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2nd March 2020 Newsletter
The rapid spread of Coronavirus infection, and its serious impact on the log trade and those working in the supply chain, is a reminder of the heavy reliance of the New Zealand forestry sector on export markets. Because this outbreak started in China we are also reminded that New Zealand’s forestry exports are heavily weighted towards that country and only one product (logs). In the year ending June 2018 (the latest data available on the MPI website) 48% of the total value of forestry exports went to China, and 46% of our total harvest (by volume) went to China as logs. China accounted for 76% of the total value of log exports but only 17% of the total value of sawn timber exports, 34% of the total value of pulp exports and 9% of the total value of fibreboard exports (all data from MPI for the year ending June 2018).
China is also a promising market for manufactured wood products, but diversifying by product would probably lead to a greater diversification by country as well. Increasing the proportion of wood processing in New Zealand should diversify our export markets. Additional wood processing is also needed to serve domestic markets. We are using more wood in construction in New Zealand in many innovative and exciting ways, but a significant proportion of the wood used in those buildings is imported. Companies are investing in prefabrication capability and they use structural panels (such as OSB) in their processes. Cross laminated timber offers a very exciting opportunity for wood to compete with tilt-slab concrete construction. Both of these products are currently imported – and imports are increasing fast (as shown in the graphs below).
Our structural engineers are creating a market for new products that should be manufactured in New Zealand. We are therefore in a situation where there are both promising domestic and export markets for products manufactured from Radiata pine. What are the barriers to making the necessary investments, and how do we remove them?
New building Rangiora (CLT from Europe)
Imported OSB in a New Zealand prefabrication plant
From the Registrar
The following members are due for 5-year review of their status as a Registered Member during 2020:
- Owen Springford
- Nigel Chandler
- Brian Johnson
- Paul Molloy
- Peter Brown
- Peter Clark
- John Hornby
- Allan Laurie
- Hamish Levack
- Andrew McEwen
- Peter Houston
- Craig McMiken
- Reagan Thompson
- Geoff Cameron
- John Ellis
- Brian Rawley
Any member of the NZIF has the right to object to a new application or an application for review. Any objection should be lodged with the Registrar firstname.lastname@example.org within 20 working days of the first appearance (2 March 2020) of the notice in this newsletter, specifying the grounds for the objection.
Alan Bell, Registrar
NZIF Registration Board
The NZIF Council are very pleased to announce that the following Trademark applications have been approved for our use by the NZ Intellectual property Office.
- NZIF Registered Forestry Professional
- NZIF Registered Forestry Consultant
- NZIF Registered Forester
- Registered Forestry Consultant
A system has been set up to ensure the automatic renewal of these registered trademarks in 10 years’ time.
Peter Hill, Vice President
Event: NZIF Southern North Island Local Section – Management of Fire in the Forest and Rural Landscape - Future Challenges
Presenter: Murray Dudfield
Date: Thursday 5th March, 5.15 -7.30pm
Venue: CBRE, Level 12 Harbour Tower (Old ASB Tower), 2 Hunter Street, Wellington
Murray was an employee of the NZ Forest Service commencing in 1967 and finished in the role as a Senior Forest Ranger at the time of the demise of the Forest Service in 1987. Moved to the Ministry of Forestry as a Senior Forest Fire Advisor 1987 to 1990 and then fill the role of the NZ National Rural Fire Officer 1990 to 2014. Appointed an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in 2015. Awarded a FAO Certificate of Excellence for exemplary service to International Cooperation in Wildland Fire Management in 2014. Was a board member of the Australia Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre 2007 to 2014 and a board member of the Otago Rural Fire Authority 2014 to 2017. Is the current Chair of the Forest Fire Committee for the NZ Institute of Forestry.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) was established on 1 July 2017 under the Fire and Emergency NZ Act 2017. This Act combined the national urban NZ Fire Service and the decentralized rural fire services into a single entity. From the FENZ 2019/20 Statement of Performance Expectations, it is projected that over the first five years FENZ intends spending an additional $904.2 million on fire services. This is $601.1 million greater than the $303 million approved by Government in 2016 at the time of approving this merger.
The Minister of Internal Affairs announced in October that there will be a review on how FENZ is funded. If a change is made by Government to move from an insurance based fire levy, to a land based fire levy, what will be the potential impact on the forestry sector given the projected large increased expenditure on fire services by FENZ since July 2017.
Under the FENZ structure a large forest fire occurred on the 5th February 2019 in Pigeon Valley. This involved a loss of more than 2,300 hectares of forested lands located 30km southwest of Nelson. Did the fire weather environment during the first few days of this fire support the decisions to construct firebreaks, external to the plantation, and the evacuation of people from communities to the south-east of this wildfire.
With a cost of more than $17 million the February 2019 Pigeon Valley wildfire is the most expensive vegetation fire in the history of New Zealand. It has also been claimed by some as the most destructive plantation fire in the past 60 years. When compared with data from four other forest fires it shows that the fire environment in the first five days of this Pigeon Valley fire does not warrant this characterisation.
RSVP Peter Hill email@example.com
Event: NZIF Annual Conference 2020
Date: 28-30 June 2020
Venue: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park, Masterton, Wairarapa
In Masterton this year, we have an inspiring line-up of speakers and CPD session to showcase the pride and passion in our forestry workforce.
Sunday 28 June – morning and afternoon CPD sessions plus an extra Leadership professional development CPD course (full day, with limited numbers), Annual NZIF AGM and Future Foresters event.
Monday 29 June – a day full of inspiring speakers followed by a Pre-election Policy Panel exclusive to NZIF, featuring forestry representatives from each major political party. Confirmed speakers to date:
- Keynote: Beth Welden, Forest Learning in Australia
- Bert Hughes (Forest Enterprises) Investing in Forests
- Kevin Reardon (Forme Consulting) Carbon Measurement Systems for Woodlots
- Tim Naish (Antarctic Research Centre) Climate change scenarios in New Zealand
- Tim Payn (Scion) Forestry Myth Busting
- Te Uru Rakau – an update on forestry policies and their future direction.
On Monday evening the NZIF Conference and Award Dinner will be held at the Carterton Event Centre. The dinner will showcase timber construction in a public building with a guest speaker to describe the history and construction processes.
Tuesday 30 June – Women in Forestry breakfast with guest speaker and then a morning conference session (open to the public) and focusing on forestry in our communities.
- Guest Speaker Melissa Clark-Reynolds
There are two field trips on offer in the afternoon. Town Tour (log distribution and processing) or Forest Tour (farm forestry and advanced logging systems).
Lock in the dates in your calendars now and watch for further information regarding the conference, speakers and event in the NZIF website and newsletter.
Latest NZ Journal of Forestry is On-line
Find latest journal here
MBIE Coronavirus Media release
Business.govt.nz, part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, has sourced information from 15 government departments so businesses can access all they need to know about the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak in one place
Business.govt.nz Director Matt Kennedy-Good says the outbreak and the global efforts to contain it affect New Zealand businesses in many ways.
“It’s vital that businesses stay up to date, but with so many things to consider and changing regularly, it can be overwhelming, particularly for small businesses.
“We want to make it a little bit easier for them, so they don’t have to blind trawl through numerous websites to find what is relevant to them.
“Whether you’re an employer with concerns about your staff and workplace, an exporter with overseas customers, or you are planning to travel abroad – this page is your single source of truth for government information on what to do and what assistance is available.”
As well as information for employers, exporters and importers, topics such as tax assistance, health and safety are covered, as well as information for landlords, tenants and the education sector.
The content is presented in an easily digestible format with links for more in-depth reading, and is kept up to date as new information becomes available.
The page has already been visited more than 45,000 times since it was published on the Business.govt.nz website earlier this month, with many repeat visitors using it regularly.
Stay informed with issues that matter by joining the 235,000 small businesses that subscribe to the business.govt.nz monthly newsletter.
Media contact: 027 442 2141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Event: Conference and Celebration for 50 years Canterbury School of Forestry
Date: 15-19 April, 2020
Venue: Student Association Building, University of Canterbury
On behalf of Bruce Manley, Head of the School of Forestry, we are pleased to announce a conference and celebration in recognition of 50 years at the University of Canterbury (1970-2020).
The celebration will include a two-day conference and field trip together with organised social events between 15-17 April and the opportunity for graduating year groups to organise their own reunions from the evening of 17th April into the weekend of 18/19 April. The event will be held at the University of Canterbury based in the fantastic Haere-roa Student Association building which opened earlier this year.
Conference costs include the Wednesday evening Quiz Night, the conference and the field trip to Port of Lyttelton and Summit Road native restoration sites. The Quiz Night will be hosted by Future Foresters and is limited to 100 people with registrations on a first in, first served basis; the bus trip is limited to the first 100 people.
The dinner will have a limited number of seats and is charged separately, with a maximum of two tickets per conference registrant.
For information on the conference, the link to the registration site (Eventbrite) and other details, please go to the conference news site. The site includes a dedicated email address which is included in this message header. For graduating year groups, there is a sub-section on the conference page (Graduating Year Reunions) where we can provide an organisers’ contact name and email address so you can organise your own graduating year reunions. You can see the level of detail we provide in that sub-section already with a volunteer for the 2013 group already named. If you would like to be the contact person for your year, please email Forestry50@canterbury.ac.nz.
Canterbury School of Forestry
Te Uru Rākau Feedback: A Forest Strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand
Te Uru Rākau is looking at how to harness the collective vision of New Zealanders to cultivate the forests of the future. To do this, they’re developing a Forest Strategy that will guide us over the next 30 years, and beyond.
Te Uru Rākau are asking for shared views on what a forest strategy means to you, why it matters, and what a great forest system would look like. Refer to the online feedback form.
If you want to get in touch with Te Uru Rākau about the Forest Strategy, or to be added to the mailing list so you can keep in touch with what’s happening, then email email@example.com.
Details are in the Forest Strategy page
Event: Free Workshop: Microbiology of Planted Forests: An introduction to microbial ecology and processes for planted forest owners
Date: 26th March, 9.30 am – 3.30 pm,
Venue: Scion, 49 Sala St, Rotorua.
Background and objectives
Radiata pine forests are highly productive ecosystems founded on a dynamic and complex ‘ecosystem microbiome’. This microbiome is a community of fungi and bacteria associated with plants and soil that includes mycorrhizae, beneficial bacteria, pathogens and many others. The organisms within the microbiome contains genes that drive their interactions with plants, soil and each other. This process maintains the function of our forests under a wide range of environmental conditions.
Understanding the microbiome and its role in determining productivity for New Zealand’s forestry sector is key for continued improvement of forest management practices. Advances in molecular analysis enables characterisation of the microbes that play critical roles for tree growth and health. The potential to enhance key microbes in different environmental conditions may help with cost-effective manipulation of management practices while also maintaining or improving forest productivity.
The purpose of this workshop is to bring together stakeholders interested in learning the fundamentals of microbes, genes and hormones in forests and how they interact to regulate forest function. The workshop will include practical demonstrations of useful molecular techniques and activities designed to provide attendees with an appreciation of this important area of forest management, along with a pathway to begin developing strategies to more effectively integrate and use microbial processes in forest management. A detailed agenda will be circulated by mid-March 2020.
Participation in the workshop is free and is organised by Scion as part of the interim ‘Resilient Forests’ research programme (Oct 2019 – Sep 2020) that is jointly funded by Forest Growers Levy Trust and MBIE through the Strategic Science Investment fund (SSIF) Forest Systems Platform. Please email Annette.Brockerhoff@scionresearch.com to confirm your attendance for planning and catering purposes.
Event: Tree Crops Association's National Conference
Date: 27-29 March 2020
Venue: Danish House, 6 Rockridge Avenue, Penrose, Auckland
Theme: Celebrating Diverse People, Crops and Food... Providing Food Security in a Changing Climate
Check the Conference Website for more information and registration
Event: Women in Forestry Conference 2020
Women in the NZ Forestry industry are coming together to connect, learn and share our experiences at our next Women in Forestry event.
Date: 30 April – 2 May 2020
Venue: Palm Pacific Resort, Port Road, Whangamata
More details on the Event Page
NZ Farm Forestry Association Events Page
A calendar of events relating to forestry in the wider landscape are kept up to date by the NZ Farm Forestry Association Events Page
NZFFA Conference 2020 - “46° South Revisited”. 4-8 April 2020, Ascot Park Hotel Invercargill
Event: Oak Action Group Open Days
Date: Saturday 25 April to Sunday 26 April 2020
Venue: Hackfalls Arboretum and Eastwoodhill Arboretum, the National Arboretum of New Zealand
Join the Oak Action Group on Saturday 25 April to Sunday 26 April 2020 for a two-day event to visit the legendary Hackfalls Arboretum and Eastwoodhill Arboretum, the National Arboretum of New Zealand.
The event is being organised jointly by the International Oak Society and the newly formed NZFFA Oak Action Group.
Both these arboreta contain world-class oak collections, featuring Mexican oaks, American and European oaks, and a day will be spent in each. Our focus on oaks will of course not blind us to the many other treasures these arboreta have to offer. Accommodation will be nearby in Gisborne so we will spend most of the time looking at trees rather than travelling. Join tree enthusiasts from New Zealand and around the world for this two-day event.
If you have questions or would like to register your interest, please email Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org
Institute of Chartered Foresters Event: Trees, People and the Built Environment: International Urban Trees Research Conference.
Date: 22-23 April, 2020.
Venue: University of Birmingham, UK.
The Institute of Chartered Foresters is delighted to announce the launch of the programme for Trees, People and the Built Environment 4.
We've brought together an outstanding programme. Joining the keynote speakers, Professor Suzanne Simard, Professor Ian Bateman OBE and Yvonne Lynch, are leading experts in the field from around the world.
You can view the full programme here.
The triennial conference, Trees, People and the Built Environment, is a unique gathering of built and natural environment professionals, all working together to enhance green infrastructure at an international level. It is the must-attend event for those who work in urban landscapes of the built environment.
Event: WoodWorks 2020 Conference
Date: 20th – 21st October, 2020
Venue: Jet Park Auckland Airport Hotel, Auckland
The WoodWorks 2020 Conference continues to showcase the practical experiences of a range of building professionals including architects, project managers, designers, fit-out specialists, quantity surveyors, BIM specialists and engineers.
The program has a focus on completed projects from New Zealand and Australia. Each year we also showcase an inspirational wood expert from leading tall timber exemplar building projects overseas. For 2020 a world class architect from the iconic Brock Commons building in Vancouver will be our keynote speaker.
Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities: The WoodWorks conference offers an opportunity for companies involved in wood engineering to be a part of the future of timber use in New Zealand construction. Exhibition spaces will be made available to sponsors of this conference and partners of WoodWorks. These booths will provide a unique platform for promoting your products and services to the industry.
To ensure you get a place at either event, if you’d like further information or if you haven’t yet seen a Sponsorship & Exhibition Pack, please contact
John Stulen, Director, (+64) 7 921 1382 or (+64) 27 275 8011, email@example.com.
MPI Sustainable Forestry Bulletin
MPI’s Sustainable Forestry Bulletin is available through the subscription link. The bulletin outlines new information, upcoming requirements etc relating to the ETS, etc.
Forestry Career Portal
For career options, jobs are available advertised on this site
Institute of Chartered Foresters (UK)
The ICF provides a newsletter with news and blogs as well as relevant information for members through this link
Royal Society New Zealand
The NZ Institute of Forestry is affiliated with the Royal Society, with many co-memberships. For those interested in receiving their newsletters and other alerts, please follow the link https://royalsociety.org.nz/
Australia & New Zealand FSC Newsletter
IN THE NEWS
NZ: Impacts of Covid-19 Coronavirus
NZ: Coronavirus: Forest group seeks relief for industry in trouble
A group representing forestry contractors has approached the Government for a relief package a "week away from the industry really falling to bits".
And the Forestry Industry Contractors Association chief executive Prue Younger said a call from the Finance Minister to move laid-off workers to conservation jobs in Southland is unlikely to solve a looming crisis for the industry.
World: Lecture series explores leadership role of women in forestry, forest products
The annual Starker Lecture Series at Oregon State University this year focused on women who act as agents of change within the forestry and forest products sectors, and also in their communities.
“Women of Forestry: Inspiring Leadership” kicked off Feb. 27 and celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first degree conferred by the OSU College of Forestry upon a woman, Pauline Barto Sandoz.
“The College of Forestry celebrates the accomplishments of all women who are students, staff, faculty, and alumni in our community as it strives to become a more inclusive space,” said Anthony S. Davis, the college’s interim dean. “This series will explore the triumphs of women as well as the myriad of challenges they face in forests, mills, research labs and beyond.”
NZ: Hikurangi Forest Farms fined $379,000 over slash destruction
A forestry company has been fined $379,500 after forestry debris flooded a small town north of Gisborne.
Hikurangi Forest Farms, now known as Aratu, was handed the fine in the Environment Court in Gisborne on Monday after pleading guilty to discharging contaminants into the environment.
Heavy rain in June 2018 caused flooding in the Tolaga Bay area and carried slash – forestry debris – in its wake damaging roads and bridges and piling up on farms and in gullies.
NZ: Forestry company ordered to pay $100,000 to pair for terrifying ordeal
A forest company must pay a Tolaga Bay couple $50,000 each after a terrifying night they spent marooned on their roof amid rising floodwaters laden with forestry debris.
Aratu Forestry Limited, previously Hikurangi Forest Farms Limited, was yesterday fined a total of $379,500 on two charges brought by Gisborne District Council under the Resource Management Act of discharging contaminants — forestry waste and silt — to land in circumstances that enabled it to enter water.
NZ: Seven forestry companies await hearings
Forest companies charged with breaches of the Resource Management Act, for alleged offending that contributed huge amounts of forestry waste to devastating flooding during extreme weather events of June, 2018, have been called at a scheduling fixture in court this week.
Legal counsel for the companies appeared via AV link before Environment Court judge Brian Dwyer who was in Gisborne on Monday to sentence Aratu Forests Limited, in respect of breaches it admitted.
Gisborne District Council brought prosecutions under the Resource Management Act against 10 forest companies in the wake of the 2018 storms.
Juken New Zealand was the first of the companies to plead guilty and was sentenced by Judge Dwyer last November.
This week another of the companies, DNS Forest Products 2009 Limited, confirmed its guilty plea to the same charge faced by Aratu and Juken: that it discharged contaminants — forestry waste and silt — in circumstances where the material could enter water.
NZ: Scaling Climate Finance: Forest Finance Instruments
Press Release: The Policy Observatory
New Zealand, like other countries around the world, is facing twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Forests address both by sequestering carbon, enhancing land resilience, and creating habitat for endangered flora and fauna. But a lot hangs on whether the right trees are in the right place for the right purpose. If they are not, then the forestry sector risks losing its social licence to operate. Recent examples include erosion and debris events in Tolaga Bay and Tasman District, and rural fears that increasing carbon prices will create “a sea of pines”. Meanwhile, forest fires in Christchurch and Nelson illustrate the growing risks for forests that aren’t climate resilient.
UK: Fir's fair: UK must embrace conifers in climate fight, says forestry chief
Non-native species must be part of the mix if the UK is to meet its tree-planting targets, says outgoing Forestry Commission head Sir Harry Studholme
Sir Harry Studholme said the government’s target of 30,000 hectares of new tree planting a year was ‘tough but achievable’
Non-native conifer plantations have long been a scourge of conservationists – blamed for wiping out woodland species and disfiguring landscapes. But exotic conifers will be better at tackling the climate emergency than much-cherished broadleaved woodlands, according to the outgoing chairman of the Forestry Commission.
Sir Harry Studholme, who has headed England’s forestry agency for the last seven years, warned that there must not be a repeat of past mistakes in the rush to plant trees to meet the government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
New plantations are already causing an outcry with the Woodland Trust last week pledging to remove saplings planted on a wildflower meadow full of orchids in Cumbria.
The placing of sitka spruce plantations on Scottish highlands and across the peat bogs of the Flow Country in the 1970s and 1980s was a “tragedy”, Studholme admitted.
NZ, Hawke’s Bay: Te Mata Park native plant plan set to begin
Plans to return large sections of Te Mata Park to native bush in an attempt to create a more biodiverse park are set to begin, despite a slight delay.
Pan Pac Forest Products will initiate forestry work in the park on March 2, after a delay due to reasons beyond the control of the Te Mata Park Trust Board.
Almost 12 hectares of old pine plantations will be removed from Te Mata Peak during the three-year forestry and revegetation project and will be replaced by nearly 60,000 native plants.
The famous redwoods will not be affected by the plans.
IN THE NEWS - CONTINUED 1
Australia: Call to end logging of ‘protective’ native forests in wake of bushfire crisis
A group of forestry and climate scientists are calling for an immediate and permanent end to the logging of all native forests across Australia as part of a response to climate change and the country’s bushfire crisis.
In an open letter, the group said forestry workers involved in logging in native forests should be redeployed to support the management of national parks.
A briefing document to back the letter, coordinated by The Australia Institute thinktank, argues logging in wet eucalypt forests promotes more flammable regrowth.
Dr Jennifer Sanger, a forest ecologist who is in Canberra today to deliver the letter told Guardian Australia: “As we face this climate crisis, we see our forests are worth far more standing.
“We have to start taking this climate emergency more seriously and protective native forests is a simple step we could take and in my mind, a logical call.”
NZ: Invercargill City Council-owned forests hit the market
Forests in Southland, Otago and Nelson/Marlborough are being sold by Invercargill City Forests Limited – a subsidiary of Invercargill City Council's holding company, Invercargill City Holdings Limited.
Invercargill City Council-owned forests have hit the market after it was decided to sell them off last year.
The 14 forests in Southland, Otago and Nelson/Marlborough have a combined area of 3599ha and a total productive area of 3,058ha, predominantly stocked with radiata pine.
The estate is being sold by Invercargill City Forests Limited – a subsidiary of Invercargill City Council's holding company, Invercargill City Holdings Limited.
The decision to divest was made after a review of the holding company's investments in relation to the strategic objectives agreed with council.
In April, Holdco resolved that Invercargill City Forests Limited was not a good investment fit and would be sold.
Australia, NSW: Sale of state forests off the table after bushfires
The decision not to sell the NSW State Forests has been welcomed by North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), the Labor Party and the Australian Workers’ Union.
The Liberal National party coalition had proposed the sell-off in August 2019 have now backed away from the move.
‘The government insisted on a grotesque spending spree, doubling the original cost of its scoping study to $1.3 million, while fires raged through forests and plantations up and down the east coast of New South Wales,’ said NSW Labor Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Paul Scully.
‘This is great news for Forestry Corporation’s 560 workers, including over 200 in the softwoods division.
‘It’s also great news for the timber-dependent rural and regional communities of Tumut, Tumbarumba, Gandagai, Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Grafton.’
Mr Walton from the Australian Workers’ Union said the decision was welcome but the NSW government needed to go further and ensure that the sale of state forests would be taken off the table permanently.
World: Thinning, prescribed burns protected forests during the massive Carlton Complex wildfire
In the first major study following the devastating 2014 Carlton Complex fire in north central Washington, researchers from the University of Washington and US Forest Service found that previous tree thinning and prescribed burns helped forests survive the fire.
The 2014 Carlton Complex wildfire in north central Washington was the largest contiguous fire in state history. In just a single day, flames spread over 160,000 acres of forest and rangeland and ultimately burned more than 250,000 acres in the midst of a particularly hot, dry summer.
The wildfire, driven by strong winds and explosive growth, was unprecedented in how it burned the landscape, destroying more than 300 homes in Washington's Methow Valley. But "megafires" like the Carlton Complex are becoming more common in western U.S. forests as the climate warms and forests are crowded with trees after years of fire exclusion.
In the first major study following the devastating Carlton Complex fire, researchers from the University of Washington and U.S. Forest Service found that previous tree thinning and prescribed burns helped forests survive the fire. The study, published Feb. 22 in the journal Ecological Applications, shows that even in extreme wildfires, reducing built-up fuels such as small trees and shrubs pays off.
World: Forest 'duff' must be considered in controlled burning to avoid damaging trees
Many decades of forest fire prevention and suppression has resulted in a thick buildup of organic matter on the forest floor in many regions of the United States, according to a Penn State researcher, whose new study suggests that the peculiar way that these layers burn should be considered in plans for controlled burns.
In both the eastern and western U.S., one of the consequences of avoiding fires for so long in fire-adapted pine forests is the build-up of forest floor "duff" -- a deep, dense layer of partially decomposed pine needles -- that would otherwise not accumulate under a frequent fire regime, explained Jesse Kreye, assistant research professor of fire and natural resources management in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
That accumulation of organic debris can complicate efforts to use prescribed fire as a forest management tool, he explained, and this buildup of duff, particularly pronounced at the base of pines, is problematic if there is a wildfire.
"When these forests do burn under dry conditions, the long-duration smoldering that occurs in this dense duff -- long after the 'flames' have gone out -- results in significant heat transfer to the tree as well as the soil," Kreye said. "That can result in mortality of large, older pines and potential ecological consequences below ground."
Restoring fire to these ecosystems with controlled burns requires particular burn prescriptions that will minimize duff smoldering, Kreye pointed out. This is primarily done, he said, through burning under a range of duff moistures that can result in some consumption of duff but not enough to cause significant damage.
Australia, Tas: Bob Brown Foundation banned from Tasmanian forest protest due to 'safety concerns' over actions at Tarkine
The Bob Brown Foundation (BBF) has been banned from forest protest action across Tasmania and threatened with fines due to what the State Government says are "unsafe" behaviours — but the veteran environmentalist says protesters "will not be coerced" into stopping.
- Protesters from the Bob Brown Foundation gathered in early February after the government-owned Sustainable Timbers Tasmania company began harvesting trees in an area of the Tarkine Forest
- The state's Work Health and Safety Regulator has now sent a notice to the foundation warning that alleged unsafe activities by protesters meant they had to "cease the carrying out forest protest activity throughout the state of Tasmania"
- Failure to comply could result in penalties ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, the foundation was told
The activist group received an advisory from Tasmania's work health and safety regulator Mark Cocker on Thursday afternoon that prohibited activities deemed to be a safety risk until further notice — with the threat of potential fines ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.
Earlier this month, protesters rallied to two sites in the state's north west — at the Boco forest, where the Tasmanian Government-owned Sustainable Timber Tasmania company had announced it was to begin "selective harvesting of specialty timber", and at Que River.
PNW: Global warming to drastically reduce regrowth of key softwood species in Maritimes
Global warming is likely to drastically reduce regrowth of a tree species that is a cornerstone of the Maritimes pulp and lumber industry, a new study by forestry scientists concludes.
Lead author Anthony Taylor, a forest ecologist with Natural Resources Canada, also suggests that harvesting practices, including clear cutting, will be a factor if stands of balsam fir — sought after for tissue paper and Christmas trees — are to fare better in warming temperatures.
The peer-reviewed paper in the journal Forest Ecology and Management says under existing global warming models, there is only a 20 per cent chance stands of balsam fir will naturally regenerate by 2085 in the region’s forests.
IN THE NEWS - CONTINUED 2
PNW: Forestry, Indigenous rights protests set for B.C. legislature during budget announcement
- Two protests are expected at the B.C. legislature 20th Feb as the annual budget is revealed
- The BC Forestry Alliance says the NDP government needs to do more to protect the struggling forestry industry
- Extinction Rebellion claims the budget will cause further harm to the Wet'suwet'en
Forestry workers and Indigenous rights demonstrators are heading to the B.C. legislature to send the province a message as the annual budget is set to be revealed.
While the provincial budget isn’t expected to offer any surprises or big announcements, both groups gearing up to rally outside the legislature are promising to make a fuss about forestry and natural gas.
The BC Forestry Alliance says the NDP government needs to do more to protect the fledgling forestry industry and will be delivering a petition to the NDP.
“There is a need to defend the working land base that is being dissolved at an alarming and unsustainable rate,” the Alliance says in a statement. “Without the availability of the harvestable land base, the stability that is enjoyed throughout the province and the way of life of the BC communities will be lost.”
PNW: Forest stewards: Williams Lake company takes a holistic approach to forestry
For central B.C. logger Tsi Del Del Enterprises Ltd., harvesting is just one component of how they manage forest licenses belonging to the Tsideldel First Nation and other First Nations west of Williams Lake, B.C.
The 27-year-old company – a joint venture between Tsideldel (formerly called Alexis Creek First Nation) and Tolko Industries – is a fully integrated forestry company involved in forestry consulting, harvesting, log sales, silviculture, and, most recently, biomass harvesting in the bush.
“The company belongs to the community of Tsideldel,” says Phil Theriault, general manager of Tsi Del Del Enterprises. “We’re not a contractor logger, we own the wood and we’re doing all the forestry management. It’s a full loop from harvest planning to reforestation. We’re a full forest management company.”
PNW: Old wounds of Oregon’s timber wars take first step toward healing
The deal announced last week was intended to end the war in the woods that has beset Oregon forestry issues for decades.
But not everyone is cheering what Gov. Kate Brown described as a “historic” deal between timber firms and environmentalists. The critics suspect something is more at play than the pursuit of peace.
Some characterize the agreement signed by several Oregon timber companies and a coalition of environmental groups as the first step in healing, but it also has bearing on a much broader discussions in the Capitol, particularly over climate change.
USA: Money trees: U.S. cities find new ways of valuing urban forests
Urban trees stand guard against storm damage, raise property values, boost wellbeing and even help other city systems like roads work more efficiently, according to urban forestry experts.
So, should city officials treat them as core infrastructure — as a utility themselves?
In the face of a warming planet and breakneck urbanization, a growing number of U.S. policymakers and citizens are asking that question.
“We’re having a moment in our field right now, a sudden awakening,” said Ian Leahy, vice president of urban forestry at American Forests, a non-profit.
USA: Farming in the Forest: A Chance to Reverse 1,000 Years of Destructive Land-Use Practices
For over a millennium Western society has attempted to establish clear codes of ethics in business, politics, personal relationships, religion, and even warfare. But what about a land use ethic? What does modern society have to say on the topic of ethics about our lands?
On a small farm in Massachusetts, farmer Jono Neiger is planting chestnut trees where he might have just planted corn or row crops. Once a staple crop of many Native American tribes, chestnuts provide much more than just lyrical opportunities in Christmas songs. Like a keystone endangered species in a national park, towering trees can anchor the success of a revolutionary agricultural practice that uses the noblest of ethical codes regarding the humble farmer’s acre.
Neiger, is just one of a number of American and European farmers facing the environmental challenges of the 21st century by looking backward toward the stewardship and land-use principles of the famed American conservationist Aldo Leopold, author of an essay called The Land Ethic.
“A land ethic,” he wrote in his magnum opus of the same name, “…reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of the land”.
These American chestnut trees, a species almost completely extinct after a twentieth century blight tore their numbers down from 4 billion to a few individuals, will not only represent a step toward restoring North American chestnut ecosystems, but also plants the foundation for Neiger of what is called a system of “agroforestry,” “multi-story cropping,” or “permaculture” on his farm.
World: Forests that heal: Medicinal plants as an ecosystem service
Medicinal plants were listed as a provisioning ecosystem service in the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of 2005. India has had an ancient history of both codified and non-codified healing systems that use medicinal plants across the subcontinent.
Medicinal plants play a crucial role in drug discovery, with at least 25 percent of modern medicine being derived either directly or indirectly from them.
Challenges to conserving medicinal plants include overharvesting, biodiversity loss, eroding traditional knowledge and climate change.
Under the principle of access-and-benefit sharing, as listed by the Convention of Biological Diversity and India’s Biological Diversity Act, local communities should benefit from sharing their plant resources and traditional knowledge with others.
Five trillion US dollars.
That’s how much the overall international trade in medicinal plants and their products alone is expected to amount to by the year 2050. Estimates, as far as medicinal plants go, are many. According to one by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 70 to 95 per cent of people in many developing countries rely largely on traditional medicine – mostly herbal remedies – for primary healthcare. In 2006, researchers estimated that more than 70,000 plant species were being used in medicines worldwide.
However, despite their growing economic importance, medicinal plants – as an ecosystem service crucial to human health, livelihood and knowledge – are not popular in discourse. And with global biodiversity loss and erosion of traditional knowledge systems, threats to medicinal plants and their associated knowledge are many. Increased commercialisation of medicinal plant resources also brings in issues of access to this wealth and equitable sharing of benefits.
Asia: What are Bhutan’s sacred forests worth?
In the Kingdom of Bhutan, a mountainous country nestled between India and Tibet, you can’t just wander into the forest during the months from sowing to harvest. This period is when the Reedum is enforced, which in Bhutanese means the “closing of the mountain.”
There is no berry-picking, wood gathering or collection of anything from the forest. No loud voices, no obnoxious noises, no burning. All these could disturb the mountain deities.
If you commit these offenses, you might have to find the village’s Reedum stone and pay its weight in silver coins. And if the deities unleash a storm in anger, destroying village crops, the villagers could penalize you by having you feed the whole community for a year.
Reedum and all its social contracts is based on a religious belief that local guardian deities live in the mountains. This belief is linked to the ancient Bon religion which preceded Buddhism in Bhutan.
“Yet Bhutanese researchers have shown that there is an ecological basis for these norms,” said Robin Sears, an associate researcher at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “They are explicit and actually help the forests to regenerate.”
India: The evolving story of India’s forests
- As population and urbanisation increase, forests in India are under pressure. Yet the country has tried to maintain its forests and has been striving towards its long-term goal of 33 percent area under forest cover.
- Data highlighted in successive government reports show that forests in the north-eastern region and in tribal districts have been under constant pressure.
- Since 1950, India has diverted about 5.7 million hectares of forest area for non-forestry purposes like mining, river valley projects, roads, highways etc.
From covering 640,819 square kilometres (19.49 percent) of India’s total land area in 1987 to covering 712,249 sq. km. (21.67 percent) of the country’s geographical area in 2019, India’s forest sector has had a roller coaster journey with many twists and turns.
Paraguay: A beacon state for forest management?
U.N. collaborates to support exemplary national REDD+ process
Paraguay, a landlocked country of 7 million people, is home to much of the Gran Chaco forest, which is considered the second largest forested landscape in South America — second only to the Amazon rainforest. And like other countries which are home to the great forests of South America, Paraguay too battled raging wildfires in 2019.
But Paraguay’s portion of the Chaco forest is battling an even bigger challenge. This unique ecosystem, characterized by scrub forests, grassy plains, lagoons, marshes and jungles, is under threat from agricultural expansion driven by cattle and soy production. The region has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world.
SE Asia: Maluku indigenous people arrested amid conflict with company over disputed forest
The Eastern Seram Police have released four locals as of Thursday but continued to detain 22 others from Sabuai village, Siwalat district, Eastern Seram regency, Maluku, for staging a rally to protest a logging company operating in a forest the protesters claimed as their customary area.
The police arrested them on Monday after the protest turned into a riot and the protesters chained some of the company’s heavy equipment used to transport logs from Mount Ahwale forest, Sabuai.
The protesters said even though they were being questioned as witnesses, they regarded the detention as part of an attempt to “criminalize” them.
SE Asia: Religious and Indigenous leaders in Indonesia unite to protect forests
Must reach people through values and ethics to end deforestation, U.N. says
More than 250 religious leaders descended upon Jakarta in January pledging to prioritize protection of the world’s third largest tropical rainforest area and launching the Indonesian chapter of the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative (IRI).
The two-day IRI event united religious leaders and Indigenous representatives from major forest areas throughout Indonesia. Scientists, government leaders and representatives from non-governmental organizations and the United Nations were also on hand.
“The event inspired a whole new vision for collaboration among all faith traditions to end tropical deforestation and defend the rights of indigenous peoples,” said Joseph Corcoran, the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) coordinator for the initiative.
World: ‘Unless impunity is fought, we will not get anywhere’: Q&A with community forestry expert Lucía Madrid
- Lucía Madrid works with communities in Mexico to implement and improve natural resource management programs.
- Madrid says community-led forest management programs have the power to both reduce deforestation and promote rural development on communal land.
- However, she says environmental law and enforcement must also be strengthened to effectively tackle the illegal deforestation plaguing the country.
Lucía Madrid spent her childhood in a land of trees and a time of flux. It was the 1980s in Mexico’s Sierra Norte de Oaxaca region, and communities were organizing to stop the government from giving away their land to logging companies. These efforts were successful, and Madrid witnessed the birth of what is now known as community forest management.
Madrid left Oaxaca, but the kernel of community organization stayed with her. She studied political science at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico City, then completed a master’s degree in environmental policy at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. For the past 15 years, she has worked with communities to strengthen their natural resource management programs both as a consultant and through NGOs such as the Mexican Civil Council for Sustainable Silviculture (CCMSS).
Through her work and travels, Madrid says she has learned the importance of effective community organization, especially when developing sustainability projects that allow people to both make a living from their forests as well as conserve them.
Mongabay spoke to Lucía Madrid about her thoughts on enabling proper forest management, boosting rural development and combatting deforestation.
Opinion: This is not a forest
Have we forgotten the inherently tangled, interdependent nature of ecosystems, the ecological value of old-growth, the microcosm of habitats provided by diversity?
It struck me recently, walking through the fiercely managed forests of Bellever, Dartmoor, that my childhood experience of forests as rich, tangled, ancient woodlands would not be the experience of many future children.
The word ‘forest’ in my mind summons the feel and smell of diverse old-growth, towering moss-clad beeches and twisting oaks, dense undergrowth overwhelmed with insects and fungi. Clambering over rocks carpeted in lichen and interspersed with feathery fingers of fern. Landscapes that embody hundreds of years of accumulation and regeneration.