New Tools Available to Tackle Swiss Needle Cast Epidemic
“This new risk-rating model should be a reliable predictive tool so that landowners can make more informed decisions on what tree species to plant,” said David Shaw, an assistant professor in the Department of Forest Science at OSU and director of the cooperative. “Some of our c
o-op members are pretty excited about its potential to help address this problem.” Swiss Needle Cast, a fungal disease that afflicts Douglas fir native to the Pacific Northwest, is mostly a problem in areas within 20 miles of the ocean, where warm, wet conditions favor its growth. It’s a cyclical problem that is made more severe by warmer winters, wetter springs, and extended drizzle.
The Swiss Needle Cast Cooperative is providing funding for the new model, which is being developed at OSU by Jeff Stone, an associate professor of botany and plant pathology, and Len Coop of the Integrated Plant Protection Center. The model can tell landowners whether a very specific plot of land will be at low, moderate, or high risk of developing significant Swiss Needle Cast infection. This can help guide decisions about what to plant for future tree rotations. The model incorporates a diverse range of data about topography, climate, local weather patterns, historic disease problems, and other relevant issues.
A series of workshops will be conducted next year to help private and industrial landowners learn more about the new risk-rating model and other steps to address this problem, Shaw said.
SFI Names Abusow
“I am committed to growing SFI’s recognition and importance among conservation groups, buyers, forest managers, industry, and policy makers,” said Abusow. “Forest certification is a signifi- cant tool in the marketplace and among policy setters, so it is essential to keep certification programs relevant and in tune with changing landscapes, as well as market expectations. I look forward to working with the staff to build upon SFI’s reputation in a responsive, rigorous, and innovative manner.”
AF&PA Commends Action Against Illegal Logging
The practice of illegal logging costs developing countries billions of dollars in lost revenue, while increasing costs for legitimate, legal producers of timber and timber products. Additionally, unregulated logging ignores environmental constraints and can damage protected habitats.
In March 2005, AF&PA joined Conservation International to create the Alliance to Combat Illegal Logging. AF&PA was also a strong supporter of the Memorandum of Understanding signed, in November, by the U.S. and Indonesia that commits both countries to combating illegal logging. More recently, AF&PA joined the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an international leader in the fight against illegal logging, to seek a workable legislative approach to this problem.
AF&PA president & CEO Donna Harman said, “We appreciate the efforts and leadership of Senator Wyden, who has taken steps to shed light on this growing problem. We are also grateful for the efforts of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who has been a leader on this important issue in the House of Representatives.
Western Lumber Output Down 12.9%
Residual Wood Conference
Driven primarily by rising energy prices and concerns about climate change and greenhouse gases, the residual wood generated by forest industry operations is steadily on its way to becoming a more valuable resource. In the near future, sawmills and forest products operations will no doubt see their residual wood being viewed as a valuable product versus waste.
Or they might opt to set up their own power generating facilities. Energy operations, like this, could help even out the roller coaster ride the industry experiences, profit-wise, with the swings in lumber prices.
Those are some of the scenarios that will be outlined at the Seventh Biennial Residual Wood Conference, being held October 24 to 26 at the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel, in Richmond, BC. For more information about the conference, call 604-541-7562 or visit www.forestnet. com/rwc
ATFS Recognizes Family Forest Stewardship Plans
“ATFS recognition of the Forest Stewardship Plans will expedite the process for landowners interested in applying for certification. This should strengthen the public’s confidence that wood from Washington’s family forests is grown and harvested in an environmentally responsible way,” said Doug Sutherland, Commissioner of Public Lands.
Bob Simpson, senior vice president of the American Forest Foundation (the Tree Farm program’s parent organization) echoed these sentiments. “This recognition will open the door for thousands of Washington’s family forest owners seeking affordable certification of their forest management, allowing them to stay competitive in today’s shrinking global economy,” said Simpson.