Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pennsylvania's State Forests Meet FSC Certification Standards

Logging on the Sproul State Forest
In reading the Society of American Foresters, E-Forester (January 25, 2013), I came across a report concerning the latest Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification audit that took place on Pennsylvania's State Forest Lands.  The independent, third-party review was conducted in late August 2012 by Rainforest Alliance.  The annual assessment is designed to evaluate the ecological, economic, and social performance of DCNR's Bureau of Forestry according to guidelines established by the Forest Stewardship Council.  Auditors aplauded Pennsylvania’s commitment to its forests, and exemplary practices and innovation in managing forest resources.

FSC certification assures consumers that wood products coming from the state’s 2.2 million acres of public forests come from a sustainable, well-managed system.  This helps Pennsylvania compete in the growing consumer markets for sustainably managed and labeled wood products.

For the full report click here.

Grant (January 23) - HARRISBURG – The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has released the results of an independent review team’s annual study of state forestlands, affirming the state’s efforts to conserve resources through sound management.

“The auditors were very pleased with our forest management and our staff’s dedication, and I extend thanks to each of the districts involved in this year’s audit for another job well done,” DCNR Secretary Richard Allan said. “This continued certification is an affirmation of the pride we take in managing our state forest system for many values and uses, while maintaining its long-term health and viability.”

“Forest management faces many threats and challenges, including fragmentation and disturbance, invasive plants, destructive exotic insects and insufficient regeneration,” Allan said. “The certification process shows we are doing everything we can to improve our management plans and practices. More importantly, it helps us identify areas we can improve to ensure our forests are well managed and in line with stakeholder expectations.”

To read the full news release click here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trees are Good for Your Health

I wanted to share with you the findings of a new study by a research forester from the U.S. Forest Service.  Geoffrey Donovan and his colleagues at the Pacific Northwest Research Station found increasing evidence that exposue to the natural environment can improve human health.  Researchers studied the relationship between emerald ash borer (EAB) presence (loss of more than 100 million trees) and county-level mortality from 1990 - 2007 in 15 states.

The results were convincing, scientists found a direct relationship to increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illnesses in counties infested with EAB.  They even found the magnitude of this effect was greater as the EAB infestation progressed.  This fınding adds to the growing evidence that the natural environment provides major public health benefıts.

Portland, Ore. January 16, 2013. Evidence is increasing from multiple scientific fields that exposure to the natural environment can improve human health. In a new study by the U.S. Forest Service, the presence of trees was associated with human health.

For Geoffrey Donovan, a research forester at the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, and his colleagues, the loss of 100 million trees in the eastern and midwestern United States was an unprecedented opportunity to study the impact of a major change in the natural environment on human health.

To read the full story click here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Woodland Owners Tax Quick Guide

For your information and for sharing…Just posted on the U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area website. A new/updated publication titled Federal Income Tax on Timber: A Quick Guide for Woodland Owners . This document is a the 4th version of a document that started out called the Federal Income Tax on Timber: A Key to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions. The revision of the document removed the questions and presents just the information. This is an online publication only, hard copies are not available.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lumber Leads Commodities Market in 2012

I came across this article on and thought I would share it with my readers.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out for the timber markets and stumpage prices in Pennsylvania for 2013.  The Penn State Timber Market Report  has published the 3rd quater 2012 data.  Unfortunately, the 10 year trend is still downwards.  In fact, it is down nearly 7% for black cherry in the northwestern part of the state.  The article notes they are seeing an increase in building permits.  Here is a quote from the article that is quite promising, "The U.S. housing market rebounded this year, lumber prices soared 44 percent, the biggest annual gain since 1993."  With an increase in the housing market we may see a jump in our timber prices.  I wonder what the 4th quarter Timber Market Report will show?

Lumber May Fall 25% After Leading Commodities in 2012 (Bloomberg com)
Lumber futures may tumble as much as 25 percent from a seven-year high as output increases in Canada, the world’s biggest exporter, according to Forest Economic Advisors LLC.

The price may touch $300 per 1,000 board feet in 2013, Paul F. Jannke, a principal at the Westford, Massachusetts-based consulting company, said in a telephone interview on Dec. 27. In mid-October, he correctly forecast the rally. Futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Dec. 26 reached $399.50, the highest since April 2005.

“We’re pretty close to the peak,” Jannke said. “The initial spike tends to be the highest, then production ramps up. If the mills increase shifts from a 40-hour week to a 50-hour week, that’s a big jump, and everybody is ratcheting up their work weeks.”

To read the full article click here.