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16th March 2020 Newsletter
Nominations for the NZIF Council and Registration board have closed and voting will held for the position of President.
1. Nominations for the position of President are as follows:
· Euan Mason
· James Treadwell
2. The uncontested Council and Registration board positions are as follows:
Vice President: Peter Hill
Treasurer: Kent Chalmers
Council: Russell Dale
Christopher (Kit) Richards
Registration Board: Andrew McEwen
As there has been no nomination for Secretary, this position will be filled by election at the upcoming annual general meeting.
Voting will be available to paid members only, will be anonymous, and will open Sunday 15th March on the NZIF website. Access to voting will be through the NZIF Members only page.
Voting will close at 5pm on Tuesday 31st March and results will be announced during the week following.
Any problems with logging in or voting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone the NZIF office +64 4 974 8421.
From the Registrar
Successful 5 Year Registration Review
· Paul Silcock of Gisborne
Application for Registered Member
The following members have applied to become Registered Members:
· Tim Thorpe of Upper Hutt
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 email@example.com within 20 working days of the first appearance (16 March 2020) of the notice in this newsletter, specifying the grounds for the objection.
Alan Bell, Registrar
NZIF Registration Board
APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR NZIF FOUNDATION 2020 AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS
Applications are invited for the awards and scholarships offered by the NZIF Foundation for 2020. The total value of awards offered is $29,500.
The awards open for application are:
· One Future Forest Scholarship for post graduate research of up to $10,000
· The New Zealand Redwood Company Scholarship of $5,000 for an undergraduate scholarship at the University of Canterbury School Forestry
· Chavasse Travel Award of up to $3,500 to assist a mid-career person to travel overseas or to bring an overseas person to NZ
· Jon Dey memorial award of up to $3,500 to assist research projects in the areas of work study or new technology aimed at improving forest engineering and harvest productivity
· Otago Southland Award of up to $3,000 to assist a project of relevance to forestry in the Otago/Southland region
· Mary Sutherland Scholarship of $1,000 for a polytechnic student
· University Undergraduate Scholarship of $1,000
· Frank Hutchinson Postgraduate scholarship of $1,000
· Student poster prizes at NZIF Conference (1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes of $800, $500 and $200)
Applications are now open. Further details on the Foundation web page available through www.nzif.org.nz, (link on lower right hand side of page).
Applications must be received by the Foundation administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 5pm on Monday 18th May 2020. The awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner of the joint conference of the NZ Institute of Forestry being held in Masterton from 28th to 30th June 2020.
Enquires to the Foundation chair email@example.com or phone +64 274 733 262
Please pass on this notice to your networks and to anyone you think may be eligible to apply. Membership of NZIF is not a requirement for application.
About the NZIF Foundation
The NZIF Foundation was established in 2011 by the NZ Institute of Forestry to advance education in relation to forestry. This includes encouraging and supporting forestry related research, education and training through the provision of grants, scholarships and prizes; promoting the acquisition, development and dissemination of forestry related knowledge and information and other activities that do not conflict with the charitable purpose. For the purposes of these awards, forestry is broadly defined to include all those activities involved in the management and use of forests and their products, the objects of which are the production of wood or other forest benefits and the maintenance of the environment in its most beneficial form. All forests in New Zealand, whatever their purpose, are encompassed in the definition.
NZIF Foundation Chair
NZIF Fees Increase
It is that time of the year when the NZIF Council reviews the Annual Subscriptions. Since our last increase of subscription rates in 2018, NZIF’s costs have been under general inflationary pressure. While these pressures have been modest Council’s view is that NZIF are better to pass on smaller increases more frequently. We think large increases are more difficult for members to absorb and this increase is significantly less than the 2018’s increase.
As a council we have delivered projects that have benefited members, the redevelopment of the website, improvements with the newsletter, rewriting the handbook is underway and continuing improvements to the Registration scheme. In addition to these we continue to support the forestry profession through advocacy, lobbying and connectivity.
The table above shows the changes to our subscription prices. We look forward to your continued support.
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.
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: +64 27 442 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
Event: NZIF Annual Conference 2020
Date: 28-30 June 2020
Venue: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park, Masterton, Wairarapa
Julie Collins from Te Uru Rakau will open our conference to give an update on their activities and we thank them for their support and sponsorship this year.
Our keynote speaker is Beth Welden from Forest Learning in Australia. Beth is passionate about communicating information regarding Australian forestry and forest based products to schools, the public and educators across Australia. VR headsets for delegates to trial at the conference will show how Australian Forestry is brought to the towns.
We are opening up our two Tuesday morning sessions to the public. These “Breaking Down the Barriers” sessions will feature Warren Parker, (Chair of Landcorp and Chair of the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group among other things) and Tim Payne from Scion with “Forestry Myth Busting”. We will be inviting local farmers, fed reps and ag classes to attend these sessions and learn some facts about our industry. Students are free to attend these sessions.
Political sessions with representatives from all our parties is shaping up well and so far we have David Seymour from the Act Party, James Shaw from the Green Party and Todd Muller from the National Party confirmed. At the Women in Forestry breakfast we will hear from guest speaker Melissa Clark-Reynolds about her journey as a woman leader, also we will allow plenty of time for our group to network over breakfast and make connections.
I’m particularly interested to hear from Dave Saathof from the Future Foresters with his “Supporting and Cultivating the Young Crop”.
We are still securing sponsorship for this event, and although we acknowledge these are difficult times for our sector, we maintain that these events are important to bring us together and give the opportunity for members to network and show leadership in difficult times. Please support these conferences where you can to ensure the longevity of our members.
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.
Latest NZ Journal of Forestry is On-line
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 finding out what is happening, receiving newsletters and other alerts, please follow the link here.
RSNZ Rutherford Medal now to include Humanities.
Australia & New Zealand FSC Newsletter
It is important NZIF has up-to-date contact details for members so we can stay in touch and keep you informed of news, events and our journal. If you have changed your residential and/or postal address, or any other contact details, please let the office know. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THE NEWS
NZ: Coronavirus: Forestry industry 'in crisis'
The industry group representing forestry contractors says the crisis facing the sector because of coronavirus is dire, and is getting worse.
Many of the country's logging crews are unable to work because of supply chain disruption in China.
The New Zealand Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) said contractors were reaching breaking point in an ever-worsening situation.
Rapid impacts had been felt over the past month by the industry with the effects of the outbreak of the coronavirus, with many out of work and in serious financial crisis, it said.
World: Global study on tropical forests' diminishing capacity to absorb carbon
The world’s tropical forests are losing their ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – a development that could have serious implications on efforts to forestall climate change.
That is one of the findings of an international study by dozens of researchers – including the University of Toronto’s Sean Thomas, a professor of forestry at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design – that was featured on the cover of this week’s issue of Nature.
Amazon rainforest could disappear within 50 years, scientists report
Large, complex ecosystems cascade into rapid collapse compared to smaller ecosystems
Large scale ecosystems the size of the Amazon forests could collapse within 50 years and the Caribbean coral reefs in just 15 years, according to new research published in Nature Communications journal this week.
Scientists from Britain’s University of Southampton, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Bangor University studied data on the changes observed in 40 natural environments on land and in water.
They determined the speed at which extant ecosystems will disappear once they have reached a tipping point beyond which they collapse.
By studying ecosystem shifts, the scientists learned that although larger ecosystems took longer to collapse due to their size, the rate at which the transformation occurred was significantly faster than the pace of change for smaller systems.
Their data indicate the Amazon rainforest could transform into a savannah-type ecosystem with a mix of trees and grass.
B.C. forestry convention cancelled due to coronavirus
The B.C. Council of Forest Industries has cancelled its annual convention due to concerns about COVID-19.
President Susan Yurkovich says the council is disappointed that people in the industry won't be connecting with colleagues in Prince George between April 1 and April 3 but the decision had to be made for the health and wellness of everyone who'd be attending.
The convention is the largest gathering of the forestry sector in Western Canada and attracts people from around the world as well as all three levels of government and First Nations leaders.
NZ: Mayor pledges to never sell to forestry as Austrian billionaire plans to plant out Wairoa farmland
Wairoa's mayor has vowed he will not let his own 480ha of land be converted to forestry as part of what he says is a negative chain effect eroding his district's economy.
Craig Little has made the pledge after Austrian billionaire Wolfgang Leitner received Overseas Investment Office (OIO) consent to buy the 800ha Ponui Station at Kotemaori, Wairoa.
The station currently has 713ha in grazing for sheep and beef stock and 14ha of commercial forestry.
Leitner plans to convert 640ha of the grazing into commercial forestry according to the OIO consent release.
NZ: Land use change threatens Gisborne. Opinion
The recent forestry lay-offs highlight the fact that our local forestry sector is 90 percent dependent on whole-log exports. We have an established forestry industry and it is a significant employer of local people: it is essential that it continues and becomes more resilient.
Government could encourage more local processing to spread market risk. This will need a large effort in the current economic climate, when New Zealand processors are closing or downsizing due to importing countries willing to pay more for logs than domestic processors can afford.
A big problem for the forestry industry is its history of stop-start growth. The huge spike of planting under the East Coast Forestry Project in the 1990s was followed by two decades of very low levels of planting.
NZ: City Forests mulling expansion purchase
The purchase of Otago farmland for the city’s expanding forestry interests will be discussed at a public-excluded council meeting this Monday.
Industry sources say City Forests, which operates forestry plantations spanning more than 16,000ha near Dunedin, has tendered for two Otago farms as part of its forest estate expansion strategy.
It is understood the combined price could be at or near the $5million threshold for which council approval is needed.
NZ: Kauri dieback confirmed in Puketi Forest
Kauri dieback has been confirmed in Puketi Forest in the Far North, west of Kerikeri.
Forest and Bird says it is horrified by the discovery and is calling on the government to fund and implement a management plan for the disease that has been sitting before Cabinet.
Spokesperson Dean Baigent-Mercer said out-of-control feral pig populations have spread the disease in Northland.
"Unlike the Waitākere Ranges, in Northland the disease is being found far from tracks. Pigs are the main spreaders of the invisible disease in the north as they rip up the ground for food and carry the disease in mud on their feet, fur, tusks and we know the disease can travel through their guts and be deposited somewhere else when they poo," Baigent-Mercer said in a statement.
Satellite images showing habitat loss shock environmentalists
Satellite images detailling the destruction of thousands of hectares of New Zealand's native habitat is concerning Forest and Bird.
The organisation says just one native habitat type out of 13 has seen an overall increase across the country, while 12 have decreased.
NZ: More funds needed to remove wilding pines - Forest & Bird
Forest & Bird is urging the government to boost funding to control wilding pines - which it says pose a major threat to the country's ecosystems.
Wilding pines spread near Lake Pukaki.Wilding pines near Lake Pukaki in the Mackenzie basin. Photo: MPI
The environmental group has sent a letter to Cabinet ministers saying it is critical to act against the invasive tree species now.
An extra $100 million over four years was needed to contain the spread of pines, said Forest and Bird spokesperson Nicky Snoyink.
A previous budget pledged $21m for 2019 to 2020.
World: The Forest Standard Time
Tree growth and forest growth possess an element of time. Humans are often faster-paced and place more emphasis on short-term perceptions. This asynchrony masks a range of benefits.
World: Art at the frontline of the environmental crisis
The Hollywood Forest in Co Carlow is a source of quality timber and an inspiration for an artistic couple and their network of collaborators.
“We are discipline-jumpers,” Cathy Fitzgerald says of her work, and the related work of her husband Martin Lyttle. It’s a fair warning for a conversation with both of them that constantly leaps boundaries, from closed-cover forestry to art education, from the climate crisis to meditation.
You could stick labels like “scientist”, “artist” and “activist” and then some on both Fitzgerald and Lyttle, but no single category would capture the range of their projects.
Fitzgerald says their multifaceted approaches have evolved more or less spontaneously. And she now believes this kind of plural perspective is essential for all of us. “To confront the challenges facing us in our relationship with the environment we need to harness many ways of looking at the world.”
She argues in particular that our society needs artists at the table as much as scientists, citizens and activists to cope with the climate and biodiversity crises.
Canada: High production, ecosystem management: A glimpse of Nova Scotia forestry's future
Consultation closes Friday on two documents that give the first significant insights into how the Department of Lands and Forestry wants to implement the recommendations of the much-touted Lahey Report.
Their titles, Nova Scotia Silviculture of the Ecological Matrix and High Production Forestry Criteria, are a mouthful.
But the documents lay out in detail how the department intends to choose lands for industrial-scale forestry versus ecological conscious harvests and how those lands would be managed over the long term.
The basic premise, explained in a third document, is that the model of forest management pursued by the province for the past half-century isn’t working well.
“(The majority of Crown land) has historically been managed primarily by single‐aged silviculture and clearcutting, with little or no follow‐up stand tending, which is incongruent with the multi‐aged silvicultural systems required to practice ecological forestry,” reads Triad, an Opportunity for Nova Scotia’s Forests by professor Graham Forbes of the University of New Brunswick.
“This compromises maintenance of some ecological values and appears to be yielding relatively low volumes of wood, thereby expanding the harvesting pressure everywhere on the working forest.”
A look at forestry in Australia: what does sustainability look like in 2019?
What does Australia's forest industry look like in 2019 and how is it changing? National President of the Institute of the Foresters of Australia Bob Gordon and University of Melbourne's Professor of Agroforestry Rowan Reid joined Philip Clark for a discussion about where forestry is heading.
Tasmania's forestry industry is almost controversy free ... could that be about to change?
The Tasmanian government has promised to reopen more forest to logging from April next year.
Both forest industry representatives and members of the environment movement say there's a long way to go before they'll support new logging in now-protected areas.
Australia: Nuffield scholar researching ways for Top End forestry to branch out into silvopastoralism
Have you ever heard of the term silvopastoralism?
It is essentially the combination of forestry and livestock, and there is currently a great example of it in the Douglas Daly region of the Northern Territory.
African Mahogany Australia has around 5,000 head of cattle grazing amongst the trees of its vast mahogany plantation.
Chief executive Frank Miller, believes there are opportunities to do more of this in northern Australia and is currently studying silvopastoralism through his Nuffield scholarship.
He spoke to ABC Rural about the project.
World: Directed species loss from species-rich forests strongly decreases productivity
At high species richness, directed loss, but not random loss, of tree species strongly decreases forest productivity. This is shown by data from a big forest project in China. Previous studies based on random species loss could therefore bias the predictions of how more realistic extinction scenarios are likely to affect ecosystem functioning.
The forest biodiversity experiment BEF-China began in 2009 with the collaboration among institutions in China, Germany and Switzerland and is one of the world's biggest field experiment. In the subtropical forests in southeastern China the international team planted over 500 plots of 670 square meters of land with 400 trees each -- with each plot receiving between one and 16 tree species in various combinations. The researchers simulated both random and directed species extinction scenarios and analyzed the data.
Directed loss of species reduces productivity
After eight years, directed species loss in species-rich forest ecosystems, in which evolutionary distinct species had higher extinction risks, showed much stronger reductions in forest productivity than did treatments that were subject to random species loss. "These findings have significant implications for biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation, because more productive forests also removed more carbon dioxide from the air," says Bernhard Schmid, professor at the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich (UZH) and last author of the study.
Australia: Forests part of the environmental solution. Opinion
Sustainable growth: James Neville-Smith believes forestry is a vital aspect of addressing climate change.
Climate change is real. However, if we are to have any chance of fixing it, we need to be pragmatic and less emotional.
There are many layers to the carbon story, but I am only familiar with the most ignored renewable we have available to us - forests.
We can make a material difference to Australia's climate change mitigation efforts by better managing our 132 million hectares of native forest.
And the science - even the United Nations - tells us that the way to do this is not by locking up the forests in perpetuity, but by better managing them.
Sound too good to be true? Let me explain.
Any credible climate change policy must include a robust management plan for the natural forests - our lungs of the planet.
These lungs are renewable, they play a large role in providing the air we breathe and for thousands of years have and can continue to provide the human race with critical infrastructure: homes, buildings and more.
By using wood, we avoid non-renewables (plastics, fossil fuels, energy-intensive construction materials such as concrete), and we are happier and healthier in our homes.
PNW: Vancouver scientists head up four-year international wildfire study
UBC professors poised to examine everything from mountain pine beetle response to rebuilding after a fire.
They may be on the other side of the world, but we’ve got a lot in common with the Aussies.
We both like contact sports, knocking back a pint and not taking ourselves too seriously.
Another common trait?
Our countries are burning at unprecedented rates not seen in previous decades.
It’s that latter point that’s fuelling a recently announced, four-year study that links up scientists from the Canadian Forest Service, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the USDA Forest Service.
UBC professors Lori Daniels and Dominik Roeser are the co-principal investigators of the project, which will examine the hows and the whys behind the proliferation of wildfires in B.C., Alberta, Alaska, California and Australia, among other places.
Entitled “Wildfire and Carbon” and hosted by the University of Victoria, the project’s goals are many: de-escalating the effects of wildfire, reimagining forestry practices, reducing carbon emissions, re-thinking the way we use excess wood and how to approach a landscape once it has burned.
“The bottom line is that we cannot stay in the business-as-usual mode in British Columbia if we’re going to be prepared and adaptive to climate change around us,” Daniels told the Courier.
WA Government puts a 12-month halt on logging of mature karri forests in the South West
The Western Australian Government has placed a 12-month freeze on the logging of "two-tier" karri forests in the state's wooded South West region.
· Conservationists say the 12-month ban on logging karri timber is a "major breakthrough" for the forests
· Forest industry groups say the freeze is unwelcome and unnecessary
· WA's Forestry Minister David Kelly said the decision was focused on "customer demand"
Two-tier karri forests are defined as mixed-age forests comprised of mature trees and younger regrowth trees.
The Forest Products Commission (FPC) manages the logging of WA's native forests and has excluded two-tier karri forests from its native-timber harvest plan for 2020.
The decision has been met with celebration from conservationists and a backlash from the local timber industry.
SE Asia: Where the logging ends in Indonesian Borneo, the forest clearing begins
A recent study of timber concessions in the Indonesian Bornean provinces of East and North Kalimantan found that concessions that were not actively being logged showed higher rates of deforestation than active operations.
Inactive concessions can be vulnerable to illegal forest clearing for farming and industrial agriculture — activities that result in greater and more permanent forest loss than selective logging.
Some of the concessions found to be most vulnerable to deforestation are also important habitats for species like the Bornean orangutan and clouded leopard, highlighting the need for careful monitoring of inactive concessions.
Logging for timber by definition reduces tree cover. But what happens when logging stops? A new study has found that in concessions where timber firms have stopped operating, deforestation actually appears to increase, thanks to illegal clearing for agriculture and industrial plantations.
An inactive logging concession therefore creates a conservation risk, but also a conservation opportunity, researchers say. Many logging concessions in Indonesian Borneo harbor high densities of wildlife, such as the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) or Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi borneensis), the study found. If spotted in time, newly inactive concessions can be targeted with conservation actions that prevent further deforestation and benefit biodiversity.
IN THE NEWS CONTINUED
SE Asia: Indonesia’s forests battered to a pulp
Jakarta has rolled back protections for the country's peatlands, benefiting the paper industry
As Indonesia’s fire season is set to start in April, President Joko Widodo has gone on the offensive, lambasting senior officials and demanding accountability for the 2019 land and forest fires that ravaged his country.
More than 16,000 square kilometers burned down last year in Indonesia, costing the nation US$5.2 billion in economic damage and in effect shaving 0.5% from its GDP growth. In addition, the fires caused respiratory problems for more than 900,000 people, wreaked immense damage to the flora and fauna of affected areas, and released more than 708 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
While Widodo’s renewed rhetorical drive is welcome, the president should also address the fundamental causes behind the recurrent forest fires in Indonesia: the country’s weak peatlands-restoration policy. Indeed, in contrast to Widodo’s public musings, the fault lies not with incompetent officials but with the country’s environmental policies that have allowed for the significant exploitation of the very peatlands that would otherwise be crucial to preventing forest fires.
World: Record-high global tree cover loss driven by agriculture
· The new data reveals record-breaking global tree cover loss for 2016 through 2018.
· In 2018 alone, the area of tree cover loss was larger than the UK.
· Agriculture continues to drive tree cover loss globally and in the tropics while forestry and wildfires drive forest loss in North America.
Across the globe, tree cover loss hit record highs from 2016-2018, with roughly the size of a soccer field lost each second. In 2018 alone, the area of tree cover loss was larger than the UK.
Using high-resolution Google Earth imagery, researchers measured global forest loss from 2001-2015 and categorized its causes. These results, published in Science in 2018, were recently updated by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and The Sustainability Consortium on the Global Forest Watch website to include information for 2016 through 2018.
The new data reveals global tree cover loss reached an all-time high in 2016 and 2017, with the drivers of loss relatively unchanged from previous years. Worldwide, the primary culprit continued to be agriculture.
SE Asia: Shades of REDD+: Cambodia: Building a Nested System to Protect Remaining Forests
While many in the REDD+ community argue over whether project or national scale crediting is better, Cambodia is creating a system to enable both—recognizing that reversing deforestation requires both national policies and local actions.
We didn’t expect a junkyard in the jungle, but that’s what we found: chainsaws – hundreds of them – piled high, along with old trucks, dozens of battered cars, countless motorbikes and scores of giant, illegally-harvested timbers. It had all been confiscated by rangers working to protect the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, which is one piece of a massive effort to build a sustainable rural economy while saving and restoring forests in Cambodia.
In the mid-1960s, nearly three quarters of Cambodia was covered by lush tropical forests that provided clean, reliable supplies of drinking water and resilience in the face of natural disasters. Then came the Khmer Rouge and a devastating civil war. As with other countries that experience civil unrest, the period that follows is, by necessity, focused on rebuilding the economy and reducing poverty. In Cambodia, this led to uncontrolled logging and agricultural expansion that resulted in one of the highest rates of deforestation, forest degradation, and forest fragmentation in the world. Today, forests cover less than half the country, much of which is heavily degraded.
Cambodia is making an effort to reverse these trends. In 2017, the country released its National REDD+ Strategy that aims to reduce annual deforestation by 2026 in half, while contributing to poverty alleviation. The strategy envisions implementing REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, as well as enhancing carbon stocks) at the national level, but also enabling market-based REDD+ projects. Currently there are four active REDD+ projects in Cambodia — three voluntary projects registered under the Verified Carbon Standard, and one developed under Japan’s Joint Crediting Mechanism.
World: Unexpected ways animals influence fires
Animals eating plants might seem like an obvious way to suppress fire, and humans are already using the enormous appetites of goats, deer, and cows to reduce the fuel available for potential wildfires. But other animals such as birds, termites, and elephants can also double as ecosystem engineers, naturally reducing or enhancing the chances, spread, or severity of wildfires as they go about their day-to-day grass-chewing, track-making, or nest-building. Researchers in Australia describe these and more surprising activities in a Review published March 5 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.
Australia: Logging is due to start in fire-ravaged forests this week. It’s the last thing our wildlife needs
New South Wales’ Forestry Corporation will this week start “selective timber harvesting” from two state forests ravaged by bushfire on the state’s south coast.
The state-owned company says the operations will be “strictly managed” and produce timber for power poles, bridges, flooring and decking.
Similarly, the Victorian government’s logging company VicForests recently celebrated the removal of sawlogs from burnt forests in East Gippsland.
VicForests says it did not cut down the trees - they were cut or pushed over by the army, firefighters or road crews because they blocked the rood or were dangerous. The company said it simply removed the logs to put them “to good use”.
However the science on the impacts of post-fire logging is clear: it can significantly impair the recovery of burned ecosystems, badly affect wildlife and, for some animal species, prevent recovery.
Ancient Australian trees face uncertain future under climate change, study finds
Tasmania's ancient rainforest faces a grim future as a warming climate and the way people used the land have brought significant changes to the island state off mainland Australia's southeastern coast, according to a new Portland State University study.
The study holds lessons not only for Australia -- whose wildfires have been dominating headlines in recent months -- but for other areas of the world that are seeing drying conditions and increased risk of wildfires.
Andrés Holz, the study's lead author and associate professor of geography at PSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, studied the population decline of King Billy pine trees (Athrotaxis selaginoides), a coniferous species native to Tasmania that dates back to when Australia was part of a supercontinent called Gondwana. This paleoendemic tree species occupies large tracks of the UNESCO World Heritage Area in Tasmania and is considered a vulnerable species by the World Conservation Union.
The study found that increasingly frequent fires caused by regional dry and warming trends and increased ignitions -- by humans during the early arrival of Europeans to Tasmania and more recently due to increases in lightning -- are breaching fire refugia. Refugia are protected areas that don't burn or, if they do, are areas where trees survive most wildfires.
Australia: State MPs dismayed at NSW Forestry logging unburnt habitat after bushfires
Endangered species have lost up to 82% of their habitat but Environment Protection Authority says logging of unburnt forest is legal.
Logging is continuing in NSW forest north-west of Coffs Harbour in bushland that is proposed for the Great Koala national park. Photograph: International Fund For Animal Welfare
The New South Wales Forestry Corporation has continued to log unburnt forest that is habitat for some of the most imperilled species in the aftermath of the state’s bushfire crisis.
Logging operations have continued in the Styx River state forest on the north coast that is now remnant habitat for endangered species including the greater glider and the Hastings River mouse.
For Mexico’s forgotten cloud forests, sustainability and protection are key
· Secondary cloud forests are vital to hydrological cycles and the prevention of soil erosion.
· However, in Mexico, the expansion of livestock and agriculture has increased their vulnerability.
· Researchers from the Institute of Ecology at Mexico’s University of Veracruz suggest that encouraging sustainable forest management in these ecosystems will help ensure that they don’t disappear.
In 2009, scientists estimated that Mexico’s tropical montane cloud forests — hillside woodlands blanketed in fog and rain — were down to 28% of their original extent. Fifty-three percent of what was left was considered secondary forest, regenerated from primary forest that had been cleared for agriculture or lost due to fires or storms.
Conserving these cloud forests, even the secondary ones, maintains tree cover and protects mountain basins and soil from erosion. It also helps forest corridors develop, connecting the landscape for wildlife to roam.
Despite their importance, these ecosystems have largely been forgotten and poorly studied; and, to some extent, they are disappearing. In Mexico, they are not recognized in legal frameworks for forest use, resulting in a dearth of programs aimed at addressing their sustainable management.
How India’s idea of forest has evolved over the decades
From covering 640,819 square kilometres (19.49%) of India’s total land area in 1987 to covering 712,249 sq km (21.67%) of the country’s geographical area in 2019, India’s forest cover has had a roller coaster journey.
The 32-year-long journey witnessed the rise of a little over 2% of forest cover despite an increase in the population of the country, rapid urbanisation, and tremendous pressure on resources like forests. Perhaps one of the best chroniclers of the change in the forests and their importance has been India’s State of Forests Report (ISFR), which has been released every two years since its first edition in 1987.
Canada Invests in Indigenous Participation in the Forest Sector
Canada's forest sector continues to be an important source of employment across the country, including in rural, remote and Indigenous communities in Ontario. That is why Canada is investing in projects to equip Indigenous communities with the tools to build greener businesses and promote economic stability in the forest sector.
Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $500,000 investment in Agoke Development Corporation, a forestry company owned and operated by the First Nations of Aroland, Eabametoong and Marten Falls, based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This investment will support a project to increase Indigenous participation in Canada's forest sector and contribute to the overall competitiveness of the sector. Parliamentary Secretary Lefebvre made the announcement at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada 2020 Convention in Toronto.
The Anishnawbe Workforce Development Maintenance Program (AWDMP) aims to recruit up to 40 First Nations people, including adults and youth, to provide them with the training and technical skills required to join the forest sector labour force. To date, the AWDMP has recruited and trained 26 individuals. The AWDMP includes a job retention coordinator who works with industry partners to develop formal onboarding and on-the-job mentoring. The program also consults with First Nation elders to develop and introduce Indigenous cultural awareness training for employees, government agencies and industry.
PNW: Slowed tree growth threatens Oregon timber industry
Though not as immediately devastating as wildfires, slowed growth rates nonetheless pose a grave threat to Western Oregon’s commercial timber operations, experts say.
Rising soil temperature and falling soil moisture from prolonged drought are reducing the growth rate of certain tree species by as much as 2% per year, eventually leading to stagnation and death, said Henry Lee, a research statistician at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“These declines are happening throughout western Oregon. If you think western Oregon is wet and trees are healthy, they’re not,” Lee said at Oregon State University’s Feb. 26-27 “Forest Health in Oregon” seminar in Corvallis.
USA: Industrial Forestry Threatens to Blitz the Lolo. Opinion
The Forest Service is once again demonstrating its Industrial Forestry bias with its proposal to treat 3,790 acres by Cruzane Mountain in the Lolo National Forest. An acre is approximately the size of one football field.
The District Ranger suggests that treatments will “address insect and disease impacts and improve forest health (in) nearby communities at risk of wildfire.” Everything in this statement is inaccurate.
I know the Forest Service is under the gun from the Trump presidency to increase subsidized timber harvest to provide “healthy” profits for the timber industry. Still, at some point, I would hope federal employees would find a way to speak truth to power.
Yes, this is a Forest (Response). Opinion
Tesni Clare made some interesting points in the article ‘This is not a forest’, recently published in The Ecologist, not least about the importance of healthy forest soils.
But, as chief executive of Forestry England, my first reaction was sadness that Clare could not appreciate Bellever Forest in the way that so many thousands of others do that visit every year.
The variety of forests that we care for include ancient, natural woodlands and the country’s largest planted forest: all enjoyed by almost 27 million people and where 56 per cent of some of the country’s rarest wildlife have been found. (Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 section 41 species).
Bellever Forest is one of four distinct areas making up Dartmoor Forest with a forest plan for all to see. It is true that it is mostly conifer and produces excellent, sustainable construction-grade timber. It is also managed carefully and considerately.
Bellever Forest has Bronze Age archaeology sites; populations of rare and protected birds; and open access so people are free to roam and explore. Alongside the conifers, it also has gnarly moss-covered broadleaf trees and open meadows. The forest hums with insects and is bursting with wildflowers, fungi, lichens and ferns.
Clare’s view that the Forestry Commission, and therefore Forestry England, is “a vision of productivity and efficiency” [for timber above all else] is a little outdated. Yes, the Commission’s priority when it was established in 1919 was to replant trees lost during the First World War to create a strategic reserve of timber. Conifers were planted in huge numbers, and many were planted in places we now see as inappropriate.
But much has changed in the last hundred years, and our modern priorities are more diverse. We understand the value of forests beyond the price tag of timber. We recognise that our forests are crucial for wildlife to survive. We value forests for the spaces they provide for people to be active, connect with nature and rejuvenate.
Scandinavia: Environmental measures in Swedish forests will continue to be strong. Opinion
In a recent opinion piece, a group of NGOs wrote that Sweden’s forest policy is wreaking havoc. Herman Sundqvist argues that this is wrong on several counts and that the country is working to improve environmental measures in the forest.
Dr Herman Sundqvist is the director-general of Swedish Forest Agency.
Not only do the five NGOs paint a bleak picture of Swedish forests and forestry, this is also directly wrong on several points.
As a government agency, we do not make policy, we implement it. That is how democracy works in Sweden. Much in Swedish forestry and nature conservation can and should be done better, but in my opinion, the Swedish Forest Agency’s work with nature conservation is not only strong, it is also developing further.
Canada: New Brunswick forests could have a whole new look by the end of the century
New Brunswick forests could see fewer balsam firs, the province's most common tree, as temperatures warm, say researchers.
Anthony Taylor, a scientist with the Canadian Forest Service in Fredericton, published a paper in January examining the factors that control forest regeneration following commercial harvesting in the Acadian forest.
Warming in the next few decades could reduce balsam fir regeneration and promote the regeneration of hardwood species such as birch and maple, Taylor's research found.
"We didn't expect within an area the size of New Brunswick that climate would have such an influence over what grew back after we harvested the forest," Taylor said.
Taylor has been conducting studies on the effects of climate change on forests for the last 10 years. This study is the first field-based study, as opposed to solely computer-based study, that shows climate change could lead to a decrease in the Maritime populations of softwood trees such as balsam firs.
UK: Trees on commercial UK plantations 'not helping climate crisis' (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
Commercial tree plantations in Britain do not store carbon to help the climate crisis because more than half of the harvested timber is used for less than 15 years and a quarter is burned, according to a new report.
While fast-growing non-native conifers can sequester carbon more quickly than slow-growing broadleaved trees, that carbon is released again if the trees are harvested and the wood is burned or used in products with short lifespans, such as packaging, pallets and fencing.
Of the UK’s 2018 timber harvest, 23% was used for wood fuel, while 56% was taken to sawmills. Only 33% of the wood used by sawmills was for construction, where wood used in permanent buildings can lock in carbon for decades. Much of sawmill wood was used for fencing (36%) with a service life of 15 years, or packaging and pallets (24%) or paper (4%).
“There is no point growing a lot of fast-growing conifers with the logic that they sequester carbon quickly if they then go into a paper mill because all that carbon will be lost to the atmosphere within a few years,” said Thomas Lancaster, head of UK land policy at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which commissioned the report. “We should not be justifying non-native forestry on carbon grounds if it’s not being used as a long-term carbon store.”
USA: New Beginnings for an Ancient Forest, One Tree at a Time. Photo Essay
Deep in the forests of Montana, life is slowly changing. To start, it’s getting hotter. According to the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment, the annual average temperature in the state has increased 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950 and is projected to increase by 3.0 to 7.0 degrees F by midcentury. As climate change makes summers hotter and drier in the Northern Rockies, forests are threatened with increasing wildfire activity, deadly pathogens, and insect infestations, including the mountain pine beetle outbreak, which has killed more than 6 million acres of forest across Montana since 2000. Forestry workers are rushing to plant new trees in the scorched earth of an ancient forest.
World: Recipe for slowing species loss and cutting extinction risk in half
Limiting climate change to 2 degrees Celsius and conserving 30 percent of terrestrial area could halve the risk of plant, bird and mammal extinctions compared to the consequences of uncontrolled climate change and no increase in conserved areas, research suggests.
More than 20 global biodiversity and climate change scientists created conservation spatial plans to shape projections on how to minimize extinction risk in the tropics. Their findings were recently published in Ecography journal.
The scientists, led by Conservation International, used data on almost 290,000 species, creating models based on two potential future greenhouse gas concentration pathways while varying the extent of terrestrial protected land and conserved areas from less than 17 percent to 50 percent.
Existing research shows we are on the verge of a sixth mass extinction if we do not commit to increased conservation efforts, said Lee Hannah, lead author and senior scientist at Conservation International’s Moore Center for Science.