An agreement between The Nanwakolas Council, which represents four First Nations, and Western Forest Products has led to the deferral of old-growth logging in a section of forest north of Campbell River for two years. The deferral includes preservation of 10 square km of forest identified by an old-growth advisory panel as needing protection. Another 15 square km of priority ancient forests were also deferred through other agreements.
U.S. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and Forest Service Chief Randy Moore announced today (1-19-22) that they will be launching a comprehensive response to the nation’s growing wildfire crisis with a report entitled “Confronting the Wildfire Crisis: A Strategy for Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America’s Forests.” The strategy outlines the need to significantly increase fuels and forest health treatments to address the escalating crisis of wildfire danger that threatens millions of acres and numerous communities across the United States.
Despite its vast and mature forests, Saskatchewan forestlands have been under-utilized. That is until now. Over the past several weeks, the province has announced a reallocation of its forest resources, primarily located north of Saskatoon, and that will result in sizeable forest industry investments. Those forestland reallocations are expected, over the next two years, to lead to over a $1 billion dollars (CAD) in new investments in Saskatchewan’s forest industry.
Doing more with less and concentrating on high value-added products is the focus of B.C.’s NDP government officials, as they face a shrinking supply of harvestable timber, and the need to protect more old growth forests. However, the secondary sector is more frightened than enthused by the plan: to protect up to an additional 2.6 million hectares of old growth, about half of which the government says is in the timber harvesting land base.
The Ashcroft Indian Band has been pressing the B.C. government to overhaul the province’s forestry policies for over two years, saying that the current system fails to reflect the government’s commitment to reconcile with the Indigenous peoples or its legal obligations to them.
The U.S. Forest Service, in a written statement released on Wednesday (1-12-21), announced that it was abandoning its plan to log along the more than 400 miles of roads in burnt areas of the Willamette National Forest. The Forest Service plan was created following the Beachie Creek, Lionshead, and Holiday Farm fires of 2020.
Ingka Group, the owner of most IKEA furniture stores worldwide, announced that it has purchased more land in the United States, as part of a long-term commitment to responsible forest management. “The new forests will support increased biodiversity, help ensure sustainable timber production from responsibly managed forests, and recover land damaged by Hurricane Michael in October 2018.”
The southern pine beetle, one of the most destructive forest pests in the Southeast U.S., which has already destroyed millions of acres in its native South, has made its way to the State of Maine. The beetle was discovered in Waterboro, Maine last fall, and scientists say the ecosystem of Maine’s pitch pine barrens is now at risk.
Longleaf pine forests once covered more than 90 million acres across the Southeast U.S. Over the past couple of centuries development, timbering and fire suppression has greatly reduced the ecosystem’s range. The longleaf pine forest represents some of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems and are home to nearly 600 plant and animal species.
GO Lab Inc., a Belfast, Maine startup, has closed on the sale of $85 million in bond funding and completed a New Markets Tax Credit transaction that will fund the construction of a wood-fiber insulation factory at the former UPM paper in Madison. If construction work goes as planned, GO Lab expects to be producing its TimberHP loose-fill insulation in Q1 of 2023, followed by wood fiber batt and board products in Q2 and Q3.