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The Next 100 Years of Forests in the U.S. - Growing the Forests We Want and Need

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What States Can Teach the Federal Government about Forest Management

What States Can Teach the Federal Government about Forest Management | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation heard from state leaders, land managers and forestry experts on the inadequacies of current federal forest management practices in February. Compared to state-managed forests, federal forest lands produce significantly less revenue despite their much larger land base. In addition, state forests across the nation spend less money on management yet consistently outperform federally managed forests in regards to board feet harvested and overall revenue production.

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Latin America’s forests – what lies ahead in 2013?

Latin America’s forests – what lies ahead in 2013? | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

In the past year, Latin America’s forests saw progress and setbacks that will shape ecosystem health with implications for forest policy in 2013. Here’s a look at issues to watch in the year ahead.

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Amazon forest more resilient to climate change than feared

Amazon forest more resilient to climate change than feared | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Amazon rainforest is less vulnerable to die off because of global warming than widely believed because the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide also acts as an airborne fertilizer, a study showed on Wednesday.


The boost to growth from CO2, the main gas from burning fossil fuels blamed for causing climate change, was likely to exceed damaging effects of rising temperatures this century such as drought, it said.


"I am no longer so worried about a catastrophic die-back due to CO2-induced climate change," Professor Peter Cox of the University of Exeter in England told Reuters of the study he led in the journal Nature. "In that sense it's good news."

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Sydney Huang's curator insight, November 21, 2013 4:32 PM

I.D. The Amazon rainforest is less vulnerable to die off.

 

S.D. The Amazon rainforest is less vulnerable to die off because of global warming than widely believed because the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide also acts as an airborne fertilizer.

S.D. The boost to growth from CO2, the main gas from burning fossil fuels blamed for causing climate change, was likely to exceed damaging effects of rising temperatures this century such as drought, it said.

 

 

 

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TreeMetrics wins €800,000 ESA contract

TreeMetrics wins €800,000 ESA contract | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Irish-based TreeMetrics has today announced an €800,000 contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to lead a European research project in forestry measurement and data analytics.

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The funding will support the global roll-out of the company's web-based satellite mapping application for the forestry industry. The Enterprise Ireland-backed company said it also plans to recruit a further 10 software engineers over the next 12 months to expand its workforce at its Cork facility to 30. It said it is receiving significant interest from multinational timber growers to develop its proprietary system.


The TreeMetrics’ solution replaces traditional callipers and measuring tape with 3D laser scanners that can quickly and accurately measure the shape, size, and straightness of standing trees. The technology uses this information to predict the quantities of log products that each tree can produce, and their potential value.

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The Hidden Cost of Wildfires

Molly Mowery, the program manager for Fire Adapted Communities (http://www.fireadapted.org), details the "hidden" costs of wildfires and why knowing the true...
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Student keeps an eye on fund's timber investment

Student keeps an eye on fund's timber investment | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System, Frankfort, enlisted some Wildcat help this summer in overseeing its timber investments.


The $14.8 billion pension fund started an internship program with the University of Kentucky that saw forestry major Cory Ashby travel the Southeast U.S., monitoring and working on the system's 121,000 acres of timber that it co-owns with the University of California Board of Regents and which is managed by Molpus Woodlands Group.

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Back into the woods

Back into the woods | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Those who have despaired of ever seeing the timber industry and environmental groups find common ground in the forest have reason to celebrate. Not only have the two sides agreed on a major timber sale, but they've done it with the cooperation of the Bureau of Land Management — not the Forest Service.


Witness the Vine Maple timber sale in the BLM's Butte Falls Resource Area. The sale will auction 6.75 million board feet of timber Sept. 13.


The sale is part of the Friese Camp ecological forestry project, which covers more than 2,000 acres and eventually could produce 20 million board feet of timber.


Not only that, but much of that timber is of a size that fits the capacity of local mills, which are no longer equipped to handle really big logs. The largest old-growth trees will be left alone, which pleases the environmentalists, but the trees that will be cut are ideal for local mills, which pleases the industry and supports local jobs.

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In Oregon, Residents Struggle to Solve a Pesticide Mystery

In Oregon, Residents Struggle to Solve a Pesticide Mystery | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Herbicide has become a crucial tool for the state's $13 billion timber industry. But in spite of precautions, lab results suggest that harmful chemicals are finding their way into residents' bloodstreams.

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Congress and Supreme Court Address Forest Road Regulations

Congress and Supreme Court Address Forest Road Regulations | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing today on H.R. 2541, the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act, a bill that would prevent a decision made by the Ninth Circuit Court that requires forest roads to be permitted under the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. This decision, if it is allowed to go into effect, would cost from $420 million to $4 billion per year in the US South (Cubbage and Abt). In the Pacific Northwest, these costs would range from $654-$883 million per year (Forest Econ, Inc); and in Maine, the costs could total between $93-$177 million annually (Sewall).

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Federal wildifre hypocrisy & exploding trees

Federal wildifre hypocrisy & exploding trees | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

When Wilderness Isn’t Wilderness: When the US Forest Service wants to act fast to protect natural resources, it can. But, when it needs to act fast to prevent catastrophic timber loss to pests or fire, it predictably fails to act. June’s double standard example is within the still-burning 297,000 acre Whitewater-Baldy Fire in New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness, Gila National Forest. As the fire burned, biologists used electro-shockers to capture rare Gila trout from streams, then the trout were netted and lifted-out of the Wilderness via helicopter. No Environmental Impact Statement; no appeal period; and no public input for mechanized machinery or fish-snatching in a designated Wilderness. Go figure.


Exploding trees — Forest Service Believe It or Not: US Forest Service workers in Montana’s Helena National Forest are using high explosives to fall beetle-killed pine trees that pose danger to scenic highways and recreation sites. An engineering program leader at the USFS Missoula Technology Development Center said the danger of cutting down rotted trees in tough locations is a reason to use explosives. “We just don’t have a whole lot of really good sawyers. The days of going out and doing that activity are long gone in the Forest Service.” Sometimes, fact is stranger than fiction.

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We lost everything to the Sacred Owl

We lost everything to the Sacred Owl | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) was adopted in 1994 to “protect” the Sacred Owl. Nobody actually knew how many Sacred Owls existed at the time; nor did they know how many had existed in any previous period. Nobody had ever counted them. Instead, they created a model based on nesting habitat. Since Sacred Owls nest in “old growth,” and “old growth” was being reduced by logging, the model inferred that the Sacred Owl population must be declining also.


Based on this model, the powers that be concluded the Sacred Owl must be endangered. Since the Sacred Owl also requires younger stands and clearings for forage, the critical habitat designation was broadened to include most of the public forest lands in the Pacific Northwest. This opened the door for the environmental movement to litigate virtually any timber sale on public lands under the auspices of the Endangered Species Act.


Today, the environmentalists claim the Sacred Owl population is still declining at an alarming rate. So we must set aside even more land as “critical habitat,” sacrificing even more production, jobs, and communities. But, if the Sacred Owl population really is declining so rapidly, eighteen years after the NWFP was put into effect, then clearly the plan is not successful and should be scrapped. Why double down on a failed plan?

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DNA Tracking Branches Out

DNA Tracking Branches Out | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

“DNA fingerprinting allows individual trees to be uniquely identified genetically and is useful for following particular logs or large timber products along a supply chain where documents can be falsified,” says Andrew Lowe, director of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity. Lowe says it is now possible to extract and use genetic material from wood products and samples of old wood.


“We can use DNA to identify tree species and DNA to identify and track individual logs or wood products, and we can verify the geographic region the wood came from,” Lowe says. “We will never be able to get DNA out of paper products but we are able to routinely get DNA out of wood products like decking.”

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International Day of Forests

International Day of Forests | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests. The Day will celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.

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Environmentalists urge APA delay in new rules on clearcutting

Environmentalists urge APA delay in new rules on clearcutting | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

New rules on potential clear-cutting of Adirondack forests are on the verge of being adopted by the Adirondack Park Agency, with environmental groups warning changes could fuel much more logging.


On Tuesday, an environmental coalition urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to put the brakes on Thursday's planned vote by the park agency, while a spokesman for the timber industry said fears of rampant clear-cutting are unfounded.

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Under existing rules, the APA conducts an environmental review before its commissioners consider permits to clear-cut 25 acres or more. Permits are rare, with only three sought and then issued in the last two decades.


Under the changes, which could affect hundreds of thousand of acres of privately owned forests, logging permits for clear-cuts of any size would be granted routinely to forest owners whose property was certified as environmentally sustainable by either of two outside not-for-profit groups — the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forest Initiative.


Existing requirements for public notice and comment prior to a permit being issued would be discontinued, and a vote by park commissioners would no longer be required before permits were issued.

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Opponents likened that to the APA outsourcing authority over logging in the Adirondacks to the two certification programs, while also leaving the public uninformed about potential clear-cuts until after logging had already started.

"Any debate over clear-cutting as a tool is not the point. It can do some good in some habitats," said Dan Plumley, a partner with Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, a Niskayuna-based environmental group. "The point is public transparency and maintaining the authority and role of the park agency. People want to know that the agency is still watching."

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Keith McKeever, a spokesman for the park agency, said changes would give loggers a "greater sense of predictability" and encourage more property owners to join two certification program that have "the highest forestry standards in the world." He said the changes would mean "healthier forests and longer-term investments in the region's forest product industry."

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Haley Abrams's comment, April 13, 2014 2:44 AM
I agree with Ann Marie that this article show
Haley Abrams's comment, April 13, 2014 2:44 AM
I agree that this a
Haley Abrams's comment, April 13, 2014 2:48 AM
I agree with Ann Marie on how this article shows the struggles that the government faces with outside groups. These struggles are an important of our government so that one group does not gain so much power. And these struggles will hopefully allow that best discussions to be made.
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NASA: Landsat senses disturbance in U.S. Pacific Northwest forests

NASA: Landsat senses disturbance in U.S. Pacific Northwest forests | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A new way of studying and visualizing Earth science data from a NASA and U.S. Geological Survey satellite program is resulting in, for the first time, the ability to tease out the small events that can cause big changes in an ecosystem.


Called LandTrendr, this computer program is able to find patterns previously buried within vast amounts of scientific data. Still in development, it’s already led to seeing for the first time in satellite imagery an obscured, slow-moving decline and recovery of trees in Pacific Northwest forests.


Comparing satellite data to ground data, scientists uncovered the cause. “It was, as it turns out, bugs,” says Robert Kennedy, a remote sensing specialist at Boston University, who consulted with U.S. Forest Service experts to confirm his observations.

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Ishola Adebayo's comment, July 31, 2013 9:06 AM
good day Sir, pls need help on fixing scan line errors on lansat7 ETM images from 2003 using for example ArcMap9.3 or ENVI4.5 or.........thank you so much
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The forest roads legal quagmire is now here

The forest roads legal quagmire is now here | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

As expected, the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule clarifying that logging is not an industrial activity under the Clean Water Act (CWA) has precipitated a legal quagmire.  Last Friday the Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) filed a new lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, challenging the EPA rule.  This comes just ahead of the Supreme Court’s order today inviting further briefing on the impact of the EPA’s rule on Decker v. NEDC currently pending before that Court.


Since the EPA rule applies nationwide, the new round of litigation initiated by NEDC will have nationwide implications.  In other words, whatever the Ninth Circuit ultimately decides will apply not only on the West Coast, but also on the East Coast and every state in between.  This is precisely why we urged EPA not to finalize a rule ahead of the Supreme Court proceedings. The result could be another round of costly litigation for forest owners.

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Bankrolled and bioengineered, China supplants Wisconsin's paper industry

Bankrolled and bioengineered, China supplants Wisconsin's paper industry | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
In silent temperature-controlled labs in a desolate part of Hainan, China's most tropical province, rows of women in medical masks and lab coats clone trees that grow freakishly fast.
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The test-tube forests have helped undo the longstanding natural advantage of papermaking states such as Wisconsin, where hardwood trees are plentiful but can take up to 10 times as long to reach harvesting height. What's more, boosted by billions in government subsidies, China has been building massive new mills with automated machines that can produce a mile of glossy publishing-grade paper a minute.
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Over the course of the last decade, China tripled its paper production and in 2009 overtook the United States as the world's biggest papermaker. It can now match the annual output of Wisconsin, America's top papermaking state, in the span of three weeks.

Paper makes for an exceedingly unlikely focus. After decimating its natural forest cover decades ago, China lacks a fundamental necessity for printing-quality paper: wood pulp.

So China created the industrial-scale plantations.

And it created the world's biggest and most efficient recycling scheme.
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But that is still not enough - for China's needs or its ambition.

China imports the vast majority of virgin timber and processed pulp from around the world - 14.5 million tons last year alone from places like Russia, Indonesia and Vietnam. China has so disrupted the market that 1.6 million tons came from the United States, where loggers and pulping operators are left searching for new customers when local mills close.
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Forest management for a changing world

Forest management for a changing world | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

When it comes to devising a forest management strategy, recommendations for rotation lengths, thinning years and thinning intensities are usually made. However, a new EU-funded study from Finnish researchers now suggests that in light of uncertain growth and economic conditions, these methods may no longer be the most effective.


Writing in the journal Forestry, Timo Pukkala and Seppo Kellomäki from the University of Eastern Finland explain that forest management should adapt to changing situations, in particular the uncertainties surrounding tree growth and timber price.

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Results show that an increase in tree growth rate under climate change does not strongly affect the optimal management if the timber price is fixed. However, when timber prices vary, it is usually beneficial to delay clear-felling, irrespective of the presence or absence of a climate-induced trend in tree growth. It is also beneficial to distribute the incomes more evenly among different cutting events when risk and risk aversion increase.

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'The study showed what clever forest landowners already know. When future round wood prices and uses are unknown, the landowner should continuously have several tree species and timber assortments in his forest. Growing only spruce in even-aged stands is risky business. We hope that our study will promote diversified forest management, leading to diversified forest structures,' comments Timo Pukkala.



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Northwest Wildfires Could Become More Common

Northwest Wildfires Could Become More Common | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Fire crews continue to fight wildfires in central Washington, south and central Oregon and southern Idaho. Some residents of Cle Elum and Ellensburg, Washington are just trying to get back home. Others don’t have a home to come back to. Forestry experts say these types of large wildfires could become more common across the West in the coming years.

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Drought Hurting Timber Industry

Drought Hurting Timber Industry | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

State forestry officials say Georgia’s ongoing drought is hurting Georgia’s timber industry by putting pine trees at risk.


Rangers with the Georgia Forestry Commission tell WALB-TV that the drought is making pine trees more susceptible to disease and insects.


Pine beetles feed on trees that are left in bad shape as result of dry weather. The insects can penetrate the bark and kill the tree.


Officials say Timber in Georgia is valued at more than $500 million a year.

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Board Of Forestry Approves 'Conservation Areas'

Board Of Forestry Approves 'Conservation Areas' | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The maps of Oregon’s state forests will look different in the not-too-distant future. Whether that means they’ll be managed differently, is another question.


The Board of Forestry approved clearly labeling parts of five state forests as what are called “high value conservation areas.”


Rob Manning reports that environmentalists and timber advocates are already wondering whether new labels on maps will mean bigger changes on the ground.

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Zack Parisa's Forest Inventory Software

Zack Parisa's Forest Inventory Software | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Yale grad and co-founder of startup SilviaTerra has developed a new method for taking forest inventories...

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Parisa feeds satellite data from clients’ land into his program, which spits out GPS coordinates for the plots that best represent the forest. He then collects on-the-ground data for those few, choice areas. By comparing the satellite and ground data, Parisa calibrates his program to inventory the entire forest.

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Beyond Certification II - Reducing it to a Stronger Solution

Beyond Certification II - Reducing it to a Stronger Solution | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

We need to leverage our twenty years of experience to boil down the complex list of 100s of possible indicators of sustainability to the top 3, 4, or 5 mandatory and universal building blocks that define good wood. These core components should be measurable, auditable and widely applicable. They should support a vision for the forestry we want to see now and in the future, and the responsible wood products that the marketplace desires. By identifying the cornerstones of sustainable forestry, we will articulate the expertise of our good forest managers and eliminate the confusion in the marketplace.

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