News

Bark beetles are killing forests — but they might be saving them, too

By Maddie Oatman, Mother Jones There is an eerie feel to this grove of lodgepole pines that I can’t quite put my finger on as entomologist Diana Six tromps ahead of me, hatchet in hand, scanning the southwestern Montana woods for her target. But as she digs the blade into a towering trunk, it finally […]

Woodland foods project identifies need for community cooperatives

By Sheilla Jones Developing a viable wild foods business in southern Manitoba will depend on addressing the gap between producers and consumers, according to producers who are currently harvesting wild foods. “The message from producers is plain,” said Mike James, Woodland Farm Foods researcher and expert in non-timber forest products. “People are not interested in […]

Muddy forests, shorter winters challenge loggers

Stable, frozen ground has long been recognized a logger’s friend, capable of supporting equipment and trucks in marshy or soggy forests. Now, a comprehensive look at weather from 1948 onward shows that the logger’s friend is melting. The study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published in the current issue of the Journal of […]

Harvest ends two-year storm damage saga

Harvest contractor Eberly Forestry used a John Deere grapple skidder to pull full-length trees to a landing during the September 2014 clean-up of storm damage in 2012 on Bob Austman’s woodlot near Piney. Some of the better sawlogs harvested were 15 inches or more at the base, with no rot or decay. Sixteen cords of […]

Harvesting wooded lands for food

By Sheilla Jones Manitoba’s wooded lands have the potential for a bountiful harvest—not just of wood—but of food, and that’s what WAM’s Woodland Farm Food Project is studying. The new project, with funding from the Growing Visions program of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD), will examine the viability of growing and harvesting wild […]

Sawmills scrambling for wood supply

By Sheilla Jones Sawmills and pulp operations in Canada are scrambling to get enough wood to meet their needs. The wood is there, but the capacity to get it harvested and to the mills is not. “Everybody is short of wood these days,” said Dale Munro, woodlands manager for Prendiville Industries in Kenora. “There’s not […]

Revisit 2014 Biomass Workshop

At the 2014 Biomass Workshop in Arborg, Manitoba, expert panels discussed biomass applications and market opportunities, while presenters shared their experiences in the production or use of biomass for heating. Anyone who missed the workshop on March 5, 2014 or wants to revisit the presentations can now do so on-line, courtesy of Manitoba Agriculture, Food […]

Is MB ready for a community forest?

By Bob Austman, WAM Director It may be time for Manitoba’s woodlot owners to join forces to manage their own wood market. Woodlot owners in the province are facing a number of challenges, and particularly the limited market for our wood. Tembec closed the largest paper mill in the province in 2008. Tolko, in The […]

Model Forest launches new work plan despite federal funding loss

By Bob Austman Despite funding challenges, the Manitoba Model Forest (MBMF) has expanded its role to include management of the Canadian Model Forest Network and the Model Forest in Indonesia. This year represents one of significant change for MBMF. The organization was formed in 1992 as a mechanism to promote the involvement of local communities […]

Bitterly cold winter unlikely to impact spread of forest pests

By Sheilla Jones The Manitoba Woodlot Issue 103 The polar vortex that brought record-breaking cold temperatures to much of North America this winter may have warmed hopes for a chill on the spread of forest pests. But experts say that the bitter cold may have had little impact on the emerald ash borer, mountain pine […]