MOU
Aspen Planers says the memorandum of understanding signed last week between the Merritt, B.C., mill and Lower Nicola Indian Band will boost its timber supply and keep it going well into the future. The mill is now the cornerstone of the Merritt economy, the only one remaining in town, 14 months after Tolko shut down. The family-run operation provides 150 direct jobs to Merritt. For more, click here...

What knocked over 100 giant trees in Washington?
It came in the night, snapping trees like chopsticks. During the early hours of January 27 more than 100 gigantic old growth trees fell on the north shore of Lake Quinault, Wash. The resulting thud at about 1:30 a.m. was strong enough to register as a small earthquake, according to a seismic monitor at Quinault. To read one attempt to solve the mysterious blowdown, click here...

House Republicans push for easier approval of forest projects
Last year’s intense fire season led to calls for more “treatment” of federal forests to remove excess fuel that can make for bigger, hotter wildfires. In November, House Republicans -- including Oregon’s Second District Representative Greg Walden -- passed a bill to grease the skids for more work in the woods. The bill now awaits action in the Republican–controlled Senate. For more, click here...

Multiple factors cause log price surge
A confluence of factors is lifting Northwest log prices at a time when U.S. demand for lumber is only expected to grow, timber experts say. Natural disasters, from wildfires in the West to hurricanes in the South, have restrained the supply of logs from U.S. forests. Meanwhile, housing construction and remodeling have boosted domestic lumber consumption as Asian buyers continue competing with sawmills for U.S. logs. For more, click here...

Forest products manufacturers applaud EPA permit streamlining
American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman and American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued a statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of new guidance to reclassify certain major sources as area sources under the Clean Air Act. To see, click here...

Republican, Democrat offer solution to wildfire problem
Republicans and Democrats aren’t supposed to agree on much these days, particularly when it comes to the environment and management of our public lands. But, we do. Both of us served as the Department of Agriculture's under secretary of agriculture for natural resources and environment — one for President George W. Bush and one for Barack Obama. In that role, we both witnessed the dramatic increase in severe wildfires in the nation’s forests and grasslands. And, both of us agree, that to solve this problem, Congress must change the way we pay for wildland firefighting. For more, click here...

Global sawlog prices increase in 3Q
The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) was up 5.1% from the 2Q/17 to the 3Q/17, with the biggest price increases occurring in Europe and Oceania, according to the latest issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly. The Euro-based ESPI sawlog price index has gone up at a slower rate than the GSPI the past year. For more, click here...

Oregon counties to receive federal money
Oregon counties that rely on logging revenue will receive nearly $1.4 million that has been withheld by the federal government due to sequestration. The Association of O&C Counties -- commonly called the "timber counties" -- said Thursday the counties will see the funds soon. For more, click here...

Log inventories depleted in Northwest
Sawmills and pulpmills in the U.S. Northwest have been struggling to build log inventories for the winter season because of the unusually long fire season this year, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. Increased competition for small-diameter logs in the four states of the U.S. Pacific Northwest has resulted in a higher share of logs being consumed by sawmills, thus leaving many pulpmills with low log inventory levels going into the 4Q/17, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review. For more, click here...

Annual allowable cut reduced in Prince George
B.C.'s chief forester has reduced the annual allowable cut in the Prince George Timber Supply Area by a third but it should have only a small effect on activity as it currently stands. Previously set at 12.5 million cubic meters, it now stands at 8.35 million, the provincial government said in a statement issued Tuesday, However, the average annual harvest over the last five years was 9.1 million, meaning the effective reduction is 8%. It will remain at 8.35 million for the next five years then be reduced to 7.35 million for the following five years. For more, click here...

Wood construction becomes sexy again
These are exciting times for the timber industry. Government forest managers and their political bosses finally appear to recognize that more effective management of public forests is needed to help prevent future wildfires and reduce their severity. Beyond timber management, however, are innovations that promise new uses for timber in construction. Among them is “mass timber” that is used in “tallwood design.” For more, click here...

Why does this famous protector of trees now want to cut some down?
Jerry Franklin has spent much of his life in the company of giants. From his childhood in the woods of Washington state to a scientific career that catapulted him to international prominence, the towering trees of the U.S. Pacific Northwest have shaped his world. In the 1980s, the forest ecologist became a hero to many conservationists thanks to research that helped lead to a controversial 1994 plan protecting millions of hectares of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest from logging. Today, in the twilight of his life, the 80-year-old scientist has become a champion of a far different landscape, which he sees as vital to supporting a full range of forest species. For more, click here...

Alabama tree farmers win national award
Today, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) announced the 2017 National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year award has been given to Glenn and Scarlett Riley of Abbeville, Alabama. The Rileys have spent more than 60 years caring for a 283-acre Tree Farm, making a considerable effort to create wildlife habitat for at-risk species, specifically the threatened gopher tortoise. For more, click here...

Federal Forest Act prompts burning debate in Washington
Lawmakers from Arkansas to Oregon are pushing for Federal Forest Management changes that they say are designed to prevent wildfires. Other lawmakers are against these changes as they say the legislation is a give away to the timber industry. Supporters of the legislation say raging wildfires and the destruction they cause are a direct result of mismanaged federal land. For more, click here...

Oregon redwoods 'severely burned' by wildfire
One of the last groves of Oregon redwoods was "severely burned" by the Chetco Bar Fire, according to U.S. Forest officials. Oregon's largest wildfire, burning in southwest Oregon, roared into the Wheeler Creek Natural Area and torched 25% of the area's old-growth redwoods, U.S. Forest Service officials said last week. For more, click here...

Burnt B.C. timber salvageable if harvested now
British Columbia's state of emergency was lifted over the weekend, but the forest industry is still reeling from the effects of a summer of wildfires that shut down mills and halted logging in its tracks. The province estimates that 53 million cubic meters of timber burned in the Interior — an entire year's timber harvest. Tom Hoffman, the manager of external and stakeholder relations with forest product's company, Tolko, said the industry is trying to regain a footing. For more, click here...

Industry in Oregon returns to work after fire closures
After recent rains, many lumber workers have been able to return to work this week as fire activity in many areas is back down to a level safe for industrial work. The state of Oregon has Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, which dictate the amount of work a lumber company can do while a fire is burning. Last week, most of southern Oregon was at a level four, which calls for a halt to logging activity while fires are being fought. For more, click here...

Interior chief recommendation may open more federal land to logging
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that four large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up hundreds of thousands of acres of land revered for natural beauty and historical significance to mining, logging, and other development. Zinke’s recommendation, revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House, prompted an outcry from environmental groups who promised to take the Trump administration to court to block the moves. For more, click here...

Why won't young people work in logging?
On a steep slope just inland from Waldport, Oregon, a young forestry worker named Jared Foster is at the controls of a large machine called a forwarder. The machine, made by Finnish company Ponnse, looks like it was designed by Michael Bay. The front section contains a climate-controlled cabin, in which Foster sits, listening to a country music station as he works. The back features a large, articulated mechanical arm with a yellow claw, and a cage that can hold up to 20 metric tons of felled timber. The whole thing is tethered by a steel cable to a large stump at the top of the slope, to keep it from careening down the hill. In the cab, Foster manipulates a joystick that controls the arm, which gathers up felled Douglas Fir trees as if they were Jenga sticks. It’s taken him a year to master it, and his training has included time on simulators. His supervisor, Matt Mattioda of Miller Lumber, says: “It’s as complicated as flying a plane.” Eventually, when there’s an opening, Jared will get his chance to run the even more daunting harvester that can clear a patch of firs in minutes. Mattioda and other experts hope the new machines might help the logging industry solve its millennial problem: young people are not attracted to a life in the forest. For more, click here...

Fires compound loss of harvestable timber in B.C.'s Interior
Williams Lake residents are trickling back into town, but, until the smoke clears, the extent of the damage this season's fires have wrought on British Columbia's forestry sector won't be clear. Major forestry-based employers in the Interior have been forced to halt operations in Chasm, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel due to evacuation orders and a shortage of raw materials. "Already, the markets are responding with the perception that there are or will be lumber shortages," said Phil Burton, a professor of forest ecology and management at the University of Northern British Columbia. For more, click here...

Annual allowable cut announcement catches some by surprise
Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson has weighed in on the new annual allowable cut announced for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area. Released last Friday afternoon, he says it was “a surprise we got the announcement in the first place. It caught not just myself, but industry off-guard. We were not expecting this announcement until the new government had formed or settled or whatever is happening down in Victoria,” Simpson tells 250News. For more, click here...

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