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World Demand for Forestry Equipment to Reach $9.3 Billion in 2019

World Demand for Forestry Equipment to Reach $9.3 Billion in 2019 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
World demand for forestry equipment (including both purpose-built and converted machinery) is forecast to climb 4.5 percent annually to $9.3 billion in 2019.  This will represent a moderation from the 2009-2014 pace of increase, a period during which market gains were spurred by a rebound in roundwood production from lows posted during the 2009 global recession, as well as by the institution of new engine emissions standards in the European Union (EU) and US, raising average equipment prices and total spending.  Analyst Ken Long further notes that “sales advances will be driven in part by the ongoing mechanization of forestry operations in developing regions.” These and other trends are presented in World Forestry Equipment, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
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Scott Walker's budget restricts DNR review of timber cutting

Scott Walker's budget restricts DNR review of timber cutting | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Tens of thousands of acres of tax-subsidized private forest would be logged without state forester oversight of cutting plans under a proposal in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget.

The budget provision was requested by loggers who say state regulation is costly and unneeded because private foresters usually design cutting operations that adequately protect forests, streams and wildlife.

The change would affect the 3.2 million acres of privately held land — one-third of it open for public recreation — that owners have enrolled in the state managed forest program in exchange for lower property taxes.
The 1986 managed forest law requires owners to file 25-to-50-year plans specifying scheduled timber sales and management practices designed to ensure a sustainable supply of wood for industry as well as preservation of wildlife habitat, water quality and certain recreational opportunities.
Walker’s plan would provide owners with automatic state approval when they file timber-cutting notices if they hire a contractor who participates in the Department of Natural Resources cooperating forester program, which mandates minimum educational requirements and an agreement to use sound practices.
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Hundreds of loggers/truckers hold protest over pay at Boise Paper Mill

Hundreds of loggers/truckers hold protest over pay at Boise Paper Mill | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

In protest of wages, the loggers behind close to 200 trucks chose to not deliver wood to Boise Paper Mill in International Falls, Minn., on Thursday.


The protest participants reflect about 95% of the semis that deliver timber to Boise, according to "Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota" spokespeople.


Loggers and Truckers Executive Director Scott Dane says the protest stems from Boise's refusal to negotiate adequate adjustments in the price paid to loggers for timber.

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Minnesota firewood shortage 'unprecedented', timber exec says

Minnesota firewood shortage 'unprecedented', timber exec says | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

If the first wave of crisp autumn air has you thinking about buying your firewood load to burn this winter, think again. Crimped by a wet spring and summer that kept loggers out of the woods, and on the heels of last year's long, hard winter that saw woodpiles dwindle to nothing, loggers and firewood suppliers say they just don't have any seasoned wood to sell this fall.

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The shortage of wood has hit paper mills, too, with loggers unable to bring in their usual summer supply. Wayne Brandt, executive vice president of the Minnesota Timber Producers Association industry group, called the wood shortage "unprecedented." Wood supplies that dwindle annually in the spring, when conditions are too wet for loggers' equipment, never improved during the summer. "I can't recall any time where it's gone this long, over a pretty broad area, where they couldn't get into the woods. It just kept raining,'' Brandt said.


The industry called on state, federal and county land managers to check future timber sales for land that might be more accessible to log now. "They've helped a lot ... and things have improved a little in the last few weeks," Brandt said.


Mike Schultz, managing director of the Sappi Fine Paper mill in Cloquet, called it "one of the most challenging years that I can recall for wood procurement'' but said the mill has had enough to keep operating. "Our supplies are lower than we're comfortable with,'' he said. "But we haven't run out."
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If you can find firewood for sale, you'll probably have to buy large quantities. And expect to pay more than in recent years -- probably about $200 per logger cord for delivered maple or oak, often with a three-cord minimum.
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And the shortage of wood at mills has pushed up the price companies are willing to pay, luring loggers away from selling to firewood customers and instead taking it to the mills. "The mills have been paying us more, and it's a lot easier to deliver to their wood yards, so any wood the guys can get is going to the mills,'' Flannery said. "It's not leaving much for people to burn."

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Help Wanted: Loggers For Tennessee's $21 Billion Forest Industry

Help Wanted: Loggers For Tennessee's $21 Billion Forest Industry | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Forestry groups are worried about a looming shortage of loggers. So much so that Tennessee’s forestry association and other groups have signed a letter of support for a federal bill allowing teenagers to start logging at 16.
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Ed Moore, a logger on the Tennessee-Alabama border, says not enough is being done to promote the trade.“I couldn’t tell you how many different loggers are in the state. And I could count on one hand the number that are under the age of 50. And their kids don’t want to take over. It’s hard work.”


The Tennessee Forestry Association and several other groups around the country have endorsed a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho.


Labrador is proposing to deregulate the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which bars anyone under 18 from working with logging equipment. An unintended consequence of that law, Labrador says, denies children of loggers “the opportunity to work and learn the family trade until they reach adulthood.”
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Although data from the Tennessee Department of Labor indicates that logging employment has remained relatively stable since the recession, Adam Taylor, who studies the wood products industry at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, said many loggers work part-time, or are in and out of work, thus making it difficult to track their employment status.


Though logging may be stable now, Taylor says the aging population of the industry could have grave consequences in the coming years.
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“It’s a big concern, and a growing concern,” Taylor said. “Logging is becoming increasingly expensive to get involved with. Fuel costs are high. In addition, the cost of equipment is going up. And the old days when you could get by with a small skitter and a couple chainsaws, that isn’t the business model any more. It tends to be bigger, more expensive equipment — and insurance goes up.”

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

The concern about a shrinking logging force extends beyond Tennessee. No region in the US isn't facing the aging demographic with no apparent succession plan.

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Tasmania: Logging on

Tasmania: Logging on | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

MOST people believed the island state of Tasmania had at last found peace after a 30-year war between environmentalists and loggers. Both sides signed a deal two years ago that gave everyone something: secure supplies for timber companies and protection for native forests.

Now, though, Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, has reignited the war. Australia, he says, has too much “locked-up forest”. Mr Abbott wants to open up a swathe of Australia’s most fought-over forest and hand it to loggers. His government has asked UNESCO to remove 74,000 hectares (183,000 acres) from the World Heritage-listed wilderness region that covers about a fifth of Tasmania.
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Forests cover half of Tasmania: in Australia as a whole it is less than a quarter. Battles over access to the land harmed the logging industry. Fearing that supplies would be disrupted, customers in Asia had started looking elsewhere for their timber. For this reason alone, many loggers welcomed the calm that came with the peace as much as greens did. Ta Ann, a Malaysian-based outfit that turns eucalyptus logs into veneer, says it was ready to quit Tasmania, but the peace deal persuaded it to stay.
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Questions remain about Mr Abbott’s reasons for stripping 74,000 hectares from World Heritage listing. He suggests the entire area had already been logged, “degraded” or planted with timber to be logged. The Wilderness Society, one of the environmental groups that signed the deal, calculates that just 10% of the area had in fact been logged; about 40% was “old-growth” forest, barely disturbed before; and much of the rest was natural vegetation.


At 7.6% Tasmania’s unemployment rate is Australia’s highest (compared with 6% nationally). Mr Abbott blames “Green ideology” for many of the island’s woes, even for Australia’s lowest life expectancy. He wants a “renaissance” of forestry in Tasmania. The industry employs around 4,000 people, about 2,000 fewer than six years ago. The Australia Institute, a think-tank, reckons that Tasmania’s industry can survive only with government subsidies. Delisting World Heritage regions, it argues, will create hardly any jobs. The World Heritage Committee is due to rule on the Abbott government’s request in June.

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Hedge fund downgrades stock over company's links to illegal logging in Russian Far East

Hedge fund downgrades stock over company's links to illegal logging in Russian Far East | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A hedge fund manager has downgraded Lumber Liquidators' stock over the company's alleged links to illegal logging in the Russian Far East, reports The Wall Street Journal.


Speaking at the Robin Hood Investors Conference on November 22, Whitney Tilson, the founder of Kase Capital Management, said Lumber Liquidators' stock price may be inflated due to purchases of illegally sourced timber from Russia, which is less costly than legitimately-sourced wood. He set a two-year price target of $53 for the stock, which was trading at $115 at the time. The stock plunged 12 percent after the presentation.


Tilson's remarks were based on a recent report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). A multi-year undercover investigation by the green group found that Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL) has been buying illegally logged timber smuggled from Russia into China. EIA said the practice violates the Lacey Act, which holds U.S. buyers criminally responsible for buying illegal forest products.

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J.D. Irving gets exemption on Maine clear-cutting rules

J.D. Irving gets exemption on Maine clear-cutting rules | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

State forestry officials have entered into an agreement with J.D. Irving Ltd., Maine’s largest landowner, that allows the company to exempt its 1.25 million acres of forestland from some clear-cutting regulations and other harvesting standards of the Forest Practices Act.

The five-year agreement was signed in May 2012 but wasn’t made public until this month, when the Maine Forest Service gave lawmakers a report on an experimental tree harvesting program known as Outcome Based Forestry.


The program had not drawn any participants since it was established in 2001, but now interest among major timberland owners is on the rise, as word spreads about the deal that allows J.D. Irving to do individual clear-cuts of as much as 250 acres without state approval.

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In Russia's Vast Far East, Timber Thieves Thrive

In Russia's Vast Far East, Timber Thieves Thrive | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Forests cover about half of Russia's land mass, an environmental resource that President Vladimir Putin calls "the powerful green lungs of the planet."


But Putin himself acknowledges that Russia, the world's biggest exporter of logs, is having its timber stolen at an unprecedented rate.


The demand for high-value timber is fueling organized crime, government corruption and illegal logging in the Russian Far East. The hardwood cut in the endless forests often ends up as flooring and furniture in the United States, Europe, Japan and China.


At a meeting on timber management earlier this year, Putin said that illegal logging has increased by nearly 70 percent over the past five years, and he added that timber thieves have no problem selling their product.


Illegal loggers are often linked to violent organized crime, and together, they undermine what officials say could be sustainable forests and contribute to Russia's endemic corruption by paying off local officials.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 25, 2014 1:28 AM

I never thought that timber would be something that was a top priority on any thieves list.  It almost makes sense though.  People with the permits to harvest the wood in east Russia and they happen to harvest a few pieces here and there and create a huge market for discounted lumber.  The problem not only lies legally but environmentally as well.  An excess of trees which produce oxygen are being cut down, but the homes of the SIberian Tiger are being taken away.  Legally this is becoming a big problem for companies such as Lumber Liquidators, known widely throughout America for its cheaper prices on wooden flooring.  This company has been the target of investigation because of the fact that it has been potentially knowingly been buying its lumber from illegal sources.  This whole operation needs to be stopped.  The corruption of governments taking money from companies needs to be controlled and there needs to be a plan put in place to stop this illegal logging. Legally it is a problem but very importantly it is an environmental issue that is going to end up affecting everyone. 

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, October 27, 2014 8:44 AM

Russia’s large forests are one of its most viable resources, considering the size and climate of the country. Russia exports large quantities of high quality wood to the United States, China, and Japan, but at what cost? The value of this industry has sparked government corruption, illegal logging, and organized crime. Legality issues in any natural resource based industry usually results in a major decrease in sustainability. One of Russia’s most well-known animals, the Siberian Tiger, is being affected through loss of habitat and destruction of the food chain at a lower level. Beyond environmental destruction, lumber is being illegally harvested and exported to companies that do not realize that the wood is illegally obtained. Russia must find a way to control logging while enforcing sustainable practices in order to maintain one of their greatest resources.

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Timber industry sues to lift logging ban during shutdown

Timber industry sues to lift logging ban during shutdown | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Western timber companies have gone to court to lift the logging ban on national forests due to the government shutdown, arguing the government has no authority under timber sale contracts to force loggers to stop working.

Three wood products companies and a timber industry association filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Medford against the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order lifting the logging shutdown, arguing direction from the Office of Management and Budget does not require suspension of operations on a federal contract so long as direct supervision is inessential to the contractor's work. It adds that some of the contracts involve work that is improving public safety by reducing wildfire danger and removing dead trees in danger of falling in campgrounds.
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"It makes zero sense for the cash-strapped government to shut down operations that pay millions into the United States Treasury," said Tom Partin, president of the American Forest Resources Council, the timber industry group that filed the lawsuit. "A timber operation isn't something you can turn on and off like a light switch. Once equipment has to be moved out, it can be months before it can be moved back in.

"What is happening to our members is particularly frustrating when other businesses with contracts to operate on federal land, such as ski areas, are being allowed to continue working," Partin added in a statement
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The Forest Service started sending out notices to 450 timber buyers last week, saying they had to wrap up operations and put measures like erosion controls in place. The BLM, which sells timber only in Western Oregon, followed suit.

Though some companies depend heavily on federal timber sales for their logs, national forests produce only about 5 percent of the nation's lumber supply. Since logging was deeply cut back on national forests in the 1990s to protect fish, wildlife and clean water, markets have turned to other sources, such as Canada and private lands.

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Pennsylvania Real Property Purchaser May Lose Timber Rights via Unrecorded Timbering Agreement

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Barriers high for young would-be loggers

Barriers high for young would-be loggers | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A large area of northern Wisconsin is called “The North Woods” for obvious reasons. The timber and logging industry is historic and credited with spurring the development of many cities and communities, including Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie.


The industry is still very much alive, but at least one area wood products company is concerned about aging crews that do the harvesting.

“It is a concern, in part because we see that trend occurring and we’re not sure when it might end,” said Jeff Koxlien, vice president of Koxlien Brothers Wood Products in Strum. “We’re not exactly sure what that might mean to the industry.


“Typically, logging has kind of been handed down family lines,” he said, adding that Koxlien’s used to have several logging crews but now hire independent contractors for their supply.


“Most younger people coming in and learning about logging are exposed to it through their dad, uncle or another relative,” he said. “It’s certainly not, at least by the current economics, a get rich occupation by any means.

A downward economy in the last five years has taken its toll on some logging businesses, including logging crews, Koxlien said, noting that his company stopped buying logs for about six months, the only time the firm did that in its 30-year history.

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Video: popular misconceptions about the timber industry

Discover the truths to popular misconceptions about the timber industry.

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STATE FOREST BOARD APPROVES MORE SCRUTINY OF LANDSLIDE PRONE SITES BEFORE TIMBER HARVESTS

STATE FOREST BOARD APPROVES MORE SCRUTINY OF LANDSLIDE PRONE SITES BEFORE TIMBER HARVESTS | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Just under seven months from when the devastating Oso mudslide in Snohomish County claimed the lives of 43 people and buried a portion of State Route 530, the main roadway to communities like Darrington, the Washington State Forest Practices Board has voted unanimously to expand the authority of the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to require landowners to provide additional technical information when planning timber harvests near potentially unstable slopes that could affect public safety.

The board reached the decision at its regular quarterly meeting Wednesday.
 
“Current rules prohibit timber harvests and other forest practices where they are likely to influence the further movement of an unstable slope,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “These new procedures will apply an additional level of scrutiny, based on the best science available, to further protect the safety of the public and its natural resources.”
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RISI Highlights Trucking Shortage

RISI Highlights Trucking Shortage | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

RISI’s September International Woodfiber Report, while reiterating ongoing concerns about the logging capacity deficit, notes that “a trucker shortage now tops US timber capacity concerns,” citing—among other sources—published FRA surveys and reports.


Nationwide, for all trucking sectors, one trucking association estimates a current shortage of 35,000 “qualified” drivers, “with that number expected to surge five-fold in ten years,” in view of high turnover rates.


For forest product haulers specifically, the raft of burdensome regulations—CSA, above all—as well as other federal regulations and state and local restrictions pinch the driver pool, as do rising insurance rates, while volatile diesel prices and new engine standards add additional operational expenses.


RISI cites several recommendations that have emerged from FRA’s engagement with the issue: work to reform CSA; improve communications between mills, loggers, and truckers; make reducing truck turnaround time a priority; and enact gross vehicle weight reform.

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Japanese firms importing illegal Russian timber

Japanese firms importing illegal Russian timber | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Significant quantities of illegal timber products from the forests of Siberia and the Russian Far East are flowing into Japan, according to a new report by the US-based nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). While the United States and European Union have recently enacted new policies that prohibit the import of illegally sourced wood and wood products and require companies to conduct heightened due diligence in their sourcing practices, Japan’s failure to enact similar measures makes it an open market for illegal timber products from around the world.


The report, The Open Door: Japan’s Continuing Failure to Prevent Imports of Illegal Russian Timber,[i] details supply chains for illegally cut Siberian pine, bought by Chinese traders and imported to China, manufactured into wood products and sold on markets all over Japan. In undercover interviews, officials from San Xia, one of the largest Chinese importers of Russian timber, detailed how they purchase this timber from illegal loggers deep inside Siberia and launder this timber across the border using documentation from their forest concession. In factories across northeastern China, San Xia transforms this timber into edge-glued lumber, 90% of which is sold to Japan for housing construction.

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Review now required before logging near risky landslide areas

Review now required before logging near risky landslide areas | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Timber companies that want to harvest near potentially dangerous landslide areas will now have to conduct geologic reviews before getting a logging permit from the state, officials said Friday.


Under the new standards announced by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, the state will require a geotechnical report when there’s a potential risk to public safety — even if the harvest area itself doesn’t include unstable territory.

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The Seattle Times reported in the wake of the mudslide that state officials had been relying on an outdated map to determine where loggers could harvest trees above the slide hill. A clear-cut can increase groundwater flows and destabilize landslide-prone slopes.


Had state officials utilized a newer map at the landslide hill, regulators likely would have restricted most of the 7.5 acres that were clear-cut in 2004.

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State rules have required timber companies to conduct geotechnical reports when harvesting on potentially unstable slopes. Under the new procedures, DNR will examine sites to determine whether there are potential public-safety risks due to unstable slopes outside of a harvest area.


DNR said sites will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, and the state would require the geotechnical reports if it feels public safety could be an issue.

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U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin pushing for federal forest management reform

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin pushing for federal forest management reform | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin saw enough on her visit to Forest County in August to be convinced that Wisconsin’s 1.5 million-acre national forest is being under-harvested and change is needed.


The first-term Democratic senator now says supporting the state’s timber industry is among her top priorities and she pledged to work for reform of the forest management system. Her efforts include calling for increased funding to support additional logging and clarifying regulations to promote environmentally sound harvesting.
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Records showed that the U.S. Forest Service could have cut 1.3 billion board feet of wood in the past decade under its forest management plan, representing $110 million in revenue. Instead, just 755 million board feet was cut in the forest that spans 11 Wisconsin counties.


National forest officials say a lack of federal money has limited their ability to harvest more timber in the Northwoods. Foreign competition, mechanization and volatile markets have also led to decreases in jobs tied to forest products across Wisconsin.


In December, Gov. Scott Walker said the national forest was being “underutilized” and launched a new $49,000 initiative from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to begin studying stewardship programs.

Baldwin sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, allowing her to play a key role in forest policy change.


In December, she called on the Obama Administration to build a new budget plan into the 2015 budget to break the “diversion cycle.”
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“In six of the last ten years, Forest Service funds available to Wisconsin forests have been diverted through the practice of fire borrowing and reallocated to fight fires,” Baldwin wrote. “As a result, Wisconsin forest management has suffered, and an industry already stretched thin must deal with further delays to complete contracts.”
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Baldwin also asked Farm Bill conferees to provide clarity about a clean water standard relating to forest roads and to extend support for forest stewardship contracts. The stewardship contracts push proceeds from timber sales back into local projects like road maintenance and other targeted management.


The Farm Bill, long-mired in political bickering over food stamps and divides between rural and urban representatives, could provide certainty for loggers in Wisconsin’s Northwoods by clarifying the water run-off rules and investing in stewardship and conservation programs, Baldwin said.

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Is Irving deal a path to ‘scientific forestry’ or loophole for clearcutting?

Is Irving deal a path to ‘scientific forestry’ or loophole for clearcutting? | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A deal Maine struck with Irving Woodlands, made public Friday, has sparked concern among environmental groups that the state has handed the company a “big loophole” to avoid state regulations on clearcutting.


Forestry experts, though, believe those concerns are misplaced and that the deal allows Irving, Maine’s largest landowner, to be more efficient in its harvesting techniques and reflects the evolution of modern forestry practices.


Irving signed the five-year deal with the Maine Forest Service in May 2012. It enters the company’s 1.25 million acres, almost all of which are in Aroostook County, into an experimental forestry program known as Outcomes Based Forestry, which was created by statute in 2001. The deal was publicly disclosed for the first time earlier this month in a report the Maine Forest Service prepared for the Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry committee, which met on Friday to discuss the program.

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Under the program, Irving is exempt from certain sections of the Forest Practices Act that cover clearcutting. But the company is still required to abide by other state statutes and sustainability goals, is still subject to oversight by the Maine Forest Service and needs to maintain third-party forest certification from groups such as the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

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Irving Woodlands, which harvests more than a million tons of softwood and hardwood from only 2 percent of its land each year, denies it’s being given a loophole to avoid regulations.


“Outcome based forestry — including provisions regarding clear-cutting — requires more accountability measures that must be submitted to the Maine Forest Service on an annual basis,” Blake Brunsdon, Irving’s chief forester, said in a statement to the BDN. “We believe the forest management we practice is sustainable, based on good science and meets the rigorous standards of the independent Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative forest certification programs.”


In its first year of participation in the program, Irving claims its contractors’ earnings have increased 21 percent and its road construction and maintenance budget has decreased by $825,000, according to Mary Keith, a spokeswoman for J.D. Irving Ltd., Irving Woodlands’ parent company.

In addition, Keith said entering the program was “a catalyst and the foundation” of the company’s decision to invest upwards of $30 million to construct a new sawmill in Ashland that will employ 63 people.


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Skepticism remains with news of added 4FRI contractor

Skepticism remains with news of added 4FRI contractor | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The mystery land manager tapped to manage one of the largest, most complex logging operations in history turns out to be mostly a land broker that bundles timber sales.

Good Earth Power last week announced it will contract with The Campbell Group to manage the first 300,000 acres of a thinning and forest restoration contract that could one day encompass some 2.6 million acres.

The Campbell Group manages 3 million acres as a land and timber broker, but generally hasn’t actually operated the timber-cutting crews that will actually implement an unprecedented plan to use the timber industry to restore dense, healthy, fire-prone forests to healthy conditions not seen for a century.

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

Amazing (1) how key stakeholders are ignorant of the Campbell Group and are misrepresenting  Campbell's reputation and experience (2) how mind-bogglingly complex it is dealing with the federal government to get a straightforward forest management project done. Can you imagine what would happen if the feds were in charge of something like the health care system? Oh, wait.


Best of luck to the Campbell Group, I think they'll need it.

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Loggers forced to look for work in other places with Courtland mill closing

Loggers forced to look for work in other places with Courtland mill closing | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Eva logger Bobby Collins spoke with uncertainty as he described the options he will be forced to pursue when the Courtland mill closes.


In addition to the 1,096 International Paper employees who will be displaced when the mill closes by late March, the closure will also affect an estimated 5,404 loggers and foresters in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.


“It’s a bad situation,” said Collins, who has contracted with IP for 18 years. “We’re going to have to make cuts. The next thing we’ll do is look for other markets.”

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Wisconsin wood quarantine could hurt Minnesota timber industry

Wisconsin wood quarantine could hurt Minnesota timber industry | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The discovery of the emerald ash borer in northwestern Wisconsin has led to a quarantine on transporting wood that could become an issue for Minnesota mills.

A Minnesota Public Radio report says the quarantine prohibited moving firewood from outside of Wisconsin's Douglas County. But it's also kept the region's timber industry from transporting unprocessed ash trees.

Jon Harris of the county's forestry department says loggers and mills alike will feel a level of pain from the quarantine.

The Sappi mill in Cloquet, Minn., has stopped buying Douglas County ash for now. Mill manager Gary Erickson says a limited quarantine is manageable, but there could be challenges if the quarantine area expands.

Duluth officials say it's only a matter of time before the invasive insect crosses into Minnesota.

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Europe Seeks Green Fuel in U.S. Forests

Europe Seeks Green Fuel in U.S. Forests | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Loggers here are clear-cutting a wetland forest with decades-old trees. Behind the move: an environmental push.

The push isn't in North Carolina but in Europe, where governments are trying to reduce fossil-fuel use and carbon-dioxide emissions. Under pressure, some of the Continent's coal-burning power plants are switching to wood.


But Europe doesn't have enough forests to chop for fuel, and in those it does have, many restrictions apply. So Europe's power plants are devouring wood from the U.S., where forests are bigger and restrictions fewer.

This dynamic is bringing jobs to some American communities hard hit by mill closures. It is also upsetting conservationists, who say cutting forests for power is hardly an environmental plus.

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

Thanks to Jeff Wikle for this.


Today's (6/6/13) WSJ has several letters to the editor related to this article.http://goo.gl/MMh9e

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High court rules for timber industry over road runoff

High court rules for timber industry over road runoff | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday endorsed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's long-standing decision not to require Clean Water Act permits for stormwater that runs off logging roads.

The nine-member court ruled on a 7-1 vote, with Justice Stephen Breyer recused, that the EPA's conclusion was a reasonable interpretation of the law.


The dispute - centering on two cases that the court consolidated - has attracted intense interest from the timber industry, which is keen to be exempt from Clean Water Act permitting. A total of 31 state attorneys general weighed in to support Oregon, which also opposes permitting.

The case arose when the environmental group, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, challenged EPA's interpretation of the law as it applied to two roads in the Tillamook State Forest in Oregon by suing logging road operators in federal court.


In Wednesday's opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said that it was reasonable for EPA to conclude that runoff from logging roads did not fit within the definition in the Clean Water Act and associated regulations of the term "industrial activity."


Kennedy also noted that states already regulate logging roads, meaning the EPA "could reasonably have concluded that further regulation in this area would be duplicative or counterproductive."


Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a dissenting opinion in which he disagreed with the majority's view that the EPA interpretation of the law was reasonable.

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